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Try making your name more Jewish

By Peter Rosengard, August 6, 2009

Last Thursday night I was at Harry Morgan’s having my weekly dinner with my friend Arnold.

“I went to see a client in the City today, and the receptionist asked me my name. I told her it was Peter Rosengard.”

“She picked up a phone and said to me: ‘What’s your name?’”

“‘Still Rosengard,’ I told her.

“‘I’ve got a Mr Rosenberg here for you,’ she told my client.

“Arnold, it happens all the time. Rosenthal… Rosenberg… Rosenkrantz… Rosengarten. And you know what the really crazy thing is?”

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Israeli press not free? They’re joking. A biased report by an inexperienced researcher has led to absurd allegations

By Adi Schwartz, August 6, 2009

Freedom House, an international NGO conducting research into democracy, political freedom and human rights, has declared in its press freedom index that Israel is no longer a “free” country. It is now only “partially free”.

Odd. If anything, the Israeli press is over-aggressive, with little respect for privacy and a tendency towards sensationalism. More so than many other Western media, the Israeli press is robust and boisterous.

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Board chief handed a PR gift to Israel’s enemies

By Robin Shepherd, July 30, 2009

All is fair in love and war, or so they say. In the world of political commentary, however, there is little fairness, less love and often the kind of intensity that could lead some to believe that a war was precisely what one was engaged in. But if you can’t take the punches, don’t get involved.

I have taken a few punches in the past for my calls for a more reasoned approach to Israel’s predicament in the Middle East.

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Holiday snaps: say cheese and tomato

By Joe Joseph, July 30, 2009

It’s holiday time, the season when traditionally we activate the “out of office” response on our email and jet off to spend a fortnight dressed only in a pair of Speedos the size of a postage stamp — on account of our budget airline wanting to charge us £983 at check-in on top of the price of the £17 plane ticket if we turn out to be the sort of crazy travellers who might want to take any actual luggage on holiday with us.

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Forced to be different… by the police

By Miriam Shaviv, July 30, 2009

In this nanny state of ours, the government often offers citizens rights, most of which are gimmicks and not worth taking seriously.

But last week the Metropolitan Police offered us a “right” so short-sighted and so potentially dangerous that it should be rejected outright.

Apparently crime victims from minority groups — which includes Jews, Muslim, Hindus, black people and homosexuals — may soon be entitled to request that an officer of their own religion, colour or sexuality become involved in their case.

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MidEast malice and distortion

By Melanie Phillips, July 30, 2009

The shocking rise in anti-Jewish attacks demonstrates that the way Israel is presented impacts directly on the safety of British Jews. According to the Community Security Trust, there were 609 anti-Jewish incidents in the first six months of this year, more than in the whole of 2008. And more than half the incidents reported in January made some reference to Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Well, of course. People were being told day in, day out that the Israelis were wantonly killing Palestinian children.

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Catastrophe was self-inflicted

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 30, 2009

What are we to make of the recent decision by the Israeli government to require the removal of the word “naqba” from a textbook designed for use in schools catering for Arab youngsters?

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The political hijacking of a solemn fast day

By Nathan Jeffay, July 30, 2009

Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Jews across the world fasted, sat on the floor, and recited dirges to commemorate the destruction of the two ancient Jerusalem temples. Some Jews were also mourning what they consider a modern tragedy — the evacuation of Jewish settlements in Gaza in 2005.

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How chained women can be freed

By Bernard Jackson, July 30, 2009

Over the past five years, my team at Manchester University has been working towards a “roadmap” that could resolve the 2,000-year-old problems endured by Orthodox Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a get — a religious divorce. The plight of “chained wives” — in Hebrew, agunot (singular agunah) — causes much suffering to a very substantial number of Jewish women across the world.

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Jewish boycotters should stop sneering and get reel

By Katie Green, July 23, 2009

On July 8, at the opening of the Jerusalem Film Festival, American-Jewish filmmakers Jacques Servin and Igor Vermos withdrew their documentary film, The Yes Men Fix the World, to protest at Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. This is my letter to them:

Dear Messrs Servin and Vermos, I have been reading in the Jerusalem Post about your decision as Jewish film-makers to pull your documentary film from the Jerusalem Film Festival, “in hopes of making the Israeli public think critically about state policies towards the Palestinians”.

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