Comment

West Bank is not a positive template for Gaza

By Seth Freedman, January 29, 2009

Operation Cast Lead was, in the eyes of many, a means of sending Hamas the stark message that the Israeli government will not tolerate the group’s existence, and will not rest until the Gazan administration is brought to its knees.

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I can't - and don’t want to - ignore Israel now

By Stephanie Brickman, January 29, 2009

I am at the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign’s (SPSC) Holocaust Memorial event in an ex-army drill hall. A handful of tired-looking SPSC members mill around, all matted hair and colourful knitwear. At a side table, two well-dressed gentlemen are deep in discussion in Arabic. One is Assam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London and self-confessed Hamas supporter.

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Hairdressing or pizza delivery?

By Simon Round, January 29, 2009

I was up and about early this morning searching for green shoots. The ones I was specifically looking for were the green shoots of economic recovery but to be honest I would have been happy to have spotted a snowdrop or a daffodil popping through. However, there was little to see. Deep recession and deep freeze is a rather depressing combination

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This bleak anniversary is also a celebration

By Jonathan Wittenberg, January 22, 2009

Seventy years ago, on January 30 1939, Hitler rose to speak on the sixth anniversary of his (democratic) election to power. Towards the end of his two-and-a-half hour speech, he threatened: “If international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe again succeeds in precipitating the nations into a world war, the result will be…the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe”.

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It is time to abandon ‘Zionism’

By Sidney Brichto, January 22, 2009

The Yiddish expression, which I first heard from my father as a child, “Ess is shver zu zein a Yid” (“it is hard to be a Jew”) rang in my ears as Israel’s air attack against Gaza began. This was because I didn’t know how emotionally to cope with the knowledge that Israel would be condemned for defending itself against an enemy whose objective was Israel’s destruction. Its moral right to enable 900,000 of its citizens to live normal lives would be subsumed by the wagging finger: “Only a handful of you have been killed, not like the hundreds of Palestinians you have killed!”

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Turkish anger may backfire

By Daniella Peled, January 22, 2009

Israel seems to have made it through Operation Cast Lead without suffering too much diplomatic damage. Despite all the global outrage and condemnation, only a handful of countries severed ties with Jerusalem — and Israel can probably live without its friendships with Venezuela, Bolivia, Mauritania and Qatar.

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Sorry, the President can’t fix the MidEast right now

By Tim Marshall, January 22, 2009

At a key moment in his speech, the American President looked down the Mall, past the adoring throng, and sent a message to a very different audience. He spoke directly to Osama Bin Laden, to the disciples of Sayyid Qubt, to Mullah Omar, and to the new Zarqawis of the world, and he told them: “We will not apologize for our way of life...for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”

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Is it safe to be American again?

By Hadley Freeman, January 22, 2009

To paraphrase the famous tagline for Jaws (and paraphrase it in a context of which director Steven Spielberg would surely approve): just when I thought it was safe for me to go back to dinner parties...

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Slavery to freedom: Obama’s story is ours

By Dr Winston Pickett, January 22, 2009

As an American and as a Jew, I have many different reactions to Tuesday’s events in Washington. But they all, somehow, come together.

One of the core components of the Obama phenomenon is the way that America, and indeed much of the world, is caught up in the story of his personal ascent to the presidency. For me, Obama’s journey is compelling precisely because of the way it touches on a deeper narrative of redemption — not a specific, Christological redemption, but one that hearkens back to an earlier Biblical recension.

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The Guardian just loves self-hating Jews

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, January 15, 2009

Last Saturday, the Guardian published a letter that compared Israel to the Nazis; described the Palestinian Authority as “Palestinian Quislings”; called on Britain to recall its ambassador to Tel Aviv; and supported a boycott of Israeli goods.

Before informing the readers that the images from Gaza “reminded” them “of the siege of the Warsaw Ghetto”, the 78 signatories felt compelled to say: “We the undersigned are all of Jewish origin”, somehow establishing a connection between what they said (Israel = Nazi) and who they were (Jews).

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