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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, December 1, 2011


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JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press

Taglit brings over 10,500 students to Israel

(Ynet) Nearly 20,000 young adults participate in trips to Jewish state this past summer. Israel's Ambassador to US Michael Oren lauds impact Taglit-Birthright trips have on campus students


Israel breaks chemistry lesson record

(Ynet) Over 4,000 parents, teens and kids in research institutes throughout country take part in mass chemistry lesson, setting new Guinness World Record

Adelson Foundation Gives Taglit An Extra $5 Million Boost

(Israel National News) Philanthropists Miriam and Sheldon Adelson's additional $5 million for the Birthright Israel Foundation will raise participants to 17,000.


Welfare and Social Issues

Dramatic drop in number of Israeli nurses

(Ynet) Israel ranks 22nd in number of medical caretakers in developed countries. 'In a few years we'll really have to import nurses from India,' says head nurse at Wolfson Medical Center


Report: Sexual abuse by school kids up

(Ynet) Knesset commissioned report suggests disconcerting increase of sexual abuse of minors by minors


Israel cabinet to propose NIS 265 million anti-obesity program

(Haaretz) Program would restrict TV ads for high-calorie foods, amend law requiring doctor's note to use workout facilities.


Israel's National Insurance Institute: One in ten families suffer from hunger

(Haaretz) Study involving 5,000 families finds 19 percent suffer from food insecurity; says solution lays in encouraging employment and increasing stipends.


Jewish World

Chief rabbi skeptical about marriage bill

(Jpost) Bill seeks to prevent rabbis from taking money for performing weddings, except for travel expenses.


Shas rabbi's daughter for women's rights

(Ynet) Rabbanit Adina Bar Shalom, daughter of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, says exclusion of women from public domain violates Torah. 'Halacha treats women with the utmost respect,' she clarifies


Israel Advocacy/Relations

The Gospel Trail: Walking in the footsteps of Jesus

(Jpost) Ministry of Tourism inaugurates pilgrimage route designed to increase Christian tourism.


November 29: A mystery date for most Israelis

(Haaretz) Poll show that 73% of Israeli adults do not know the historical significance of the date, when the UN General Assembly decided to end the British Mandate and adopt the partition plan.


Israel-US Relations

Embracing a hyphenated Jewish identity: in Israel and the Diaspora

(Haaretz) Jews living in the Diaspora have long sought for society to accept that, while its members want to be equal to non-Jews, they will always be distinct.


Thanksgiving in Tel Aviv: Living the Zionist dream

(Jpost) At least 50 lone soldiers and more than 100 young professionals gather at festive Nefesh B'Nefesh event


Knesset Bills

MKs: Treat prisoners the way Schalit was treated

(Jpost) Knesset c'tee set to hear host of proposals calling for downgrading conditions for Palestinian prisoners.


Bill proposed to stop state rabbis accepting wedding fees

(Jpost) "Marrying people is part of a rabbi’s job, so there’s no reason he should get money for this service when he gets a salary from the state.”


Netanyahu Seeks to Reword, Water Down NGO Bill

(Israel National News) Prime Minister Netanyahu looking at rewording the bill which limits the funding political NGOs may receive from foreign bodies.


Arts and Culture

What’s up, DocAviv?

(Jpost) Five-day int'l DocAviv Galilee Festival offers 35 documentary films and a host of other events and activities up North.


Science, Technology and Development

Israeli girl to address Nobel winners

(Ynet) Maya Samuels, 18, among 24 young scientists from all around the world invited to present their high school research work to this year's Nobel Prize laureates in Sweden


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yediot Ahronot asserts that, "A normal country does not shoot itself in the foot," and adds that, "Freezing the funds for the Palestinian Authority is, over time, this kind of shooting – if not in the head, then at least in the foot."  The author believes that, "Israel has an in interest in the Palestinian Authority using its police powers and in fostering security cooperation," and adds that, "If there is no money, there are no salaries and no policing."  The paper contends that, "The money that Israel transfers, which is Palestinian money, buys quiet and security cooperation for the time being, and saves the IDF from having to dispatch considerable forces to the West Bank to maintain law and order there.  Even from the settlers' and right-wingers' point-of-view, the current situation, with a functioning PA, is preferable to chaos and anarchy."


Ma'ariv comments on the debate over the security budget: "Is it possible to cut the security budget? Certainly. In the budget, 55% of which is for salary expenditures, it is possible to find more than a small amount of fat.  It must go on a diet.  This is not necessarily just bringing forward the retirement age for career personnel.  Religion Officers, for instance – how many such career officers must an IDF brigade employ?  This is just one example; there are countless others that indicate an absence – and lack – of efficiency."