Analysis: A complex problem - we must stay focused

By Mark Gardner, July 23, 2009

The CST’s latest report shows that the most recent Israel-Hamas conflict continued the pattern whereby Middle East events trigger outbreaks of antisemitism against British Jews. Furthermore, the phenomenon appears to be worsening each time it occurs.

The CST defines an antisemitic incident as an act that includes antisemitic motivation, language or targeting. Perpetrators may deliberately find Jews to attack; or it may be circumstantial, such as in a road rage case.


Analysis: Battle is being lost in public

By Robin Shepherd, July 16, 2009

It is starting to happen. For years we have heard words of consolation that bien pensant hostility to the Jewish state might remain safely contained in a world of its own.

Let the Guardian ply its wares. Let the NGOs ply theirs. Like a mad dog in a cage, growling menacingly but ultimately unable to do more than snap at its own tail, the anti-Israeli constituency could startle us, but it could never escape into the world of high politics.

But now it is time to wake up to the new realities.


This arms restriction might work in Israel's interest

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 16, 2009

The latest restriction on arms export licences is certainly not the most strategically damaging of arms embargos imposed by the UK government on Israel.

That prize probably goes to the refusal to sell Israel the Chieftain tank in 1969.

In the 1980s, refusal to sell chemical warfare defensive gear was certainly more insulting, and the problem with the supply of parts for the Martin Baker ejection seat seven years ago was potentially life-threatening for Phantom combat jet pilots.


For Israelis, claims are a fact of war

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 16, 2009

The Israeli Supreme Court forbade the IDF to use the “neighbour protocol” four years ago.

But everyone understands that, in some circumstances, Palestinian civilians are ordered to make sure that a building’s inhabitants are aware that they are surrounded.

“There is a very stark choice,” says one field commander. “Either you abide by the law or you go into a building knowing that innocent bystanders may be killed.”


It's not for us to play God

By Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, July 16, 2009

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, minister of one of the largest congregations, Finchley, told the US Council that rabbis were “deeply concerned” about the possible consequences of the JFS court ruling on Jewish schools.

He had himself once been a chairman of governors of a Jewish school when he had “inherited a situation.The previous authorities had accepted children who were not halachically Jewish.


Analysis: Obama turns on the charm

By Nathan Guttman, July 16, 2009

“It was a wonderful exchange of views,” said Andrea Weinstein, chairwoman of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “I felt at ease,” added Marla Gilson, Washington representative of Hadassah. “He was masterful,” concluded Ira Foreman, CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

The famous Obama charm definitely worked on leaders of the Jewish community in their first face-to-face meeting with the president on Monday afternoon.


Analysis: A conspiracy of silence

By Jean-Yves Camus, July 16, 2009

On Monday, the French Minister of Justice appealed the sentences given to 14 members of the “Gang of Barbarians”, who in 2006 abducted, tortured and murdered a young Jew, Ilan Halimi.

The jury decided that only two of the 25 convicted had acted out of antisemitic feeling. As a result, most received sentences that were considered too light by the French Jewish institutions and many Jewish citizens.

They are right.

The death of 24-year-old Ilan Halimi, a mobile phone salesman in Paris, is the worst case of anti-Jewish violence in France since 1945.


Analysis: We need focus on why he was killed

By Natasha Lehrer, July 16, 2009

There was never any doubt that the judge would condemn Youssouf Fofana to the longest possible prison sentence. The kidnap and murder of Ilan Halimi, which he masterminded, horrified France.

In the event, he was condemned to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 22 years to be served.

The trial had not been without its drama (it took place in camera, because many of the defendants were under age at the time of the crime, but has been described on a daily blog by the Nouvel Observateur journalist Elsa Vigoureux).


Jewish political commentators’ paranoia

By Marc Saperstein, July 16, 2009

"Have Americans unknowingly elected a pro-Islamist President?” This is how Richard Baehr concluded a recent article in the American Thinker.
The term “Islamist” designates a militant anti-democratic ideology, characteristic of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, using Islamic texts to justify holy war and terrorism. As President Obama is committing 17,000 additional American troops to combating Islamist forces in Afghanistan, Baehr’s rhetorical question appears patently absurd.


Biden did not give Israel a ‘green light’ to bomb Iran

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, July 9, 2009

What should be made of US Vice President Joe Biden’s recent comments on a possible Israeli military strike against Iran?

Mr Biden was interviewed on This Week, ABC’s Sunday morning show. He said that “Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.”

Most commentators seem to think Biden was offering Israel a green light to attack.

He continued to say that Israel is “entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that.”