Last of the Lions
With the death of Yitzhak Shamir on June 30 at the age of 96, the last of Israel’s founding fathers is gone.
One of Shamir’s finest moments was when he voted against the Camp David Accords and the subsequent peace treaty with Egypt. He stood up against a wall to wall coalition swept away by the euphoria surrounding Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem.
When Shamir led Lechi, the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, the most vilified of the underground organizations, few could have imagined that he would one day become Prime Minister.
As David Isaac summed up in his tribute to Shamir on his ShmuelKatz blog, “The man most stubborn in facing the British proved to be most stubborn in defending Israel’s rights. He championed Jews living in Judea and Samaria and when asked about land for peace liked to say that Israel had already given up 80 percent of its land–the part that is now Jordan. ”
With so much negative reporting on Israel, it is heartening to find Michael Ordman’s remarkable blog (www.verygoodnewsIsrael.blogspot.com) which chronicles a staggering number of Israeli achievements each week. Here are just a few reported for the week of July 8-15.
1) Israel’s LifeWatch Technologies unveiled the Lifewatch V, a first of its kind medical smart phone that measures ECG, heart rate, body temperature, body sugar levels, body fat percentage, blood oxygen saturation and provides an index for measuring stress.
2) A new method for treating diabetes is being developed by Israeli biotech company Orgenesis. The therapy is called autologous cell replacement and uses a patient’s own cells.
3) A robotics professor and an aerospace engineering scientist at Israel’s Technion have decoded the movement of insects. Replaying the electronic signals makes the insect move. Known as Biomimicry this can help produce small controlled vehicles.
4) Israeli student Tirosh Shapira has become the first person to meld his mind and movements with a robot surrogate, or avatar. Situated inside an fMRI scanner in Israel, he controlled a humanoid robot 2000 kilometers away in France using just his mind.
5) The recently discovered Higgs boson helps explain the structure of matter in the universe. A Weizmann team helped develop particle detectors, a Technion professor designed a key experiment and several Israeli researchers were involved in building the accelerator.
It’s a pity all those bitter divestors and boycotters can’t be divested from benefitting from all the Israeli achievements that brighten–and in some cases may save–their lives.