Bintel Blog

The Flowers of Mount Hermon

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

A total settlement freeze in the West Bank still looks a long way off. But there is a scaling back of Israeli activity in another disputed area — the Golan Heights, where the Israel Defense Forces have halted operations on Mount Hermon. Is it a “confidence-building measure” requested by the U.S.? Or could it even be a gesture to Syria preceding talks over the Golan? The answer lies in neither of the above. Rather, it reflects a newfound enthusiasm in the IDF for … flowers.

Mount Hermon, as well as being widely regarded as strategically significant, is also a home to special flora and fauna, and numerous species of birds. The IDF has agreed to halt all operations in the natural habitat of the Hermon, so that flora and fauna can grow without disruption from tank tires and birds can nest without the noise of bullets.


It is one of the perennial questions asked in Israel: How effectively does the country absorb its immigrants?

Traditionally, the answer is that Israel has effectively forged a national identity from diverse immigrant groups, and has done a pretty good job. But this is a point for discussion. For decades now, Eastern Jews have claimed neglect and/or discrimination and many Ethiopians say that their integration into Israeli society is far from complete.

A new piece of research, that second generation immigrants are poorer and stand a greater chance of dropping out of school than the children whose parents were born in Israel, reinvigorates the debate.

One in ten children in Israel has immigrant parents. But In 2007 a quarter of all children living below the poverty line were children of immigrants, according to a new report by the Absorption Ministry and the Israel National Council for the Child. Given that immigrants from western countries are often better off than others, this seems to paint a depressing picture of the process of absorption among immigrants from other places, including Ethiopia.

The research also raises a question about whether education can be relied on to help poor second-generation immigrants climb out of poverty. Just 1.8% of all Israeli children drop out of school. However, the report showed, among the children of immigrants, the figure is 3.8%.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Poverty, Israel Defense Forces, Mount Hermon, Israel, Immigrant

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.