Israel at 60

The Nakba narrative now dominates

By Alex Brummer, May 2, 2008

The Palestinian ‘disaster’ framed much of the UK media’s coverage of Israel’s 60th

Anyone tuning into Jeremy Bowen’s documentary Birth of Israel, reviewed below, would instantly recognise the progress the revisionists and the Palestinians have made in framing the history of the Jewish state. No longer is it sufficient to record how Ben-Gurion and his generals repelled five Arab armies in the aftermath of the United Nations vote in favour of the Jewish state.


Film, discussions and guest speakers lined-up for Northwood's Israel 60 celebrations

May 2, 2008

Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue is running a six-week programme of events commemorating Israel’s 60th birthday.

The weekly sessions include films, discussions and guest speakers, including Leo Baeck College principal and historian Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein, whose subject was the challenges now facing Israel. The programme culminates with a celebration party.


IDF chief at camp tribute

May 2, 2008

The March of the Living, an annual gathering of young Jews at Auschwitz, will be led by IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi this week in honour of Israel’s upcoming 60th anniversary. Some 10,000 participants will vow to fight all forms of genocide and discrimination at the ceremony, due to take place at the site of the former camp on Thursday.


Jackie Mason should not be at an Israel 60 event

By Jonathan Wittenberg, May 2, 2008

He may be funny, but his prejudices are far from the values we should be aspiring to

Comedian Jackie Mason is being presented as the champion of Anglo-Jewry’s “Israel 60” celebration, which will take place at Wembley Arena next week. I think he is a terrible choice.

His love of Israel is unquestionable. He abandoned his show to stand with the Jewish state while the Scuds descended in 1991. He will be funny and robust. He will draw the crowds and, with so much venom about Israel, solidarity matters. But solidarity with what?


Israeli ambassador speaks of hardships

April 25, 2008

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor told an audience of 200 people of the dangers that Israel faces. Speaking at the annual UJIA fundraising dinner at Etz Chaim Synagogue Mr Prosor said: “Day in, day out, Israel is under fire.” UJIA regional director Howard Foreman said that the event was planned as a celebration of Israel’s 60th and to show how communities benefit from UJIA donors.


Shouting for identity, unity… and gold medals

By Simon Griver, April 18, 2008

Israel has successfully used competitive sports to advance priorities such as integrating immigrants and nurturing a sense of national identification among Israelis themselves and Jews worldwide. Sport has also been highly effective in promoting coexistence between the country’s Jews and Arabs.


The day peace died

By Paul Lester, April 18, 2008

The Oslo Accords promised a new era of hope. Paul Lester talks to the rock star who saw those hopes dashed late on November 4, 1995

If The Oslo Accords of August 20, 1993, were a new ray of hope for the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then controversial rock star Aviv Geffen’s performance during a peace rally in the centre of Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995, saw those hopes dashed in one night.


The 1967 six-day war: a sweetness that turned into ashes

By David Landau, April 18, 2008

The 1967 six-day war 


The outgoing editor of Ha’aretz recalls the drama of a war that Israel was winning — and confronts his own fears for the future

Not bloody likely,” the callow nineteen-year-old grandly dictated to the telegram clerk at the post office on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road, a week or so before the Six-Day War. In Golders Green, my parents received the cocky cable with a mixture of pride and trepidation.


From long-life tomatoes to camera pills

By Rachel Fletcher, April 18, 2008

60 years of invention

Israel is a land flowing with more than just milk and honey. If you have ever purchased long-lasting tomatoes, used a device to pluck the hairs from your legs, or sent an instant message, thank Israeli technology.


Heard the one about...?

By Simon Round, April 18, 2008

Did you hear the one about the Israeli comedian?

The answer is probably not. We have all got our favourite Israeli writers, our favourite Israeli politicians, and even our favourite Israeli spoonbenders.

But Israeli stand-ups? Possibly the nearest many of us have come to Israeli humour is comedian Mark Maier’s comic alter ego, Roni Shmoni. When two English girls ask the fictional Israeli soldier for directions to the beach, he replies: “So you want to sleep with me?” (or words to that effect). We find it easy to laugh at Israelis; but can they laugh at themselves?