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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, December 8, 2011

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‘Love’ for Israel winning Twitter war

(Jpost) Jewish Agency's social media head counters anti-Israel trend on Twitter with a message of love.


Israeli Ad Campaign

Landver apologizes, with caveats, for Aliya ads

(Jpost) Immigrant Absorption Minister says ads succeeded achieved its goal of bringing home 15,000 returning Israelis.


Controversial commercials highlight historic balancing act between Israel and American Jews

(Haaretz) David Ben Gurion: 'In the free and prosperous countries, Judaism faces the kiss of death, a slow and imperceptible decline into the abyss of assimilation.'


Dear American Jews

(Ynet) Op-ed: Israel’s ‘offensive’ ex-pat ad campaign was meant to bring us closer, not divide us


US Jews veto anti-assimilation ad campaign

(Ynet) Video advertisements depicting assimilation process of Israelis living abroad stirs storm in American Jewish community. Jewish Federations: Insulting message could harm Israel-Diaspora relations


Professional, cultural, organizational failure

(Globes) The fiasco of the campaign to attract expatriate Israelis back to Israel exposes deep flaws in our attitudes and our administration.


Absorption minister defends expat ads, apologizes if US Jews hurt

(Israel Hayom) "I'm proud that after years of ignoring the issue, Israel made an effort to bring Israelis back from abroad," Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver says. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scraps campaign after U.S. Jewish leaders express outrage.


Welfare and Social Issues

Prizes to encourage Jewish disabled inclusion

(Jpost) ADVANCE Ruderman Special Needs Funding Conference announces new global prize for including disabled individuals in the Jewish community.


Regeneration next

(Haaretz) The time has come for an end to sprawling suburbs and for the renewal of existing neighborhoods, according to experts at a conference on urban planning.


Hareidi Soldier Enlistments Up 1000 Percent in Six Years

(Israel National News) Soaring enlistment of Hareidi religious men bodes well for the IDF and for society in general, according to the army.


Social Protests

Israeli resident doctors to vote on deal to end health system crisis

(Haaretz) Agreement with Finance Ministry would give every resident a grant of NIS 60,000 in two stages, and young resident doctors to get more pay for evening and night shifts.


Netanyahu praises deal between Treasury, medical residents

(Jpost) Steinitz says agreement is excellent, will advance historic reform; Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center residents vote against agreement, but promise to respect majority decision.


Religious Pluralism in Israel

High Court to hear petition on civil marriage

(Jpost) MK Horowitz: Public supports civil marriage, but Israel's political system gives in to ultra-Orthodox pressure.


Haredim also want equality

(Ynet) Op-ed: Attacking Haredim has turned into competitive sport on political and PR playing field


Israeli Periphery

Work to begin on sustainable eco-farm for Negev Bedouin

(Jpost) Sustainable eco-farm for in the works for four years will get under way



Empower the Bedouin, and build a future

(Israel 21C) ‘Cooperation between us is not a choice, but a must, if we want to build a future. We can't do that without empowering the Bedouin community.


Science, Technology and Development

1st rocket-proof kids' hospital in works

(Ynet) Center for Children's Health, part of Ziv Medical Center in Safed, will be tailor-made to specifications of the Home Front Command


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yediot Ahronot analyzes how events in Syria and Iran are affecting Hezbollah in Lebanon and contends that, "Without Iran and Syria, Hezbollah will return to its true dimensions: Without generous financing, without a supply of weapons and without political support."  The author notes that Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan, "Nasrallah has insisted on publicly supporting [Syrian President Bashar] Assad and his bloody regime, thereby earning the condemnation of the Sunni world," and reminds his readers that, "Without Syria or Iran, Nasrallah has nowhere to run."  The paper suggests that Hezbollah's political position in Lebanon is eroding


Yisrael Hayom refers to the recent OECD study which indicated that, "The gap between rich and poor in Israel grew over the past decade," and calls on the Government not merely to invest in education in general but to invest in education in specific sectors: "The state must compel core studies on the ultra-orthodox sector and prepare it for work befitting the 21st century.  It must also invest in education in the Arab sector in order to reduce the major gaps."  The author asserts that, "This battle is not lost.  We must deal with this issue quickly because in another generation, we will not have the luxury of continuing to exist with the small productive sector carrying a limping welfare state on its back.  If we continue thus, Israel is liable to become caught up in a severe economic crisis, the quality populations will leave and then, like what is happening in Greece today, we will reach socialist-style equality: Everyone will be equally poor."