As the Arabic saying goes: The dogs bark and the caravan moves on ...
Happy Pesach to all Israel !
"THE JOKE has been told by generations of Jews, most famously Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel: 'Why did Moses lead us to the one place in the Middle East without oil?'
But an updated version may be required if Harold Vinegar and his colleagues get their way. Dr Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, is at the centre of an ambitious project to turn Israel into one of the world's leading oil producers.
Israel Energy Initiatives, where Dr Vinegar is chief scientist, is working on projects to extract oil and natural gas from oil shale from a 238sq km area of the Shfela Basin, to the south and west of Jerusalem.[--] According to Dr Vinegar, Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the US: "We estimate that there is the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil here. To put that in context, there are proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia." (Here)
"There are indications that some 15% of the country is underlain by Oil Shale beds. The theoretical, geological Oil Shale reserves in Israel are enormous, and may reach a figure well above hundred billion tons. However, mineable reserves form only a tiny fraction of that figure and are probably applicable to deposits associated with active phosphate mining areas. Advance in the development of in-situ techniques may probably enlarge the mineable reserves figure of the Israeli Oil Shale." (Here)
"Large quantities of natural gas found off Haifa coastMore than 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered at well off of Israel's Mediterranean coast. 'This appears to be the largest discovery in the company's history,' says Noble Energy president" (here)
"Israel's economy picked up in the last quarter of 2010, chalking up 7.8 percent growth and a higher-than-expected annual growth rate of 4.5 percent, official figures show on Thursday...
Central Bureau of Statistics data show the economy grew by 5.2 percent in the second quarter and 4.4 percent in the third.
Earlier this week, the Bank of Israel (BoI) had predicted fourth-quarter growth of between 4.3 and 4.6 percent.
The annual growth figure far outstrips the 2.8-percent average registered in 2010 by countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the club of developed nations which Israel joined last year.' (Here)
"Jerusalem: In a major breakthrough, Israeli scientists have developed a method that can wipe out HIV infected cells without affecting the healthy ones but it will be a while before it is available to the public, a medical journal says.
Although the researchers have registered an Israeli patent, the treatment must still go through trials on animals and humans, the latest edition of the British journal AIDS Research and Therapy says." (Here)___________
"Israeli scientists find stroke drug could help cure cancer
'We can now give a much more aggressive treatment without worrying about harming healthy tissues.'Israeli scientists have identified a substance that can kill cancerous cells without harming healthy ones, paving the way for more effective cancer treatment. The findings by researchers at Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, were published in the current issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Breast Cancer Research." (Here)
" Israel's prime minister has thanked President Obama and the U.S. Congress for $205 million in aid to develop a new Israeli-made missile defence system. The aid was approved Friday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that the assistance reflects "America's unshakable commitment to Israel in critical times."
Israel first used its Iron Dome defence system last week, shooting down eight rockets launched by Gaza militants toward Israeli cities.
Experts say Iron Dome is the first system in the world capable of intercepting rudimentary rockets used by militants.
Israeli officials have expressed satisfaction with the system's performance, raising hopes in Israel that it could change the long-running fight between Israel and Palestinian rocket launchers in Gaza." (here)
"Innovation, together with the engineering excellence and the very quick-to-market production of ... high-quality products, really makes Israel shine," Weisfeld noted at a recent conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled, "The United States and Israel: Building Business Through Innovation." Based in Haifa and high-tech hub Herzliya, the Israel site has become one of Microsoft's three strategic global development centers since opening in 2006, responsible for much of the new technology which the firm is now known for, such as its free anti-virus software.
In becoming a hotbed of global high-tech innovation, Israel has made a virtue out of necessity, turning its small size -- and the fact that it is based in one of the most politically charged regions in the world -- to its advantage, according to other conference participants. "We live in a small country of 7.5 million people and we don't have neighbors to trade with and don't have many resources of our own," said Nechemia "Chemi" Peres, chairman of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce and managing general partner and co-founder of Pitango Venture Capital in Herzliya. "The only way to face the world market is through innovation and technology."
"Consider these numbers: As of August 5, seven companies that are registered in Australia are traded on NASDAQ; six that are registered in Japan, five in the UK, four in Singapore, two in France, three in Germany, two in South Korea, three in India, three in Argentina, one in Brazil, one in Spain and one in Sweden. In contrast, one figure stands out: 63 companies registered in Israel are traded on NASDAQ.
How can a country with a population of a little more than seven million -- approximately the population of New Jersey -- located 9,000 km from the U.S. -- breed dozens of technology companies that have succeeded in going international? An even more interesting issue is whether the lessons learned in Israel pertaining to the globalization of technology ventures can apply to other economies. And, if so, is their applicability limited to small economies only or are the lessons size-independent?"