Columnists

I'm sorry that I got my way

By Jonathan Freedland, July 25, 2008

Let's hope the JCC does not lose momentum now its building plans have been shelved


One of the oddities of my line of work is the frequent desire to be proved wrong. Often we commentators make dire predictions about the state of the world, issuing gloomy warnings about the consequences of this or that decision, consequences which - as citizens, rather than journalists - we obviously hope will never materialise. In this game, vindication is rarely sweet and often bitter.

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Why this forced get is a scandal

By Miriam Shaviv, July 25, 2008

So the Sephardi Bet Din has issued a religious divorce to a woman who never appeared in its court. Justifying his decision, Dayan Amor wrote, according to the JC's translation, that she "dressed provocatively in public, worse than a common harlot" and "danced in nightclubs late into the night".

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The POW swap was a bad deal

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 18, 2008

Freeing the murderer Samir Kuntar has shown Hizbollah that kidnaps pay


In a deal brokered by Germany, the government of Ehud Olmert has turned over to the terrorist organisation Hizbollah the bodies of around 200 Lebanese killed during the 2006 war, plus four still living Hizbollah terrorists currently held in Israel, and the convicted murderer Samir Kuntar.

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Our media strategy is wrong

By Daniel Finkelstein, July 18, 2008

You can’t batter anti-Israel bias out of journalists. But psychology offers a neater solution


In August 1961, on the A6 in the woods near Mauden in Bedfordshire, a terrible crime was committed. A man was shot and killed in his car and his girlfriend, having been raped, was also shot. She spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

I need to tell you all about it in order to help you the next time you complain to the media about bias against Israel.

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Was it really terrorism last week?

By David Aaronovitch, July 11, 2008

There is no proof that the bulldozer killer was motivated by politics

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No, Muslims are not ‘new Jews’

By Miriam Shaviv, July 11, 2008

Britain’s first Muslim government minister, Shahid Malik, thinks that many British Muslims feel like “the Jews of Europe”.“I don’t mean to equate that with the Holocaust,” the Dewsbury MP said last week on Channel 4, “but in the way that it was legitimate almost — and still is in some parts — to target Jews, many Muslims would say that we feel the exact same way.”

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It all looks different from Israel

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 11, 2008

Our columnist pays his first visit to the Holy Land in 10 years, and is impressed


‘So, what do you make of all this political corruption? Why do politicians behave this way? They’re all in it for themselves — for what they can get out of the system, eh?”

These were the opening remarks of a fascinating conversation I had just a few days ago with an informed and talkative taxi-driver. But the journey I had booked was not in the UK. It was in Israel.

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I too have a problem with The Jews

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 4, 2008

A documentary about Stamford Hill Chasidim took too many answers at face value

I was fascinated to learn of Chanoch Kesselman’s complaint to the BBC about the recently-screened documentary focusing on the life and ethos of the sectarian-Orthodox Jewish community of Stamford Hill.  Or rather, I was surprised to learn that his complaints addressed not so much the detailed content of the programme, as the fact that the documentary had been made without prior consultation with “community representatives”.

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A shameful silence over al Dura

By Melanie Phillips, July 4, 2008

A French court’s ruling that the al Dura ‘killing’ could be described as ‘staged’ was barely reported

Last May, the Paris Appeal Court delivered one of the most momentous of all libel judgments. It declared that a French media watchdog, Philippe Karsenty, was entitled to state that TV footage by the France 2 TV station purporting to show the killing of 12 year-old Palestinian Mohammed al Dura by Israeli troops in November 2000 was a staged piece of theatre and that the boy had not been killed at all.

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Take education more seriously

By Miriam Shaviv, June 27, 2008

The community still isn’t making Jewish schools enough of a priority

Friends of mine recently phoned the local Jewish primary school to ask about entrance procedures. Their daughter is barely three months old.

But you can understand their worry. Two weeks ago, the JC revealed that at least 30 children in our neighbourhood of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, did not get into a Jewish school this year.

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