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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 25, 2009 PAGE 15A Israel rising in global health sector By Adam Gonn The Media Line Having already mastered telecommunications and de- fense, analysts say health could be the next big thing for the Israeli high tech industry. Banking on a tradition of multi-disciplinary innova- tion, Israeli firms for health information technology are slowly becoming leaders in the international health field. "Health IT is a huge sec- tor and we have some lead- ing companies here," Aaron Mankovski, chairman of the Israeli High Tech Association and managing general part- ner of Israel's largest venture capital firm, Pitango, told The Media Line at the Globes Israeli Business Conference in Tel Aviv. "I think the potential is very big." "It can definitely be one of the big new things here," said Mankovski, whose firm has over $1.3 billion in com- mitted capital and has helped more than 100 companies grow. "The whole health IT is a multi-disciplinary sectorand Israel over the years has been very good at multi-disciplinary systems and multi-disciplinary companies." Health information tech- nology is the management and exchange of health informa- tion used by various parties, from medical staffand govern- ment agencies to insurance companies. "Israel is a very advanced innovation hub," Sherif El Diwany, head of the Middle East & Arab Business Council oftheWorld Economic Forum told The Media Line at the con- ference. "It is the number two innovation center in the world according to our studies." The World Economic Fo- rum, based in Geneva, is known for its annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, at- tracting the elite of the global business community. Over 1,000 companies worldwide are members of the forum, 10 of them Israeli. Business analysts have predicted that as the Israeli market is relatively small, HIT companies are looking to for- eign markets, in particular the U.S., for growth opportunities. On Dec. 14American health care company Abbott pur- chased Israeli laboratory infor- mation management systems developer STARLIMS in an effort to strengthen its posi- tion in the global diagnostics market. A system developed by Israeli company dbMotion gives caregivers secure access to integrated patient records even from facilities outside the health care network and fromaccess pointswith limited technological facilities. HIT's proponents argue that its increased utilization will lead to a more efficient health care system with fewer errors, less paperwork and a second- ary benefit of making health care more affordable. According to some esti- mates the U.S. is spending some $40 billion on health information technology as part of an initiative launched in January by President Barack Obama to build a nationwide, interoperable, private and secure electronic health in- formation system. ADL highlights top issues affecting Jews in 2009 By ADL staff Our nation's first African- American president, the pro- nounced intensification of global anti-Semitism, contin- ued defiance from Iran, and an unabashedly biased anti-Israel report were among the top is- sues affecting Jews in 2009, ac- cording to the Anti-Defamation League's annual list. "Much of the good news from the past year is, unfortunately, tempered by the bad," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. "Israel's de- fensive operation in Gaza was successful in curbing intense Hamas rocket fire, but Jews around the world suffered backlash effects. Israel has taken significant steps toward achieving peace, yet many in the Arab world continually try to delegitimize the Jewish state. There is increased international support to counter Iran's bel- ligerence, however the regime defiantly presses forward with its nuclear weapons program." "At home, though anti- Semitic attitudes and incidents declined, virulently anti-Jewish views persist and Jews continue to be the most frequently tar- geted religious group," said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL national chair. "Troubling episodes like the Holocaust museum shooting contributed to a rise in domestic terrorism and a new wave of hate against Jews and others. Yet there were notable causes for celebration: the ascension of the first Afri- can-American to our nation's highest office and the passage of updated federal hate crimes legislation are monumental achievements." New Governments in U.S. and Israel Political landscapes at home and in Israel underwent dramat- ic changes as Barack Obarnabe- came the firstMrican-American to assume the presidency and Benjamin Netanyahu formed a new Israeli government. Both administrations inherited dif- ficult foreignpolicy andsecufity issues, and each made signifi- cant gesturesaimedatpeace and reconciliation--notably Presi- dent Obama's groundbreaking address to the Muslim people, and Prime Minister Netanyahu's announcement of a 10-month West Bank settlement freeze. Global anti-Semitism alive and well Anti-Semitism was a par- ticularly troubling concern for Jews across the globe. In the wake of Israel's operation in Gaza, Jews the world over felt the backlash. Across Eu- rope, a wave of violence saw Jews beaten on the street, Jewish businesses and homes attacked, and demonstrators equating Israelis.with Nazis. In Egypt and in much of the Arab world, anti-Jewish themes littered the news media, popular literature and religious sermons. In Ven- ezuela, anti-Semitic vitriol emanated from the highest levels of government down to the protests of the masses. Domestic terrorism thwarted, threat remains Though law enforcement vigilance helped keep the dan- gers in check, the specter of a growing domestic terror threat looms. In New York, authorities thwarted a plot to bomb two synagogues, while in Illinois, an American convert to Islam attempted to bomb a federal courthouse, later expressing his ambitions to join a Palestinian terrorist organization against Israel. Americans were also suspected of seeking training from extremists abroad. In North Carolina, seven were charged with conspiring to wage "violent Jihad" overseas, while five Muslim American men from northern Virginia were arrested in Pakistan after reportedly trying to "join the jihad" against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Many of these extremists openly expressed hatred of Jews and Israel. Federal hate crimes bill a reality In a monumental achieve- ment that ensures that all vic- tims of hate crimes receive equal protection, President Obama signed into law a comprehensive hate crime bill that provides for expanded federal involvement in investigating and prosecuting hate violence in America. The new legislation doses a critical loophole in previous federal law, and expands protections to pre- viously unprotected categories, including actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Goldstone Report attacks Israel Replete with inaccuracies and distortions, the Goldstone Report had powerful negative consequences for Israel. Itplayed a role in international efforts to delegitimize Israel, accused the Jewish state of war crimes and drew an unwarranted equiva- lence between Israel's defensive operation and the terrorist actions of Hamas. It further cemented the United Nations Human Rights Council's repu- tation of anti-Israel bias. Inside the U.N. itself, Israel continued to be singled out for criticism and diplomatic isolation. Iran remains defiant and belligerent After a fraudulent presidential election and violent government crackdown of mass protests, MahmoudAhrnadinejad and the clerical regime retained their grip on power in Iran. Ahma- dinejad continued to espouse anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, alongwith extreme anti- Israel and anti-Western rhetoric. The Iranian regime openly defied international pressure to cease its nuclear program, announcing its intention to construct 10 additional nuclear fuel enrichment plants. Iran also continued to sponsor terrorism against Israel through its prox- ies--Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Anti-government rage and conspiracy theories Acurrent of anti-government hostility swept across the coun- try, creating an atmosphere of rage in America. The fervor manifested in ways ranging from incivility in public forums to acts of intimidation and violence, as well as a resurgent militia movement and the pro- liferation of anti-government conspiracy theories. Moreover, the national effort to reform health care saw Holocaust comparisons injected into the debate, with some equating President Obama with Hitler and demonstrators hoisting signs employing Nazi imagery. America firmly in Israel's A nationwide survey of the American public demonstrated its continued strong support for Israel, with an increase in sup- port for action to prevent Iran from becominganuclear power. President Obama described America's bond with Israel as "unbreakable," and American legislators voted overwhelm- ingly to condemn the biased Goldstone Report and to pres- sure Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. Anti-Semite charged in Holo- caust Museum shooting After a lone gunman opened fire at the United States Ho- locaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., killing a security guard, his ideology soon came to the fore. The accused shooter, James Von Brunn, 88, is a long-time neo-Nazi andwhite supremacistwhohasvehement- iy expressed his anti-Semitic and racist views for decades. He has held a nearly life-long conviction that Jewswere persecuting him, and his stated goal in carrying out the shooting was to "kill as many Jews as possible." Jewish-Catholic relations overcome strains The Catholic-Jewish re- lationship overcame several stumbling blocks during the past year. The excommunica- tion of a traditionalist bishop who publicly questioned the existence of Nazi gas chambers was lifted, causing a firestorm and prompting Pope Benedict XVI to strongly repudiate Holocaust denial. The Vatican later demanded that the bishop unequivocally recant his Ho- locaust denial--though his attempt to do so fell far short. In the U.S.,afterhearingconcerns from Jewish religious leaders, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops removed language from a document that described interfaith dialogue as an implicit invitation to baptism. TheAnti-Defamation League (www.adl.org), founded in 1913, fights anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. Gaza by the numbers: One year after Operation Cast Lead By the staff of The Israel Project On Dec. 27, 2008, Israel Defense Forces began a de- fensive operation in Gaza-- Operation Cast Lead--to stop Iran-backed Hamas and other terrorist groups from their years-long campaign of firing thousands of rockets, mortars and missiles at Israel. During Operation Cast Lead, Israel fo- cused on dismantling Hamas' terrorist infrastructure while minimizing civilian casual- ties. The operation, which ended Jan. 18, 2009, was made more difficult--and danger- ous--because of Hamas's widespread use of civilians as human shields. The defensive operation has reduced by 90 percent the number of rocket, missile and mortar attacks on Israel from Gaza. Following are facts and figures about the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza: Key Statistics • I million: Israeli civilians under threat from Hamas rocket fire. • 15: Seconds Israelis have to get to a bomb shelter once a warning siren has sounded. • 2 million: Leaflets the Israel Air Force dropped on Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, warning civilians to stay clear of Hamas fighters. • 200,000: Phone calls made by the Israeli army to civilians in Gaza warning of an impending strike near their residences. • 8: Years Israel has endured rocket, missile and mortar fire from Gaza. • 1: Israeli left in Gaza-- Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit, kid- napped by Hamas from Israel on June 25, 2006. • 3,200+: Rockets and mor- tars fired from Gaza in 2008. • 6,500+: Rockets and mortars fired from Gazasince Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. • 10,389: Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza 2001-2008. • 1,000+: People in Is- rael injured from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since 2001. • 27: Number of people killed by Palestinian rocket and mortarattacks since 2001. • 242: Rockets, missiles and mortars fired at Israel from Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead. Iran-Backed Hamas Ter- rorism • 727: Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza, January - September 2009. • 17:Attacks on Gaza goods crossings by Palestinian ter- rorist groups in 2008. • 80: Percent of mosques in Gaza that Hamas reportedly controls, some of which are used for weapons storage, command and communica- tions headquarters. • 37 mi (60kin): Range of Hamas rockets in Gaza acquired after Operation Cast Lead. • 2.5 mi (4 km): Range of Hamas's anti-tank missiles, smuggled into Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead. • 1,500: Number of smug- gling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt (estimate) • 59 ft (18 m)/6.8 mi (11 km): Length and depth of metal fence Egypt is build- ing on Sinai-Gaza border to prevent tunnel smuggling operations.[26] • 22 mi (35 kin): Distance between Gaza and Yavneh - the northernmost Israeli city hit by Gaza rockets on Dec. 28, 2009. • 900: Hamas operatives trained by Dan. • $20 million - $30 mil- lion: Funding Iran provides annually to Hamas. Iran gave Hamas another $50 million following Hamas's victory in the 2006 Pales- tinian elections. Israel's Humanitarian Aid to Gaza • 900: Percent increase in humanitarian aid delivered to Gaza in 2009, compared to 2008. • 630,253: Tons of hu- manitarian aid delivered to the Gaza Strip, Jan. 19 - Dec. 13, 2009. • 24.5 million gallons (92.7 million liters): Heavy- duty diesel fuel delivered to the Gaza Strip, Jan. 19 - Oct. 31, 2009. • 10,346: Gaza residents who entered Israel for medi- cal and humanitarian rea- sons, Jan.19 - Nov. 7, 2009. • 57,295 tons: Monthly average of humanitarian aid entering Gaza since Opera- tion Cast Lead, Jan. 19 - Dec. 5, 2009. • 11,508: Monthly average (in tons) of humanitarian aid entering Gaza from February- June 2008, a period of intense rocket fire. • 34,253 tons: Monthly average of humanitarian aid entering Gaza during period of calm, July- December 2008. • 18,500: Permits Israel issued to Gaza residents to enter Israel or travel overseas in 2009. • 28,400: Flowers from Gaza scheduled for export to Europe on Dec. 10, 2009. • 250,000: Flowers from Gaza scheduled for export beginning Dec. 13, 2009. The Israel Project (www. theisraelproject.org) is "an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or govern- ment agency." Need help setting up your holiday computer or wireless network? " CompDesigns.NET [ Partner Program PO Box 940266 will setup & provide 1 hr. Maitland, FL 32794 training for $189 chris@compdesigns.net 407-920-9900