A reminder of Ghetto heroism

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, October 30, 2014

I have become fixated with the fate of Kobane, the Syrian town near the Turkish Border and home to thousands of Kurds. This city, that began as a simple train station built in 1912 along the Baghdad Railway, soon grew to become a refuge for Armenians and Kurds.


Emotional blackmail of aliyah

By Angela Epstein, October 30, 2014

Idling along the Netanya sea front, soaking up the warmth of the Israeli sunshine, my dream-like state was suddenly shattered by a voice calling out from behind.


Beware this rewritten Vichy

By Nesta Wyn Ellis, October 30, 2014

The French are perfectionists – mainly about themselves. They carry self-criticism to extremes but anyone who attempts to criticise them will suffer from their refusal to accept that they can be perceived as imperfect. I have spent many years living in Paris and can tell you that on TV the most popular programmes are those that depict the Resistance in their heroic fight against the Nazis.


Has Lancet Editor abused his position with the 'Gaza letter'?

By Jake Wallis Simons, October 30, 2014

Last month, Dr Richard Horton, the editor of the Lancet medical journal, took the stage at the Rambam hospital in Haifa in an apparently contrite mood.


Hold on to pink-tinged optimisim

By Lisa Steele, October 30, 2014

October is the month in the calendar designated to raise the awareness of breast cancer. And the pink ribbons have been everywhere these past few weeks as charities and celebrities added their weight to what has become a forceful annual publicity campaign.

Yet just as we bid farewell to Breast Cancer Awareness month, so Movember begins.


Two states, many obstacles

By Oliver Kamm, October 23, 2014

'In all the years I have been a Conservative Friend of Israel," wrote Alastair Burt, the former Foreign Office minister, in the JC last week, "I have never known such a hesitation over actions of an Israeli government."

He was alluding to the strength of parliamentary feeling in the symbolic vote of MPs to recognise an independent Palestine. And it's a fair point.


Why I had to sound the alarm

By Matthew Gould, October 23, 2014

It is always a source of pride to be in the JC. Being the front-page lead is any Jewish mother's son's dream. But as I read last week's front-page headline (MPs' Palestine vote shows Israel has 'lost UK public'), I realised it risked leaving the wrong impression of what I thought.


Lifting the shadow of our pasts

By David Robson, October 23, 2014

Just as a wedding anniversary may lead you to reflect on the state of your marriage, Simchat Torah makes me think of my relationship with the Sefer Torah. There have been many years where I hardly so much as caught sight of one. A psychiatrist may put this down to boyhood trauma. At my Jewish school, someone once dropped a sefer. It felt like a catastrophe and everyone had to fast for a day.


Illuminated by a golden age

By Lisa Appignanesi, October 23, 2014

Many novelists who delve into the past are drawn time and again to particular historical moments. There's something in them they want to elaborate or chase down, though the exact reason isn't altogether clear: I think of Sarah Dunant's Italian Renaissance or Hilary Mantel in the court of Henry VIII.


Real offence of the Klinghoffer opera is simply that it's boring

By James Inverne, October 23, 2014

There will be many who rejoice to see the crowds of angry protesters, plenty of Jews among them, against the Metropolitan Opera's production of John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer.