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Untold Stories of Israeli Innovation
Posted By Jim Fletcher On May 30, 2014 @ 12:20 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 34 Comments
Marcella Rosen knew what she had to do. Standing on the sidelines while the state of Israel was being denigrated just wouldn’t work for the marketing professional from New York. If the news about Israel is almost always negative, she’d do something about it.
She’d share untold news. And that’s how Untold News (www.untoldnews.org) was born.
Untold News gathers and disseminates positive stories about the myriad ways Israeli innovation brings help, hope, and healing to the world. Rosen is passionate about sharing all this and more:
“While everyone has been focused on the country’s decades of military conflicts, Israel has quietly become the most energetic, ambitious, go-go incubator of entrepreneurialism and invention the planet has ever seen.
It’s true: Israel is a barrier-breaking dynamo of a kind never before witnessed in history. Acre-for-acre, citizen-for-citizen, no place is churning out more ideas, more products, more procedures and devices and technologies than this tiny strip of land along the Mediterranean. And the work that Israel is turning out is saving and improving lives around the world, every day.”
Anyone who’s visited an Israeli hospital, or seen the way the nation is reclaiming the desert (prepare to gasp if you get the chance to visit the Dead Sea region, and gaze upon acre-after-acre of palm groves, rising from what was once the moonscape of southern Israel) knows that Rosen is correct in making the case that Israel is no brutal occupier and oppressor of human rights. In fact, the tiny dynamo is all about virtue and compassion and startling innovation.
In fact, Rosen’s book, Tiny Dynamo, is a quick read crammed-full of fascinating facts. Consider the fact that in the U.S. alone, a staggering 90,000 people die each year from hospital infections. Worldwide, the figure climbs to one million.
Part of the problem is not so easily fixed: unwashed hands, door handles, or airborne germs. Aharon Gedanken chose to focus on those problem areas that can be remedied. He realized that fabrics used in hospitals—pajamas, sheets, gowns—could be redone in such a way that infections didn’t spread that way anymore.
A chemist at the Bar-Ilan University Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Gedanken created an anti-bacterial “coating” that soaks into the very fabric of a gown, sheet, etc.
Or consider the stunning achievements Israelis have made with drip irrigation. In a region where water is a prized and rare commodity, Israeli agriculturalists have been able to grow vast crops, using a fraction of the water supply other countries use.
It’s no secret that Jewish immigrants to Palestine and later, Israel, took a bleak plot of ground and turned it into a country where now, more tulips are exported from Israel than from Holland! A drip irrigation system developed by a company called Netafim has produced a world-class system for more efficiently irrigating crops.
For example, in 1965, a standard drip irrigation system used from two to four liters of water per hour—a revolutionary improvement. Yet today, a Netafim system uses only a half-liter per hour!
For Rosen, this kind of brilliance must be shouted from the rooftops:
“Unfortunately, the media doesn’t really give you a chance to develop an informed opinion about Israel — or many other countries, for that matter — because, in the press, ‘If it bleeds it leads’ — and the Middle East certainly does bleed. So that’s all you hear.
But the truth is this: while the world’s attention has for decades been focused on one single dimension of Israeli life, something entirely different has been taking place away from the cameras: Israel has quietly become the little country that changed the world — and your life — for the better . . . without you even knowing it.”
At a time when terrorism is cresting, Israel rises to meet the challenge. It was just announced that the Israeli Air Force has increased its overall effectiveness by 400 percent. An impressive achievement to be sure. Yet Rosen dreams of a reality beyond war:
“If tiny, beleaguered Israel can generate these kinds of results under its current circumstances, imagine what would happen — imagine what it could achieve — if it were released from the shackles of warfare. If this little country of fewer than eight million souls could focus the entirety of its energy and resources and resilience on the problems and puzzles facing us all, how much better a place would this world be?”
It’s an important question, and one that perhaps should be asked among the “land-for-peace” activists, who have been courting failure for more than two decades.
Why not join a winning team and strive for actually improving our beleaguered world? That’s what the good folks at Untold News are doing every day.
Jim Fletcher is a writer and researcher, and long-time pro Israel activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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