The spirit of Succot can save lives

By Tony Blair, October 17, 2008

As Jews around the world celebrate Succot, they celebrate human beings maintaining a loving, caring covenant with God and with each other. It is this that gives rise to the virtues of charity and solidarity, core covenantal values expressed in the work of the community's NGOs - World Jewish Relief and Tzedek among others. But they are also shared between different faith communities.


A boon to Austria’s far-right

By Daniella Peled, October 17, 2008

What a way to go. Like Grace Kelly, Isadora Duncan and Princess Di before him, Jorg Haider met his death last week in a high-speed car crash. It was a fittingly dramatic exit for the handsome poster-boy of Austrian prejudice who, with his perma-tan and gelled hair, had brought a touch of glamour back to the far-right.

Indeed, coming just two weeks after his political comeback - when the far-right won nearly a third of the vote in the Austrian elections - his death has a bio-pic quality that has captured the imagination of the Austrian public.


Weep for Israel’s disregard of its liquid asset

By Nathan Jeffay, October 16, 2008

The mentality epitomises Israeli short-sightedness. Fill the private swimming pools of Ra'anana and Herzlia today; worry about the future tomorrow. The Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee, is drying up. Water is at the lowest level on record.

A "red line" has been crossed and a "black line" looms. The latter marks the level past which water pressure will be inadequate to stop springs in the lake emitting large amounts of saltwater. Nobody is quite sure whether, if the Kinneret turned salty, the damage could be undone.


Over-defensive on the home front

By Anna Maxted, October 10, 2008

I disliked the stereotype of the typical mother - till I became one

As a teenager, I used to despise the Jewish mother - or at least, the stereotype: her inability to see a fault in her child, her strange obsession with force-feeding any person in her line of sight, her embarrassing disregard for social convention, and the pressure she put on her offspring to succeed at everything (except, possibly, sport).


No more messages of hate at Durban, please

By Henry Grunwald, October 8, 2008

It is vital to avoid a repeat of a conference which left an imprint of lasting venom 

The United Nations Durban Conference, held in 2001, globalised the discourse of contemporary antisemitism and anti-Zionism, turning the UN into an arena where Jews and Israelis were accused of apartheid, genocide and crimes against humanity. It was agreed at Durban that, 10 years on, there would be a review conference to address progress on its outcomes.


In theatre, likening Israelis to Nazis is trendy

By John Nathan, October 3, 2008

Our playwrights are making disturbing comparisons between Arab and Jewish suffering

There are three new plays by British Jewish writers out at the moment, each of which is highly critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

Shelley Silas's Eating Ice Cream On Gaza Beach, recently seen at the Soho Theatre, Jonathan Lichtenstein's Memory, and Sonja Linden and Adah Kay's Welcome to Ramallah all portray Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israelis.


Selling out to Premier Putin

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

Why is a major Israeli fundraising body appointing one of the Kremlin's men as head of its Russian operation?

Last October, I interviewed a group of twenty-somethings participating in the first Limmud to take place in Russia, near Moscow. They were intelligent and articulate on the future of Jewish life in their country. Just one of my questions remained unanswered: did they not fear living in a society whose hard-won democratic freedoms were rapidly being eroded by the government? They all smiled awkwardly and declined to say anything on the subject.


Credit crunch? Who cares?

By Daniella Peled, October 3, 2008

Israel is one of the few Western countries where economics does not play big on the political scene

It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. And the current stiff breeze chilling the collective tuches of the world's bankers is - to stretch a metaphor a little painfully - actually blowing some political careers right back on course.


My uterus is none of your business

By Aliza Hausman, October 2, 2008

There is too much pressure on our women to get pregnant.

‘So, are you pregnant?" a friend asked, bouncing over to me enthusiastically.

I rolled my eyes and exhaled.

"What? What did I say?"

Motherhood is hard. And I don't just mean raising the babies. I mean having them. I mean trying to have them. There is just so much pressure in the Jewish community to have children.


UK support for Israel is in danger

By Stephen Pollard, September 26, 2008

Both Israel and the US are about to get new leaders. So it would seem a tad unfair for us to be stuck with Gordon Brown for much longer. But with the latest poll showing a 28-point Conservative lead and Labour on course to lose the Glenrothes by-election, the removal vans may well soon be drawing up at Number 10. So the question is: how will the new brooms affect British policy towards Israel?