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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, March 15, 2012

JFNA in the Israeli Press

Obama tax plan could cost Israel over $12 million

(Haaretz) A provision in the new U.S. federal budget proposal may force Jewish Federations to cut their charity to Israel.


Building Federation-foundation collaboration

(Times of Israel) By combining the thinking of talented and caring people, we can generate great world-changing visions and innovative ideas


JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press

American Jews teach Israeli kids English

(Ynet) (MASA) Young adults from US Jewish communities teach their mother tongue in Israeli schools while learning about State of Israel, strengthening bond between world Jews



Netivot parents rush to get kids after rocket lands near school

(Times of Israel) Hamas blames Islamic Jihad for breaching ceasefire; Israeli ministers say situation in south ‘unacceptable’


Iron Dome Foils 90 Percent of Missiles

(Israel National News) The Iron Dome system has intercepted 90 percent of missile attacks on urban centers during the latest rocket bombardment from Gaza.


Rocket hits south on seventh day of Israel-Gaza violence

(Haaretz) IDF strikes Gaza overnight after Palestinian militants fire three Grad rockets at Be'er Sheva and Ofakim, violating an Israeli-Palestinian truce; schools canceled in southern Israel.


Analysis: Easy to start, hard to end

(Jpost) Israel knew that it could expect rockets when it made the decision to assassinate the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees.


Israelis take to the rooftops to film rockets

(Times of Israel) Barrage from Gaza and Iron Dome defense result in YouTube uploads


Civil Society

In meeting with Jewish Ethiopian community, Netanyahu vows to tackle racism

(Haaretz) Activists cite segregation at schools as an urgent problem and demanded sanctions be imposed on schools that refuse to enroll students of Ethiopian origin.


Marching barefoot for Ethiopian rights

(Ynet) Yayo Avraham shines spotlight on Ethiopian community by marching barefoot from Netanya to Jerusalem. 'It demonstrates the pain of an entire community,' he says


Religious Pluralism in Israel

Israel Beiteinu MK seeks to save hesder program

(Jpost) Rotem seeks to anchor programs in which national-religious yeshiva students combine Torah study with shortened army service.


Jewish World

Purim project brings haredim, seculars closer together

(Ynet) As part of joint holiday project, hundreds of haredi, secular couples host each other, exchange gift baskets. Rabbi: We tend to forget we have a lot in common


Creating a buzz

(Times of Israel) The Beery-Kopelow story is deeply personal and indicative of the broadening ideological divide between Diaspora Jewry and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.


Ruling on foreign converts not implemented

(Jpost) Religious rights groups criticize Interior Ministry for failure to draw up guidelines for approval of converts abroad.


Israel Philanthropy

Southern Israel's Children Have Fun on Ice

(Israel National News) Hundreds of children from Ofakim arrive for a day of fun at the Ice Festival in Jerusalem, after a week under the threat of rockets.


Israel-US Relations

Three original thinkers seek to bridge the Israel-Diaspora divide

(Times of Israel) Grappling with the ideological disconnect between the Holy Land and the US


Israeli Economy

State to pay parents who missed work due to rocket fire

(Haaretz) Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz states that public servants would receive their full pay for the period when they missed work.


Israeli economy up 4.7% in 2011

(Israel Hayom) Central Bureau of Statistics report shows growth rate lower than expected but higher than in other Western countries


Sports and Culture

Meet Israel's new Olympic mascot: the Bamba baby

(Haaretz) Olympic Committee of Israel selects icon of popular peanut-based snack following court case over former 'candidate' Shpitzik the prickly pear.


Science, Technology and Development

Country’s first large-sized solar fields approved

(Jpost) Public Utility Authority approves 9 licenses for fields; Arava Power confident it will complete first field by 2014.


Potable water system wins Intel competition

(Jpost) Pair of Netanya high school pupils developed a system using solar rays to disinfect and clean water supplies.


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yediot Ahronot warns that, "The current round of fighting in the south and the relative success of Iron Dome are liable to create a dangerous illusion to the effect that this system can resolve the complex problem that Israel is destined to deal with in the near future."  The author, a former IDF Gaza Division commander, notes the new situation that has been created in Sinai after the fall of the Mubarak regime and believes that, "The Government must internalize the fact that there is a new situation in the south.  The export of terrorism to Sinai requires a much more effective defensive alignment so that it would be possible to foil attempted terrorist attacks not just by striking at the organizations' leaders (successors always pop up immediately)."  The paper cautions that, "Without a well-conceived attack initiative, Israel is liable to dragged – within a short time – into additional escalations."


Yisrael Hayom believes that, "The last five days of fighting in Gaza have not fundamentally changed anything," and suggests that, "In Israel and Gaza, they will now utilize the temporary calm in order to study the events of recent days and draw lessons from them ahead of the next round."