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Don’t knock foreign workers

By Zaki Cooper, May 7, 2009

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the European Union’s most extensive and significant enlargement. On 1 May 2004, ten new member states from central and Eastern Europe joined the EU club.

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Holocaust denial is Iran’s deadly weapon

By Stephen Smith, April 30, 2009

Let us be clear. There is no such thing as “anti-Zionism”. What masquerades as anti-Zionism is antisemitism, because its proponents set standards and ask questions of Israel which they never apply to any other nation state.

Last week in Geneva we saw the ferocity of this form of antisemitism. President Ahmadinejad may have taken centre stage with his denouncements of Israel but he was not alone. There was a lot of support. While the rhetoric is largely empty, the attitudes which underpin Ahmadinejad’s world view can also be found closer to home.

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Darling, you’ve driven me away

By Joe Joseph, April 30, 2009

Who would have thought it! Me! Here! In Switzerland! Visiting estate agents! But then who would have thought that Alistair Darling would hike up top rates of taxes and turn Britain from a nation of shopkeepers to a nation of tax-avoiders, all of them packing their bags for their nearest tax haven.

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How Jewish and Muslim kids can get together

By Simon Rocker, April 30, 2009

For all the passions aroused by Israel’s incursion into Gaza at the beginning of the year, joint Muslim-Jewish initiatives have been progressing.

In February, the Spiro Ark co-hosted a concert on London’s South Bank by Berakah, an interfaith band of Muslim, Jewish and Christian musicians. Its partner was the Vigo Group, a company owned by the Muslim Shah family, who came on board when they happened to buy the building next door to the Spiro’s headquarters and got chatting.

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A very rocky road to spirituality

By Naftali Brawer, April 30, 2009

A study conducted by researchers at the Hebrew Union College (HUC) in Cincinnati Ohio has concluded that young American Jews are increasingly replacing ethnic identification with identification through spirituality. That is to say that, in the past, young Jews identified with Judaism on an ethnic level through such aspects as food, language, ritual practice and a sense of shared kinship with other Jews. Today, however, it seems this is being replaced by a quest for a sense of purpose and meaning, manifested in the growing interest in Kabbalah and such phenomena as Jewish healing.

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Board of Deputies: vote to stop BNP

By Henry Grunwald, April 23, 2009

I make no apology for the words that follow in this column. I am angry but also determined. In his JC column of April 3, Geoffrey Alderman made some uninformed comments, both about the Board of Deputies’ campaign against the BNP and the threat which the Jewish community faces from the growth of the far-right across the country.

I am not concerned to address every comment made in his piece, but rather to explain why, in my last campaign as president of the Board of Deputies, I am so committed to this issue.

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For Israel’s birthday, stop Iran

By Ron Prosor, April 23, 2009

Whereas on Pesach, the youngest present asks, “Why is this night different from all other nights?”, on Yom Ha’atzmaut, the entire Jewish people ask collectively, “How is this year different from all other years?”. As we celebrate the 61st anniversary of the state of Israel, this year’s differences include new governments in both Israel and the US, and a world that faces unprecedented global challenges, economically and strategically.

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Today’s destitute ‘slaves’ who need our help

By Edie Friedman, April 16, 2009

As we sat down last week around our Seder tables to re-enact the story of our redemption from Egypt, we had the opportunity to reflect on modern-day slavery. Poverty and destitution are forms of slavery because they make us powerless and deprive us of the chance to exercise control over our lives. Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg recently remarked that he was horrified that destitute asylum seekers have to exist on £5 a week. That was, he said, less than he spends on care of his dog.

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Our children are getting a raw deal

By Benjamin E Pearl, April 16, 2009

Last month saw that annual stressful ritual — a kind of Tisha B’Av — when large numbers of dejected parents receive the dreaded letter informing them that their child has not been accepted to the local Jewish school or, indeed, any Jewish school in the vicinity.

This sad state of affairs derives from the simple fact that the Anglo-Jewish community is not providing enough places to satisfy the demand from hundreds of committed young Jewish parents who seek to educate their children in a Jewish school.

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Bibi’s new government must be an April fool

By Uri Dromi, April 16, 2009

Mr Binyamin Netanyahu has just formed the largest government ever in the history of Israel: 30 ministers and seven deputy ministers. People have raised doubts about this government’s ability to function. A government spokesman agreed to address questions of the concerned public.

Q: Why so many ministers? Isn’t that just a pure waste?
A: On the contrary. This is a good use of taxpayer money. Had all these people not been ministers, they would be roaming around the Knesset, scheming against the government and trying to undermine it.

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