In Mitchell Bard’s op-ed in the Huffington Post, posted April 24 (“Defining ‘Pro Israel’ Is Not Rocket-Science”), the scholar set down his 13 “attributes” one must possess in order to be called pro-Israel. I was particularly intrigued with no. 3, given the fact that we too often hear only negative things about Israel and her neighbors. Bard states:
“Emphasizes the good in Israel while acknowledging the faults, rather than emphasizing the faults and ignoring Israel’s virtues.”
More and more, I am drawn to this theme. I find that people who have been indifferent to the Jewish state, or in some cases hostile, listen thoughtfully when hearing (usually for the first time) that Israel does a heck of a lot of good in the world.
Untold News (www.untoldnews.org) is such a source of information. Founder Marcella Rosen has assembled a team that reports on Israeli innovation in a host of fields: medicine, agriculture, and technology. Almost all these efforts are truly astonishing in scope.
Take the plans to develop desalination plants. The Middle East, of course, has oil…but not so much water. Israeli engineers are able to obtain fresh water from seawater!
(The Israelis are also leading innovators in drip-irrigation techniques, used around the world. Imagine my shock while driving near the Dead Sea for the first time and seeing vast palm groves dotting what was once a moonscape. Israel has no peer when it comes to reclaiming the land from centuries of ruin and neglect.)
Yoram Oren is one of the researchers making desalination a reality. The Ben-Gurion University professor is up to the daunting (and daring) task:
“Nature seeks equilibrium,” he says. “Desalination, separating the salt from sea water to make fresh water, is an act of overcoming what nature is seeking. It’s not easy.”
With precious water sources like the Jordan River hotly contested among Israel and her neighbors, desalination is almost miraculous.
Israeli scientist Sidney Loeb developed—in the ‘60s—a semi-permeable membrane that made possible the process of reverse osmosis. From there, modern Israeli innovators have made the process work.
Or consider the case of a Palestinian baby, born with a heart defect. She was treated at an Israeli hospital, made possible through an Israeli charity. Untold News archives many such amazing stories, and Rosen is thrilled with the tremendous feedback her team’s efforts have garnered:
“From the hospital to the farm, from outer space to your kitchen, Israel’s life-saving, life-giving, life-enhancing creations make a positive difference every day in your life, in the lives of people you care about and in the lives of people you’ll never meet.
“It’s my firm belief that the world needs to hear this story — about a tiny nation where an unprecedented degree of life-altering work is being done every day. Further, the world shouldn’t wait to hear it.”
Rosen’s book, Tiny Dynamo, is a quick read chock-full of amazing stories of Israeli innovation.
“This book tells 21 stories about Israelis who are emblematic of their nation’s determination to make a positive difference,” Rosen writes, “And the work through which they’re expressing that determination. I chose these stories because they represent a cross-section of what’s going on within Israel’s borders . . . but for every story I chose, there are dozens more that could have been included.”
Untold News is telling a story that everyone needs to hear: a story of hope and positive change in a volatile region of the world.
It is a thrilling story that gives us hope.