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Nice warm side of stereotyping

By Gerald Jacobs, July 16, 2012

Are Jews more prone to generalisation than any other people? (Think about it, it's a trick question.) Even to consider this is to enter a minefield. "Typically Jewish", we say, fondly, of the man or woman who answers a question with another question.

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Struggle to achieve the Olympian ideal

By Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, July 15, 2012

Picture a Jew. Do we look pale and weedy, or perhaps overweight - probably not too Olympian. Or maybe you picture a "Chalutz" - a pioneer from the early Zionist period, muscles gleaming, a heavy farm implement slung lightly over the shoulder?

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High time that Israel started playing the refugee card

By Lyn Julius, July 13, 2012

Last month, the UN marked World Refugee Day, a star-studded awareness campaign in which millions took part. Yet mention of one group of refugees was absent: the 870,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries since 1948. "Their history," said Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor, "remains one of the 20th century's greatest untold stories".

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A bit of rain never hurt Noah-body

By Simon Round, July 13, 2012

For this week's column, I was torn over whether to offer a nuanced view of the psychological ramifications of the European debt crisis, an analysis of proposed House of Lords reforms, or maybe even an overview of Britain 12 months after the riots. But let's face it, the only thing anyone wants to talk about at the moment is the weather.

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Tax bill that fell short by a tenor

By Norman Lebrecht, July 13, 2012

Reading the latest newspaper chase after high-profile tax avoiders, I was reminded of the ingenious dodge given to the world's greatest tenor by his Orthodox Jewish accountant. It almost landed him in jail.

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How we can believe in something even when we can’t see it for ourselves

By Naftali Brawer, July 5, 2012

I recently visited the Hayward Gallery in London to see a new exhibition entitled Invisible: Art about the Unseen, 1957 -2012. While, to many, the term "invisible art" would appear to be an oxymoron, this exhibition explores the work of a unique group of artists, starting with the Frenchman, Yves Klein, in the 1950s, who began to conceive of and produce art that cannot been seen, only imagined.

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Muslim Brotherhood's win in Egypt fits Islamist plans

By Stephen Pollard, July 5, 2012

The victory of Mohamed Morsi as the new president of Egypt has not merely been greeted with equanimity in the West. It has been welcomed.

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Scooting for Olympic glory

By Peter Rosengard, July 5, 2012

Last Tuesday, I'd just come out of Hyde Park on my red Vespa and was proceeding jauntily down Exhibition Road when I noticed they'd painted a big circle in the road. Now, I know all about the new Kensington and Chelsea austerity measures but I thought to myself: "No! It can't be a roundabout! It's a conceptual work of art, probably by Banksy." So I shot straight over it.

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Chained to an outdated system

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2012

The Altneu shul in Prague's historic Jewish quarter is famous for several reasons, not least as the home of the golem. It's also the oldest active synagogue in Europe; an imposing, gothic structure that could be mistaken for a church if you didn't know better.

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Shamir: a colourless tough guy

By Colin Shindler, July 5, 2012

Yitzhak Shamir was the accidental prime minister. When Menachem Begin resigned in 1983, the mantle of responsibility fell on Shamir's shoulders. The colourless, uninspiring, 68-year-old was the stop-gap choice instead of the feared Ariel Sharon and the lightweight David Levy.

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