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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, January 12, 2012

 

JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press

A hug a day keeps the trauma away

(Haaretz) A team of Israeli therapists has discovered that a little stuffed puppy named Hibuki can do wonders when it comes to comforting and engaging children who have experienced disasters, such as last year's devastating tsunami in Japan.

 

Welfare and Social Issues

Over 1,000 children are listed as missing in Israel

(Jpost) Child welfare NGO says better information-sharing could help solve cases – and prevent new ones.

 

NII Panel Agrees on Benefit Package for Disabled Israelis

(Israel National News) A social services panel has reached an agreement on improving the meager monthly benefits for some 200,000 Israelis who have disabilities.

 

Dramatic increase in organ transplants recorded in Israel in 2011

(Haaretz) The spike in donations, 64% more than in 2010, is attributed to financial compensation program.

 

Social Protests

Hundreds of Ethiopian demonstrators protest against racism in Israel

(Haaretz) Ethiopians claim Kiryat Malachi housing committees refuse to sell them apartments; hundreds of protesters include various groups who feel weak in Israeli society.

 

Peres: Israel should thank Ethiopian immigrants, not vice versa

(Haaretz) During visit to Jerusalem school, President Shimon Peres says racists in Israel should be ashamed of themselves.

 

Aliyah and Immigration

Immigration officials blast bill to let Jewish tourists live in Israel indefinitely

(Haaretz) Provision would grant Jewish non-citizens many of the benefits of living in Israel without any of the burdens that taxpaying citizens carry, critics of the proposal argue.

 

Religious Pluralism in Israel

Poll: 51% say 'kosher buses' legitimate

(Ynet) Ynet-Gesher survey shows more than half of population believes segregated bus lines may operate in haredi areas, while 47% of Israeli Jews view it as forbidden discrimination against women

 

Can religious women bridge IDF rifts?

(Ynet) Growing number of religious female soldiers believe it may be able to build bridges of understanding, religious tolerance within Israeli army

 

Jewish World

 A ray of sunshine for embattled Beit Shemesh

(Jpost) Coexistence group seeks to stimulate dialogue following strife between Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox.

 

Beit Shemesh women dance for change

(Ynet) (Video) After their city becomes symbol of exclusion of women, secular and religious female residents decide to convey their own message in flash mob to the sounds of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now'

 

Tzohar president against bill promoted by own group

(Jpost) Rabbi Ya’akov Ariel says he's uncomfortable with Knesset involvement in dealings of the Chief Rabbinate.

 

Israel Philanthropy

Israelis restore 2,000 people's eyesight

(Ynet) Delegation of Israeli doctors sets up eye surgery camps in seven developing countries

 

Israel Advocacy/Relations

A true light among nations

(Jpost) As a country, we are defined by our collective successes, of which there are many.

 

Education

Israel cabinet approves free education plan for children over age of three

(Haaretz) Vote passes only after Shas party convinced that the wide-ranging budget cuts, which were made to allow for the free education, would not affect local authorities or projects to rehabilitate neighborhoods.

 

Demographics

'Citizenship law decision is a stain on Israel's law books'

(Jpost) MK Gal-On, ACRI slam High Court decision to uphold law that excludes Palestinians married to Israelis from naturalizing; Sa'ar: The Left blames political influence when court decisions aren't to its liking.

 

Israeli Economy

3.4 million tourists visited Israel in 2011, new report shows

(Israel Hayom) 263,000 arrived in Israel last month alone.  Government to launch aggressive marketing effort to meet goal of 4 million tourists in 2012. "We want to make vacations in Israel affordable to everyone," says Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov.

 

Knesset Bills

Knesset panel passes bill forbidding use of Nazi symbols

(Israel Hayom) If approved, law would impose six-month prison sentence, NIS 100,000 ($26,000) fine on violators who make use of concentration camp uniforms, yellow stars or word "Nazi" and more.

 

Arts and Culture

Tel Aviv leads Best Gay City contest

(Ynet) Israeli metropolis receives 36% of votes in American Airlines competition selecting most popular destinations among LGTB tourists; final results expected Tuesday

 

Environment

'Greywater could be solution for Israel's water shortage'

(Ynet) Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce campaigns for greywater recycling bill, says it could resolve Israel's water shortage

 

Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

 

Ma'ariv believes that, "Conceding Jerusalem would be the end of Zionism.  Even the Palestinians understand that.  The Palestinians will not concede moving the border in Jerusalem from the 1949 lines even a few hundred meters, not even for tremendous compensation.  Their leaders understand that nations are built, first of all, on ethos, vision and symbols."

 

Yediot Ahronot comments on the law on free education from age three, which the Cabinet approved yesterday.  The author claims that, "Expanding the free education law and economic justice have nothing in common," and believes that, "The proper response to the plight of the middle class in the area of raising children would be to channel sources of funding to providing free pre-school education only to those children whose parents work full-time."  The paper gives the following examples: Build excellent daycare centers close to places of work.  Encourage both parents to develop careers and fully participate in productive activity.  Use the tax code to provide incentives for both parents to work.