Leader

No real change yet

September 27, 2011

A week after the UN General Assembly, the frenetic manoeuvrings around the Palestinian Authority's bid for statehood, and the near-panic in some quarters, what has changed? Next to nothing.

Yes, Mahmoud Abbas ignored the strenuous urgings of the United States and, to scenes of wild rejoicing in Ramallah, presented his application to the Security Council.

More..

Shanah Tovah

September 27, 2011

It is something of a nation-wide communal sport to moan about the Rosh Hashanah sermon - each and every sermon, that is, delivered by each and every rabbi.

But this year, spare a thought for those rabbis who have to find something meaty enough to be remembered, original enough to be worth saying, and uncontroversial enough not to annoy. It is not a task to be envied.

More..

Pivots and change

September 22, 2011

As we approach Rosh Hashanah, our thoughts naturally turn to the year gone by and the possibilities that lie ahead. The chagim are a pivotal annual moment.

Not that the Middle East needs any more pivotal moments. Whatever the eventual outcome of the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, what the region needs more than anything is stability and liberty.

Stability is one thing.

More..

The right response

September 15, 2011

Days before the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was due to play at the Proms, a number of anti-Israel musicians wrote an open letter demanding that the BBC cancel the concert.

More..

Myopia on Israel

September 15, 2011

It is hardly surprising that the near universal reaction to the current crises in Israel's relations with Egypt and Turkey has been to blame Israel. When has anything not been held to be Israel's fault?

The breakdown in Turkish relations is Israel's fault, we are told; despite a UN report that backed Israel's right to defend itself.

More..

The leak is wrong

September 8, 2011

There can be no starker demonstration of Wikileaks' profound irresponsibility than its publication of the leaked cable we report this week. Rabbi Herschel Gluck's back-channel negotiations with the Iranians over the release of Israeli soldiers has been entirely humanitarian in purpose and has only been possible because it has been secret.

More..

This is no lesson

September 8, 2011

It is an important part of a child's education to learn about world history, including that of the Israelis and Palestinians But historical accuracy is the opposite of what the Tottenham Palestine Literature Festival intends to give pupils, some as young as five.

Organisers say they hope the festival will encourage pupils to write about "children under occupation" and sessions will be led by we

More..

Tough neighbours

September 1, 2011

A few years ago, Ehud Barak, now Israel's Defence Minister, told a CNN interviewer: "We are living in a tough neighbourhood." That was back in the days when the focus was on the Israel-Palestine conflict and it was easier for the West's anti-Israel constituency to ignore the cut-throat régimes that surround the Jewish homeland.

So now that the horror of Assad's crackdown on pro-democracy demon

More..

Building bridges

September 1, 2011

Our story this week about a humanitarian and outreach organisation, founded by a rabbi to harness Israeli know-how for developing countries, may surprise readers.

Unusually the rabbi is both British and Orthodox, a combination not often found in this field.

More..

Another fine mess

August 25, 2011

Last week we reported that the DfID minister, Alan Duncan, had accused Israel in a video of a "land grab" through the erection of the security wall and of stealing Palestinian water - accusations which were described by Foreign Office officials as being an accurate statement of government policy.

It was difficult to imagine how the government could make things worse, but it managed to find a wa

More..