The Jerusalem Post: Israel is a World Cup Winner

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Blog by Michael Ordman

The media often uses major sporting events, such as the current FIFA 2014 soccer World Cup, to provide audiences with a little light relief from the seemingly endless stream of bad-news stories. In contrast, I present you with a blog of positive news featuring some of the recent achievements of the Jewish State’s world-class team.

I’ll begin, however, with the tournament currently taking place in Brazil. Israel’s world-leading Unmanned Air Vehicles and cameras were demonstrated simultaneously in the skies above Rio de Janeiro. A Heron UAV made by Israel Aerospace Industries, fitted with a heat-sensing camera from Israel’s Elbit Systems helped Brazilian police capture a criminal gang leader, to prevent violence during the World Cup. The Brazilian Air Force is also deploying Elbit’s own UAVs in the shape of the Hermes 450 and 900, which are conducting safety and security missions during World Cup matches.

Back on the ground, Israel’s global dominance in security systems is in evidence at the 44,000-seat Arena Patanal World Cup stadium in Cuiaba where Israel’s Risco Group has implemented a command and control system. In another city, administrators serving 24 Brazilian Government agencies will operate the Situator incident management platform from Israel’s NICE Systems.

We now leave the world of soccer for the world of medicine to read that Forbes has just produced its list of top 10 world-changing health tech companies. It contained no less than six Israeli firms – ReWalk, uMoove, Telesofia, Surgical Theater, TotallyPregnant and HelpAround. Surprisingly, it didn’t include Israeli start-up MobileOCT, which won the 2014 Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project for its program to help residents in Southern USA detect cervical cancer. MobileOCT’s additional ability to detect early stage melanomas (skin cancers) was even featured in a program on BBC World.

The flawed United Nations still performs some useful global functions. It distributes satellite images to rescuers in disaster areas, and will now be enhanced with those from Israeli satellites. The UN, together with the World Health Organization, also backed Israeli NGO Wheelchairs of Hope, designers of the world’s first affordable, child-friendly wheelchair. (The video of the Israeli charity is in Arabic with English subtitles.)

Israel’s cup is truly running over, due to the water technology that it brings to a parched world. California is currently experiencing a drought of near Biblical proportions and has turned to Israel to help hydrate its economy. Trade journal Global Water Intelligence bestowed its top awards on Israel’s IDE Technologies in recognition of its water desalination plants at Carlsbad in San Diego, California and at Soreq in Israel. In Mexico, Israel’s Desalitech is installing its Closed Circuit Desalination Reverse Osmosis technology. Israel’s Blue I Water Technologies is installing high-precision water quality analyzers in Beijing, China and also in India and Paraguay. Israel’s Mapal Green Energy has now been selected to install its wastewater treatment systems, by three of the largest UK water companies serving nearly half the homes in England.

Israel is a world power in renewable energy. Israel’s Sunflower plans to construct up to five wind farms in Finland. Israel’s Ormat Technologies will soon be generating geothermal energy in Indonesia and has had its 13th geothermal power plant inaugurated in New Zealand.

Israel’s parliament building will soon be the most environment-friendly law-making institution in the world, with 4,600 sq meters of solar panels on its roof. Knesset Director-General Ronen Plot paraphrased a Biblical verse “Out of Zion shall go forth the law of green and renewable energy.”

Newly found natural gas deposits have turned Israel into a real power player which even Turkey and Egypt have recognized by promising to purchase supplies. Other energetic activities include Israel Corporation Power’s recent acquisition of power plants in Jamaica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Chile and Peru. And Israel has even bounced back from the defeat of its electric car project to celebrate the racetrack debut of the Aluminium-air battery developed by Israel’s Phinergy.

Finally, back to the soccer World Cup. Israelis have bought more World Cup tickets per capita than any other country without a team in Brazil. And Israeli soccer fans are not even downhearted that their team didn’t qualify. Their attitude mirrors the ethos of the Jewish State that always looks to the future and knows that things will get even better. Just the other week, for instance, Israel came top of their qualifying group and for the first time ever will be heading to the finals next month of the European under-19 Soccer Championships in Hungary.

“Come on Israel. Champions!”

Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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