Good News Israel

Compliments of Anglo Saxon Raannana Real Estate

Quote for the Week

    The Jews have been in business for 4000 years and they are still a going concern; as productive, as innovative and as creative as ever they were – and then some.

• There’s no doubt that 2010 was a record year for tourism. Here are some of the facts:

    * Israel played host to 3.4 million visitors – a record.
    * They spent a total of 21.7 million nights [How do they get that figure!?] in Israeli hotels – also a record.
    * Our hostelries enjoyed an occupancy rate of 66%, – yet another record and well up on the figures for 2009.
    * The Industry employs 33,000 Israelis and perhaps most important, they employ them throughout the country.
    * They earn an average monthly salary of roughly NIS 6,400.
    * Income from tourism reached a record $4.4 billion in 2010 up from $3.3bn in ’09.
    * Hotels took in a record NIS 8.1 billion for the year. – A record – or have we said that already.
    * The industry created 12 000 new jobs in 2010.
    * The year’s not over yet and we’re expecting between 80 and 100 000 of our Christian friends to join us this week.
    * 500 of the Gaza Christian community have been given safe passage by the army to celebrate in Bethlehem.
    * The Ministry of Tourism spent NIS18m on improving the condition of and accessibility to heritage sites. The renovation and restoration program will continue into 2011.

• The really GN will be that these millions of good people will have had such a great time that we’ll be seeing them all, well most of them anyway, again in the near future.

• NASA it isn’t but three young men Winetraub, Damari and Yariv, have come up with one of the more daring Israeli initiatives in recent years- and what’s more, in competition with teams from twenty other countries, they stand to win $20 million into the bargain. So what do they have to do we here you ask? We’ll tell you. They have to build a space vehicle that can fly to the moon – serious. It may sound a little difficult but that’s only because it is. Think NASA – thousands of scientists and billions of dollars. But our intrepid trio has thrown their hats into the Google Lunar X Competition ring, determined to win. The vehicle that they have in mind and possibly on the drawing board, will consist mostly of a fuel tank and a tiny engine, and will also carry an Israeli flag. They may well be asking one another what Macbeth asked Lady Macbeth: If we should fail? To which she answered: We fail [and here we part company with the Bard] but we’ll still be the first to put an Israeli flag on the moon. Now that’s confidence!

• We promised to bring you Israel’s final score card at the Short Course World Swimming Championships and here it is: With powerhouses like the USA, China, France and Russia participating, our four swimmers had realistic expectations and these didn’t include medals but they came home having made it to a final, four semis and with ten new Israeli records under their belts, five of those going to the star of the Israeli team, Gal Nevo. What with the first appearance of a national side in an Arab country and results that were more than satisfactory there were smiles all round.

• Three properties in Canada belonging to Igal Ahuvi’s Company, Ravad have just been sold for C$39.2 million (NIS 196 million). Seeing they were bought for C$35.9 million (NIS 140 million) that looks to us like a handy return on the investment.

• Say ‘Peace Process’ to the average Israeli and the first word that comes to mind is ‘Failure’ usually with a capital ‘F’ but, and this is the GN, in a modest office, somewhere in Israel, high-tech workers have done what the politicians haven’t: They’ve created a partnership with our neighbors across the way and a [more or less] steady stream – well, perhaps trickle would be more accurate, but you’ve got to start somewhere – of Israeli technology companies that are working with highly professional engineers from across the divide. They have expertise, they share a work culture, they make a contribution to peace in an area where it’s a priceless commodity and it makes economic sense to both parties. Let’s face it folks, money talks and it’s an international language.

• And while we’ re on the subject; Turkey has been strutting around making some unfriendly noises but according to our dear friends at the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israeli exports to our neighbor to the north and their exports to us were both up by 30% in the past year. Chemical substances, agricultural products and refined fuel topped the list. So there we are dear readers, noises or not it’s quite a lot more than ‘business as usual.’

• Veteran Israeli judoka Arik Zeevi, an enduring athlete and a gentleman, captured the silver medal in the men’s -100 kilogram class at the Grand Slam of Tokyo. Zeevi’s ippon just 25 seconds into his semifinal against 2009 European champion Tagir Khaybulaev catapulted him to the gold medal round where he lost to the world champion – as honorable way of going out as any. This brings Zeevi closer to qualifying for London 2012. GN for our champion judoka.

• And if that was GN for a good guy then here’s some bad news for the bad guys; A Professor from the Hebrew University’s Department of Genetics and his student at the police forensic biology laboratory, jointly developed a technology that provides a solution to the problem where a crime scene contains mixed strands of intertwined DNA originating from different people. Police with the help of the above will now be able to see if a certain suspect was there and isolate his DNA fingerprint in the DNA mixture which is another weapon in the armory of the fight against crime that hasn’t been available up to now.

• Defense electronics developer Elbit Systems Ltd. said today that it has won a contract from the Polish Ministry of National Defense to supply mobile multi-sensor monitoring and surveillance systems for the Polish Army. The Company estimates the contract to be worth about $16 million.

• GN in the fight against cancer; Drug development company BioCancell reported that pre-clinical trials of its flagship “guided missile” drug to treat brain cancer were successful. The process as you might imagine is highly complex but basically the drug penetrates cancer cells, based on chemical markers, and kills them. The trial found that there were material delays in the development of Glioblastoma multiforme primary brain cancer tumors in 60% of the rats in the study. There’s still a long way to go but the scientists involved believe that they are on the way. More GN, the Company’s BC-819 was found safe and effective in a Phase I/IIa clinical trial for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, and is undergoing a Phase IIb trial for bladder cancer.

• STOP PRESS Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club scored an 83-72 victory over Prokom Gdynia in Poland last night. With this win, the side concludes the Euroleague regular season with the quite unbelievably impressive record of played 10 – won 9; lost – 1, taking it to first place in Group A and into the final 16 of the League.

December 27, 2010 | Comments »

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