The top 65 ways Israel is saving our planet

Since 1948, Israel has set itself a task of finding creative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. To celebrate Israel’s 65th birthday, ISRAEL21c looks at some of the best achievements.

A member of IsraAid helping out local residents in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of IsraAID.

A member of IsraAid helping out local residents in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of IsraAID.

31. With pollution growing to dangerous levels in the Mediterranean Sea, Israel’s EcoOcean research and educational organization trains local youngsters on land and sea, and provides local and international marine researchers with an at-cost vessel for advanced marine science studies in the Mediterranean, Red and Black seas.

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society sought out educational collaboration possibilities with EcoOcean to make global progress in saving the seas, badly in distress from global warming and other manmade causes.

32. The Israeli organization Save a Child’s Heart has brought more than 3,000 children from all over the developing world, including about 1,500 from Gaza and the West Bank, to Israel for vital heart operations at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. All 70 to 80 doctors and nurses working with the non-profit organization give their time as volunteers.

Aside from their work in Israel, medical staff fly on missions abroad to carry out heart operations, and to teach local doctors the latest surgical techniques. The organization also trains physicians from abroad in Israel.

33. US veterans suffering PTSD after being wounded in combat are experiencing emotional and spiritual healing thanks to a new program from the Heroes to Heroes Foundation, that brings the wounded vets to Israel to meet Israeli peers.

34. The Israeli organization ZAKA (Disaster Victim Identification) provides expert search-and-rescue assistance after natural and manmade disasters around the world. In late 2004 and early 2005, members of ZAKA provided help in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean earthquake.

Forensic teams dubbed the group “the team that sleeps with the dead” because they toiled nearly 24 hours a day at Buddhist pagodas transformed into morgues in Thailand. ZAKA volunteers flew to Mumbai, India, after terror attacks there in November 2008; assisted with search and recovery after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, rescuing eight students trapped in rubble; and also aided search-and-rescue efforts in Japan in March 2011.

35. Students in several countries are scoring higher marks in math and algebra tests thanks to the help of Israeli professor Michal Yerushalmy. Yerushalmy developed VisualMath and Math4Mobile, which help students score better on standardized tests, out-perform peers in solving algebra word problems and complex new problems, and devise superior strategies for identifying and correcting mistakes.

36. A new Israeli-developed tooth varnish is saving the lives of kangaroos in captivity, who often fall victim to a contagious, and sometimes fatal, gum condition called lumpy jaw disease.

Veterinarians at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo and the northern Gan Garoo Park – which lost 40 percent of its marsupials to this disease — teamed up with dentists and pharmacists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to create a tooth varnish that successfully prevents the condition. After receiving requests worldwide, the veterinarians published the recipe for the treatment online.

37. An Israeli research team has found a way to mate male prawns and increase yields and profitability for farmers. The revolutionary advanced gene-silencing biotechnology for aquaculture was developed at BGU and can reverse the sex of the crustacean, helping local farmers increase their income. The technology is already being put to use in Vietnam.

38. The 27-year-old Jerusalem AIDS Project (JAIP) is helping to educate millions of people across the globe about AIDS with its training program that teaches people in developing countries how to protect themselves from the deadly HIV virus.

The unique JAIP program is being used in about 30 countries, including Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, in coordination with groups such as the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. JAIP was commended by the United Nations in 2006 for its approach.

39. Israeli doctors are flying to Africa to help train local medical personnel in male medical circumcision with the organization Operation Abraham, in an effort to halt the AIDS epidemic there. Currently some 22 million people in Africa are living with HIV and AIDS – two-thirds of the entire world’s population of HIV sufferers.

Studies suggest that more than half of all HIV infections could be stopped if men were circumcised. Operation Abraham is a consortium of Israeli institutions, including Hadassah Medical Organization and JAIP, teaching local doctors how to carry out the procedure.

40. Israeli aid organizations Israel Flying Aid, IsraAID and Israeli Humanitarian Aid-Latet put Israeli know-how to work getting food, fuel, generators and other critical supplies to emergency workers and victims after Hurricane Sandy devastated the US east coast in 2012.

Israeli volunteers delivered fuel to hospitals in the stricken area, prepared emergency food convoys and helped clear debris. An Israeli delegation of trained rescue volunteers also flew to the disaster area. The effort was financed by young Israelis and Israeli companies with partner US companies.

41. A simple mobile-phone imaging system was invented in Israel to diagnose and monitor malaria, a mosquito-borne disease that is the second leading cause of death in Africa, killing an estimated 1,900 children under the age of five every day.

The system uses an ordinary mobile phone camera with a $15 specialized lens that can detect malaria by imaging the eye or skin to look for hemozoin, a pigment generated by the malaria parasite. The imaging system, whose developer won a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, can also determine the stage of the disease. Images can be sent immediately to labs in Africa and overseas for diagnosis by experts.

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About Nicky Blackburn

Editor and Israel Director, Nicky Blackburn has worked extensively as a journalist and editor both in Britain and Israel for a range of national and international publications including The Cambridge Evening News, London News, Travel Weekly, Israel High Tech Investor, and The Times of London. She was the Associate Editor at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine, and the High-Tech Correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.
  • http://www.facebook.com/bernie.harland Bernie Harland

    It’s a great shame that the world doesn’t recognise that these brilliant works aren’t publicized or recognized lots more instead of negative response best part of the time

  • http://www.facebook.com/edi.stadler.7 Edi Stadler

    Wow, I didn’t know that Israel was so progressive. Thank you for this wonderful article.

  • disqus_U1UZ3IAD3B

    great work Nicky loved the story love the people love the country live from Super Natural British Columbia the 2nd greatest place to live in the world

  • Amos Leitner

    Please also list “Tevel B’Zedek” who does exemplary work both in Haiti and in Nepal

  • Mary opiyo

    Prof berta sivan that was a great achievement. Proud of you.

  • Anti-Zionist

    ISreal saving the planet. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    I nominate this for the joke of the week. BTW, I wonder what the Palestinians have to say about all the magnificent ways in which it is “saving” the planet. Not to mention American tax-paying suckers. This right here is the personification of hubris and delusion. But keep on plowing Chosenites, the truth shall set the rest of us free.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.berger.148116 Daniel Berger

    ccWITT TECHNOLOGY (www.witt-energy-solutions.com) DOES BETTER THAN ANY OF THESE 65!!!

    WITT OFFERS THE WORLD ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, BY GENERATING ENERGY FROM ANY TYPE OF MOTION!!!

    WITT TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE FROM THE MOSLEM, HINDU, JEWISH, MIDDLE EAST ISRAEL GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE!!!

    OUR CHAMBER ALSO HAS $25 A BARREL, NORTH SEA QUALITY ALGAE CRUDE OIL;

    CARBON FIBER, HYBRID ELECTRIC HYPERCARS THAT GET 240/KM FOR 4 LITERS OF FUEL

    SEWAGE TO DRINKINKING WATER TECHNOLOGY

    PASSIVE SOLAR ENERGY THAT USES PHASE CHANGE SALTS THAT ALLOW FURNITURE, WINDOWS AND WALLS GENERATE ENERGY

    FUSION NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY, AND A LOT MORE!!!

    WHY IS IT THAT ONLY THE EPIC TIMES OF JERUSALEM HAS GIVEN NEWS COVERAGE TO OUR CHAMBERS WORK.

    MASS MEDIA OUTLETS IN ISRAEL SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NEITHER MARSHALL McLUHAN NOR EDWARD MURROW OR WALTER CRONKITE,OR HUNTLEY BRINKLEY WOULD CONDON SUCH LAZY JOURNALISM

  • Akhabue

    Thank you Israel. You are a blessing to the World.
    Bereshit – Genesis Chapter 12
    Now HaShem said unto Abram: ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee.
    2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
    3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/Genesis12.html

  • Akhabue

    Bereshit – Genesis Chapter 12
    1 Now HaShem said unto Abram: ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee.
    2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
    3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/Genesis12.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/zgadjanski Zoran Gadjanski

    Now, if you would be so kind and find a country for Palestinians.

  • thefifthcolumnreport

    Israel is a remarkable country and Israelis are a remarkable people. Imagine how much better off humankind would be if they embraced and supported Israel and its people?

  • http://twitter.com/MikiZBell miki bell

    ongrats to Israel’s 65th, I was there dancing all night 65 years ago. Keep on doing the good that you do to better humanity.Stay safe

  • http://twitter.com/MikiZBell miki bell

    I mean Congratulations to Israel, may you stay safe, prosperous and productive. My web site is:www.mikizbell.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/sabina.shalom Sabina Shalom

    Not
    only am I filled with pride,awe and enormous admiration and respect for all
    that I have read and seen, I am also filled with a deep and searing angst that
    Israel’s magnificence goes so largely unacknowledged world wide. With so
    many brilliant minds, how is it that the media does not seem to have been
    sufficiently encouraged (or approached) to show at least some of Israel’s
    miraculous

    achievements
    especially as they are designed for world-wide use and adoption.

    Ignorance,
    lack of knowledge and understanding continue to undermine Israel’s superb
    achievements. This must be remedied – propaganda, promotion, influential
    names, companies, every source to be contacted. Ambassadors of goodwill, eloquent speakers,
    all should be touring the Nations with these incredibly wonderful films,
    documentaries and such personal stories filled with the continuing human
    outreach that Israel
    extends to the entire world.

    These
    wonderful, beautiful films, make me smile and make me cry. But it is not tears that effect change. One does not need to convince the convinced,
    though it does not harm to remind the Jewish people of our duty and our
    obligations. It is the earnest attempts to rectify a
    situation. To bring that Light unto the
    Nations to shine more brightly and widely across this blessed earth upon which
    we the Jewish people were destined to serve.

    Sabina
    Shalom

    http://www.sabinashalom.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lenya-Biyat/100001956420493 Lenya Biyat

    Bless Israel. A light unto all nations.