'Assisted suicide' amounts to a licence to kill

By Rabbi Daniel Levy, October 1, 2009

The recent clarification by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the question of assisted suicide is closer to the thick than the thin end of the wedge. Gone are the halcyon days when foetuses developed calmly in their mother’s wombs. Gone, too, the peaceful days when old people were respected and treated despite their chronic conditions and the cost this entailed.


Obama rises above blind Jewish bias

By Richard Wolffe, October 1, 2009

We were together in a synagogue hall in Boca Raton, Florida — a presidential candidate on a bar stool, a semi-polite audience seated in rows in front of him, and the world’s media straining to hear every word.

It took less than 10 minutes before Barack Obama faced the inevitable attack, phrased as a question: could he name any “close personal friends” who were “solemnly pro-Israel and anti-terrorist”?


Naked lunch? Maybe not in Pinner

By Joe Joseph, October 1, 2009

When you hear that the new dining craze in London is the Japanese art of “nyotaimori” — which is the practice, found in elite, secretive Tokyo restaurants of serving sushi off the body of a naked woman — naturally you wonder why it is that you can tramp from one end of Golders Green to the other, past dozens of restaurants, and not one of them is serving salt beef or cheesecake off the body of a bare lady.


Being rude is not a crime

By Stephen Pollard, October 1, 2009

Some of my best friends are Jews. Of course. And given what you're reading at the moment, so are yours. Here’s the thing: my friends have, on occasion, annoyed me. No big deal. Friends do that to each other sometimes. And what with some of them being Jews, that means that I’ve been annoyed by Jews.

Do you know what? I think I might have sworn at them. Bloody Cohen. I’ve probably even used the f word. And I expect that they’ve been offended by my language.

Here’s my question. Should I have been prosecuted because they took offence?


This man transformed the world

By Stephen Pollard, September 24, 2009

Can I share with you one of the most terrifying moments of my life? I was giving a talk on ‘the protean Left’ at a seminar in Washington, DC. As if the other panellists — Fred Barnes and Eric Breindel — were not daunting enough, what reduced me to a palpably gibbering, sweaty, nerve-wracked hulk was the sight that greeted me in the front row.

Lined up before me were every one of my intellectual heroes: Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Gertrude Himmelfarb and Irving Kristol. And they were focussed on one thing: me.


Be fair, give unions their due

By Roger Lyons, September 24, 2009

There has been confusion and anger over the past week about the criticism of Israel by the TUC at its annual conference last week.  The initial picture does look negative, but when you look at the final motion, and understand how trade unions develop policy, its final bark is probably much worse than its bite.    


Coping with the yomtov feet of endurance

By Naomi Greenaway, September 24, 2009

Last week, during a break from Israel-bashing, the Trades Union Congress championed the plight of air stewardesses, bank clerks and receptionists who are forced to wear high heels to work.

They should only know what we female shul-goers endure over the High Holy-Days — long walks, steep stairs and those never-ending Amidahs. Add in obstructed vision from under a hat brim and perhaps a child or two hanging off each appendage, and the trolley dolly’s slow totter up the aisle hanging off a drinks cart begins to look like a walk in the park (and they don’t even do any of the cooking).


Let this year be a really new one

By Ned Temko, September 24, 2009

Maybe it’s the time of year. But, after a few years’ gentle withdrawal from most things communal — a period when my Jewish sensitivities were as often engaged by Spurs as by a siddur — I was powerfully struck by a message from the Chief Rabbi in last week’s JC.


Israel watches diplomatic chess game with alarm

By Tim Marshall, September 17, 2009

The weather turns, the leaves begin to fall, a new diplomatic season is upon us.

The first day of term is always the beginning of September. World leaders return from Kennebunkport, Provence and the Aegean to be pestered by special advisers over their contributions to the UN General Assembly.


Try being positive? How depressing

By Simon Round, September 17, 2009

Hey, it’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year is on its way and, boy, is it going to be a good one. The recession is so last year, world peace is on its way and we’re all going to get really rich and save the planet in the process.

No, I have not been forgetting my medication. I know this kind of unbridled optimism makes me sound a little, er, unusual. I also realise that the only other people in the country as relentlessly optimistic about the future are Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling — and no one believes them either.