Analysis: Corrupt leaders can't make peace

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

Both Israelis and Palestinians emerged from the failed Camp David talks 10 years ago feeling they had gained the upper hand. PM Ehud Barak and his team were certain that they had finally "unmasked Arafat's real intentions".

They had offered them almost the whole of West Bank, unprecedented rights in Jerusalem and territorial exchanges around Gaza, and Yasir Arafat had said 'no'. Barak thought he was in an unassailable position.


Analysis: Christian group reveals total bias

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

The Methodist Church's report, "Justice for Palestine and Israel", was bound to raise strong Jewish reaction on any number of grounds.

It blames Israel almost wholly for the impasse in the Middle East peace process with only a glancing reference to Hamas and no mention of its pledge to destroy the state. It offers a history of the conflict derived from sources largely critical of Israel. It says that some Methodists even support a "total boycott" of Israel until "the occupation ends".

But just as troubling is its call to review the validity of Zionism.


Israel's new export: an Islamic Jihad terror cell

By Mordechai Kedar, July 1, 2010

This week it emerged that charges have been issued against seven young Muslim citizens of Israel, who are accused of setting up a terror cell inspired by Islamic Jihad.

Three of them confessed to the murder of cab driver Yefim Weinstein seven months ago, the attempted murder of a Jewish pizza delivery boy, and burning of buses hired by Christian pilgrims. The men, whose arrest two months ago was under a gag order until Monday, were also charged with the attempted murder of a Christian they believed had cursed the prophet Mohammed, as well as kidnapping, assault and weapons offences.


Analysis: We must pay attention to UJIA concerns

By Simon Rocker, June 17, 2010

Mick Davis heads British Jewry's biggest charitable investor in Israel, which spends more than £15 million a year on projects in the country, Zionist youth groups and other Israel-related educational programmes.

His intervention into the often stormy relationship between the diaspora and Israel comes amid increasing signs of unease over Israeli policies, most visibly expressed in the recent J-Call and For the Sake of Zion petitions in Europe and the United States that urged a settlement freeze.


Analysis: Gambling not in spirit of Judaism

By Daniel Greenberg, June 17, 2010

Judaism strongly disapproves of gambling in general, and betting in particular.


Pitfalls and perversity the heirs to JFS ruling

By Simon Rocker, June 11, 2010

The Liverpool case is the first to bear out what was feared might happen after last year's JFS court case: that a Jewish child eligible to get into a Jewish school under the old admission rules would end up being denied a place under the new system.

Previously, many schools would have accepted you simply if your mother was Jewish. But a year ago the Court of Appeal - in a decision upheld by the Supreme Court -ruled that the policy fell foul of the Race Relations Act.


Analysis: Fallout puts strain on new coalition

By Martin Bright, June 10, 2010

The new government's pro-Israel stance has been sorely tested by the fiasco of the raid on the Gaza flotilla. William Hague is said to have been taken aback by the level of anger from Conservative MPs after news of the deaths of the operation broke last week. The deaths of nine Turkish nationals and the presence of British activists made Israel's actions impossible to defend in the immediate aftermath.


Analysis: A chance for Livni

By David Harris, June 10, 2010

As far as Bibi was concerned this was one step too far by the leader of Israel's opposition, Tzipi Livni. Just days after the first lady of Israeli politics appeared in the media worldwide to defend Israel's maritime actions, she was proposing a motion of no confidence in the government because of its handling of the flotilla affair.

The normally dovish Ms Livni attacked Mr Netanyahu from his right flank in Monday's no-confidence debate, insisting that Israel not allow an international inquiry into the events at sea.


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.