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Weekly News Items from the Israeli Press, May 31, 2012


 JFNA in the Israeli Press

US Jewish groups condemn anti-African violence in Tel Aviv

(Times of Israel) Jewish groups called on Israel to protect African migrants in Israel after riots in Tel Aviv.


Israel's 1st 'Jewish federation" starts fundraising drive

(Jpost) Takdim, Israel's first charity based on the North American model of the Jewish federation, has begun its annual fundraising campaign, the group announced on Wednesday.


JFNA Partners in the Israeli Press

Youth Village system developed after Holocaust offers hope in Rwanda

(Times of Israel) Jewish women helping some 500 children hurt by war, famine and disease hopes the model will be replicated elsewhere.


Young Israelis get Jewish identity boost from Birthright too

(Haaretz) First ever academic conference on Taglit-Birthright takes place at Brandeis University, shedding light on the effects of the program bringing Diaspora youth to Israel.


Welfare and Social Issues

Don't forget the disabled

(Jpost) Today in Israel (as the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization reports), there are close to 50,000 people with disabilities as a result of war.


Soldiers complain of rabies scare on southern border

(Ynet) Troops deployed along central sector of Israel-Egypt border say rabid dogs are roaming the area; carcasses pose health hazard. IDF says matter being dealt 'with due haste'.


Civil Society

Survey: Israelis confident in face of challenges

(Jpost) Survey by INSS fellow Yehuda Ben Meir shows 60% of Israeli Jews confident the country can overcome most any challenge.


Social Protests

U.S. Jews urge Israel to protect African migrants after violent rally

(Haaretz) ADL says 'disturbed by inflammatory' statements made by Israeli officials; Jewish Council for Public Affairs calls to protect African migrants from violence.


Ben-Ari hopes to bring 100 migrants to Knesset 

(Jpost) National Union MK plans bring Sudanese, Eritrean nationals to dine with parliamentarians and “reveal hypocrisy.”  


Religious Pluralism in Israel

Harsh words on state validation of non-Orthodox

(Jpost) Intra-religious, political war of words broke out in reaction to A-G’s decision to recognize, pay wages of non-Orthodox rabbis.


US Jews joyous over Israel state-funding for non-Orthodox rabbis

(Globes) Rabbi Schonfeld says Religious Services Minister Yakov Margi knows this is the end of the Orthodox Rabbinate's monopoly.


Israeli Periphery

Even rockets can't keep Israelis away from towns near the Gaza Strip

(Haaretz) Ninety percent of new residents say good school system and rural environment brought them to southern Israel.


Jewish World

In first, non-Orthodox rabbis to receive state funding

(Israel Hayom) Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein tells government that it will have to fund non-Orthodox community rabbis according to local demand.


Israel Philanthropy

Teen to receive prestigious volunteer award

(Ynet) Ben Havardi, a high school sophomore, is youngest recipient of President's Award for the Volunteer, which is handed out by President Shimon Peres.


Israeli Economy

Soldiers may get pay hike as part of universal draft law

(Times of Israel) Government proposal would drastically increase salaries for draftees.


Arts and Culture

Chess championship: Israel's Gelfand loses to Anand in decisive tie-breaker

(Ynet) Israeli player loses to defending world champion in speed chess decider; 'I hope chess earns higher status in Israeli society,' he says.


Science, Technology and Development

The new Eilat gold rush

(Times of Israel) Companies vie to drill near Biblical copper mines; ex-Mossad chief leads the way.


Int’l autism expo to draw global experts to J'lem

(Jpost) Keynote presentations by Nir Barkat, British businesswoman Dame Stephanie Shirley.


Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces from the Israel Press

Yediot Ahronot reminds its readers that, "On the day on which the shocking massacre was perpetrated in Houla in Syria, a protest demonstration was organized in London against the Habima theatre company which was performing 'The Merchant of Venice' at a Shakespeare festival.  At the same time, The Guardian published a letter by dozens of British directors, playwrights and actors who accused Habima of collaborating with the Israeli occupation and the settlements." The author also accuses veteran British journalist Patrick Seale of whitewashing Syrian President Bashar Assad's record and claiming that the latter has been provoked by Western aid to the Syrian rebels. The paper asserts, "Israel is facing tough geopolitical and moral decisions, but the intolerable gap between the moral demands on Israel and the overlooking of such severe crimes in the Arab world distorts any chance for rational thought and discussion." The author also faults leading Israeli Arabs and contends that, "Their deafening silence over what is going on in Syria reverberates sevenfold after the years in which they enthusiastically supported the brutal dictator."


Ma'ariv discusses US-Israeli relations in the shadow of the Iranian nuclear threat. The author suggests that, "When the Americans understood that it was likely that Israel was not just talking, but had also prepared detailed plans, including maps and lists, this told them that they should start to act."  The paper believes that, "The US thus began to talk to Iran by means of threats and the imposition of sanctions," and contends that this is what, "led the Tehran regime [back] to the negotiating table." The author supposes that, "In the US, they understand that only this way would it be possible to delay, and perhaps stop, an Israeli attack," and adds, "As long as they continue this way, there is a good chance that Israel will wait and see where things are going…  In Jerusalem, they know that the missile waiting on the F-15 is goading the Americans and the world to use active diplomacy."