Analysis

Israel's conversion crisis was fabricated

By Nathan Jeffay, November 18, 2010

Israel's converts can breathe a sigh of relief -a new conversion crisis has been averted.

Two months ago in the High Court, a lawyer representing the state cast doubt on Jewishness of the 4,500 people who had converted through the military. Its objection was procedural: while civilian conversions pass the desk of Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi, IDF conversions do not.

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Germany outsources its Israel hatred now

By Benjamin Weinthal, November 18, 2010

The Mayor of Frankfurt Petra Roth's decision to invite hardcore anti-Israeli academic Alfred Grosser to deliver the keynote speech at last week's commemoration of Kristallnacht, a wave of state-sponsored violence against German Jews on November 9, 1938, triggered a bitter public row in Germany and Israel. What's more, this outsourcing of hatred of the Jewish state to anti-Israeli Jews has become an annual fixture.

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Support may come as surprise

By Martin Bright, November 11, 2010

When I mentioned to a Jewish journalist friend that I was off to the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel lunch, he said he didn't know there were any. Other people in the political world joked it would be an intimate occasion, such is the general consensus about Lib Dem hostility to Israel.

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Mazaltov. But now time for Project Ed

By Martin Bright, November 11, 2010

Congratulations are due to Ed Miliband and his partner Justine Thornton on the birth of their second son. But as the Labour leader prepares for two weeks of paternity leave, Project Ed has begun in earnest.

Since he expressed his opposition to Israel's blockade of Gaza and the boarding of the Turkish flotilla during his leadership acceptance speech, Labour Friends of Israel have been working hard to mend fences.

In his interview with the JC last week, Mr Miliband made it clear that he condemns Hamas rocket attacks on civilian targets. This is a start.

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Netanyahu is just playing hardball

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 11, 2010

This week's quarrel between the Israeli and US governments is almost an exact replay of previous disputes between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama's administration, signalling a return to the rocky relationship of last year. But it could also be an artificial spat to be followed shortly by agreement and progress.

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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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