Columnists

Bedouin plan critics have a point

By Martin Bright, December 6, 2013

Last week’s “day of rage” against Israeli government plans to move tens of thousands of Bedouin Arabs in the Negev desert to purpose-built settlements was predictable enough.

Even more predictable was the letter to the Guardian from musicians, artists, fashion designers, activists and, naturally, Jemima Khan opposing the so-called Prawer-Begin plan.

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Not a cause, not a problem - Israel is a country

By David Aaronovitch, December 5, 2013

The weekend before last, I was in Jerusalem again, for the third time in my life.

The third time in my life in Israel and every time, no matter how brief the visit, I come away feeling something different.

My earliest visit was in 1977. I was on a student “fact-finding” delegation to Israel, Lebanon and the West Bank.

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The miracle of Chanucah is that, now, everyone knows about it

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, November 29, 2013

It’s Chanukah again, folks. And, yes, that’s the way we spell it in our household. The chanukiot have a temporary home by the pond in Hampstead Heath, alongside Golders Green Station, and pride of place on our mantelpiece. My daughter is bleating for doughnuts, gelt and every Moxie doll she sees on television.

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Limmud and the heretics

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 29, 2013

I am (in case you hadn’t noticed) a congenital pessimist, albeit with a refined sense of humour. Optimists believe that things will always turn out for the best. Often they don’t, which is why optimists are prone to sadness. We pessimists believe that things will usually go wrong. Often they don’t, which is why pessimists are basically happy people.

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Dear Nick Clegg, we need to talk about David Ward

By Daniel Finkelstein, November 29, 2013

Dear Deputy Prime Minister,

As I hope you know by now, I have great respect for you. I believe it took substantial courage and imagination to agree to the coalition deal and to see it through in the way that you have.

So I write now in full confidence of your goodwill and your willingness and ability to do what is right.

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The community's changing - the way we're represented must change too

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 22, 2013

The communal statistics for 2012 recently released by the Board of Deputies should come as no surprise to those who have kept a weather eye on the changing demographics of Britain’s Jewish populations.

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Netanyahu's dilemma over the Bank of China

By Melanie Phillips, November 22, 2013

Should a country ever sacrifice fundamental principles for the sake of its national economic interest?
This question has been raised in Israel over a landmark court case brought by families of suicide bomb victims against the Bank of China. The families accuse it of serving as a key conduit for money transfers to Hamas and Islamic Jihad through its branches in the US.

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Why we should mourn Denis MacShane’s fall from grace

By Martin Bright, November 22, 2013

What are we to make of Denis MacShane’s fall from grace? This week, the former Europe Minister pleaded guilty to filing nearly £13,000 of false expenses claims from his think tank, the European Policy Institute.

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Tariq Ramadan was an odd choice for the Orwell Prize lecture

By Martin Bright, November 15, 2013

When I first heard that Tariq Ramadan, the world’s most charming Islamist, had been invited to give the prestigious Orwell Prize lecture, I thought it was some kind of joke.

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Lou Reed's walk on the mild side

By Simon Round, November 15, 2013

I was very sorry to hear about the recent death of the legendary rock star Lou Reed — sorry but not surprised. This was, after all, a man who had inflicted such damage on his liver through his rock’n’roll lifestyle that the liver announced its retirement earlier this year and had to be replaced with a new one.

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