The Top 8 Headlines You Might Have Missed / Haaretz Newsline, December 22

From the passing of the leading Jewish philanthropist Edgar Bronfman, to an estimated 1,000 protesters in Tel Aviv requesting asylum for African migrants, Haaretz brings you the top 8 headlines you might have missed.

Some area residents, perhaps as a result of the extreme weather, had not yet heard about a government plan to increase aid to the Golan’s four Druze communities of the Golan. And when they did, some greeted it with mixed feelings or even indifference. Some individuals said Israel suddenly remembered the Druze in order to strengthen its hold on the area as the Syrian government weakens. Others were willing to accept that the government finally understood the necessity of improving the infrastructure in the Druze towns.

Edgar Bronfman, the billionaire former beverage magnate and leadingJewish philanthropist, died Saturday. He was 84. As the longtime president of the World Jewish Congress, Bronfman fought for Jewish rights worldwide and led the successful fight to secure more than a billion dollars in restitution from Swiss banks for Holocaust victims and their heirs. As a philanthropist, Bronfman took the lead in creating and funding many efforts to strengthen Jewish identity among young people.

Storm damage is something people usually seek to avoid, but this year the army is hoping the storm that struck the region last weekend has indeed caused damage – to underground tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

An estimated 1,000 Sudanese and Eritrean migrants, along with Israeli human rights activists, marched through the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday night to urge the government to consider the asylum requests of migrants from Africa and release the approximately 3,000 held in Israeli custody.

The British ambassador to Israel has warned top Israeli officials over the proposed law that would penalize leftist nonprofit organizations, approved last Sunday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

The offices of senior Israeli officials, past and present, responded dismissively to the report in Friday’s New York Times that intelligence agencies in the United States and Britain had been monitoring their email correspondence.

An impromptu karaoke-style performance by far-right politician Moshe Feiglin was a big hit among the estimated 1,000 Israelis, including a handful of Bratslav Hasidim, who attended a rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night to support the legalization of marijuana.

Repeated failures of sewage treatment plants in the Gaza Strip has caused significant beach pollution in and around Ashkelon and endangered water quality in the Mediterranean Sea, recent testing by Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry has found.