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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, January 19, 2012


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JFNA in the Israeli Press

Setting a fundraising ‘precedent’ in Israel

(Jpost) Through Takdim, Israelis become philanthropists, no longer relying on the government and donations from abroad.


Israel experience programs are a game changer

(Jpost) The Jewish people won’t solve all our major challenges in one stroke – we never have.


Welfare and Social Issues

All Israelis must share burden of national service

(Jpost) Gafni’s call to avoid military service has no basis in Jewish law or tradition, or in basic human ethics.


Study: 1 in 11 Israeli teens extremely obese

(Ynet) New research conducted among 230,000 adolescents finds increasing number of children in Israel are severely overweight


Haredim: Israel in need of psychiatric care

(Ynet) Three editors of ultra-Orthodox media outlets present their version of women's exclusion. 'The secular press is out of control,' one of them says


Social Protests

Thousands in Jerusalem protest racism against Ethiopian Israelis

(Haaretz) Protesters march in front of the Knesset and hold signs which read, 'Blacks and Whites – We're all Equal' and 'Our Blood is Only Good for Wars.'


Israeli social activists resume tent protest in Tel Aviv boulevard

(Haaretz) Protest leader says that 'so long as the government refuses to treat this illness, the tent rash that is on the skin of Israeli society will continue to pop up over and over until it erupts again in the summer.'


Aliyah and Immigration

Three’s company: Trio of female olim to become IDF officers

(Israel Hayom) Gila Nussenbaum, Zehava Gail and Kendel Maxbauer all left their homes and families in the U.S. and are now part of the “Garin Tzabar" program, which enables immigrants to do military service.


Religious Pluralism in Israel

The Human Spirit: Learning from each other

(Jpost) There is no way to undercut the devotion it takes to bring up 10 children, as is common for haredim.


Building tolerance – even for haredim

(Jpost) Extreme secularism alienates the ultra-Orthodox, preventing them from integrating into Israeli society.


Jewish World

Should Israeli law permit civil marriage?

(Jpost) The answer is yes: It is the most likely to help this country become a more Jewish and a more democratic state.


Haredim trade IDF for police service

(Ynet) Following rift between army and religious soldiers, dozens of young ultra-Orthodox men choose to join police force, where they are promised better conditions matching their religious beliefs



Meridor slams Israeli cyber attacks on Arab websites

(Ynet) Minister of Intelligence Services says no one should perpetrate cyber assaults in Israel's name



Israel's school system fosters inequality

(Haaretz) It is possible that we will win a few small battles, such as those currently being waged in Kiryat Malakhi and Beit Shemesh, but we will continue to lose the general war - the war that we must not lose.


Free education law should start with Israel's Bedouin

(Haaretz) Now that the government has decided to provide free preschool education for children, it is important that the right priorities be established in initiating this important educational venture across all segments of society.


Jewish, Arab parents for equal education

(Ynet) Some 120 parents, teachers, community activists from low-income neighborhoods across Israel gather together in hills of Neve Shalom to discuss grassroots change in education



State refuses citizenship to Israeli man's husband

(Haaretz) The couple is recognized as being married when it comes to paying taxes and the like, but not when it comes to applying for and receiving social benefits.


Arab IDF soldier: Proud to serve my country

(Ynet) While many Jewish youngsters evade military service, 20-year-old Shirin Shlian of Galilee encourages high school students to join combat units. 'It's part of the good education I received at home,' she explains


Israeli Economy

Poll: Nearly half of Israeli Jews changed consumption habits due to social protests

(The Marker) One-third of respondents reported spending less than before; many said they have trouble making ends meet as it is.


BoI justifies the protesters: Consumer prices in Israel are higher than in OECD

(The Marker) Israeli food prices in 2008 were 15% higher than the average among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which Israel joined last year, says the report.



Bedouin herders to get agricultural grants

(Ynet) Agriculture Ministry to offer Bedouin sheep herders various grants for helping prevent brushfires. Ministry to sponsor special herders union


Science, Technology and Development

Israeli Made Insulin Pump Wows EU

(Israel National News) An innovative Israeli-made insulin pump is a hit in Europe.


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yediot Ahronot refers to the controversy over the objection of some national religious soldiers to being compelled to attend IDF events at which women soldiers sing.  The author, a musician and singer, says that, "Religious soldiers who are becoming more extreme are part of the IDF and we must give them a sense of mutual responsibility even though they are pains-in-the-neck.  The state must fight for what is important and not over marginal issues.  And if you tell me that women singers are liable to be insulted, as a singer, I will tell you that it is more insulting to know that part of your audience is listening because it is being forced to."  The author adds: "I support courtesy and brutality.  If it is possible to make things easier for religious soldiers, then why not?  If it impairs operational activities – then certainly not.  It is worthwhile to be as generous and flexible as possible.  The women will continue to sing and the religious soldiers can either go out for a quiet smoke or can plug their ears and stare down at their nicely shined boots, and the redemption will come.  But as soon as the soldiers go over a certain line, such as refusing to accept the authority of a woman superior officer, then they must be punished with full force and sent to a provocative performance by Lady Gaga, no, just kidding; rather, send them to a military prison."


Ma'ariv rhetorically asks why members of the ultra-Orthodox community do not serve in the IDF. The author replies that, "The Prime Minister does not want to govern, because the Defense Minister's only interest is in military operations and because the public enjoys hating them.  If Netanyahu wanted to be Prime Minister, and not only to hold the title, he would construct the only model which has a chance: Universal conscription.