Comment

The real intransigent barrier to Mid-East peace

By John Torode, February 24, 2011

Tyrants tumble. Repressive regimes are rocked by people power. Who could fail to be impressed by the calm control, determination and dignity of the Tahir Square protestors?

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Can the British media understand nuances?

By Yair Lapid, February 18, 2011

Gentlemen (and ladies) of the British press, may I offer you a deal? The offer lasts until the close of this article. (Regular readers of the JC, please bear with me; though you are not the specific readership for this offer, the substance of it concerns us all).

The deal (you know what they say about us Jews, we love deals) goes as follows: you can maintain whatever opinion you hold on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - which, from a strictly statistical perspective, puts me on rather shaky ground since, as British journalists, you are probably pro-Palestinian.

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Need should eradicate greed

By Robert Golbert, February 17, 2011

Earlier this month, London's mayor, Boris Johnson, urged the capital's super-rich to "give a lot more" after receiving their multi-million pound bonuses. "We want them to make money, we want them to generate jobs and growth… but they've also got to understand that they could make a much, much bigger contribution", he said.

The mayor blamed the 50p tax rate for the lack of generosity: "because people feel they are paying more and more of their income in taxation, they somehow felt they'd made their contribution."

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Why is Jewish burial so grave?

By Stephen Games, February 17, 2011

A few weeks ago, I attended a funeral at a church in London. I found the experience uplifting, consoling and appropriate to the emotion and sense of loss.

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Awards aren't all a big yawn

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, February 17, 2011

The award season is upon us. There's been the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTAs and soon good old Oscar Night. Undoubtedly the best way to watch these events is sitting at home with the tea brewing, a loo nearby and some snacks to hand. And even then only the highlights. Because award nights are dull.

To watch is hard; to attend even worse. I've been to comedy awards, theatre awards, soap awards, fragrance awards and TV awards. I once accompanied Mr O to DJ Mag's technology awards, where categories included Best Amplifier and Best Turntable.

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My catch and carry nights

By Simon Round, February 11, 2011

Ritual is important in most societies and ours is no exception. There is the ritual of prayer (three times a day), the ritual of Shabbat, the strict rituals revolving around food, festivals and walking on the cracks in the pavement (OK, there's nothing in the Talmud about walking on the cracks in the pavement, but there is a passage on just about everything else).

You would think this would be enough for anyone, but most of us add an extra layer of ritual to our lives.

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I am a loyal Zionist and that is why I must criticise Israel

By Mick Davis, February 11, 2011

At Sinai, the Torah was handed down with its moral code, system of social justice and protections for minorities, and expressing the value of peace. A people was forged into a nation with the promise of a land. Israel was the heart of Jewish identity when the Children of Israel stood at Sinai.

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The reason why Jews became intellectuals

By Jonah Lehrer, February 10, 2011

In 1919, the sociologist Thorstein Veblen was commissioned by a popular magazine devoted to American Jewry to write an essay on how "Jewish productivity" would be changed if Jews were given a homeland.

Zionism was then becoming a potent political movement, and the magazine editor assumed Veblen would make the obvious argument: a Jewish state would lead to an intellectual boom, as Jews would no longer be held back by institutional antisemitism.

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Grants won't help

By Shraga Zaltzman, February 10, 2011

This year, the government launches its expanded New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme, offering a package of up to £2,000 to unemployed people wanting to set up their own businesses. Through financial support, a business mentor and access to a start-up loan, the government hopes to create over 40,000 new businesses by 2013.

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Is this Egypt’s Israel moment?

By Lawrence Joffe, February 4, 2011

"It's 1938", Benjamin Netanyahu is fond of intoning. The idea being that Iran is the new Germany, Ahmadinejad the new Hitler. But maybe events in the Middle East are more like 1958, when military officers overthrew the discredited Hashemite monarchy in Iraq; Egypt and Syria fused into a new pan-Arab entity, the United Arab Republic (UAR); Muslim nationalists threatened the fragile status quo of Lebanon; and nationalists demanded that the young King Hussein be toppled.

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