Israel reinvents the wheel. Revolutionary technology from SoftWheel.
Israel reinvents the wheel. Revolutionary technology from SoftWheel.

It was not an easy year for Israel. In every year that goes by there are always challenging times, but this was one of the hardest as Israel found itself embroiled in a bitter summer conflict with Hamas.

You might expect in such a year that things would slow down, and to some extent they did – Israel’s economy is in more fragile shape than it has been for years, its international standing had been damaged, and its burgeoning tourism industry has taken a hit.

And yet despite these challenges, Israel continues to reverberate with creativity and excitement. It doesn’t matter what field – from culture to technology or the environment – there are Israelis out there looking to make life better for people all over the world.

In a year in which international media coverage of Israel focused almost exclusively on conflict, there was so much else of note going on.

We covered those stories on ISRAEL21c, bringing to our readers the most uplifting and positive developments taking place here.

You obviously appreciated it. Our readership has doubled in the last two years, and in every field – from social media, to YouTube, and Twitter — traffic has swelled significantly.

To say goodbye to the old year, and to celebrate the new, we’ve brought you our most popular 12 stories of the year. It’s a significant list that demonstrates the incredible diversity and innovation of Israeli life even during the most difficult of times.

  1. Israelis develop the first blood test for cancer

After eight years of painstaking research, Israeli life-sciences company Eventus Diagnostics  has produced a blood test for the early detection of breast cancer.

  1. 18 Israeli inventions that could save your life

ISRAEL21c takes a look at 18 lifesaving innovations from the startup nation.

  1. 10 extraordinary places to stay in Israel

If you’re looking for something a little different from luxury chain hotels, B&Bs and youth hostels, then check out these unusual places to lay your head for the night.

  1. 15 things you didn’t know about the Iron Dome

Israel’s anti-missile defense system was the unexpected hero of this summer’s conflict. Betcha didn’t know there are toy car parts in its history

  1. The surprising duo behind the Hamas missile map

A Belgian-Israeli Jew and a Dutch Muslim developed Israel Under Attack, a new computer tool for mapping rocket trajectories from Gaza.

  1. Revolutionary stem-cell ALS treatment begins advanced trials

BrainStorm’s NurOwn enhanced adult stem cells seem to halt the progression of incurable neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Israel goes vegan

‘What is going on here is really remarkable. I don’t think this took hold so quickly and intensely in any other place in the world,’ says Israeli food writer Ori Shavit.

  1. A 2 inch computer for $55

CuBox, the smallest computer ever, is made in Israel by an Arab-Israeli company aiming to power the Internet of Things.

  1. 12 hot apps from Israel

Want to be better organized, make music with distant friends, avoid your ex, socialize your shopping experience? Israelis have made an app for that.

10.  Leave it to Israelis to reinvent the wheel

Revolutionary shock-absorbing SoftWheel technology is rolling out for wheelchairs, bicycles and eventually everything else on wheels

11.  ‘Children are children. They are not our enemies’

While her hometown is under constant missile attack from Gaza, pediatric ICU head nurse Irena Nosel cares for critically ill Gazans in an Israeli hospital.

    12.  11 top Israeli innovations to treat, seal and heal wounds

New wound-care products are easing patients’ pain and winning fans among healthcare providers worldwide.