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nbh Maze Israel 

Today on Trump’s tweets

On BBC Radio’s Today programme, I discussed with James Rubin President Trump’s retweets of the Britain First videos. I said I thought he had set back the cause of anti-Islamism and I was appalled. You can listen to the exchanges here (at around 0852).

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bbc-tv-daily-politics-november-24-2017 Israel 

Daily Politics TV show

On BBC TV’s Daily Politics show last Friday, I was one of the two guests of the day alongside Rafael Behr of the Guardian and presenter Jo Coburn. The discussion with successive interviewees included defence cuts, the “Gladstone must fall” statue controversy, the Brexit Big Band “apology tour” and the row over animal sentience. You can watch the whole show here.

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jewish-wedding-in-the-shtetl-isaak-asknaziy-1893 Israel 

The Jewish identity detective agency

Tzohar, headed by the inspirational Rabbi David Stav, is the Israeli rabbinical organisation which is challenging the monopoly of Israel’s ludicrously harsh and inflexible rabbinate by adopting, within halachah, a more humane, inclusive and rational approach. So much is generally appreciated. What is less widely known is its extraordinary “roots” project. This sets out to prove the Jewish antecedents of Israeli Jews whose families come principally from the former Soviet Union. To their horror, some of these Israelis discover they don’t possess the documentary proof that their families are halachically…

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david-and-goliath-guillaime-courtois Israel 

Worried about Jew-baiters? Give it straight back to them

In the Diaspora, people are aghast at rampant antisemitism and Israel-bashing and dismayed over the failure to halt its apparently inexorable rise. In Britain, the parliamentary group on antisemitism heard evidence last week that anti-Jewish bigotry is now entrenched in many British universities. Student officers have used the Twitter hashtag #Jew while discussing wealth, and the swastika is now seen on campus as a “casual symbol of fun.” In the US earlier this year, researchers from Tel Aviv University found a 45 percent increase on campus of “all forms” of…

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weizmann_and_feisal_1918 Israel 

Is Arab realism finally breaking out?

Yet more Arabs have been making startlingly positive statements about Israel and the Jews. In an interview broadcast by the Kuwaiti Alrai TV channel last week, Kuwaiti writer Abdullah al Hadlaq declared that the State of Israel was not an occupying force but represented “a people returning to its promised land”. He went further, declaring that the Jews had a right to the land of Israel according to the Koran: “From the religious perspective, Quranic verse 5:21 proves that the Israelites have the right to the Holy Land. Allah says: ‘When Moses said…

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iraqi-immigrants-at-lod-airport-1951 Israel 

Remember Baghdad

In 1951, most of the Jews of Iraq were forced out of the country as part of the ethnic cleansing of some 850,000 Jews from Arab lands that took place after the State of Israel was born. Thus the Jewish community which had lived in Iraq for more than 2,600 years, which had figured in the Psalms and in which the Babylonian Talmud was written, was no more. Edwin Shuker is an Iraqi Jew whose family stayed on during the fifties but was forced out in 1971 when he was…

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The signature cause of western progressives: purging every Jew from Israel

A conference to support the Palestinian cause was held last month in the Indian city of Hyderabad. Amongst those present was Mahmoud al Habbash, the Palestinian Authority’s chief shari’a justice and religious affairs advisor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.  MEMRI has translated a report in the the Urdu daily Roznama Urdu Times in wihich al Habbash said: “Every Palestinian will continue the struggle till the complete freedom of Palestine. Those who started the movement for the freedom of Palestine took a pledge, while leaving this world, from the next…

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dayan-yitzhak-sadeh-yigal-allon-kibbutz-hanita-1938 Israel 

The west’s vital strategic asset

One of the many things the west fails to grasp about the State of Israel is how important it is to the security of the west, as well as the role that the Jews of that land have played in helping defend western lives since before Israel was reborn. Col Richard Kemp, Britain’s former commander in Afghanistan, has written a great piece about this that should be essential reading. Here’s a flavour: “For many years Western nations have depended heavily on Israeli intelligence, and the civil war in Syria and…

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allegory-of-peace-and-justice-giaquinto-corrado-175354 Britain Israel 

The strategic importance of the argument from law

Earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was almost prevented from speaking at Princeton University after left-wing Jewish students claimed her work “causes irreparable damage to the prospects of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Meekly genuflecting to this preposterous claim, Princeton Hillel, no less, abruptly canceled her invitation. The day was saved by Chabad, which provided a venue in which Hotovely could speak. Hillel officials subsequently apologized for this disgraceful episode, adding that this was “an isolated incident.” Well no, it isn’t. I had an identical experience…

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Map pf Hell; Sandro Botticelli, 1480-1490 Israel 

Our crazy world

Please join me in this video clip as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network the jolt that the Balfour Declaration centenary may have delivered to the widespread British misapprehension about the creation of the State of Israel. To watch the whole discussion, please click here.

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