Martin Bright

Something shifting in political climate

By Martin Bright, October 4, 2012

Could Ed Miliband be the first Jewish prime minister since Benjamin Disraeli? He certainly improved his chances with this year’s party conference speech in which he invoked the spirit of the father of One Nation Toryism.

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What’s happened to Labour's passion and principle when the only way was ethics?

By Martin Bright, September 28, 2012

There was a time, not so long ago, when you knew where you stood with Labour Party foreign policy. Remember 1997 and that headline in the Observer: "Goodbye Xenophobia"? Robin Cook's ethical foreign policy may now be lost in the mists of New Labour nostalgia, but it was an inspirational rallying cry.

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Good and bad in Israel boycott poll

By Martin Bright, September 27, 2012

It is hugely reassuring that the people calling for a boycott of Israeli actors, dancers and musicians are not in the majority in this country. Sometimes, in the heat of the debate, it is easy to lose perspective. The voices branding Israel an apartheid state are so shrill and vocal that it is easy to forget that they command only limited support.

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Time for one state, says key Liberal Democrat

By Martin Bright, September 21, 2012

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes has said that the opportunity for a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine dispute is now “near to the end” and the international community should consider a “one state solution”.

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Pay attention: Simon Hughes really knows what the liberals think

By Martin Bright, September 20, 2012

Simon Hughes’s interview with the JC today should come as yet another wake-up call to supporters of Israel. Mr Hughes is not just one of the country’s most senior politicians and deputy leader of a major party; he acts as something of a touchstone for liberal opinion.

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Friends groups head to Israel

By Martin Bright, September 20, 2012

A combined Lords and Commons cricket team will fly to Israel the day after David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative Party conference. The delegation aims to use Britain’s greatest sporting export to combine Middle East fact-finding with cultural diplomacy.

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Community needs to re-think how to make Israel’s case

By Martin Bright, September 13, 2012

Supporters of Israel are losing the battle of ideas in the UK. This has probably been true for some time, if only they would admit it. But after this year’s TUC conference there is no longer any question about it, on the left at least.

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Reshuffle involves two men who wouldn’t take a stand

By Martin Bright, September 6, 2012

In many ways, David Cameron’s first reshuffle was a non-event. Since coming to power two years ago, the Prime Minister has made it plain that he is aiming for consistency and continuity. He has refused to indulge in the manic reshuffling of his predecessors, believing coalition politics to be unstable enough even without a constant change of personnel.

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Beware the language of suspicion

By Martin Bright, August 31, 2012

As the 2012 party conference season approaches, it is probably fair to say that the concerns of the Jewish community could not be further from the minds of the political class. Dark times produce inward-looking party conferences and discussion in the bars will be focused on the economy, whether the coalition can hold together and if the Labour Party will ever be ready to return to government.

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Cristal farce may hide serious truth

By Martin Bright, August 23, 2012

There is something deeply surreal about the Moty Cristal affair. It would be comical if the principles involved were not so fundamental.

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Tragedy of a serious split between anti-fascists

By Martin Bright, August 9, 2012

For more than two decades, the magazine Searchlight has been synonymous with the fight against the extreme right in the UK. Its founder, Gerry Gable, deserves his place in the pantheon of British anti-fascist heroes.

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Sophisticated diplomat in Tel Aviv

By Martin Bright, August 9, 2012

The spat between Conservative Friends of Israel and our man in Tel Aviv has taken a lot of people by surprise. Matthew Gould has rarely been out of the news since he took up his post as UK ambassador and had previously been under fire from figures on the left who questioned his loyalty as this country's first Jewish envoy to Israel.

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Beware the woman who bids to lead the Greens

By Martin Bright, August 2, 2012

Over the summer, almost unnoticed amid the blanket coverage of the Olympics, the future of one of our political parties is being decided. Across the country, hustings are taking place to allow the Green Party to decide its next leader.

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Modest request but leaves a bitter taste

By Martin Bright, July 26, 2012

This week the London Olympics will finally begin and the organisers will hope the carping of the naysayers will be drowned out in a rush of national pride and sporting excellence.

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Good week for education but what will long-term effects be?

By Martin Bright, July 19, 2012

This has been a good week for Jewish education.

The approval of three new Jewish free schools shows the government is prepared to back the establishment of new institutions with an ethos based on Jewish faith and culture. It also demonstrates a real appetite in the community to set up new schools and the tenacity to follow through.

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Blind faith of brothers and others in law

By Martin Bright, July 16, 2012

When the political class loses faith in its ability to make moral judgments, what does it do? It calls in the lawyers. The present fashion for judge-led inquiries in the UK has given us the Leveson inquiry into the ethics of the press, and may yet lead to a similar examination of the ethics of banking.

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Ed Balls shows he is ready to learn from Israel

By Martin Bright, July 5, 2012

Ed Balls may have his problems persuading the wider public of his charms, but he has always been a popular figure in the Jewish community.

He is a consistent supporter of Israel who spent considerable time working on the economic situation in the occupied territories on behalf of the G8.

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My grandmother the 'Shabbos goy'

By Martin Bright, July 5, 2012

I wasn’t entirely surprised to read about the almost utopian vision of East End life in Arnold Circus.

My grandmother, Irene Bevan, grew up in Bethnal Green and lived not far from the street mentioned in the BBC programme.

A mongrel East End gentile of uncertain origins herself, she always talked of the warmth between the Jewish and non-Jewish communities.

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Ed Balls unveils plans for UK-Israel 'economic dialogue'

By Martin Bright, July 5, 2012

An incoming Labour government will learn from the Israeli hi-tech success story and consolidate the UK-Israel trade relationship, according to Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.

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Israel 'in breach of international law' over child detainees

By Martin Bright, June 26, 2012

Israel's treatment of children detained by the military authorities in the West Bank puts it in serious breach of its obligations under international law, according to a damning report by a high-level delegation of British lawyers.

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