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The JC Leader: Fresh hope ... Off-message

    (Photo JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

    Fresh hope 

    While Israel has never been more secure or the economy stronger, all is not well with the governance of the Jewish state. Mired in corruption probes,

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is neither in control of major policy areas nor able — or, apparently, willing — to articulate a coherent vision for the future. With a tiny Knesset majority, he has allowed the settler lobby to draw Israel ever closer towards the one-state danger-zone, while his kowtowing to the Orthodox parties has alienated the diaspora.

    Could Avi Gabbay be the solution? The little-known politician, who won the Labour Party’s leadership election this week, is a free marketeer who wants two states, a regional peace process and a freeze on settlement construction outside the major blocs. He also brings a Macronesque mix of qualities to the table.

    A Moroccan-born former telecoms boss who has flirted with Likud, he has the “credible outsider” image that could secure votes from across the political spectrum.  The world is watching with bated breath

    Off-message

    The British Jewish community — not to mention Jews worldwide — often disagree on what’s best for Israel politically. So it’s always a pleasure when there is positive information to share.

    Such is the case with news of a record rise in tourists visiting the country; an increase of 26 per cent on the same period in 2016.

    Israel has much to offer in terms of scenery, history and holy sites, and visitors are coming particularly from America, Russia and China, as well as the UK.

    Boycotters may grab the headlines, but it seems their message, thankfully, has not got through.

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