David B. Goldberg, M.A.
David B. Goldberg, M.A.

The parents of a newborn baby had been advised by their local doctor in an Arab village east of Tel Aviv to have an abortion because their baby was developing intestines outside her body. But they refused. Recently, Israeli doctors in Jerusalem performed surgery on the 17-hour-old girl and put all the organs back in place. The 5 cm. (2 in.) surgical opening was sealed with TopClosure, a tension-relief patch invented in Israel. Little Ibtihaj (“Joy” in Arabic) is expected to lead a fully normal life. (Israel 21c, January 8, 2017)


Scoliosis, severe spine curvature, can be treated by expensive six hours’ corrective surgery requiring 16 screws. But ApiFix, an Israeli implant, requires just two screws inserted during a one-hour procedure. It has been used successfully in 110 patients in Germany, Holland and seven other countries. (Israel 21c, January 10, 2017)


The community with the highest number of doctors per capita in the world is the Arab village Arraba, north of Nazareth in the Galilee. Six out of every thousand inhabitants are doctors. Nationwide, the rate is 3.4 doctors per thousand. (The average rate in Western nations is 3.3 per thousand.) Thirty-five percent of doctors in Israel are Arabs. (Israel 21c, October 31, 2016)


According to the World Health Organization, the Israeli army’s emergency field hospital is the best in the world. Handling 200 patients a day, and including three operating rooms, the unit is considered a “national treas-ure.” It has been sent around the world to assist at scores of natural disaster sites, including in Haiti, Nepal, the Philippines, Turkey and dozens of other nations, where there is devastation from earthquakes, floods, typhoons, hurricanes or fires. (The Times of Israel, November 13, 2016)


Kidney patients in Sierra Leone were dying because the country had no dialysis unit. But patients’ lives were saved beginning on December 15, 2016, when the first dialysis unit, donated by Israel, was used for treatment. (Israel 21c, December 20, 2016)


Gaza residents crossed into Israel 13 million times in 2016. In October, over 55,000 entered Israel daily to work, conduct business or for medical and humanitarian treatment. In the other direction, 175,000 trucks carry-ing Israeli goods entered Gaza in 2016. However, there were also 1,226 foiled attempts to smuggle military equipment, drones, communication equipment and other prohibited items into Gaza, 165 percent more than in 2015. (Israeli Ministry of Defense, January 15, 2017)


A 9th to 10th century Arabic inscription on a stone of the Mosque of Umar in Nuba (near Hebron) has revealed that the Muslim world knew that the Mosque of Omar stood atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the ruins of the Jewish First and Second Temples of Kings David and Solomon. This discovery of historical evidence, this time from a Muslim source, contradicts UN Security Council resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016, which declared Israel has no claim to the site. It also contradicts Palestinian Authority policy of denying all Jewish historical connections to the Temple site. (The Times of Israel, October 31, 2016)


Despite widespread perception of Muslim animosity towards the Jewish state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu achieved a diplomatic coup in December 2016 with historic visits to oil-rich nations Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Trade with Israel has been increased to billions of dollars annually. Contacts between Arab nations and Israel, though often clandestine, have risen as Muslim nations fear the threat posed by Iran and seek access to advanced Israeli technology. (Arutz 7, December 16, 2016)


While many nations are turning against Israel, the president of Hebrew University, ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world, recently signed academic agreements of exchange and cooperation with 20 rectors of universities in Latin-American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. (Hebrew University, December 15, 2016)


Israel boycott? In 2016, new tourism records were achieved as 2.9 million tourists visited the country. December tourism was up 26 percent from the previous December. (Central Bureau of Statistics)