Israel at 60

Ex-president tells UK event of 'shame' at Israel sleaze

By Leon Symons, June 20, 2008

A former Israeli president has said he is ashamed of the corruption scandal engulfing his country’s politics.

Yitzhak Navon, who held office from 1978 to 1983, said: “I feel ashamed at what is happening, but my consolation is that there is no cover-up. Whatever rank or position someone holds, they are interrogated if under suspicion. If they are guilty, they will be punished and this shows democracy works.”

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MP warns of Middle East ‘disaster’

By Simon Rocker, June 13, 2008

Mike Gapes MP, the chairman of the Commons’ foreign-affairs committee, this week said that he was “very pessimistic” about the prospect of a breakthrough towards an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement this year.

“There are two reasons for that,” he told a Jewish Labour Movement event in London on Sunday to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary.

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Help build trust with Arab Israelis

By Michael Howard, June 6, 2008

The ordinary individual, too, has a role to play in the peace process

Last month we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the birth of the state of Israel. We paid tribute to its numerous spectacular achievements. We congratulated those responsible. Yet the fact that Israel still lives in an area of strife and has failed to build a lasting peace in the region casts a long shadow over those celebrations.

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Douglas Murray addresses Israel at 60 lunch

May 30, 2008

Author, political commentator and director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, Douglas Murray, addressed an Israel at 60 lunch at Golders Green Synagogue on how the nation is portrayed in the political world. Young community members gave readings about Israel’s creation and  Zionist Federation chairman and Golders Green congregant Andrew Balcombe presided.

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Beach-themed party for Young Magen David Adom

May 30, 2008

Young Magen David Adom celebrated Israel’s 60th anniversary “on the beach”— or at least at West End nightspot Graphic, which was decked out with surfboards, beach balls, buckets and spades. Waitresses in straw skirts weaved around palm trees to serve cocktails from coconuts. The party raised £6,000.

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Simon Marks Primary School celebrate Israel's 60th

May 30, 2008

Labour MP Diane Abbott joined local civic dignitaries among the 500 guests at an Israel at 60 celebration at Simon Marks Primary School. There was Israeli food and music and the event culminated with a firework display. 

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Leslie Firth named Reform congregation’s life president

May 30, 2008

Rabbi Norman Zalud conducted a civic service to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary at Blackpool Reform Synagogue. During the service, Leslie Firth was named the congregation’s life president. Mr Firth has held many council and executive positions for the synagogue and the Reform Movement. He is also a representative on the Interfaith Forum in Blackpool.

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Joint celebration for Israel's 60th

May 30, 2008

A joint celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary was organised by the Oadby and Wigston Multicultural Group together with Leicester Hebrew Congregation and Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation. At the event, held at Parklands Leisure Centre, in Oadby, guest speaker John Levy, the director of the Academic Study Group on Israel and the Middle East, talked about “The Six Decades of Statehood, Progress and Problems”.

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Christian Friends of Israel celebrate 60th

May 30, 2008

The local branch of Christian Friends of Israel attracted 60 people from the wider community to celebrate Israel’s 60th. The event, “Am Israel Hai!” was held at Emmanuel Christian Centre, Llandudno, and was arranged by Roy Thurley, the organisation’s local representative. The main speaker, Bernard Blank, recalled his experiences of travelling to Palestine from Manchester after the Second World War to fight in the War of Independence.

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How Fleet Street saw the 60th

May 23, 2008

A new survey of newspaper and radio coverage of Israel’s 60th anniversary of independence has found that The Guardian and The Independent ran the highest number of stories with “negative” comment, while the Daily Telegraph’s comment stories were “half positive and half neutral” towards Israel.

Media-monitoring body Just Journalism analysed 874 editions of 20 publications from January to March this year. It also examined 284 BBC radio broadcasts from the same period.

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