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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, February 9, 2012


JFNA in the Israeli Press

71 Ethiopian olim arrive in Israel

(Ynet) New immigrants accompanied by 20 lay leaders from Jewish Federations of North America, to begin their absorption process in Kiryat Gat

'US Jewry unlikely to act on anti-Ethiopian racism'

(Jpost) NY Federation head tells 'Post' that place of Diaspora to intervene on political level in Israel’s social problems.


Religious Pluralism in Israel

The end of the secular majority

(Haaretz) A new survey reveals that 80 percent of Israeli Jews believe in God and 65 percent in life after death. Does the religious revival mean there's no hope for a democratic Jewish state?


Israeli Periphery

Cabinet unanimously approves Eilat railway

(Globes) The 350-kilometer high-speed Tel Aviv-Eilat railway is supposed to cut travel time to two hours.


Jewish World

Groom-to-be goes 100 years back in time to prove he is Jewish

(Israel Hayom) Chicago-born immigrant Yehosha Bloomberg, in preparation for his upcoming nuptials, looks for proof of his Jewish heritage to satisfy a rabbinical court requirement.



Ex-haredim to sue State for damages

(Ynet) Dozens of men and women seek compensation for years spent catching up on core subjects excluded from ultra-Orthodox schools' curricula


Israel-US Relations

New caucus to inform Israel's MKs about U.S. Jewish community

(Haaretz) Ronit Tirosh inaugurates caucus after an eye-opening fact-finding mission to the U.S. shattered several of her long-held notions about Americans and their loyalty to Israel.


Jewish donor-advised funds perform poorly compared to U.S. sector

(Haaretz) Donor-advised funds are the fastest growing method of philanthropy that you’ve probably never heard of, but critics say they make it too easy for donors to reap the rewards of tax-deductible contributions without the money going directly to a charity.


American CEOs get an Israeli medical education

(Jpost) Delegation of top hospital heads see state-of-the-art facilities, emergency drill.


Israeli Economy

Study: Haredi middle class emerging

(Jpost) Institute warns against coercive measures designed to forcibly accelerate these processes.



Tel Aviv fetes its 221,000 trees on Tu Bishvat

(Haaretz) Environmental activists say the city is doing little when it comes to protecting its arboreal treasures.


3.1 magnitude earthquake shakes North

(Jpost) Tremors felt through area between Safed and Tiberias in Israel's first earthquake in 2 months; no injuries or damages reported


Science, Technology and Development

Israel's biggest solar farm to be set in Ramat Hovav

(Ynet) New photovoltaic power generation venture to stretch across 120 acres in south, produce 35 mega watts of electricity for national power grid


‘Power flower’: Israeli ‘tulip’ sprouting solar energy

(Jpost) Israeli renewable energy is exported to Andalucia, Spain


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yisrael Hayom notes that, "On the one hand, the Assad family has taken care to honor the June 1974 armistice agreement more than any other Arab actor in the area, but on the other hand, it is Iran's most prominent agent in,  and a murderous lifeline to, Hezbollah.  Like his father, Assad Jr. is the epitome of brutality," but wonders, "Will the Muslim Brotherhood that succeeds him (if the regime falls to them) be any better?"  The author says that, "Yesterday, Russia and China again lined up, at the UN Security Council, with the axis of evil, or, to be more precise, the axis of murder, between Damascus and Tehran," and concludes that, "If it were up to Israel, I would suggest that it airdrop food, medicines and water to each community in which the Syrians have murdered their fellow Syrians."


Yediot Ahronot suggests that US media reports about a projected Israeli attack on Iran, the EU decision to impose an oil embargo and statements by Israeli leaders at last week's Herzliya conference are all part of a calibrated effort to ratchet up pressure on Tehran and speculates that, "The Iranians have received the message, but have not yet begun to sweat."  The author believes that a decision by the IAEA Board of Governors next month to transfer the Iranian nuclear issue to the UN Security Council could prompt Israel, "to not only lay statements on the table, but to back them up with something more tangible."