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Weekly Items from the Israeli Press, July 7, 2011

 

Shalom,

 

Please see below selected items from the Israeli press. You can access this news digest as well as check out our other online features by visiting the Israel & Overseas page on our website.

 

I am pleased to introduce myself as your new contact at the JFNA, I&O office. If you would like to recommend other recipients for this weekly e-mail, would like to be removed from the mailing list or have any suggestions, please write to me at Tikva.schein@JewishFederations.org.

 

Regards,

Tikva

 

Federation Projects in the Israeli Press

 

From San Francisco and Kiryat Gat to Jerusalem

A very emotional meeting took place in Jerusalem last week, when two pen pals, each from different continents, met at Meir Panim's Jerusalem restaurant.

 

Welfare and Social Issues

 

Leave no man behind

(Ynet Op-ed) Entebbe operation lessons relevant for Israeli attitude to disabled members of society.

 

Holocaust survivors sue state over ‘unpaid reparations’

(Jpost) A group of Holocaust survivors has brought a lawsuit against the State of Israel for what they say is their rightful share of reparations monies paid to Israel by the former West Germany under the 1953 Reparations Agreement between the two countries.

 

Knesset approves law to support foster families

(Jpost )Under the new law, those fostering children under age of 3 will be entitled to full maternity leave benefits.

 

Public buildings required to provide access to disabled

(Jpost) Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman signed a regulation over the weekend that will compel public buildings to provide access for people with disabilities.

 

Conversion

 

20 rabbis finish training course for Conversion Authority

(Jpost) Body could emerge as potential alternative to Rabbinate; idea is that the rabbis will boost these conversion courts’ ability to function.

 

Education

 

Weizmann rated best academic workplace outside US

(Jpost) The 150,000-square-meter leafy, landscaped campus in Rehovot scores high 'The Scientist' magazine’s annual survey.

 

Arts and Culture

 

Israeli violinist shares top award at international music competition

(Haaretz) Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman ties for second place at International Tchaikovsky Competition, with no one taking first despite competition rules.

 

Religious Pluralism in Israel

 

Israel must grant all citizens the right to civil marriage

(Haaretz Editorial) The radicalization of the rabbinical establishment have led to a situation where the status of women - on issues of marriage, property rights, child custody and divorce - is swiftly deteriorating.

 

We must stop Israel from becoming a theocracy

(Haaretz) Should Israel be a democracy in which a minority enjoys equal rights, or an ethnocracy for Jews who believe that their right to the Land of Israel is greater than any other human right?

 

Jewish World

 

Two bills to help women attain a 'get' pass Law c'tee

(Jpost) Proposed legislation calls on rabbinic courts to impose sanctions on recalcitrant spouses who refuse to grant divorce

 

Israel Advocacy/Relations

 

Israeli advocacy gets new look

(Ynet) Nu Campaign social activism group and clothing brand aims to transform Zionism into a buzz word with T-shirts promoting Israeli, global causes

 

Unmasking the ‘international community’

(Jpost) While emptily mouthing slogans of tolerance, adherents to the rule of the “international community” embrace the agenda of the most violent, intolerant, totalitarian forces in the world.

 

Science, Technology and Development

 

Organ donors create Petah Tikva ‘transplant marathon’

(Jpost) Families of 3 people who died in the last few days bring new hopes of life and health to four children and several adults.

 

Israel ranked 14th in global innovation

(Ynet) The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2011 ranks Israel at number 14, a significant improvement over its number 23 position last year.

 

Israeli Economy

 

Postal Bank debuts Israel’s 1st foreign currency debit card

(Jpost) “Visa Dollar Charger” can be used to purchase goods on international websites and replace risky credit cards, checks and cash abroad.

 

OECD report finds Israel as top country for venture capital investment

(Haaretz) While Israel ranks poorly in terms of bureaucratic obstacles, venture capital is relatively easy to obtain here, found the report on entrepreneurship drafted by the economic organization.

 

Government Bills

Bill to extend daylight savings okayed by cabinet

(Jpost) The cabinet unanimously approved on Sunday draft legislation to extend daylight savings time by some 10 days so that it would last from the last Friday in March until the first Sunday after October 1.

 

PM signs covenant to preserve National Heritage sites

(Jpost) There are over 150 initiatives in the plan to renovate national heritage sites; as of now, 9 have been approved for preservation


Summer Fun

 

Tel Aviv residents hit the frontline in the annual summer Water War

(Haaretz) Women, the elderly, families, teens and mainly children get drenched from head to toe in water from the Rabin Square fountain.

 

Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

 

Ma'ariv reminds its readers that, "There is only one country in which clerics are above the regular law, in which the state police are barred from investigating them, and if they are brought to trial, it is only in a special court of religious law.  This is a country in which they are considered guardians, the supreme defenders of its religious character, and therefore, they receive official privileges by law.  In this country, religion reigns supreme.  It is the Islamic Republic of Iran."  The author asserts that, "Unlike Islam, which from its outset, cast itself as a conquering and ruling faith, Judaism recognizes the distinction between religion and state," and reminds his readers that, "The Israeli state, by law, has determined that once a person is summoned for questioning, he must appear."  The paper concludes that, "Judaism has many facets.  Unfortunately, there has sprung up those who want the death of Israel as a nation of laws, in which there are courts and police…This is the stream of those who have forgotten the rabbinic dictum*: 'Pray for the welfare of the government since but for the fear of it, men would swallow each other alive.'  The fear of the government – and of this there can be no doubt – is eroding."

 

Yediot Ahronot refers to the recent confusion over the projected return of terrorists' bodies to the Palestinian Authority, which – in the end – did not take place, and says that, "The average Israeli citizen, whom the media refers to as 'the man in the street', reads the newspaper, listens to the radio, watches TV, and asks himself and those around him: What is going on up there?  If this is how they conduct a minor and unimportant issue like the return of terrorists' bodies, how will they act on something really important, a matter of life and death?"  The author avers that, "Generations ago, Shakespeare wrote 'Much Ado About Nothing'.  It is possible to say that this is what we have here.  But, if this is confusion in the decision-making process, how will they make the decision up there about, say, bombing nuclear reactors?"