Do mention the war (if you're German, that is)

By Monica Porter, June 3, 2010

Who can forget the hilarious Fawlty Towers episode from 1975, in which Basil goads his German hotel guests about the war with his mocking jokes and goose-stepping, until they are reduced to despair? Basil's line, "don't mention the war", has become a sardonic catchphrase in our language, precisely because we do mention the war rather a lot, to the dismay of the Germans.


Correcting my vision in Palestine

By Adam Foulds, June 3, 2010

A few weeks ago, I stood by Abraham's tomb in Hebron during the recitation of the Amidah.

It was an awesome moment, to be at the resting place of the first Jew on earth while hearing the liturgy, and it came at the end of an extraordinary journey, one that had challenged the assumptions I had set out with. My journey was through Palestine. I was travelling with a literary festival.


Yes, they are anti-Israel. But they are not racists

By Alex Goodman, May 27, 2010

As a 16-year-old I decided to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at university on the recommendation of a secretary I met while doing work experience.

Desiring a good Jewish social life, my choices were limited. Almost by default Manchester became my first preference - it being the only one of the "big four" Jewish universities to offer the course.

I arrived in nervous excitement. Despite engaging less with my studies than I should, it became apparent that plenty of opportunities existed in Manchester to engage as both a student and a Jew.


It is time for Cameron to reject the EU nutters

By Dovid Katz, May 27, 2010

As David Cameron settles more and more comfortably into his alliance with the LibDems, another of the Tory Party's alliances remains anything but comfortable.

The new PM should urgently rethink his party's decision to form a European Parliament grouping with people described by Cameron's new coalition deputy as "nutters, antisemites, people who deny climate change exists and homophobes".


Charedim are multicultural too

By Nathan Jeffay, May 27, 2010

It was the other West Bank separation barrier. In 2007, the strictly Orthodox Beis Yaakov School in the settlement of Emanuel on the West Bank started teaching Ashkenazi and Sephardi pupils separately - with a plaster wall between them. Last year, the High Court decried the "discriminatory aims of those who initiated the separation" and ordered its end.


Why I now hate Sex and the City

By Bryony Gordon, May 27, 2010

If you hear a lot of squealing today, and a ferocious stomping of high heels, then it is probably a gaggle of females charging to the cinema to see Sex and the City 2.


Hague is no friend of Israel

By Stephen Pollard, May 27, 2010

There's a lazy theory among some in our community that - to be blunt - the Conservatives are good for the Jews, and Labour less so. Specifically, that Labour's backbench army of anti-Israel zealots stands in contrast with the more generally pro-Israel stance of the Tories.


Invest the green way

By Leon Pein, May 27, 2010

There is a sizeable cost to global warming. It is one reason scientists cite for Britain experiencing more flooding. Jews are often at the forefront of campaigns to help reduce global warming, or right other wrongs, and here is what you can do.

If you own shares, on any stock market, it is almost certain that they are in companies whose activities may be against your personal and ethical beliefs. For instance, you may disapprove of smoking yet be invested in a tobacco company. The companies' practices may also break, or go against the spirit of, Jewish law.


I don't do kitchens. I do restaurants

By Peter Rosengard, May 21, 2010

I've eaten out in restaurants every night for the past 10 years. Looking back in my diary I see I embarked on my epic dining out career on the night I got divorced.

I can't cook.

I think there might be a connection.

I don't like menus - too much choice. So I always say: " Surprise me."

Last Monday the waiter came back after five minutes.

"How do you like your steak, sir?"

"I asked you to surprise me!"

"Just in case," he said.

Guess what I got? A fillet steak.


Israel's volcano that is waiting to erupt

By Dan Kosky, May 21, 2010

Last week, Israelis marked Jerusalem Day, re-affirming the centrality of Jerusalem to the state and to the Jewish people. As usual, the annual celebration was accompanied by platitudes lauding the "unity" of the city.

Unfortunately, this is now no more than an empty slogan. Scratch beneath the surface and you will find a city sharply divided between Arabs, strictly Orthodox Jews and the remaining citizens.