July 1, 2012
Israel and the world Pt. 10 - weekly news from Israel
• A German court has ruled that circumcising male infants for religious reasons is a crime. A long debate regarding the subject has ended when a regional court in Cologne said last week that circumcision, which is common both in Judaism and in Islam, inflicts serious bodily harm on those who had not consented to it. “A child’s body is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision,” German media quoted the ruling as saying. “This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later about his own religious affiliation.”
• Anti-Semitism refuses to rest in Europe. After the killing in France, and the violence in Ukraine, Austrian authorities are investigating the desecration of 43 Jewish graves at Vienna’s main cemetery. A police statement on Friday said that tomb stones and slabs were found vandalized and damaged. The police are still investigating.
• Thousands of immigrant students may face cuts in scholarships given to them by Israel’s Student Authority. Due to financial difficulty and many cutbacks faced by the Treasury as well as the Jewish Agency, the Absorption Ministry stated that there is no choice, but to freeze Olim students’ funding of preparatory courses, Hebrew Ulpan and all academic studies. The freeze will take effect starting in July. Later this week, students from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem plan to protest outside of the Knesset building in Jerusalem.
• Now it’s official! After cancelling their concert in Israel at the last minute ten years ago, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are ready to make amends. On September 10th they will land in Israel and rock Tel Aviv for the first time. In their recent official announcement, the band members couldn’t hold their excitement from their upcoming show. They invited their Israeli fans of all ages to come to the concert. They also mentioned their first guitarist, Hilel Slovack, who was an Israeli.