Jonathan Freedland

It wasn't bias, it was wrong polls

By Jonathan Freedland, February 1, 2013

What matters about last month's Israeli elections is what kind of government they produce. Talk of how those elections were covered in the media is, I know, secondary.

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This is about more than Oxfam

By Jonathan Freedland, January 17, 2013

On Sunday the Board of Deputies of British Jews will decide whether it should go ahead with a joint project with Oxfam, in which the aid organisation will train 25 Jewish volunteers, equipping them to become better campaigners.

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Intrigue worthy of Shakespeare

By Jonathan Freedland, December 24, 2012

Some people love politics the way others love soap opera. They follow the plots and intrigue not out of a worthy interest in this or that policy but for the sheer human spectacle. For those so inclined, I often recommend an obsessive interest in the US: the outsized egos, the extravagant characters, the perennial culture wars are all reliably gripping.

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We all need to help Israel shift

By Jonathan Freedland, November 9, 2012

You wait years for big elections that will shape the world, or at least shape a part of the world you care about, and then three come at once. This week, has seen a US presidential contest and a change at the top in China (admittedly without a single democratic vote cast). And the third? That’s coming in Israel in January.

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A pogrom conducted by Jews

By Jonathan Freedland, September 27, 2012

You've probably had your fill of atonement for this year. You'd be forgiven if you didn't want to think of Yom Kippur for another 12 months.

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The Iranian argument threat

By Jonathan Freedland, August 24, 2012

Normally we wait till it's too late, so let's get this clear in advance.

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Time to listen to call for Munich silence

By Jonathan Freedland, July 5, 2012

It is hard to remember now, amid all the talk of expensive tickets, congested roads and corporate sponsors, but the Olympic Games was always meant to be about an ideal. Those behind the Olympic revival at the end of the 19th century did not merely want to create a new fixture on the international sporting calendar.

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Isaac, Jacob, Moses — and Ed

By Jonathan Freedland, May 24, 2012

Journalism is a competitive business but sometimes the competition comes from a wholly unexpected source. I'd planned a while ago to write in this slot about the Jewishness of Ed Miliband. Little did I know that the latest edition of the New Statesman, a special on British Jewish life published on Thursday, would carry a column on the same topic - written by Ed Miliband.

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Beinart is not our wicked son

By Jonathan Freedland, April 11, 2012

You're probably exhausted. Attending, let alone hosting, two Seders will do that to a person. You've packed away the Haggadot by now and won't be in the mood for a reminder. But forgive one more mention of the Four Sons (or Four Children, for those whose Seder is a tad more right-on).

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If Auschwitz was in Hampshire

By Jonathan Freedland, March 1, 2012

The shock comes in the very first line.

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Good to talk? Useful, anyway

By Jonathan Freedland, January 19, 2012

First, I should declare an interest. I am a friend and admirer of Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, leader of Britain's Masorti movement. But I also like and admire the JC's political editor, Martin Bright.

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Europe's Jews need this union

By Jonathan Freedland, December 15, 2011

There's one number you won't find in the torrent of opinion polls unleashed by David Cameron's European summit veto.

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This is Israel? Not the one I love

By Jonathan Freedland, November 7, 2011

All credit to Israel's friends in the British Jewish community: they are nothing if not energetic. A matter of months after they gathered for BICOM's We Believe in Israel rally in London, they are now erecting a Big Tent for Israel in Manchester. According to an ad for a spin-off event, once again the focus will be the "delegitimisation of Israel".

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Say (cottage) cheese and smile

By Jonathan Freedland, September 16, 2011

Call it the cottage cheese revolution. The protest movement that has convulsed Israel these past few months began with a Facebook campaign to lower the price of the white stuff. Furious at being overcharged, Israelis stopped buying this staple of the national diet - forcing the dairy companies to slash the price.

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Legislators against free speech

By Jonathan Freedland, August 12, 2011

An old song has been coming back to me, one I learned back in my youth movement days. Perhaps it's in my mind because, last week, I packed off my eldest son to his first summer camp.

The song is Gesher Tzar Me'od (A Very Narrow Bridge) and it resonates now because that is where I feel I stand - on a very narrow bridge, getting narrower by the day.

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A glaring glut of own goals

By Jonathan Freedland, July 1, 2011

Israel's new ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub, is not just British-born: he grew up steeped in communal life. He will, therefore, already be familiar with the lament he will hear every day from the moment he steps off the plane at Heathrow until he finally heads back home: "Why does Israel have such bad public relations?"

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Cheers won't quell the fears

By Jonathan Freedland, May 19, 2011

It's now a cinematic cliché. You know the scene: high-society types are quaffing champagne or dancing the foxtrot, while outside a revolution is brewing. Those on the inside remain in a cosy bubble of complacency, unaware of the storm about to hit them.

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Attacked by single-view mobs

By Jonathan Freedland, April 18, 2011

Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

Can you do - or think - two things at once? I only ask because I am beginning to wonder if it's a rarer feat than I'd realised.

Here is what I have in mind. Last week, I wrote a column in the Guardian about the Goldstone affair, triggered by the semi-retraction that the South African judge had delivered a few days earlier.

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Are Arabs the new Zionists?

By Jonathan Freedland, February 28, 2011

Long after his death, the wisdom of Abba Eban lives on - no nugget more frequently dug up than his observation that "the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

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McCarthyism - Israeli style

By Jonathan Freedland, January 24, 2011

'An evil wave is sweeping over Israel" and the latest act of the Knesset "sends a warning signal: here is darkness."

Before you dash off a letter to denounce the authors of those words as hateful anti-Zionists bent on delegitimising the state of Israel, pause a moment. Because the first quotation comes from the Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and the second from Likud MK Benny Begin. What could have moved such fervent Israeli patriots to speak this way?

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