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Do not confine Jews to the couch

By David Hirsh, April 7, 2009

A therapist guides us on a journey to the frightening places inside ourselves and helps us to find ways to live with our demons. While we might do well to examine our own crazinesses with our therapists, we do not expect to have to answer for them in public and we expect our therapist to be on our side. Philosopher Michel Foucault warned that the sciences of the mind are also techniques of power and they have hostile as well as healing potential.

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Church’s St George fear will let the dragon in

By Stephen Pollard, April 7, 2009

I’ve a question for you. When was the last time you were offended by someone celebrating St George’s Day?

No, me neither.

But apparently the Church of England thinks that we are unique amongst Jews. And Hindus. And Sikhs. And Muslims. And, presumably,

Zoroastrians, too. Because according to reports this week, “many in the Church of England have backed away from celebrating St George for fear of provoking a backlash from other religious and cultural groups in Britain”, as the Daily Mail put it on Monday.

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My tweet? I’m eating less cheese

By Simon Round, April 7, 2009

Do you know how many friends you have? Well I know how many I have — it’s 35 (last week I actually had 36, but one of them went awol). This is pretty good going because, as of January, I didn’t have any at all.

I should point out that these are Facebook friends rather than actual friends. There is some crossover between the two, but I have friends on Facebook who aren’t actually my friends and I have friends who aren’t on Facebook.

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Why a Shalit ‘deal’ would be a disaster

By Raphael Harkham and Justus Reid Weiner, April 7, 2009

in the wake of another upsurge in activity and publicity surrounding Gilad Shalit, it bears remembering that there are compelling reasons for the Israeli government to think twice before agreeing to release hundreds of terrorists for his safe and overdue return:

● Capitulating would endanger the welfare of Israel’s citizenry. It would be highly irresponsible for Israeli strategic decision-making to hinge on the fate of a single individual.

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America’s dilemma is how to solve Pakistan

By Tim Marshall, April 2, 2009

Bush broke it, Obama owns it, and his Presidency has to fix it. ‘It’ is Af-Pak.

His remedy is to take money and manpower to glue the fragmenting states of Afghanistan and Pakistan (Af-Pak) back together. When the administration announced its plans last week, it became clear the “hawks” had won the debate. It was also clear the administration was preparing the American public for an escalation.

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The dead remind me to enjoy life

By Maureen Lipman, April 2, 2009

I tottered out of another memorial service recently, face streaked with mascara, shoulders braced against the inevitable biting wind, uplifted by laughter and strung out by memories.

My chief concern was whether anyone would give me and my flimsy coat a lift to the nearest place where the stiff drinks were housed.

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So what is really bugging European Jews?

By Simon Rocker, April 2, 2009

Around 18 months ago, I was sitting at a charity dinner next to an Israeli visitor who had come to London especially for the occasion. We had barely swapped names when he asked me whether I had recently encountered any antisemitism. I almost felt that I was letting him down when I said I hadn’t. From what he had been reading of the anxieties of diaspora Jewry, he seemed to think that fear of abuse or attack would be weighing constantly on our minds.

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Charity must not end at home…

By Tony Blair, April 2, 2009

Last week, the first major collaboration between the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (TBFF) and World Jewish Relief (WJR), one of UK Jewry’s leading international agencies, took place. The event, Faith in Our World, aimed to highlight the importance of different faiths working together — a principal goal of TBFF. The two organisations focused on areas of mutual concern in Africa.

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City needs ethnic diversity

By Zaki Cooper, April 2, 2009

The recent appointment of Tidjane Thiam as the new chief executive of the insurance giant Prudential was a significant landmark in the history of the City. Mr Thiam, who comes from the Ivory Coast and once served as a government minister there, is the first black head of a FTSE 100 company. His appointment was welcomed not only by the business community but by long-time champions of equality. Brendan Barber, the head of the Trade Unions Congress, said Mr Thiam’s elevation was very encouraging, adding that we need more than one black CEO at the top of a FTSE 100 company.

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Let’s hear it for Moses and Jay

By Joe Joseph, March 26, 2009

You know how people say that if Shakespeare were living today he’d be writing scripts for EastEnders? Or that if Mozart had been born 30 years ago he’d be composing advertising jingles?

Well, maybe if Moses were being handed the Ten Commandments in 2009 and he was worried about how tough it might be to sell such a menu of self-discipline to the Israelites, he, too, might opt for a more contemporary way to reach his target audience. Maybe he would follow the example of Barack Obama.

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