Weekly Items from the Israeli Press, August 11, 2011
JFNA in the Israeli Press
(Jpost) Encouraging American Jewish interest in the 20 percent of Israeli citizens who are not Jewish has been a longstanding challenge.
(Haaretz) The Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership has evolved into an international model for fostering a more mature relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.
(Jpost) Holocaust survivors in the US will receive federal funds designed to help them age at home, rather than having to move to an institution.
JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press
(Jpost) The brainchild of Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, 240 Russian-speakers aged 13 to 17 participate in two-week international summer camp.
(Ynet) Some 75 exemplary North American college graduates, 66% of whom are Birthright alumni, selected for intensive 10-month pilot program through Masa Israel Journey and Israel's Ministry of Education
(Israel Hayom) The number of Hungarians immigrating to Israel more than doubles in three years
(Jpost) Three-week youth leadership program aimed at fostering leadership skills and reinforcing communities across the continent.
Welfare and Social Issues
(Jpost) Reform would simplify bureaucracy and head off "tsunami of elderly" in coming decades.
(Jpost) MK Ahmed Tibi mocks makeup of new socioeconomic task force, saying “maybe there’s an Arab driver or someone who serves coffee
(Jpost) The nationwide social justice movement protest reached new heights on Saturday night, as an estimated 300,000 people took part in demonstrations across the country.
(Jpost) The protests smack more of political frustration on the part of the opposition and its media cronies, than of genuine economic deprivation of the middle class
(Haaretz) Following decades in which the public has curled up in its indifference and allowed a handful of politicians to run the country as they wished, the rules of the political game have changed.
(Globes) The finance minister warns that Israel could end up like Greece or Spain.
(Israel Hayom) American businessman S. Daniel Abraham contributed funds to Saturday's massive demonstrations saying "ceasing investment in settlements will improve the standard of living."
(Haaretz)Homeless protesters in Holon burn tires and block roads after being ordered to dismantle tents; first Arab protest held in Haifa.
(Jpost) Activists warily support initiatives, which include construction tenders for contractors offering lowest bid.
(Haaretz) Municipality expediting construction of 69 apartments in south Tel Aviv in wake of housing protests; project planner says it 'will allow the middle class to buy an apartment at a reasonable price.'
(Jpost) "Protesters have fallen in love with protesting," Likud MK says
Religious Pluralism in Israel
(Jpost) How long can the entire population be hostage to the demands of the Orthodox establishment?
(Arutz Sheva) A medical team from Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart performs the first-ever pediatric open heart surgery on the youngest child in Tanzania.
(Ynet) Gazan seven-month-old's life saved thanks to open-heart surgery in Israeli hospital. 'Hopefully, this is a good sign for peace,' says child's grandfather
(Haaretz) As market spirals down, the prime minister announces formation of panel to meet with protest leaders.
(Ynet) Finance Minister Steinitz signs temporary provision reducing taxation on diesel oil sold to Israel Electric Corp. in order to minimize price hike following disruptions in gas supply from Egypt
(Jpost) 55 Republican, 26 Democratic congressmen to arrive for week-long trips sponsored by American Israel Education Foundation.
(Ynet) TAMID Fellowship sponsors American business students for a summer of work and immersion in Israel
(Jpost) An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter Scale struck less than ten minutes before noon Sunday and was felt in various parts of the country.
Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press
Yediot Ahronot says that, "With all due respect to the achievements and the numbers, protests are measured by results and not by slogans. Despite the goodwill and the music of Shlomo Artzi, it was not 'the people' who went out into streets of Tel Aviv last night but only one tribe thereof. The 'people' want social justice but find it difficult to agree on what this means. For the middle class or for distressed neighborhoods? For young people who want normal prices so they can finish the month or for the down-and-out poor who can't even start it?" The paper believes that the media has pushed and promoted the current protest campaign to the point where dissent is suspect. The author asserts that, "The tents, the demonstrations, the philosophical discussions and even the policy fantasies are all a celebration of democracy. The problem with such celebrations is that there are always those who become intoxicated. The State of Israel needs to thank and embrace the initiators regardless of their political opinions. Personally, I hope that they all become active in voluntary organizations, they help make the Negev and the Galilee flourish, and that they enter politics on whatever side. As an Israeli, I hope that they understand quickly that to speak on behalf of the people, even when it is right, is dangerous."
Ma'ariv claims that, 'In order to meet the demands, which are worth tens of billions of shekels, one would need to redo the budget, including cutting settlement budgets and assistance to the ultra-orthodox, or cutting the defense budget, For this to happen, there would have to be elections, the sooner the better. In the meantime, the coalition has no desire to change the status-quo." The author believes that even if one takes the foregoing into account, "The maximum budgetary maneuvering room is estimated at up to NIS 12 billion. This is a glass ceiling. If we dare go beyond this, we will all catch it."