Defending Israel in the diaspora

By Mick Davis, June 17, 2010

Since Ahad Ha'am and Theodor Herzl clashed at the World Zionist Congress, diaspora Jews' relationship with Israel has been a constant theme in the Jewish world. But the issue is more acute now than for some time.

Mainstream Jews are often defined by how they relate to Israel. There are vocal supporters - bold and upfront Zionists. Then there are those, privately critical of Israeli government policy, who are considered to be timid. Finally, those who love Israel but are publicly critical, who are sometimes accused of being "self-haters".


Don't give antisemites the last say

By Venetia Thompson, June 17, 2010

When the IDF commandos boarded the 'freedom flotilla' a couple of weeks ago, and images of the incident suddenly popped up on the large screens at the bar we were propping up in the north of Corfu, I was immediately hit by a familiar feeling of impending doom, and no, it wasn't four days of ouzo consumption catching up with me. It's what I have dubbed The Israel Effect: when an otherwise perfectly rational and well-educated friend embarks on a vitriolic anti-Israel rant in the middle of a holiday/dinner/drinks/engagement/wedding party and ruins my evening.


Charities face a budgetary double whammy

By Barry Frankfurt, June 17, 2010

Next Tuesday, George Osborne will deliver his first budget - an emergency one - as Chancellor. His speech will offer the first big clue as to how the age of austerity will take shape. It will also provide the economic blueprint for David Cameron's "Big Society". The Prime Minister has defined government's role in this initiative as one that "will actively agitate for social renewal and community action". Certainly in the Jewish community, such action is delivered predominantly through the not-for-profit sector.


Can we practise what we protest?

By Rosalind Preston, June 17, 2010

In 2009, the report, Connection, Continuity and Community (widely referred to as Women in the Community) was published. This represented the authentic voice of female Jewry in contemporary Britain. It spoke of a desire for a cohesive, dynamic and inclusive community. It called for an exploration of Jewish education, family, community life, and spiritual growth.


What the real situation is like in Gaza

By Moeen Elhelou, June 10, 2010

What is the real situation in Gaza? I will try to give you a taste of what it is like to live as a journalist here.

Every morning when I wake up I hope that there will be electricity. If there is none, I cannot surf the internet or watch TV - and just as bad, I cannot iron clean clothes. This morning, for example, there was none. My wife told me: "There is no choice, just wear what you wore yesterday".


Analysis: Europeans don't 'get' war

By Douglas Murray, June 10, 2010

My primary realisation of this week has been how many naval-boarding experts you can meet on any given day. My second is how many Europeans don't understand this matter at all.

The American strategist Robert Kagan famously described Americans as being from Mars and Europeans from Venus. Coverage of Israel's naval actions in the British/European press reminded me of this. Defending yourself seems simply "so 20th century".


Jewish mothers: let's lead the way

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, June 10, 2010

I hate Jewish Mother jokes. I can't abide them. They are sexist and racist. Jokes like, "What's the difference between a Jewish mother and a rottweiler? The rottweiler lets go eventually." Oh yes, ha ha ,very ribald, very Bernard Manning. And besides being an overprotective, loving mother is what? Really BAD?


Thomas's bigotry runs deep

By Winston Pickett, June 10, 2010

The saga of Helen Thomas has served up a pungent lesson on how anti-Semitic ideas can pollute and ultimately force a 58-year career to crash, burn and splutter to an inglorious conclusion.

Thomas, the 89-year-old White House columnist for Hearst newspapers, was caught last week on a homemade video declaring that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go back home to live in Germany and Poland".

On Monday, she announced her retirement following a barrage of criticism - including that of President Obama, who called her remarks "offensive" and "out of line."


How political artists do away with nations

By Benjamin Weinthal, June 10, 2010

There is nothing more dreary than contemporary art that sets out merely to be provocative when it is in fact conventional and reactionary. A case in point is the Danish artistic group Surrend's anti-Israel poster showing maps of the Middle East in which the state of Israel does not exist, with the term "Final Solution" at the top. Not only does this mirror the jingoistic foreign policy of the Holocaust-denying regime in Iran, but it also resonates with many Germans.


How historians remove stains

By Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, June 10, 2010

Holocaust history remains a vicious political battlefield. Memory and truth are under assault not only by the blunt frontal attacks of those who deny the gas chambers; there is a second form of Holocaust writing even more pernicious because its distortions and interpretations are more subtle.