John Kerry'sHamas-friendly ceasefire plan exposes his incompetence to all

By Stephen Pollard, July 31, 2014

It takes a special type of talent to unite Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the Saudis, Egypt and pretty much everyone except Hamas, Turkey and Qatar. The type of talent that mixes incompetence with jaw-dropping arrogance.

The talent, in other words, of the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.


They shall learn war no more...

By Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, July 31, 2014

This Shabbat we begin the Book of Deuteronomy, in which Moses, prior to his passing, warned the Israelites of trying times ahead. We will be challenged, he said, by ra'ot rabot vetzarot - many evils and distresses (Deut. 31:17).


Time to reward moderation?

By Hannah Weisfeld, July 24, 2014

When those close to us are in immediate danger, we agonise over each news update. But proximity to war, emotional or physical, does not always give us the best perspective. That is true for all parties in this or any conflict. In the heat of the moment, our desire to see calm restored means we do not challenge the perceived wisdom put before us. Israel is at war, so ask no questions.


Better the blessing of broccoli

By Simon Round, July 24, 2014

Groucho Marx once said: "I intend to live forever or die trying".


Beware of biblical analogies

By Robert Philpot, July 24, 2014

The media finds its love of Biblical analogies near-irresistible when it comes to the Middle East. So it wasn't very surprising to find a Guardian editorial last week describing the current conflict between Israel and Hamas as "another David and Goliath encounter".

This has been the defining narrative of much of the commentary on Operation Protective Edge.


When two and two don't add up

By Colin Shindler, July 24, 2014

The low attendance at last Sunday's rally for Israel in part reflects the unease and dilemmas of many British Jews. While the security of Israel's citizens is paramount, it co-exists with a concern for the sanctity of human life in general. Such nagging doubts underline the unspoken question whether this conflict was avoidable.

Its genesis was the execution of the three boys on June 14.


My heart is breaking for Aleppo

By Emma Klein, July 24, 2014

The advent of Isis into the scenes of turmoil in Syria and Iraq has intensified the all-too- prevalent scenes of death and destruction.

Joining the anti-Assad forces in Syria, Isis has clashed fiercely with rival rebel groups and recently crucified eight men in a town near Aleppo.


Passing ships in the night

By Peter Rosengard, July 17, 2014

Saturday, 7pm. The phone rang as I was working on my new book, My 10 Greatest Life Insurance Sales - to Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Genghis Khan, Henry VIII ("You've got to have 'Wife Life', Your Majesty! Have you ever thought what would happen if one of your wives was beheaded?


Some of their best friends are...

By David Prever, July 17, 2014

Facebook has never felt like a comfortable place to 'do politics,' unless 'politics is what you do.'

Over the past fortnight, Operation Protective Edge has brought out the haters and defenders in equal measure, but with some surprises.

My social media timeline now includes so-called friends - whatever that means these days - suddenly attacking Israel with a previously hidden passion.


Right to die as well as possible

By Jonathan Romain, July 17, 2014

If someone you love is at the end of life, dying in great pain, wishes not to continue and instead wants take medication that will allow them to gently slip away, should that option be available?

At present, this is illegal in Britain – those who do so fall foul of the Suicide Act and anyone who assists them can be liable to prosecution.