Leader

Architects of hate

March 20, 2014

Be in no doubt. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is now officially antisemitic. On Wednesday, it voted to support a ban on Jews from joining the International Union of Architects. It didn’t put it quite like that, of course. The wording of its motion referred to ‘Israelis’ rather than ‘Jews’.

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Sense will prevail for Hatzola

March 20, 2014

Last week’s High Court ruling that the Hatzola ambulance service cannot use blue lights when responding to emergencies was one of those judgments that even the court would rather not have made. But the law is the law, however wrong it may be.

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There's no threat to shechitah here

March 13, 2014

Another month, another attempt to curtail the right of Jews — and Muslims — to practise our religions. This time the threat is led by the president-elect of the British Veterinary Association. John Blackwell is simply wrong to assert that he has animal welfare on his side. Animal welfare is at the heart of shechita — which is more than can be said for some alternative slaughter methods.

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Cameron firm in his support for Israel

March 13, 2014

It might have taken almost four years to happen but now that it has, no one can fault the substance of David Cameron’s visit to Israel. His speech to the Knesset on Wednesday was not just firm in support of Israel; it was a tour d’horizon of British-Israeli relations that met all reasonable expectations of such a speech.

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FA must demand tougher punishment for Anelka

March 6, 2014

As we go to press, the FA has yet to reveal whether it will appeal against its own tribunal’s decision that Nicholas Anelka should serve a 5 match ban for his quenelle salute. There is no doubt that it should.

The sentence — the minimum possible for the offence — sends a clear message that in football antisemitic abuse does not count as ‘proper’ racism.

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Merkel must do more on looted art

February 28, 2014

Congratulations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on being awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction in Jerusalem this week. But well deserved as the honour may be, there is one field in which Germany and Chancellor Merkel deserve no medals, only brickbats: returning property stolen from German Jews to its rightful owners.

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Amnesty report: tawdry and biased

February 26, 2014

Amnesty International was once widely respected for its work campaigning for prisoners of conscience. Its transformation into a caricature of an agenda-driven Israel-obsessed NGO is thus something of a tragedy. Across the globe, prisoners of conscience remain locked away for no reason other than the threat their thoughts pose to despotic regimes.

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A glittering jewel

February 21, 2014

It is easy to take Jewish Book Week for granted. Now in its 62nd year, it is so much a part of the calendar and so regularly a triumph that we can sometimes overlook the astonishing scale of its success. Many of its events sell out. Its audience reaches far beyond the Jewish community. And the range of speakers it consistently attracts is little short of sensational.

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Jews as vote fodder

February 21, 2014

Whatever else it may be, the Danish ban on shechita is a reminder that, although we have won a series of recent battles against EU proposals, the threat to religious freedom is constant. As Lord Finkelstein writes on this page, a recent House of Lords debate was an attempt by British opponents to dip their toes in the water. And we can be sure that their campaign will only increase in intensity.

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British immigrants

February 13, 2014

We are a community of immigrants. We are also proudly British. Far from being incompatible, those two statements go together like shabbas and candles. The Ben Uri Gallery has come up with a novel and clever way of illustrating this most fundamental point about our own community. By changing its website to highlight great works of art from “Great British artists”, it makes a very simple point.

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