Why children cannot choose their religion

By David Conway, July 15, 2010

Last week, an Australian court granted an injunction to the estranged Roman Catholic husband of a Jewish woman, forbidding her from arranging future bar- and batmitzvah ceremonies for their 10-year-old son and eight-year-old twin daughters.

In seeking the injunction, the father claimed his only wish was for their children to be allowed to decide which of their parents' religions to adopt when they reached an age at which they could make "an informed and voluntary choice".


Wrong way to celebrate diversity

By John Nathan, July 15, 2010

Aldgate - the eastern-most exit from the City of London - is to get a new landmark. Next Thursday, the Architecture Foundation will announce the winner of a design competition to erect a "New Aldgate" on the ancient site of the previous one - an underarm stone's throw from Bevis Marks.

Timed to coincide with the Olympics, it is hoped that the landmark, which is unambitiously intended to last only for a year, will celebrate London's "openness and diversity". Great idea. This part of London has always been open to a lot of diversity.


We need a totally new Middle East peace plan

By Miriam Shaviv, July 8, 2010

Again and again we hear that "everyone knows" what the final peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians will look like.

It was drawn up at Camp David in 2000 and will involve a sovereign Palestinian state covering the West Bank and Gaza; a divided Jerusalem; the return of a symbolic number of Palestinian refugees to 'Israel proper'; and a demilitarised Palestinian state.

All that is missing is leaders brave enough to sign on the dotted line.


Football failure? It's a Zionist plot

By Simon Round, July 8, 2010

Like many of you, I am still attempting to work out what went wrong with the England football team. We have top players, many of whom have played in Champions League finals, and a manager who has taken teams to the very top. So why aren't we in Sunday's World Cup final against Holland?

I went on the internet and typed in "Why did England fail at the World Cup?" expecting to read about poor tactics and overpaid, overhyped players.

However, it turns out that the real reasons for England's poor performance are far more sinister.


A most unlikely friendship

By John Krivine, July 8, 2010

I got a call from an Oriental man asking for a room for two at my B&B in Israel, and he said one of them would be in a wheelchair. I explained that my establishment didn't meet the proper criteria, but I've had guests in wheelchairs and they got about OK.

Fine, he said, we will be there tomorrow. I didn't think more about it.

Come the following day, a large dirty white van pulls up, and a hyper-active Filipino man jumps out to shake my hand and then sets about energetically decanting his cargo.


The Muslims who can teach us all a lesson

By Fiyaz Mughal, July 8, 2010

Earlier this week, the interfaith conflict-resolution organisation, Faith Matters, launched a booklet highlighting the overlooked actions of many Righteous Muslims who saved Jews in the Holocaust.

Termed "Righteous" by Yad Vashem, they gained nothing financially from their actions, yet they put themselves and their families at considerable risk by saving Jews and standing up against injustice and prejudice.


Why parents are on the warpath

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

Getting your child into the right school can be a fraught business. Over the past few weeks, the JC has received a string of complaints from parents whose children have been denied a place at their local Jewish school.

Passions are running so high that one family whose child got into a school told me that the members of another family whose child was unsuccessful were not speaking to them.


Shalits must fight for Gilad, but Netanyahu must resist

By Uri Dromi, July 1, 2010

Thousands of Israelis have joined Aviva and Noam Shalit in a march meant to pressure the Israeli government into concluding a prisoner swap deal, and bring their son Gilad back home, after four years in captivity.

Isn't the government interested in freeing Gilad Shalit? Of course it is and, through the good services of the German mediator, it came as close as possible to striking a deal with Hamas last year. However, the government refused to yield to Hamas's demand to release some of the worst terrorists, responsible for the killing of hundreds of innocent Israelis.


Why is Turkey only now the villain of the piece?

By Keith Kahn-Harris, July 1, 2010

In the wake of the flotilla crisis, Israel's relations with Turkey have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Once Israel's closest ally in the region, both countries fearing Islamism together with Iranian and Arab expansionism, the alliance now hangs by a thread.


Birthdays? I'd prefer a batmitzvah

By Bryony Gordon, July 1, 2010

I don't like to boast - oh goodness, I have already lied in the first five words of this column - but I have been to a lot of parties in my life. This is because my existence is essentially empty and hollow and I have no hobbies or interests other than drinking and smoking and trying to find a boyfriend.