Comment

Our children are getting a raw deal

By Benjamin E Pearl, April 16, 2009

Last month saw that annual stressful ritual — a kind of Tisha B’Av — when large numbers of dejected parents receive the dreaded letter informing them that their child has not been accepted to the local Jewish school or, indeed, any Jewish school in the vicinity.

This sad state of affairs derives from the simple fact that the Anglo-Jewish community is not providing enough places to satisfy the demand from hundreds of committed young Jewish parents who seek to educate their children in a Jewish school.

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Bibi’s new government must be an April fool

By Uri Dromi, April 16, 2009

Mr Binyamin Netanyahu has just formed the largest government ever in the history of Israel: 30 ministers and seven deputy ministers. People have raised doubts about this government’s ability to function. A government spokesman agreed to address questions of the concerned public.

Q: Why so many ministers? Isn’t that just a pure waste?
A: On the contrary. This is a good use of taxpayer money. Had all these people not been ministers, they would be roaming around the Knesset, scheming against the government and trying to undermine it.

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Middle class and proud of it (really)

By Simon Round, April 16, 2009

Our right to protest is considered inviolable in a democracy. This is as it should be. However, I would suggest one modification to this fundamental part of our unwritten constitution — that people should have the right to protest only as long as they have something sensible to protest about.

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Lieberman and a quandary for the diaspora

By Bernard Josephs, April 7, 2009

It is hardly surprising that the appointment of right-wing firebrand Avigdor Lieberman as Israel’s new Foreign Minister has given many Israelis and their supporters nervous tremors.

For one thing, diplomacy is normally regarded as an essential qualification for any Foreign Minister and the Yisrael Beitenu leader is certainly no diplomat. Can a man who publicly tells the President of Egypt to “go to hell” and calls for a compulsory loyalty test likely to result in loss of citizenship for many Israeli Arabs, really be a suitable representative of Israel on the world stage?

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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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