Which is better, Pesach or Easter?

By Simon Round, April 1, 2010

This weekend, Easter and Pesach coincide. This gives us the welcome opportunity to compare and contrast the two festivals and come to a firm conclusion about whether Christians or Jews have the better time.

On the surface the assumption is that the Christians win hands down. They get to eat chocolate eggs whereas our eggs are hard-boiled… and have salt water over poured over them for good measure. Plus they get chocolate bunnies and we don't get any bunnies at all, even with salt water on.


Come on, women, let's get equal

By Michele Vogel, April 1, 2010

Last month's International Women's Day helped bring to the public's attention the government's dismal record in relation to the lack of women in senior management roles. At the present rate of progress, it is anticipated that gender equality will take 60 years to achieve.

As far back as the early 1900s, Jewish women were striving to become community leaders and create gender equality. This coincided with renewed vigour for the creation of a Jewish homeland - in which men were dominating all activity.


Mazeltov Sacha, but why get hitched?

By Bryony Gordon, March 25, 2010

They said it would never happen; that there was more chance of Gordon Brown bursting into show tunes during Prime Minister's Question Time. But finally, after eight years together, a six-year engagement, and one small child, Sacha Baron Cohen has made an honest woman of Isla Fisher.

"We did it - we're married!" wrote Isla in an email to friends. "It was the absolute best day of my life and in so many beautiful moments I missed you all so much. I thought of you as everything was happening, but Sacha and I wanted no fuss - just us!"


Israel must now introduce real civil marriage

By Nathan Jeffay, March 25, 2010

The spin has been dizzying. "Today, the Knesset took a historic step forward," claimed coalition chairman Ze'ev Elkin of Likud. MK David Rotem of Yisrael Beiteinu, insisted that the Knesset had "succeeded in cracking the wall that existed for 62 years."

Rotem it was who introduced the measure provoking such excitement - a law, now approved by the Knesset, allowing civil marriage for some Israelis.

But this was not history in the making; no walls were being cracked. This was cynical Israeli politics at its worst.


A bad law against Holocaust denial

By Adam Lebor, March 25, 2010

Bismarck once said that no-one with an interest in laws or sausages should watch either being made. Hungary's new law banning Holocaust denial proves the Iron Chancellor right. The country's Socialist-led government has tried for years to get the legislation on to the statute books. This month it finally succeeded.


Hanger hassle gets my back up

By Peter Rosengard, March 18, 2010

Last Tuesday morning, I felt an ache in my lower back. As I've never had back pain in my life, naturally I feared the worst.

"Could it be cancer of the bottom?"  I asked my doctor on the phone.

"Have you done anything unusually strenuous?" he asked.

"Yes, come to think of it doctor, I did do something strenuous. I got out of bed today and brushed my teeth. Are you kidding?"

He booked me an urgent appointment with a Harley Street physio.

An hour later, Georgina, a brisk middle-aged woman, greeted me at her consulting-room door.


The holy land's unholy democracy

By Lawrence Joffe, March 18, 2010

Israelis have always proudly dubbed their country, "the only democracy in the Middle East". Despite wars, crises and the challenge of absorbing millions of immigrants, all citizens can vote, regardless of origin, and debate is vigorous, not least in the press. Nor has Israel ever suffered a military coup.


Danny boys - a firm Irish and Jewish kinship

By Rory Fitzgerald, March 18, 2010

The Irish writer Brendan Behan once remarked: "Others have a nationality. The Irish and the Jews have a psychosis." That may be a little harsh, but he was on to something.

These two ancient peoples were destined to wander the world as outsiders, knowing suspicion and derision wherever they went. Through it all, both maintained tight and close bonds with their own kin, even in the farthest corners of the earth.


Back those who stand up for us

By Stephen Pollard, March 18, 2010

In the year and a half I have had the honour of editing the JC, I have been able to meet all sorts of fascinating and admirable people (not, of course, that fascinating always goes hand in hand with admirable). And in my trips to speak at various synagogues and organisations I have realised that pretty much everyone has an idea for improving the paper (such as getting a new editor); and many think that if only the Jewish community would behave as they want it to, all our problems would be over.


President Peres is turning against Bibi

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 11, 2010

Two or three times a day, Shimon Peres stands in the President's mansion, receiving groups of blushing beauty queens, farmers and international parliamentarians. Each group gets its share of smiles, joint photographs and the standard joke, always some reference to the great man's age.

In the absence of a royal family, only the 86-year-old mega-statesman can lend grandeur to the informality of Israeli official events.

But no one ever expected him to be just a figurehead. The man eternally branded by Yitzhak Rabin as "a tireless schemer" could not stop playing politics even if he tried.