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.

21. The Health Ministry in Kenya has adopted the model of Terem – a chain of independent emergency medical centers in Jerusalem that provides critical care within the community, dramatically reducing hospital visits. Kenya is setting up a chain of 50 such clinics in a move that will revolutionize the African country’s healthcare system. Some 35 million people live in Kenya, but hospitals are few and far between.

22. Norway is sending teachers to Israel to learn how to revitalize the Lapp language of Sámi. Of about 10 Sámi dialects once spoken in the country, only four are still known among the estimated 100,000 Sámi-speakers of Lapland and current teaching methods are not successful.

Israel is considered an expert in reviving old languages because of its experience recreating Hebrew. Israeli language experts have worked with experts in Scotland and Wales, where long-suppressed minority languages are now making a comeback.

23. A professional dancer who lost his right leg in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti is dancing once more thanks to the help of Israeli father and son, Yisrael and Yehuda Pilosof, who specialize in manufacturing precision artificial limbs. After the quake, Yehuda Pilosof flew to Haiti to help at an Israeli rehab center. He made limbs for 15 people, including the dancer who was flown to Israel for treatment. Since then the Pilosofs have led a seminar on prosthetics in Peru, and have made artificial limbs for soldiers in Sri Lanka on an Israeli humanitarian mission.

24. IsraAID is an Israeli humanitarian organization that gathers Israeli professionals from 17 different relief and activist organizations to respond to emergencies. Founded in 2001, it offers targeted help including disaster relief, search and rescue, rebuilding communities and schools, aid packages, medical assistance, micro-financing and post-psychotrauma care.

In 2004, IsraAID sent search-and-rescue teams and doctors to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. In 2007, it sent medical staff to Peru after a major earthquake, and provided assistance at a refugee camp in Somalia.

In 2008, members flew to Myanmar after a major cyclone, and the following year IsraAID sent medical assistance to the Philippines after two devastating typhoons. IsraAID helped in the wake of the Haiti earthquake, and has provided aid in South Sudan.

25. Traumatized US war veterans are now being healed thanks to a novel treatment developed by Israeli-American psychologist Edna Foa. In the United States, an estimated half million war veterans from Vietnam, and another 300,000 from Afghanistan and Iraq, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Foa, honored by TIME magazine as one of the most influential people in 2010, developed a treatment called PE (Prolonged Exposure), designed to help patients focus on the thoughts and feelings that elicit the highest levels of fear, and then works with them to enable them to confront those fears, moving gradually from the minor to the major terrors.

26. MASHAV, the Center for International Cooperation, runs a variety of programs, but is best known for its training seminars in Israel and wherever needed –– Africa, the Middle East, South America, Central America, India, China — on techniques ranging from greenhouse management and irrigation to fish farming and dairy farming. MASHAV has trained some 200,000 people from about 140 countries and has set up dozens of demonstration projects in fields of Israeli expertise. MASHAV also sends medical aid around the world.

27. Israeli public health activist Dr. Zvi Bentwich, director of the Center for Emerging Tropical Diseases and AIDS at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), has been laboring for years to eradicate common parasitic infestations that contribute to Africa’s AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics. In 2011 he won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israeli government for his groundbreaking medical contributions in Israel and among Africans.

28. A three-year-old British charity, Tag International Development, runs more than 20 health, agriculture, disaster preparedness and community development projects in developing nations. All of the knowledge and experience for these projects comes from Israel.

Israeli volunteers and professionals with Tag have launched beekeeping and road safety projects in Myanmar; empowerment seminars for Bedouin women in Israel and Jordan; emotional resilience, healthcare and weaving projects in Azerbaijan; model farm and agricultural training center in Sri Lanka; rain harvesting in Kenya; a safe drinking-water project in Pakistan, and a homecare project for the elderly in Indonesia.

IDF field hospital in Japan.

29. When Japan was rocked by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, which killed nearly 16,000 people, the IDF sent doctors and other volunteers to set up a field hospital in one of the areas worst hit by the island nation’s worst-ever natural disaster. The facility had wards for pediatrics, surgery, maternity, gynecology, ophthalmology and intensive care, as well as a lab and a pharmacy. Israel also sent over tons of aid to Japanese communities.

Since then, Israel has continued to send regular delegations of specialists on post-trauma missions to help the victims of the disaster, training local teachers and mental health workers, and setting up youth leadership training programs for students from Japan’s Tohoku earthquake-affected region.

30. The Israeli company Pythagoras Solar has developed a new solar window that can generate power, reduce energy consumption and let in daylight, promising a green revolution in the construction industry.

The world’s first transparent photovoltaic glass unit, which won the prestigious GE Ecomagination Challenge, can easily be integrated into conventional building design. Existing office blocks can be retrofitted with the new material to take the place of energy-seeping glass windows.

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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?

    • Lynne Marton

      From your lips!!!!

  • 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.