The Headlines: Inaction Inertia
> The government threw its support behind a bill that would enshrine Jerusalem’s status as a national priority area, ensuring the city continues to receive special budgetary support. The decision applies to all parts of the city as claimed by Israel, including territory which is considered occupied under international. This may create an international problem for the government.
> Netanyahu’s solution to the severe controversy over benefits to yeshiva students was typical: form a committee, gain two weeks. I have another suggestion: a benefit “freeze”, which much like the vaunted settlement “freeze”, will be a hollow publicity stunt, allowing things to continue pretty much as they are.
> The disabled are launching a campaign to raise their benefits, which have dwindled to 60% of the minimum wage (Ma’ariv).
> A journalist returns (Heb) from a year in exile. Uri Blau was stuck abroad, fearing retribution over publishing leaked documents that embarrassed the army. The documents revealed that the IDF contravened a Supreme Court order banning assassinations.
> Data indicates an increase in demand for teaching positions, and a rise in the quality of applicants (Yedioth).
> The Israeli committee of inquiry, established to examine the response to the Gaza flotilla, questioned the chief of staff for a second time (Ha’aretz).
> A Palestinian was imprisoned for nine months, but when his trial started, it turned out there was no real evidence against him (Ha’aretz).
> A rabbinical court (which is an official state panel in Israel) is trying to compel a woman to agree to her husband’s extraordinary financial and custodial conditions, in return for a “get” – his agreement for a divorce (Yedioth).
> The Jewish Agency will focus on strengthening the bonds between diaspora Jews and Israel, rather than facilitating immigration (Ma’ariv, the magazine).
> Netanyahu’s strategic consultant also works for one of the natural gas tycoons, fighting to preserve the ludicrously generous conditions of their drilling licenses (Ma’ariv, business section).
The Bottom Lines: Racist violence against Arabs
> A minor was arrested in relation to a recent surge of racist assaults against Arabs in the city of Safed (Ha’aretz); while students in a military school in Acre provoked [Heb] Arab residents there.