Despair is sometimes the only possible response

By Stephen Pollard, April 11, 2012

There are times when the only appropriate response to events is despair.

Yes, this week the European Court of Human Rights approved the extradition to the US of five terrorist suspects. But it's mystifying how anyone can take cheer.


Tiny signs of history in a bundle of letters

By Jonathan Wittenberg, April 11, 2012

It all began when my father's youngest sister Steffi died in Jerusalem. Extraordinarily, the chevra kadisha responsible for her burial found a resting place for her on the Mount of Olives right next to her elder sister Eva, who had died some 65 years earlier, in 1943.


The joy of a good grumble

By Cari Rosen, April 11, 2012

Every time I visit a bookshop or have a quick browse on Amazon it seems to me ever clearer that the world has gone self-help mad.

Indeed, should I be so inclined, there are several thousand routes I can, apparently, take to discover happiness, bliss and good cheer.

But while contentment may indeed be laudable, nay desirable, what fun is life without a grouse or two to keep us going?


Veggie politics and Israel

By Clarissa Hyman, April 11, 2012

Veggiestan, by Sally Butcher, is a vegetable lover's tour of the Middle East. The cookbook is extremely well written and as deliciously packed with inspiring ideas and fascinating facts as a stuffed aubergine. There are dishes from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Kurdistan.


Jews, queues and a point of law

By Gary Conway, April 11, 2012

I was using the Sainsbury's cash point near to Highbury Corner Magistrates Court when the person in the queue behind me, who was clearly a lawyer, threw a huge tantrum.


Conspiracy politics

April 11, 2012

The significance of Raed Salah's victory in overturning the Home Office's attempt to have him deported lies not in its impact on Salah but in its wider implications. The most obvious is that a high court judge has decided that preaching the blood libel is no bar to entry into the UK. We will all draw our own conclusions about the mindset which can reach such a decision.


Bodies in flux

April 11, 2012

With the leadership of the UJIA, the JCC and BICOM all now up for grabs, it is not just a plethora of acronyms in flux. These are three of the most important bodies within our community. All face significant challenges, some welcome and some unsought. Within a few months there will be fresh faces at the helm of each.


In Israel, it's not the political fight that makes a difference

By Jenni Frazer, April 6, 2012

Tzipi Livni's dramatic rise and fall has been pored over by the commentariat. From being the golden girl of Israeli politics on the international stage - cool and gorgeous with a "mysterious" Mossad background - one-time Foreign Minister Livni managed effectively to throw away the leadership of Kadima, after being dealt a knock-out blow by Shaul Mofaz.


Life as the only 'Jew' in school

By Chas Newkey-Burden, April 6, 2012

I never told you the one about how a Christian/Hindu cult helped me love Israel and Judaism, did I? As a non-Jew who proudly supports Zionism and is fascinated by Judaism, particularly the mystical and Chasidic traditions, I am often asked how I came to feel this way.


My Exodus from the Kingdom

By David Robson, April 6, 2012

Engineering the Israelites' exodus from Egypt was a doddle compared with negotiating a shopping trolley down the aisles of Kosher Kingdom in Golders Green last Sunday lunchtime. Camels through eyes of needles don't even come close. The trolleys are big (they need to be); the aisles are narrow (they also need to be).