Holiday snaps: say cheese and tomato

By Joe Joseph, July 30, 2009

It’s holiday time, the season when traditionally we activate the “out of office” response on our email and jet off to spend a fortnight dressed only in a pair of Speedos the size of a postage stamp — on account of our budget airline wanting to charge us £983 at check-in on top of the price of the £17 plane ticket if we turn out to be the sort of crazy travellers who might want to take any actual luggage on holiday with us.


Forced to be different… by the police

By Miriam Shaviv, July 30, 2009

In this nanny state of ours, the government often offers citizens rights, most of which are gimmicks and not worth taking seriously.

But last week the Metropolitan Police offered us a “right” so short-sighted and so potentially dangerous that it should be rejected outright.

Apparently crime victims from minority groups — which includes Jews, Muslim, Hindus, black people and homosexuals — may soon be entitled to request that an officer of their own religion, colour or sexuality become involved in their case.


MidEast malice and distortion

By Melanie Phillips, July 30, 2009

The shocking rise in anti-Jewish attacks demonstrates that the way Israel is presented impacts directly on the safety of British Jews. According to the Community Security Trust, there were 609 anti-Jewish incidents in the first six months of this year, more than in the whole of 2008. And more than half the incidents reported in January made some reference to Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Well, of course. People were being told day in, day out that the Israelis were wantonly killing Palestinian children.


Catastrophe was self-inflicted

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 30, 2009

What are we to make of the recent decision by the Israeli government to require the removal of the word “naqba” from a textbook designed for use in schools catering for Arab youngsters?


The political hijacking of a solemn fast day

By Nathan Jeffay, July 30, 2009

Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Jews across the world fasted, sat on the floor, and recited dirges to commemorate the destruction of the two ancient Jerusalem temples. Some Jews were also mourning what they consider a modern tragedy — the evacuation of Jewish settlements in Gaza in 2005.


How chained women can be freed

By Bernard Jackson, July 30, 2009

Over the past five years, my team at Manchester University has been working towards a “roadmap” that could resolve the 2,000-year-old problems endured by Orthodox Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a get — a religious divorce. The plight of “chained wives” — in Hebrew, agunot (singular agunah) — causes much suffering to a very substantial number of Jewish women across the world.


Jewish boycotters should stop sneering and get reel

By Katie Green, July 23, 2009

On July 8, at the opening of the Jerusalem Film Festival, American-Jewish filmmakers Jacques Servin and Igor Vermos withdrew their documentary film, The Yes Men Fix the World, to protest at Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. This is my letter to them:

Dear Messrs Servin and Vermos, I have been reading in the Jerusalem Post about your decision as Jewish film-makers to pull your documentary film from the Jerusalem Film Festival, “in hopes of making the Israeli public think critically about state policies towards the Palestinians”.


Touchy, me? Come outside and say that

By Simon Round, July 23, 2009

Look, we’re going to have to face it — there are people out there who just don’t like Jews.

Unfortunately for us, they don’t leave it at that. Rather than just say “Jews – nah not for me”, they tend to invent lots of nasty things about us to rationalise their dislike. We are responsible for the collapse of international finance; the global spread of communism; Aids; 9/11; milk going off before its sell by date; the rising/falling price of petrol and the current spell of bad weather.


The government’s care policy is full of holes

By Leon Smith, July 23, 2009

Early in the life of the new Labour government in 1997, it set up a Royal Commission to study the future of long-term funding of older people. Now, 12 years later and after months of delays, the government has finally unveiled the Department of Health Green Paper on the reform of adult care and support in England.


Communal life after the recession

By Jonathan Sarna, July 23, 2009

In today’s Jewish communal life, as individual needs rise and communal means fall, different sectors of the Jewish community are busy lobbying for their particular areas: human services; education; youth tours etc.