Analysis

US has run out of ideas for peace

By Robin Shepherd, November 11, 2010

However many times Barack Obama repeats mantras of the type "two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security", the conclusion that the United States has no further clue on how to forge alasting Middle East peace is increasingly inescapable.

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Obama, you're losing the Jews too

By Gil Troy, November 4, 2010

As Americans tallied their red, white and blue electoral scores from the 2010 midterm elections, many American Jews completed a parallel blue and white score too.

In charting their wins and losses, sifting through what definitely happened and what might have happened, US Jews will see yet more evidence of their march toward Americanisation. What may also strike them is their increasingly paradoxical position regarding liberalism, the Democratic Party, Barack Obama and Israel.

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European Jewry vibrant and growing, says report

By Simon Rocker, November 4, 2010

When I searched "European Jewry" recently in our electronic archive, the results came accompanied with words like "Holocaust" or "annihilation". It is as if the Jewish communities of the continent could only be defined in reference to the catastrophic past.

So it is refreshing to see a report which is unashamedly upbeat: European Jewry is "confident, vibrant and growing", according to the The 2010 Survey of New Jewish Initiatives.

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It's a mad, bad world. And that's just the UN

By Robin Shepherd, October 28, 2010

Put formulations such as "United Nations", "Human Rights" and "Palestinian territories" into the same sentence and, chances are, you're in for a peculiar experience. Add to that sentence the name "Richard Falk" - UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories - and you've entered the theatre of the absurd.

Mr Falk, who doubts official accounts of 9/11, was on fine form last week in delivering a report to the UN General Assembly.

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How political Islam got the public vote

By Martin Bright, October 28, 2010

Political Islam or Islamism, as it is sometimes known, has finally entered the mainstream of British politics. The election of Lutfur Rahman as Mayor of Tower Hamlets, the new government's decision to send a minister to attend Islam Channel's Global Peace and Unity conference, and the news that Tony Blair's sister-in-law has converted to Islam, demonstrate that a radical strain of totalitarian Islam has become acceptable to a significant proportion of the political classes.

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Mosque attack part of tit-for-tat policy

By Nathan Jeffay, October 14, 2010

Who were the arsonists at Beit Fajar, and why would anybody want to torch a Palestinian mosque?

The obvious answer is that it was an act of hatred, akin to when antisemites desecrate Jewish cemeteries in Europe: it is simply a bubbling over of the contempt that some settlers have for Palestinians.

In all probability, however, the attack was not an expression of anti-Arab anger but rather a show staged by extremist settlers to communicate a specific message to the Israeli authorities. The Beit Fajar mosque was essentially caught in the crossfire.

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Too late for dialogue with Palestinians

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, October 14, 2010

For nine months out of the ten-month settlement freeze, Palestinian leaders refused to directly engage their Israeli counterparts, because it did not include Jerusalem. Having belatedly joined the talks, they quickly abandoned them lest the freeze they previously considered insufficient be reinstated.

Suppose that, at Washington's behest, Israel extends the freeze for two more months. Given the track record, there is little chance anything will be achieved - except, maybe, stemming the tidal wave about to drown US President Barack Obama's Democrats in the mid-term elections.

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What this means for the law...

By Jonathan Goldberg, October 14, 2010

Although I was one of the complainants against this judge, I take no pleasure whatever in the moral victory of the formal reprimand.

It must be understood that you cannot criticise any judge for summing up the evidence actually called in the trial, however flawed or prejudiced that evidence seems.

At the Hove trial, the defence called every type of pro-Palestinian propagandist in the guise of "expert", whereas the prosecution countered with no evidence whatever for the Israeli side.

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What it means for the community

By Jeremy Newmark, October 14, 2010

This decision represents a significant setback to those working to import the Israel/Palestine conflict into our judicial systems by engaging in what has been aptly described as "lawfare".

This was always about more than the grotesque comparison between Israeli actions and Nazi atrocities. This was the thin end of the wedge. It opened the possibility of UK foreign policy being made in our courtrooms, circumventing the democratic process.

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Is this lobby really 'pro-Israel'? We are all about to find out

By Shmuel Rosner, October 7, 2010

The facts are not all known at this point in time, but there's enough to make the case that J Street - the relatively new, dovish, "pro-Israel, pro-peace" Jewish lobby - might be in big trouble. In the past couple of days, four troubling facts were revealed about J Street's activity.

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