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Weekly News Items from Israeli Press, May 19, 2011


JFNA in the Israeli Press

Report: Two men arrested for allegedly planning terror attack on NYC synagogue

(Haaretz) The men are Americans of Algerian and Moroccan descent who bought three pistols, ammunition and an inert grenade to perpetrate the attack; president of Jewish Federation: Jewish communities must be on the alert after bin Laden killing.

Israeli community launches its own Jewish Federation

(JTA) A community in central Israel has founded a philanthropic foundation based on the Jewish Federation model.

Ramat HaSharon's Jewish Federation: Help Starts at Home

(Israel National News) “Takdim” – the Ramat HaSharon Community Foundation will be led by local civic leaders, similar to the way Jewish Federations are led in the United States.


Federation Projects in the Israeli Press

Prize for head of school for foreign workers’ kids

(JPost) Karen Tal from the Bialik- Rogozin School in south TA won the Charles Bronfman Prize for 2011.



Interior Ministry sued over Orthodox conversion recognition

(JPost) The ITIM institute petitioned the High Court of Justice Thursday against the Ministry of Interior’s refusal to grant citizenship to Orthodox converts who converted abroad.


Welfare and Social Issues

200 top academics petition gov't to cancel ‘shackling’ law

(JPost) Over 200 top Israeli academics signed a petition released on Thursday calling on the government to cancel a bill that would bind foreign workers to their employers.

In search of justice, and not just charity

(JPost) Much has been made about Israel being the new land of opportunity. But for many people with disabilities, it’s anything but.

Health Ministry / Internal medicine department crowding making patients sick

(Haaretz) Internal medicine wards in some of the country's hospitals are up to 150 percent occupied during the winter months, forcing patients into hallways or other irregular locations, the State Comptroller reported yesterday.

Education Ministry / Israel lagging in physical education hours, student obesity prevention

(Haaretz) The state comptroller reviewed actions taken against obesity in Israel since the publication of his findings on the matter in his May 2008 report, and found neither legislation nor funding devoted to the issue over these three years.

Ovadia Yosef favors appointment of women to religious councils

(Haaretz) Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef supports integrating women into religious councils, according to Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi (Shas). Margi declared he "will act to improve representation of women in the makeup of religious councils appointed in the future."

'Haredi girls' schools 'fertile ground for discrimination''

(JPost) State Comptroller report slams lack of procedures for acceptance into state-funded religious girls' schools, leading to racial discrimination

Israel facing rapidly aging population, says OECD

(Haaretz) The growth rate of Israel's elderly population is among the highest in the Western world and will rise further, says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

'Men are responsible for 74% of accidents causing injury'

(JPost) Just one week after a deadly car accident in the Arava valley claimed the lives of almost an entire family, the Central Bureau for Statistics revealed data on the makeup of some 92,000 recorded traffic accidents that occurred in Israel in the last year, and the drivers who cause them.

Interior Ministry fails on foreign caregivers policy

(JPost)  In the two years since it took over responsibility for monitoring the flow of foreign workers into Israel, the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority has failed to create a clear and concrete policy toward those migrants working in the nursing profession, the State Comptroller’s Report for 2011 released on Tuesday has revealed.

Jewish Identity

Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk asks court to cancel his 'Jewish' status

(Haaretz) Kaniuk wants any official state document on which he appears as "Jewish" to be changed to "Without Religion."


Israel Philanthropy

Happiness starts in kids' orchestra

(Haaretz) Successful Venezuelan program El Sistema, which gives youth at risk for crime and violence the opportunity to play an instrument, comes to Israel.


Israel Advocacy

London to host conference for support of Israel

(JPost) Over 1,000 participants to attend ‘We Believe in Israel' in order to push pro-Israel campaign, grassroots activism.



Atias 1, Steinitz 0 / Netanyahu returns periphery grants

(Haaretz) The government is to provide special benefits to first-time homebuyers in 30 communities designated as National Priority Zone A, in a handshake deal concluded yesterday between Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias.

Gov’t to invest NIS 12m. in Nazareth

(JPost) The Tourism Ministry will invest NIS 12 million over the next four years in improving the tourist infrastructure in Nazareth, as part of efforts to boost the cultural and leisure offerings in the Galilee city.



Ariel Sharon Park transforms ‘eyesore’ into ‘paradise’

(JPost) Notorious garbage dump near Ben Gurion Airport goes green; when finished the park will be three times the size of Central Park in New York City.

Fish face extinction as authorities fiddle

(Haaretz) The fish catch from the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean has declined by more than 80% in ten years, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss reported yesterday.


Op-Eds from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Ahronot discusses the State Comptroller's annual report, which was issued yesterday, and suggests that, "Deep despair is the feeling that settles upon whoever sits down to read the State Comptroller's annual report.  Failures, incompetence, corruption and fecklessness leap out from every page."  The author cites one example and notes that it arises from the report that there are only 12 supervisors for approximately 1,600 recognized daycare centers, with 90,000 children: "Is it any wonder that 73% of the daycare centers receive less than one visit a year and that hazards were found in 69% of them?"  The paper declares that, "When only 12 inspectors are assigned to cover 1,600 daycare centers, it is a sign that someone is napping on the job at best and demonstrated extraordinary maliciousness at worse.  The immediate suspects are always the same – the people at the Finance Ministry.  But the real blame cannot be cast on the officials.  It is cast on us, as citizens and as a society."  The author concludes that, "As long as we continue to get up in the morning with our heads bent, go to work and pay taxes and not ascertain that the state is using those same taxes to provide us with proper services – as opposed to padding chairs or perpetuating unemployment – the blame is on us."

Yisrael Hayom asserts that, "It was no coincidence that the organized gang of infiltrators that broke through the border fence near Majdal Shams carried pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad," and contends that this week's events on both the Syrian and Lebanese borders were planned and designed by Syria and its cohort Hezbollah in order to draw attention away from the brutal repression of demonstrators in Syria.  The author avers that, "In his meetings in Washington, the Prime Minister will be able to point to the Nakba Day events in order to persuade his interlocutors of the vital nature of Israel's security demands."

Ma'ariv relates to the striking railroad workers and asks, "Since when are workers participating in a legal demonstration carted off and arrested?"  The author contends that, "Workers in Israel, in all professions, are losing their rights, foremost of which is the right to form an association.  The right to form a union is a basic right of citizens in a democratic state."  The paper concludes that, "The fight being waged against them is liable, in a few years, to lead to a situation in which it will be harder for everyone to earn a living."