Israeli students ranked seventh worldwide and top among Western nations on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study test in the 2011 school year, according to results released Dec. 11.
On the TIMSS science test, Israeli students came in 13th place worldwide while on the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study test they came in 18th. On all of the tests, Israel finished higher than it ever had before.
The TIMSS test was administered to eighth-grade Israelis while the PIRLS test was administered to fourth-grade Israeli students.
Israel's Cabinet approved a temporary exemption for haredi Orthodox yeshiva students from the military draft.
The exemption, passed Sunday in the wake of the expiration of the Tal Law that had allowed haredi men to defer army service, provides a framework for the yeshiva students to join the National Service program in place of being drafted into the military. It was proposed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz.
SodaStream's purchase of a Super Bowl commercial has the BDS movement in the U.S. saying it will step up its campaign against the Israeli firm.
Soda Stream, the maker of home soda machines, will pay about $3.5 million for a 30-second spot for the game. The company reportedly had net earnings of $27.5 million in 2011, according to The Associated Press.
The U.S. boycott, divestment and sanctions movement said it will step up its opposition to SodaStream in light of the Super Bowl ad buy.