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Obscene film with a point

By John Nathan, November 19, 2010

On the face of it, German film director Uwe Boll is not the obvious choice to make a film about Auschwitz.

Take his 2007 movie, Postal, which --- like many a Boll movie --- is based on a shoot-em-up computer game. Boll's version of Postal is, like much of his output, a straight-to-DVD, sex-action romp. This one features a trailer-trash hero called Dude, bumbling Islamic terrorists who crash an airliner into the Word Trade Centre and lots of pretty girls in bikinis who, for reasons I haven't grasped, wear swastika arm bands.

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How Chief Rabbi has sold off US autonomy

By Stephen Games, November 12, 2010

Does the Chief Rabbinate have a future?

The question is usually framed in terms of whether it is fair for the head of the United Synagogue to act as if he represented the whole of Anglo-Jewry.

That is an important issue because, as Geoffrey Alderman noted in his book, Controversy and Crisis, although the US is still the largest single denomination in Anglo-Jewry, it is now outnumbered in terms of members by seven other communal bodies.

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Cut the baby-boomer boasts

By Monica Porter, November 11, 2010

My high-school graduating class of 1970 recently held its 40-year reunion in New York. This has been followed by copious emails between the attendees and other class members who (like me) did not attend but have re-connected via cyberspace. And it's been a typical exercise in baby-boomer myth-making.

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Sport: the new accountancy

By Robert Low, November 11, 2010

Professional footballer? What sort of a job is that for a nice Jewish boy? Quite a lucrative one, possibly, for at least one talented Israeli teenager. Omri Altman is only 16 and has been offered a week's trial by Liverpool after stellar performances for Israel's Under-17 side, which he captains.

Some Israelis have even compared him to Liverpool's captain and England star Steven Gerrard, doubtless with an eye to bidding up his transfer value if Liverpool, or another Premier League team, offer him a professional contract.

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Raising up our Arab citizens

By Doug Krikler and Trevor Pears, November 8, 2010

British Jews who care about Israel should care about its 1.5 million Arab citizens. Fully integrating the Arab minority is vital to Israel's prosperity and cohesion. It is not just an issue that affects Israel's security - we have seen before how tensions between Israel's Jewish and Arab communities can bubble over into violence - but also one that is central to the state's economic prospects, as well as its global standing as the one true democracy in the Middle East.

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Jews, not Israel, are the Islamists' target

By Winston Pickett, November 4, 2010

Now that the latest terror threat has been neutralised - with a little help from the Saudis - we've entered the predictable post mortem phase. This is the political scrum in which government, security, intelligence and law enforcement authorities scramble to apportion blame and devise strategies to keep air travel safe.

For British Jews, there are important lessons to grab hold of before lurching reactively to the next security crisis.

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There's always something to do

By Josh Colman, November 4, 2010

London is a city like no other. With world class universities, job opportunities, history, culture and nightlife, it's a great place to live and study. As for Jewish life, London students are spoilt for choice.

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Today's cultural icon: the self-hating Jew

By David Herman, November 2, 2010

One of the best plays in London at the moment is Arthur Miller's Broken Glass, playing to packed houses at the Kilburn Tricycle. It is a play about a self-hating Jew in 1930s Brooklyn. At the same time, Howard Jacobson's novel, The Finkler Question, about a very different kind of self-hating Jew, has just won the Man Booker Prize and is the most talked-about book of the autumn.

What is it about Jewish identity, and self-hating Jews, in particular, that seems to strike a chord in Britain today?

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When 'tradition' means 'bigotry'

By Paul Berger, November 1, 2010

New Yorkers opened their newspapers a couple of weekends ago to read of a brutal attack on three gay men in the Bronx who were kidnapped, beaten, tortured and sexually assaulted by a gang of nine men. In Belgrade, over the same weekend, about 100 people, mainly policemen, were injured after far-right demonstrators rioted because of a gay parade.

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Dinner in Hanoi, petrol in Brum

By Peter Rosengard, October 29, 2010

Last Saturday I dropped in on my parents’ weekly coffee morning, ‘Sally’s salon.’ My mother opened the door. “Have some cheesecake,” she said.

“No thanks, Mum. I’m trying to lose weight.”

As I walked into the kitchen, the landline rang. “This is the Barclays Fraud Prevention Unit calling.”

“Good morning! How can I help you?” I asked.

“Please don’t hang up,” the woman said.

“ Relax. Why would I hang up? I’ve only just answered,” I said.

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