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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, April 3, 2014


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JFNA in the Israeli Press

A tent for 1,200 Jews at TribeFest

(Times of Israel) Now in its third year, JFNA’s TribeFest, the largest conference of Jews ages 22-45, features inspirational speeches and informative workshops on political, spiritual, communal and cultural topics in the Jewish world.

We stand behind the Harvard Israel Trek

(Times of Israel) Boston Jewish leaders on the uproar over students’ photo at Arafat grave: Hiding the issues will cost us our credibility.


Iron Dome launches false interception in Eilat

(Ynet) Multiple residents of city report hearing explosions after missile defense system's erroneous activiation.

Welfare and Social Issues

Israel has largest gaps in student achievement of all OECD countries, study shows

(Haaretz-premium) Grade distribution in PISA tests far higher among Jewish students than among Arabs.

Civil Society

Foreign Ministry strike ends with pay agreement

(Times of Israel) Diplomats’ wages to be calculated based on the cost of living where they are assigned; spouses to receive employment benefits.

Lawmakers say no to new prisoner release for extended talks

(Times of Israel) Bennett says he won’t allow 400 inmates to go free for negotiations to continue; opposition MKs call on government to release 26 already agreed upon.

Social Protests

Hundreds protest in Tel Aviv: 'End rape culture'

(Ynet) Protesters demand to eliminate the current statute of limitation on sex offenses and give harsher punishment to sex offenders.

Aliyah and Immigration
French aliyah up 312% in Jan-Feb

(Ynet) Jewish Agency figures show immigration from France has risen sharply since start of 2014 with 854 new olim arriving in Israel during first two months of year, compared to 274 in same period in 2013.

Religious Pluralism in Israel

Israel's secular vs. ultra-Orthodox Jews: One people, divided?

(Haaretz-premium) As ultra-Orthodox leaders’ incendiary rhetoric against the Israeli state ramps up, is there any hope for common ground between secular and Haredi Jews in Israel?

Jewish World

Give rabbinic monopoly a get

(Ynet) Op-ed: Bayit Yehudi MKs have a rare chance to make a real change, allow freedom of choice in marriage in Israel.

Is the RCA applying tough new standards to old conversions?

(Times of Israel) After several Israeli weddings were nearly derailed by the RCA’s rejection of its members’ credentials, critics claim the US organization wields too much power.

ADL cites 20% drop in anti-Semitic incidents in US

(Times of Israel) Number of violent assaults against Jews, however, up from 17 in 2012 to 31 in 2013.

Israel-US Relations

Academic program aims to bring Israel, US Jews closer together

(Ynet) Ruderman Family Foundation, University of Haifa launch new master's degree in US Jewry studies in bid to improve relations between world's two largest Jewish communities.

Boston residents appeal to visiting MKs to amend Jewish reforms

(Jpost) Intermarriage in the US is a surprising source of population growth, and young people today feel more connected than ever to Israel.

Waive the visa

(Jpost) For at least a year now, AIPAC has been leading a legislative effort to include Israel in the US visa waiver program.

Israeli Economy

Survey finds pervasive labor discrimination against Arabs, ultra-Orthodox, women

(Jpost) Economy Ministry poll: Both employers and employees show some reluctance to work alongside Arab men (46%), ultra-Orthodox men (30%).

OECD holds parliamentary budget conference in Knesset for first time

(Jpost) Edelstein touts increased budgetary transparency to international conference in Knesset; Turkish reps deny tensions.

Arts and Culture

Police confiscate ancient coffins from tomb raiders in Jerusalem

(Jpost) 2,000 year old coffins containing Jewish bones, artifacts plundered from burial cave near Jerusalem.

Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yediot Ahronot acknowledges that, "There is no argument that releasing Jonathan Pollard in the framework of a deal to release murderers raises a moral problem," but adds, "The moral question need not bother Netanyahu," because, "If Arik Sharon could have allowed himself to do a shameful deal with Hezbollah in exchange for Elhanan Tannenbaum who trafficked in drugs and nobody cried out, Netanyahu can certainly release Pollard, to whom the State of Israel owes decades."

Yisrael Hayom reminds its readers that, "84% of case files opened for Price Tag actions are closed due to failure to find the offenders or a lack of evidence to put them on trial," and adds that, "Only 8.5% of the case files end in an indictment." The author asserts that, "The lack of a response damages the Israeli government's deterrent ability," and contends that Price-Tag actions, "has severe long-term international repercussions," for Israel. The paper believes that, "Experience shows that the government has the tools to completely foil such phenomena, if only it would prepare itself accordingly in the legal, administrative and operational spheres."





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