Analysis: NZ kosher ban sets bad precedent

By Dan Goldberg, June 3, 2010

In 2003 the British government rejected a proposal to outlaw shechitah after the Animal Welfare Council claimed the practice was in breach of laws against animal cruelty. Last week the New Zealand government was not so tolerant; it banned the kosher slaughtering of animals.

At face value, the practical implications may not be too far-reaching: there are only about 7,000 Jews in New Zealand and only a small percentage of them are Orthodox. Furthermore, kosher meat can still be imported from nearby Australia, although poultry - the sine qua non of kosher chicken soup - cannot be imported.


Analysis: Amnesty was not set up to bash Israel

By Martin Bright, May 21, 2010

Amnesty has taken a curious turn recently. Its credibility was damaged when it sided with an organisation campaigning for Guantanamo detainees in a dispute with its own official, Gita Sahgal, a respected women's rights campaigner.

In doing so, it appeared to suspend its strict rules on the groups with which it associates its brand.

Amnesty should defend the rights of those abused in the pursuit of the war on terror. But it should not promote them at the expense of longstanding activists such as Sahgal.


Analysis: The coalition has a long way to travel

By Melanie Phillips, May 13, 2010

Is it good for the Jews? Unfortunately, the new coalition government is unlikely to bring much relief to those British Jews who are concerned about the true perils facing the Jewish people at this time.

The main concern must be the presence of the Lib Dems in the coalition. The party is even more venomously hostile to Israel than Labour, with Nick Clegg having articulated the boiler-plate prejudices towards Israel found on the political left. This may well drag the government into a more extreme position on the Middle East.


Election 2010: Political Editor Martin Bright's Analysis

By Martin Bright, May 7, 2010

As I said in the comment pages of the JC this week, the Jewish vote is as diverse as the people that make it up.

That said, there is no doubt that this election will have been of huge interest to individual Jewish voters.


America is playing along because of Iran

By Meir Javedanfar, May 6, 2010

Israel should not be unduly concerned about the US–Egyptian plan to start talks about a nuclear-free Middle East.

The US has clearly stated that for now it is "prepared to support practical measures towards the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction". The term "practical measures" in this case means supporting peace in the Middle East, and achieving it first, before the disarmament drive begins.


Analysis: A Call from the other side of the Street

By Simon Rocker, May 6, 2010

The launch of J Call, bolstered by the support of the charismatic Bernard Henri Levy, will increase speculation about the prospects for a similar organisation here.

Rumours have been circulating for months of moves to set up a British equivalent to J Street, the alternative Israel lobby that changed the political landscape of American Jewry two years ago.

There was a swell of interest in the appearance of Daniel Levy, from
J Street's advisory council, at last year's Limmud conference, where he spoke on "pro-Israel advocacy in the era of urgent de-occupation".


Analysis: We have lost a dear friend in the late Polish president

By Rabbi Michael Schudrich , April 15, 2010

We lost a friend.

As president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski was a very strong and outspoken supporter of Israel and of our local Jewish community.

Just recently he strongly opposed the Goldstone report, which is quite unusual for a European politician. He insisted on including our small but re-emerging Jewish community at all national ceremonies.


Officials blamed for leaking Jerusalem building plans

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 25, 2010

Senior Israeli officials are accusing both the left and right wing of sabotaging the Netanyahu government's relations with the US by leaking details of building plans in east Jerusalem.

As Mr Netanyahu was going to his meeting with President Obama on Tuesday, Israeli websites broke the story that the Jerusalem municipal planning council had given the final authorisation for a new building project on the site of the Shepherd's Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem.


Israel must not show bravado or arrogance

By Uri Dromi, March 25, 2010

What did Jews used to do whenever big tsures (troubles) came their way? They told jokes.

So today I am reminded of the Mossad agent who was sent on a mission to London, where he was supposed to meet his local contact, a certain Cohen.

The codeword for identifying each other was "White Rose". However, upon reaching the address, the Mossadnik realized that there were six Cohens living in the building. He punched the intercom of the first one and said "White Rose".

"Oh, you're looking for Cohen the spy," came the reply. "He lives on the fourth floor."


Analysis: The UK is angry but not furious

By Tim Marshall, March 25, 2010

Timing is everything. So why now? The expulsion of the Mossad's London Head of Station coincided with two things. Both tell us the UK is genuinely angry.

The Foreign Office stressed that throwing the diplomat out was nothing to do with the Jerusalem/West Bank settlements row. However, it knows Israel is under the spotlight and that at the moment all related matters are highlighted.

So while it is true to argue that the two things are separate, it is impossible to see one without the other.