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Abbas needs the zero option

By Paul Charney, January 30, 2014

In this country, you often hear talk about how terrible celebrity culture is. Our aspirational role models include thuggish professional ball-kickers, scantily-clad twerking girls, and people who appear to be famous just for being famous. So it’s instructive to look at what goes on in other parts of the world.

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People with learning disabilities deserve better care

By Dianne Martin, January 24, 2014

A spate of cases involving people with learning disabilities suffering abysmal abuse have been in the headlines.

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All aboard the Sharon bus

By Christopher Walker, January 24, 2014

Before a mammoth stroke in 2006 halted Ariel Sharon’s plans to shepherd Israel into an uncertain new dawn, the clearest insight into his thinking about the future of the occupied West Bank was displayed during the bizarre day-long bus tours he hosted there for opinion-formers.

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Persecution of gays still exists

By Benjamin Cohen, January 24, 2014

If I had been alive 75 years ago and living in Berlin, not London, my outlook would not have been good and not just because I’m Jewish. Like some of those who found themselves persecuted, I also have a disability, and perhaps more pertinently, I am gay.

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Hail to American Hustle's Mel Weinberg, and all the other wild, wild Jews

By Josh Glancy, January 24, 2014

You might have seen the film American Hustle, or at least seen advertisements for it featuring a permed Bradley Cooper, a shady Christian Bale and a dappy Jennifer Lawrence. Based on Robert W Greene’s book The Sting Man: inside ABSCAM, it tells a dark but funny story of power, the mob and political corruption. At its heart, though, it is the story of Mel Weinberg.

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Reading, writhing, arguing...

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, January 23, 2014

I’m one of the guests on A Good Read this week. It’s one of BBC Radio 4’s longest-running programmes. Two guests join the presenter to discuss their favourite book. It’s a great show as the reviews are conflictingly honest and it usually ends with a bit of argy-bargy when one participant forcefully justifies their choice of book to the others.

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The sky's the limit for our girls

By Norma Brier, January 18, 2014

Recently, we celebrated the birth of Iris, my second baby grand-daughter. Of course, there were the usual jokes about saving for the wedding. There were also more serious musings about her future: her education; what career she might choose as an adult. Our elder grand-daughter, Dora, is 18 months old and is obsessed with her favourite toy, a large digger truck.

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What caused Noah's flood? Vegetarianism

By David Robson, January 17, 2014

My friend Ian Jack is a brilliant writer who performs in the Guardian newspaper every Saturday. A fortnight ago he announced his New Year’s intention to help save the planet by going vegetarian. Cows were a disaster — too hungry, he said, and too gassy; environmentally pigs were far more righteous. I pointed out that this was not good for the Jews.

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At the checkout, it's simple to strike a balance: we can do it

By Nathan Jeffay, January 17, 2014

Judging by the angry reaction, it would be easy to presume that Muslims have shut down all of Britain's pubs and breweries, and turned the best Scottish distilleries in to mosques. Not that a shopper was delayed when buying some champagne.

The row over alcohol sales seems funny observed from Israel.

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How to escape from the ghetto

By Ben Rich, January 17, 2014

It's four months since I moved out of the north-west London ghetto and headed to the fine and ancient city of York. There is "outside the ghetto" and "beyond the pale" and York is very much the latter.

I am not saying that York is wholly homogenous, but when a firework goes off round here, you can bet it's Bonfire Night, not Diwali.

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