Analysis

Lib Dems try to shore up votes with Gaza hard line

By Robert Philpot, October 2, 2014

For the third consecutive year, the Liberal Democrat annual conference will clash with Yom Kippur. As journalist and party member Charlotte Henry noted in a piece for the Spectator's blog in July, this repeated unhappy coincidence suggests not simply "a cultural blindspot over the Jewish community", but a party that is "telling a community that you don't really pay them much attention".

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Tories at ease while Labour hide divisions

By Marcus Dysch, October 2, 2014

What a difference a week makes. The Conservative gathering in Birmingham had none of the underlying tension over Israel that was felt among Labour activists at their conference.

The Conservative Friends of Israel event with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was as packed as any fringe session to be found throughout the entire conference season.

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Faith lacking in religious studies plan

By Simon Rocker, October 2, 2014

Not for the first time, faith leaders have sounded the alarm over GCSE religious studies.

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Why community holds the key to Tory poll ambitions

By Robert Philpot, September 23, 2014

This weekend, the Conservatives will gather in Birmingham knowing that David Cameron has just seven months until he has his second, and surely final, shot at securing the parliamentary majority which eluded him four years ago.

As it has on previous occasions, the "Jewish vote" - which swung to Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and then to Tony Blair in 1997 - will prove an excellent barometer of which

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Nazi truth that West refuses to recognise

By Michael Goldfarb, September 23, 2014

In an era of diminished news budgets, foreign reporting is skimpy at best. We know there is fighting in eastern Ukraine along the border with Russia. But we get few details about Ukraine's fiercest warriors, the 500-strong Azov Battalion.

Are they heroes fighting Russian aggression? Or antisemitic, neo-fascist nationalists on a glory hunt?

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Israel should beware ally Russia

By Azriel Bermant, September 23, 2014

According to a report this week on Israel's Channel 2, a Ukrainian delegation recently met Israeli officials to discuss purchasing drones, probably to be used against Russian-backed separatists. Israel's Foreign Ministry blocked the sale, fearing that the deal would upset Russia.

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Saudi now the anti-jihad keystone

By John R Bradley, September 23, 2014

In a video message released last week, the Islamic State for the first time made explicit its dependence on a popular uprising in oil-rich Saudi Arabia - home to Islam's two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina - if it is to expand its caliphate beyond Syria and Iraq.

In the process, the jihadist group subtly highlighted how it views the overthrow of the Saudi royal family as a stepping stone towa

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Miliband set for frosty reception post-Gaza

By Robert Philpot, September 18, 2014

Six weeks this summer witnessed the high and low points of Ed Miliband's relationship with Britain's Jewish community.

When he addressed the Labour Friends of Israel annual lunch on June 17, the warmth of his reception reflected his pledge to remain a "friend of Israel", but also his moving description of "the deeply personal journey" he had made to the Jewish state over Passover.

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Much to play for as Iran heads towards crossroads

By Tim Marshall, September 18, 2014

Iran's Supreme Leader left hospital this week facing a packed in-tray, with issues including the nuclear talks, Islamic State (IS) and the question of who will succeed him at the top of the pile. The three subjects are linked.

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Behind rhetoric, Isis-hit Arab states need Israel badly

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 11, 2014

Jordanian government officials emphasised last week that the $15bn deal to buy natural gas from Israel's offshore Leviathan field was between them and a US company.

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