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Career advice for kids? Are you mad?

By Simon Round, November 12, 2009

By the time you read this column I will have gone through one of the most terrifying experiences known to humankind.

Right up there with scaling Everest, confronting the contents of those scary jars of gefilte fish and finding a spider in the bath, is… The School Parents’ Evening.

Somehow, sitting and waiting to see the teacher has never lost its power to strike fear in my heart.

This time, it will not just be my daughter Lucy’s tendency to put the other children off by being silly we will be discussing (no idea where she gets that from).

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Tories, drop your Euro allies

By Denis MacShane, November 12, 2009

The argument over the Tory alliance with populist right-wing parties in Eastern Europe has caused great heartache amongst politicians fighting antisemitism.

Exaggerated claims have been made on both sides. Michal Kaminski is not a roaring Jew-hater in the classical antisemitic mould. He supports Israel — but then both Nick Griffin of the BNP and Jean Marie le Pen have also expressed pleasure at Israel’s military attacks on Muslims.

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Exposed: Dispatches’ prejudice over Bicom

By Poju Zabludowicz, November 12, 2009

On Monday night, Channel 4’s Dispatches programme will focus on what it calls “one of the most powerful… least transparent lobbying groups in the UK”, the pro-Israel lobby. Sadly, the programme seems to have a pre-determined agenda. Some people have suggested that the production team felt compelled to “balance out” their two recent programmes exposing the footprint of radical Islamism in the UK.

I come to this conclusion with a heavy heart, having been led a not-so-merry dance over the past ten days by the programme makers.

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Mitzvah Day embodies my vision

By Tony Blair, November 12, 2009

The Jewish community has a long history of public service. It is central to the core beliefs of the Jewish faith — Tzedek, Tzdek, Tirdof (Justice, Justice, Shall you pursue). Indeed, the Torah itself is, in its entirety, the DIY guide to making the world a healthier, wholer and saner place.

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It's my policy to lead a thrilling life

By Peter Rosengard, November 5, 2009

If you’re ever on a plane and the passenger in the next seat won’t stop talking, just tell him you’re a life insurance salesman; he won’t say another word. He might even try to get off the plane… in mid flight.

I should know — I’m a life insurance salesman.

Anyway, three weeks ago, after seeing a friend off at Heathrow, I grabbed some spaghetti at a restaurant in Terminal 5 and was just about to catch the train back to Paddington, when I glanced up at the departure screen.

Paris, New York, Sydney, Athens, Tel Aviv…

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So Obama, change isn’t easy

By Tim Marshall, November 5, 2009

Fifty-two weeks is a long time in politics, but not long enough to turn around the supertankers of American foreign policy. That is especially true when, after taking power, you realise that changing policy can lead you into a course strewn with mines, waiting to blow your tankers out of the water.

Fifty-two weeks ago President Obama’s election victory speech promised that: “Change has come to America”. That is a moot point. What is harder to argue is that America has brought change to the world.

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Leave Anne Frank out of the comedy routines

By Keren David, November 5, 2009

Anne Frank — remember her? You know, the teenage girl who became a symbol of the Holocaust. The claustrophobic years in hiding. The terrible mystery of betrayal, the horrific last weeks, dying of typhoid in a concentration camp. The poignant way in which her diary was found, its restoration to her father, all that was left of a sensitive, intelligent talented child, all that remained of his entire family.

Good subject for a joke, eh?

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Lord Jakobovits's legacy of dignity

By Geoffrey Paul, November 5, 2009

Ten years after his death, his community is harvesting some of the fruits Immanuel Jakobovits planted in often rocky and indifferent earth during the 24 years of his Chief Rabbinate. His vision of a community committed in all its parts to living a full Jewish life, not just in practice but in spirit, may never be realised. But there is today an unparalleled search at every level for Jewish education.

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Men aren’t designed to like fashion

By Joe Joseph, October 29, 2009

Excuse me ladies, but would you mind leaving us for a moment? We men have something important to discuss, in private. Have they gone? Ok, guys: have you bought your snood for the winter yet? What? No, I hadn’t a clue what one was either, but apparently everyone was wearing them on the Milan catwalks. They’re THE thing this winter. Shall we go shopping for one together? I see. You want to think about it.

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Neighbours: building blocks of peace - or war

By Lyn Julius, October 29, 2009

At the National Theatre in London, Our Class is telling the story of the 1941 massacre of the Jews of the Polish village Jedwabne — all the more painful for being true. What makes the play so hard to watch is that the murderers and victims knew each other. Catholics and Jews sat in class together, flirted, shared dreams and aspirations. Eventually, though, deep-seated antisemitism and prejudice caused one half of the class to turn on the other.

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