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.


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.


The blood libel is alive and well over Gaza

By Barry Rubin, March 26, 2009

A group of young Israeli soldiers met to evaluate their experiences in the Gaza war to see what could be learned from them. The next thing you know, there is a global news story about Israel committing war crimes.

Given the eagerness to find Israel evil and guilty, it falls into the category of a “blood libel”, the historic allegation that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood for matzo.


End this brutalised occupation

By Jonathan Freedland, March 26, 2009

Soon my favourite festival will be upon us, the season of freedom, where we celebrate the greatest liberation story in human history. I love everything about Pesach, from the ridiculous — kosher-for-Passover washing-up liquid, anyone? — to the sublime, including the glow that comes from a family sitting around a Seder table retelling a tale passed down the generations since the beginning of Jewish time.


Shalit must be regarded as a prisoner of war

By Marian Lebor, March 26, 2009

It was very sad and frustrating to watch Gilad Shalit’s parents packing up their protest tent last Saturday night.

Although Noam and Aviva Shalit did not allow themselves to be too optimistic, a sense of expectation had built up that a breakthrough would be achieved by Saturday’s 1,000-day mark, which should have coincided with the end of Ehud Olmert’s premiership.


Being ‘foreign’ in today’s Britain

By Amanda Craig, March 26, 2009

Unlike writer Rhoda Koenig’s friend, as described in her New Statesman article earlier this month, I have never been told at a dinner party that, “if you’re Jewish you can’t be British”. But I am all too aware of what it is like to feel foreign in today’s Britain. Having my father’s Scottish surname, and the Scottish red hair to boot, gives me the experience of being both insider and outsider — which is somehow crucial to the development of a great many writers in this country.


Our charities are doing well. Give them a break

By Barry Frankfurt, March 19, 2009

It seemed all too familiar. A UK charity had promised a significant sum and then failed to deliver. The charity argued that the intended recipients had not given it the undertakings required. The would-be beneficiaries said they had been promised the cash and were in desperate need.

Sound familiar? No, it’s not JNF-UK, whose tribulations the JC has extensively reported, but Sentebale, the charity set up by Princes William and Harry, which had promised £30,000 to a children’s home in Lesotho.


Young need hope, not judgment

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, March 19, 2009

Worryingly, I have recently found myself spiritually in tune with Daily Mail readers. I tut at the sight of young people on the streets. I sigh at the hopelessness of hoodies and their anti-social behaviour. I despair at 14-year-old fathers and even younger “baby mothers”. Oy, what sort of society is this when children have no respect for adults? This week I left my judgmental comfort zone and went to Pelton, County Durham, where my prejudices were severely challenged.


Let’s treat all bigots equally

By Douglas Murray, March 19, 2009

The Home Office decision to bar Hizbollah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi from the UK is a victory for common sense. It is more than a month since a colleague of mine at the Centre for Social Cohesion noticed that Moussawi was due to come to London to address a seminar on political Islam at the School of Oriental and African Studies.


How to make a drama out of an Israeli crisis

By John Nathan, March 19, 2009

Last week, Britain’s most influential political playwright, Sir David Hare, presented Wall — his one-man, 40-minute foray into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — at London’s Royal Court Theatre. He has been here — and there — before. It was at the Royal Court, in 1998, that Hare performed Via Dolorosa, his earlier monologue about the conflict.