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Israel is a given. So let's do a deal

By Poju Zabludowicz, May 9, 2008

On Israel’s 60th anniversary, the chairman of Bicom urges its neighbours to grasp the chance to make peace

As we celebrate 60 years of Israel’s independence this week, it is an opportune time for reflection. Yom Ha’Atzmaut ends a week of introspection and remembrance in Israel, with memorial days for the Holocaust and Israel’s fallen soldiers in the last few days. Our joy is as ever set in a wider context. We should not allow ourselves to celebrate until we have remembered, and understood the pain and sorrow of the past.

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Unfriendly Chelsea may soon lose Abramovich

By Simon Griver, May 9, 2008

The oligarch is deeply hurt that the fans at Stamford Bridge have not warmed to him

Avram Grant has taken the UK by storm. It would be hard to think of another high-profile character in British history who has generated so much pride within the Jewish community while stirring up so much prejudice outside of it. Israelis explain the latter part of the equation in one word or two, depending on how you spell antisemitism, but the reality is more complex.

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How Israel can make peace with Syria

By Daniella Peled, May 2, 2008

Conditions are ripening for a deal — not least the emergence of a promising new mediator

Recently, a very senior Israeli minister provided a private audience with a particularly neat metaphor for possible talks between Jerusalem and Damascus. “Negotiating with Syria,” the minister said, “is not like haggling in the marketplace. It’s like going into a boutique. You know exactly what you want, and just how much you’re going to have to pay for it.”

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Jackie Mason should not be at an Israel 60 event

By Jonathan Wittenberg, May 2, 2008

He may be funny, but his prejudices are far from the values we should be aspiring to

Comedian Jackie Mason is being presented as the champion of Anglo-Jewry’s “Israel 60” celebration, which will take place at Wembley Arena next week. I think he is a terrible choice.

His love of Israel is unquestionable. He abandoned his show to stand with the Jewish state while the Scuds descended in 1991. He will be funny and robust. He will draw the crowds and, with so much venom about Israel, solidarity matters. But solidarity with what?

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Shuls need to discover democracy

By Simon Rocker, April 25, 2008

The level of debate in our organisations has dwindled to nothing

Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, recently suggested that Jews outside Israel should be entitled to vote in Israeli elections. At a stroke, diaspora Jews would be converted into honorary Israelis, and armchair Zionism would take on a whole new meaning.

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There’s no peace on the horizon. Get used to it

By Uri Dromi, April 25, 2008

Negotiations between Abbas and Olmert are futile

Three times in my life I have touched peace. Two out of the three were real; one was false.

In November 1977, I was standing on the Tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport, together with an anxious crowd of people. Suddenly a jetliner with unfamiliar colours appeared, escorted by three Israeli fighter jets. Our eyes were glued to this awesome spectacle, knowing that we were witnessing history at the making. When the door opened, there was Anwar sadat, hitherto the biggest enemy of Israel, coming to make peace with the Jewish state.

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Philanthropy? It’s in our nature

By Stephen Pollard, April 18, 2008

Neuroscience suggests that we are hard-wired to make money — and give it away

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Why I exposed school entry flaws

By Ed Balls, April 11, 2008

Faith schools can ask for voluntary donations, but they must not be a condition of admission

Jewish schools play a vital role in delivering excellent education for young people in this country. The Jewish community’s commitment to enriching and empowering young minds — shown by the high priority education is given in Jewish homes and its central role in Jewish life — is a model we can all learn from.

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Lend Blair your ears: his battle is our battle

By Tony Bayfield, April 11, 2008

The reaction to Tony Blair’s speech on faith has highlighted fundamentalism at both ends of the spectrum

Seven years ago Tony Blair invited 30 faith leaders to Downing Street and asked for their views on sending troops to Afghanistan. The responses were extremely feeble. “God bless you, Prime Minister, but could you make sure that no women and children get hurt?”

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Let’s reach out to Israelis in Britain

By Lilach Lev-Ari, April 4, 2008

Israeli expatriates are alienated from the local community

I recently completed a study, carried out under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University, which aimed to find out the degree to which the estimated 50,000 Israeli
immigrants living in Britain and their descendants maintain a distinct Israeli/Jewish identity, and to what extent do they do so in the context of a mutual relationship with the local Jewish community.

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