Coronavirus Global conflict Israel 

Both hero and zero: Israel’s strategic incoherence

While Israelis are increasingly alarmed by the government’s loss of control over the coronavirus crisis, different events suggest that the country may have pulled off a spectacular advance in the battle against another intractable foe. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a succession of mysterious explosions in Iran. At the end of last month, there was a major explosion in the Khojir missile factory near Tehran and at a power plant in Shiraz, which plunged the city into darkness. There has also been an explosion at a…

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cliff Israel 

Why is Israel going to pot?

A bill going through Israel’s Knesset, sponsored by two MKs, would decriminalize the personal use of cannabis. A report last month on Israeli TV said that under these changes, cannabis use would be permitted for those aged 21 and over, not including workers in security-related jobs; designated shops would sell the drug; driving under its influence would be forbidden; it would be regulated similarly to cigarettes; and there would be an educational fund to explain its dangers. This is all shockingly wrong-headed, ignorant and deeply irresponsible. Yet it is but…

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Culture wars Israel 

Junking the Jews is behind our current Hobbesian nightmare

International pressure on Israel not to extend its sovereignty over parts of the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria is increasing. More than 1,000 European parliamentarians have signed a letter asserting that this proposal, which they term “annexation,” would “encourage other states with territorial claims to disregard basic principles of international law.” Following the brutal death in police custody of George Floyd, racial anarchy in America is increasing. In Seattle and Washington, D.C., there have been attempts to set up “autonomous zones” that exclude the police. Statues and other artworks…

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Culture wars Israel Jewish people 

Jews’ lives matter

The Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has sacked the party’s shadow education secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, for tweeting a link to an interview in which actress Maxine Peake gave vent to an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Peake repeated the baseless claim that has been bouncing round the internet that the tactics used by American police on George Floyd, who died under the knee of a police officer pinning him down, were “learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services”. This is a malevolent falsehood. As the Israeli police have said: “There is…

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Britain Culture wars Israel USA 

The unmistakeable echoes in the culture war against the west

In Britain, statues of historical figures associated with colonialism or slavery are being pulled down or slated for removal. This is to appease the Black Lives Matters activists and their supporters, both black and white, who have seized upon the appalling death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody to claim that western society is fundamentally racist. The destruction of these statues and other similar artifacts, which are part of the cultural memory of a civilization, inescapably calls to mind another act of cultural extermination — the Nazi regime’s burning…

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leftward Britain Israel 

To put Israel’s points, first learn about the Brits

Is the Israeli government reverting to its bad old ways by selecting the Likud politician Tzipi Hotovely as its ambassador to the United Kingdom? On a number of occasions, Israel has seemed to treat the UK with contempt by appointing as its ambassador someone with poor English and even less diplomatic prowess. In recent years, it seemed to have got the message with the appointments of the British-born, former foreign ministry lawyer Daniel Taub and the Australian-born diplomat Mark Regev. The British Jewish community sighed in relief at their diplomatic…

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HRH Israel 

EU second thoughts over hostility to Israel?

Has the European Union reached a tipping point over Israel? Or to be more precise, is the Europeans’ bluff finally to be called over Israel’s proposal to extend its sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria? The E.U. has been mulling over punitive measures against Israel if it goes ahead with what its western critics call “annexation of the occupied territories of the West Bank.” A number of member states, headed by France along with Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg are calling for a…

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virus Israel 

Israel-bashers fail to see the Arab train leaving the station

It’s a busy time for Israel-haters. So what’s new? Well, a lot. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the Democratic congresswoman who has a lengthening record of lies about Israel, last week tweeted the boiler-plate falsehood that Israel’s foundation in 1948 had entailed the “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian Arabs who were “indigenous” to the land. The Jews, of course, are the only people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national home. And the Palestinian Arabs’ displacement took place in the war of extermination against the nascent State of…

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HRH Britain Israel USA 

A muffled consensus serves not Israel but her enemies

Should Jewish communal organizations aim to achieve consensus above all or bear witness to the truth? Both in the diaspora and in Israel, Jews are divided over politics, religion and worldview. These arguments, moreover, generally carry an emotionally fraught sub-text; that the opposing side threatens to undermine Jewish security and the existence of the Jewish people. This makes it even more difficult for Jewish organizations whose aim is to protect and defend the Jewish people from ever saying anything about contentious issues of the day. In the United States, J…

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leftward Britain Israel USA Videos 

The leftward movement of diaspora Jews

Is there a leftward movement of diaspora Jews? I took part in a webinar organised by EMET, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, which does sterling work defending Israel against the calumnies that distressingly pass for received wisdom in so much of the west. At this webinar, which was attended by more than 430 people, Caroline Glick and I were talking about the state of the Jewish community in the US and Britain. We discussed the scourge of antisemitism, the contribution to this of left-wing politics and whether or not…

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