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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, May 17, 2012


JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press

Report: Non-Jews manage to sneak onto Birthright trips

(Israel Hayom) Youths deemed non-Jewish under Law of Return traveled to Israel at expense of Israeli taxpayers. 


Welfare and Social Issues

Danino: Crime rate dropped, but the sense of fear is rising

(Jpost) Police chief tells Knesset c'tee that war on violent crime represents "a strategic issue no less important than the Iranian threat" for Israel, vows to bring "feeling of security" back to citizens.


Civil Society

Deportation of South Sudanese is legal, ministry says

(Times of Israel) In light of leaked report, human rights organizations plead for more time to ensure asylum seekers are not at risk in war-torn home country


Young haredim want to study, open to army, work

(Jpost) Survey of 400 unmarried haredi students shows 70 percent see themselves continuing religious studies.


State Comptroller: Not enough haredim in IDF

(Ynet) 2012 Report shows 60% increase in number of yeshiva students who dodge army draft; says authorities not meeting government goals for integration of haredim in labor force


Could gay marriage in America lead to civil marriage in Israel?

(Times of Israel) The Obama declaration on gay marriage, along with this week’s formation of a broad-based unity government in Israel, accelerates the possibility of civil marriage in Israel.


Aliyah and Immigration

Op-Ed: The Back-Forth Phenomenon

(Israel Hayom) Jews leaving, Jews coming - what is the balance? What other effect could the Iranian nuclear threat have if Israel does not do something about it?


Bnei Menashe aliya to resume this summer

(Jpost) For the first time in five years, a large group of Bnei Menashe immigrants from northeastern India is slated to make aliya this summer.


Religious Pluralism in Israel

Female Reform rabbi joins religious council of Jerusalem suburb

(Times of Israel) Court had ordered Religious Affairs Ministry to approve Rabbi Alona Lisitsa’s appointment


Jewish World

Can a judicial court nullify a conversion?

(Jpost) The recent controversy relates to the standards of conversion and who has the authority to determine them.


Israel Advocacy/Relations

Poll: Israel viewed negatively around the world

(Jpost) BBC survey measures public opinion on 22 countries, places Israel in company of North Korea, ahead of only Iran, Pakistan.



'It is sad that an Israeli minister spews racist remarks'

(Israel Hayom) Interior Minister Eli Yishai's call to round up all African migrant workers and imprison them sparks fury.


Israel-US Relations

The power of the Diaspora

(Ynet) Op-ed: Israel should use its experience to offer global consultancy services on Diaspora relations


Israeli group wins terror suit against Syria, Iran

(Ynet) Washington court finds Iran, Syria guilty of supporting Islamic Jihad in attack which claimed 11 lives; awards Israeli advocacy group $323 million in damages


Science, Technology and Development

The Israeli pharmacologist who kick-started marijuana research

(Israel 21C) 'Working in a small country certainly has its positive aspects,’ Raphael Mechoulam says. ‘It couldn’t have happened in the United States.’


Thousands flock to Israel’s ‘Woodstock of agricultural technology’

(Times of Israel) Advances in food production and water conservation were on display this week at AgriTech 2012


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Ma'ariv comments on the peace process with the Palestinians and claims that the Israeli media is too uncritical of Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen's, "continuing refusal to enter into any kind of dialogue."  The author asserts that, "Netanyahu needs to be a little flexible but, at the same time, Abu Mazen also needs to be flexible," and warns, "As long as we do not criticize his refusal, we are – in effect – encouraging him to dig in rather than compromise."


Yisrael Hayom refers to the ongoing controversy over illegal – mainly African – migrants in Israel and avers, "Israel must make a decision that sets a reasonable quota for work migrants, who – after the fact – would be eligible to be absorbed here.  But the decisive majority of those infiltrators who are seeking – and this must be underscored – economic welfare, must return to their homelands."  The author believes, "This is the ethical choice to which the Government is obligated vis-à-vis its citizens."