Comment

Is kibbutz the answer to angst?

By Simon Round, March 12, 2009

I was really pleased to read this week that at last someone is doing something to help our teenagers. A headmaster in Tyneside has suggested that rather than make teens get up early, they should be allowed to start their education at 11 am, which would have a “profound impact” on learning.

This proves what I have long suspected — that teenagers are in most respects very different to real people. Apparently teenagers are programmed to wake late and their performance peaks later in the day.

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Israel’s dangerous attitude to human rights

By Hagai El-Ad, March 12, 2009

Israeli and world media have reported widely on the undemocratic values of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party. The mainly critical coverage has focused almost exclusively on Lieberman himself, his ethos, and his slogan: “No loyalty, no citizenship”.

Yet nearly 400,000 people voted for his ideas. Israel’s electoral system reveals societal trends in a lucid way, and the recent elections have exposed the nation’s darker undercurrents.

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This Pope can bring us together

By Catherine Pepinster, March 12, 2009

When Pope Benedict XVI goes to Israel in May, his visit to Yad Vashem will no doubt be forensically examined — by Catholics, by the world’s media, and by Jews in particular. What Benedict says, his gestures, his demeanour, will all have significance.

Not that he is the first Pope to make the trip — John Paul II made it before him — but given recent events, most notably the return to the Catholic fold of the Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson and the controversies over the possible beatification of the Second World War Pope, Pius XII, the visit will be crucial.

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NGOs’ bias against Israel is simply unethical

By Dan Kosky, March 5, 2009

When it comes to writing the history of the recent Gaza conflict, the prevailing narrative will be influenced by those perceived as “honest brokers”, including powerful human rights groups. Organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have wasted no time in cementing their position by calling for international investigations by the UN and European Union into alleged “war crimes” and a suspension of arms sales. These demands pay lip service to their self-serving image of impartiality.

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How we betrayed Jews of the FSU

By Antony Lerman, March 5, 2009

It is 20 years since Jews in Eastern Europe and the USSR were freed from communism. During that time, a remarkable revival of Jewish life has occurred in the former communist countries — one of the most significant developments in Jewish history since the Holocaust. I witnessed this in trips I made at the turn of the century to Jewish communities in the region, where the excitement of Jews expressing their newly discovered Jewishness was palpable.

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Hard sell? What about hard buy?

By Maureen Lipman, March 5, 2009

A shutter and blind company are flooding my mailbox and infiltrating my magazines. I won’t name them because further publicity will only buy them more stamps, but as it happens I need two sets of shutters for the front bedrooms of my flat.

I love shutters. They please me. They are stylish and they do the job. I love them on old French chateaux in dusty celadon green and I love them on my new French windows in sparkling white.

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The jury is still out on the wartime pope

By Ed Kessler, March 5, 2009

Discussion of the new evidence about the behaviour of Pius XII during the Holocaust ignores the fact that most of the findings are not all that new and actually sidestep the central issue about Pius’ papacy: did he do all he could and did he do it soon enough?

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While the West thinks, Iran spins uranium

By Tim Marshall, March 5, 2009

The man with his finger on the button has pressed pause, but not for long. One way or another, the reckoning with Iran is approaching, and the Americans want to know how much help or hindrance the Russians will provide when the going gets tough.

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Book Week proves our culture is booming

By David Herman, February 26, 2009

Something is stirring in Jewish life in Britain. For years, critics attacked Anglo-Jewry for its philistinism. Too middlebrow. Too materialistic. Where are the new Pinters and Weskers? The reason we don’t have them, the argument went, is that there aren’t the readers. British Jews don’t care about books or ideas.

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We are all funding Hamas’s war

By Gunnar Heinsohn, February 26, 2009

Consider this: when Hamas routed Fatah in Gaza in 2007, it cost nearly 350 lives and 1,000 wounded. Fatah’s surrender brought only a temporary stop to the type of bloodshed that is commonly seen where at least 30 per cent of the male population is aged 15 to 29. In such “youth bulge” countries, young men tend to eliminate each other or get killed in aggressive wars until a balance is reached between their ambitions and the number of acceptable positions available in their society.

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