For decades, Israel has been improving and perfecting Desertification Solutions. With increasing soil erosion, salinization and groundwater mismanagement, it's time to share those solutions with the world. 


The conference, to be held between November 8-11, will be hosted at Ben Gurion University's Sde Boker campus in cooperation with UNESCO.

 

(By Avigayil Kadesh)


In a country where 97 percent of the land is arid, the problem of desertification looms large. Over the past several decades, Israel has not only "made the desert bloom," as the saying goes, but has also invested major resources in learning how to keep dry lands from overtaking fertile soil.

Many other countries were slow to understand the significance of this global crisis. Now that problems such as soil erosion, salinization, climate change and groundwater mismanagement have heightened awareness of the devastating effects of desertification, Israel is honing its expertise and offering it far beyond its own borders.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's (BGU) Prof. Alon Tal describes desertification as "the orphan of global environmental problems on our planet" because it was not high on most nations' list of priorities. But today it is acknowledged as one of the main reasons why more than 200 million people around the globe are threatened with poverty and hunger.

A catalyst for cooperation and collaboration

Tal, a desert ecologist at BGU's Jacob Blaustein Institutes of Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and founder of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, organized the November 8-11 third annual International Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification: The Route to Restoration.

The conference will be hosted at BGU's Sde Boker campus in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is the second conference in Israel on the subject. More than 500 government officials and academics from 50 countries, including Palestinian and Jordanian delegates, will participate.

"We believe that by bringing a diverse group of academics, professionals and policy-makers together to confront the myriad critical issues of desertification, the BGU conference can serve as a meaningful catalyst for cooperative and collaborative projects in the future at the global level," says Tal.

Attendees will discuss the public health aspects of desertification; sustainable building in desert environments; remote sensing to assess how flora are responding to anti-desertification attempts; grazing and the Bedouin community; the future of the Dead Sea; environmental education and dry-land agriculture; and soil and water restoration.

The Israel triangle

Two years ago, forestry experts from several African countries participated in a three-day seminar on desertification. The event was initiated by MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, together with Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael - Jewish National Fund, and CINADCO, the Center for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Participants gained pointers on establishing forests, collecting and germinating seeds, managing nurseries, and fostering forest-related industries such as honey production and ecological tourism, according to David Brand, head forester for KKL-JNF.

Israel also excels at wastewater management, a crucial aspect in fighting desertification. About half the water used for agriculture cycles through 240 KKL-JNF-built reservoirs. Israel reuses about 74 percent of its wastewater; in comparison, Spain, the second-most efficient country in this area, reuses only 20%.

Government agriculture officials from nations including Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, China, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso learned how Israel structures its efforts in a 'triangle' of research, advising, and fieldwork, Brand relates.

Tal strongly endorses this sort of information sharing. "If you do nothing about desertification, people will starve and die," he states. The UN, as well, encourages developed nations such as Israel to provide assistance to developing countries in fighting desertification.

Israel's moral obligation to provide expertise

What Israel has to offer is its proficiency in restoring marginal lands, and protecting its dry lands from further deterioration. Parts of the Negev desert have been transformed into a productive breadbasket, actually reducing the desert's size significantly since 1948. KKL-JNF planted forests are thriving and salt- and drought-resistant crops are flourishing thanks to advanced agricultural methods. The desert is dotted with commercial fishponds and with healthful algae used for manufacturing pharmaceuticals and health foods.

 

In fact, says Tal, algae grow better in dry areas. This is one example of how the desert setting offers advantages. Arid spaces are also perfect settings for solar and wind power, as well as trails for hiking.

Tal, a North Carolina native, works closely with Israel's neighbors. He co-authored a model for an agreement on environmental cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and represents Israel at UN conferences on desertification alongside Dr. Uriel Safriel, professor of ecology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and - according to Tal - a "true hero" who is the world's leading authority on desertification.

"Desertification is not, as it's often perceived, about vast sand dunes expanding and overwhelming villages," he says. "Although this happens in some places, it is simply a loss of soil fertility due to many factors whose long-term impacts are far greater in dry lands. This manifests itself in the scenes you see on television of millions of hungry people without food. Israel is recognized as a country which for some time has taken on the challenge of reversing these trends. Now, we have a moral obligation to be a light unto the nations and offer our capabilities."

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Israeli scientists are making significant contributions to the advance of nano-technology, discovering and developing some of the most important breakthroughs.
Second annual International Nanotechnology Conference to be held in Tel Aviv in November.

(By David Halevi)




Israeli high-tech has done some big things in the past - creating some of the most important advances in computer security and networking, social media, and telecommunications. Today, Israeli companies are set to do some little things - which may have an even bigger impact than some of those high-tech achievements.

What Internet startups were to the past decade, nanotechnology will be to the next one, experts say - and Israel is already a world leader in development and deployment of applications based on this new science. Already, Israeli scientists have made significant contributions to the field, discovering and developing some of the most important breakthroughs.



Among the applications Israeli start-ups have developed using nanotech are water purification membranes, agents for oral drug delivery, inkjet digital printing systems, diagnostic tools, holographic storage systems - and an 'e-beam on a chip,' which is similar to a laser beam, to be used for semiconductor manufacturing.

Thanks to nanotech, for example, organ transplants may become a thing of the past, as special growth factors based on nanotechnology help grow healthy cells in an organ to replace unhealthy ones. Nanotechnology could also help to vastly reduce pollutants from internal combustion engines and could even develop elements that provide the taste of sugar in foods, without the calories and tooth decay that are part and parcel of the product today.



The nanotechnology revolution is here, and moving forward rapidly, with a host of Israeli companies already producing applications based on this new science, which allows researchers to control matter on an atomic and molecular scale.

Highlighting Israel's nano-accomplishments

Highlighting Israel's accomplishments and research in the emerging nanotech field, the second annual International Nanotechnology Conference will be held in Tel Aviv in November. It will focus on innovations and business opportunities in the energy, water, environment, nano-material, nano-electronics, nano-photonics, nano-bio and nano-medicine fields.

Investors seeking opportunities and companies from Israel and abroad will attend, showing off their nano-wares. Speakers will include the leading lights of the discipline from Israel and abroad. Among them will be the 2010 co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, Professor Andre Geim, for his discovery and work with the nano-material graphene.



The conference is being chaired by Nava Swersky-Sofer, who is one of the leaders of Israel's life-science industry and is the former CEO of the Hebrew University's tech transfer arm, Yissum; Mr. Dan Vilenski from the Israel National Nano-technology Initiative (INNI); and Prof. Arie Zaban from Bar-Ilan University.
"Israel is known worldwide as a center of knowledge and innovation in nano-technology and research in the nano field. Israel's achievements are at the forefront of a variety of the industrial fields, such as communications, electronics, computerization, security, medicine and life-sciences," says Swersky-Sofer.

Israel is already on the international nanotech map, according to the INNI, one of the conference sponsors. The group lists about 80 large and small companies working in Israel's nanotech sector, along with more than 40 academic and governmental labs, employing some 300 researchers and scholars. The INNI states that Israel has the third-largest concentration of startup companies in the world, surpassed only by California's Silicon Valley and the Boston technology corridor.

A survey conducted by INNI shows that the Technion employs 119 nano-researchers, followed by 55 at Tel Aviv University, 47 at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 43 at the Weizmann Institute of Science, 39 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and 30 at Bar-Ilan University. Since 2002, the number of nano-researchers in Israel has doubled. The two main scientific disciplines are chemistry (25.6%) and physics (19.5%). Most of the researchers (33%) focus on materials, followed by electronics and photonics (22%) and biotechnology (17%).

Israel had a head-start

Israel is ahead of many other countries in this new field, because its researchers have been working in the nano sphere for years. Among the researchers is Prof. Reshef Tenne of the Weizmann Institute. Tenne, who will chair a session at the conference, is best known for leading the group that discovered and studied the inorganic fullerene-like nanospheres and nanotubes, generally termed IF nanoparticles, considered a new class of nanomaterials. Tenne says that nanotech development suits the Israeli development model: "This is a small country, and nano-material research, of course, is done on a small scale. But the research can yield big results, and we expect that today's research will pay off handsomely in the coming years."

Israeli researchers have done a great deal of work in helping to discover new nano-materials, and Israel is by far the most advanced country in its neighborhood in nano-research. "You can tell how advanced a country is by the number of high-resolution electron microscopes a country has. We certainly don't have the resources that rich European countries like Germany and Holland have, but we've got quite enough for a country of our size. We're in a good spot in the middle, and our researchers take full advantage of the resources available," Tenne says.

Tenne himself conducts ongoing nanotech research at the Weizmann Institute in both basic materials and applications, a combination that he says suits him well.
"Over the next five to 10 years we'll see nanotech applications take off. Most of the first round of applications will probably be in the medical field, and we here in Israel have been making great strides in the area of nano-medical technology," Tenne relates.

Manipulating small elements of matter as it does, the science of nanotechnology is also considered an art form. 'Nanoart' features nanolandscapes (molecular and atomic landscapes, which are natural structures of matter at molecular and atomic scales) and nanosculptures (structures created by manipulating matter at molecular and atomic scales using chemical and physical processes). These scientific images, captured and processed with various artistic techniques, will be on display at the November conference. 

 

 

 

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​PM Netanyahu: We face common challenges, the first of which is to defeat the forces of terror that rampage through the world and threaten both our countries. We must stand together in this battle, much as we work together to perfect the future.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, this evening (Tuesday, 4 July 2017), at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The EU Delegation in Israel and the Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Yafo presented:  Performance Europa!
Urban celebration of live performances and interactive installations
Tel Aviv’s White Night ,Rothschild 1 Plaza, 29 June 

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Over 60 leading women from across the world joined together last month for a panel discussion showcasing Israeli females in the lead.
Organized by The Israel Project (TIP) and the Embassy of Cyprus in Israel, the event served as a platform to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities facing women in Israeli society in the modern age.
Among the panelists were popular journalist Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes. Former IDF commander Miri Eisin and Israeli Olympic athlete Maayan Davidovich.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Thursday, 15 June 2017), in Thessaloniki, at the third trilateral summit, signed joint statements for the continued strengthening of relations.

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A senior delegation from Tanzania, headed by Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Permanent Secretary Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, arrived in Israel for a series of meetings and events designed to increase cooperation with the Israeli tourist industry, and encourage Israeli tourism and investments to enchanted, exotic Tanzania.

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At a festive ceremony attended by Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, the Lauder Dormitory Building was inaugurated today at the Technion
state of the art building was donated to the Technion by World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and his wife Jo Carole

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09 June 2017 – Jerusalem) The U.S. Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Yad Vashem today. The Ambassador was guided through the Holocaust History Museum by Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

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Friday was a beautiful late spring day; the gardens were lovely, the weather was fine; the guests were elegantly attired; the refreshments were generous and delicious; all the makings of a happy celebration marking the National Day of Sweden. H.E. Carl Magnus Nesser, ambassador of Sweden to the State of Israel, hosted the event at the ambassadorial residence in Herzlia Pituach.

The event was attended by many Swedish nationals living in Israel; Swedish music, Swedish food, Swedish sponsors and a generous open bar – all the makings of a happy event.

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A fundamentally agricultural holiday, Shavuot commemorates the custom of bringing offerings to the Holy Temple from the first fruits of the harvest and the first animals born to the flocks.

Shavuot, the Holiday of Weeks, is one of the three pilgrimage holidays, along with Pesach and Sukkot. These are the holidays on which the whole Jewish people would come to Jerusalem​ in ancient times, when the Holy Temple was there, and would offer animal and grain sacrifices.

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Tel Aviv Eat presents three evenings of tastings and workshops featuring the region’s leading restaurants and most prominent chefs. Entrance is free (including the chefs’ demonstrations), and tasting portions range in price from NIS 20-35. Doors open each evening at 18.00. There are several performance stages, live music, and stands selling beer.

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"Only when we remember the families who were torn apart from everyone they loved, who suffered that terrible darkness and evil, who had endured the unbearable horror of the Holocaust, only then can we prevent this agony from ever repeating." President Donald J. Trump Add a comment

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The Charles Bronfman Auditorium at Habima Square is one of the centerpieces of the Israeli arts and cultural scene, home to the Israel Philharmonic for the last 60 years. On Friday, May 19th, it was home to yet another historic event, with the dedication of the entrance hall to Miri Shitrit of blessed memory.

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President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin today, (Monday), welcomed President of the United States Donald J. Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump on arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and then at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

On his arrival at the President’s Residence, President Trump signed the official guest book and wrote, “It is such a great honor to be in Israel and be with all of my great friends”.

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  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Monday, 22 May 2017), at Ben-Gurion International Airport, welcomed US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania with an honor guard.

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NMS : YHOO - 01 Jan,
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