On the other hand

March 17, 2019 by Michael Kuttner
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Purim is just around the corner which means that parents and children are busy trying to decide which fancy dress costume they will masquerade in. Meanwhile, Israel’s daily innovative achievements need no disguise as they continue to break barriers and go where no country has gone before.

SLAM DUNK

 Former NBA star Amare Stoudemire has been granted Israeli citizenship. Stoudemire has been playing professional basketball for the Hapoel Jerusalem team since 2016, though he left briefly in mid-2017 to try for a return to the NBA. He was granted residency rights in January.

He identifies with the Hebrew Israelites, African-Americans who believe they are connected to the biblical Israelites, and observes Jewish holidays. He told HBO sports reporter Jon Frankel at an event at Harvard University in April 2018 that he is “in the process” of converting to Judaism.

“It’s a very exciting moment for me. My body is flooded with emotions now, my love for Israel has been with me for many years, and being part of Israel is something very special,” Stoudemire said at the ceremony. “

 

BAMBA BOOMS

One million bags of Bamba, the popular Israeli snack food, are produced every day at a new factory in Kiryat Gat, a southern Israeli city about an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv. The new production line means the Osem Company can now meet the increasing demand for bags of the popular peanut puff treat in Israel and around the world.

The country’s best-selling snack food has seen an upswing in popularity in North America and Europe following breakthrough studies that specifically named Bamba in helping to protect children from developing peanut allergies.

Since 2007, Bamba has been the country’s bestselling savo snack.

And though 90% of Israeli households buy Bamba regularly, there was no way of foreseeing that this savoury maize would one day find itself in science and medical journals. But in 2015, that’s exactly what happened. The world’s attention turned to this snack food upon the publication of the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, which set out to prove that the very low rates of peanut allergy among Israeli children were a result of high levels of peanut consumption – and, specifically, the consumption of Bamba — beginning in infancy.

The results catapulted Bamba to global headlines when it was found that exposing infants to peanuts within their first year helped prevent peanut allergy by as much as 81%.

Moreover, the research was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and was conducted by the NIAID-funded Immune Tolerance Network.

In other words, it was not a minor study or questionable science.

JERUSALEM OLD CITY UPGRADES

While most of the rest of the world denies Israel’s legitimacy in its Capital major renovations and improvements are underway to make it more accessible and attractive for residents and visitors.

The initiative seeks to improve public spaces in the Jewish Quarter and adapt them to the needs of residents, as well as tourists. The project entails making infrastructure accessible; outdoor improvements such as shaded areas and recreational areas; the installation of uniform outdoor furniture and advanced lighting; and laying out clearly marked tourist routes, including explanatory signs at important points and signs leading to the Western Wall.

The Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter has also started renovating the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, which was destroyed in 1948. Work is expected to take a few years, and the completed building will reach a height of 25 meters (82 feet).

Another issue the company is addressing is the staircases that lead from the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall plaza, which are not accessible to the disabled. The company has launched a project to build an elevator and tunnels that will lead directly to the plaza. The elevator and passageway encompass a total of 2,000 square meters (21,500 square feet), with the project to be completed at an estimated cost of 57 million shekels ($16 million). The elevator is expected to be operational by January 2022.

IRISH TOURISTS FIGHT BACK

Legislation currently going through the Irish Parliament will make it a criminal offence for Irish citizens to visit and patronize establishments in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan.

Watch this video and see how an Irish couple wrote a letter to their Government highlighting the absurdity of this boycott attempt:

 

ISRAELI CANINES HELP THOSE SUFFERING FROM PTS

Post traumatic syndrome affects thousands in many countries. Learn how an innovative Israeli initiative is helping many sufferers to improve their lives:

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