1982 Revisited

‘No more silence; no more compromise, no more acquiescence; no more vacillation, no more appeasement’. So spoke a young deputy at a Board of Deputies meeting in September 1982, defiantly challenging its leadership. It was directed at the Board’s Israel policy in the aftermath of the massacre of Palestinians by Christian Phalangists in the Lebanese … Read more

Naftali Bennett: One Year On

ON JUNE 13, the 36th government of the state of Israel will be commemorating the first anniversary of its formation. The mere fact that the coalition, forged by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, is still in existence is nothing short of a miracle. This political pantomime horse, composed of the Right (Yamina, Yisrael Beiteinu and … Read more

Mr Smotrich comes to town

THE RECENT VISIT of Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the “Religious Zionism” party in Israel, to Britain, provoked an unprecedented strong response from leading Jewish organisations and an embarrassed silence from many orthodox rabbis. Smotrich met quietly with representatives of Bnei Akiva and Mizrahi, the Religious Zionists’ movement and the chief executive of Chabad in … Read more

Jews under Apartheid

Sixty years ago, Arieh Eshel, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, unambiguously condemned apartheid — with far more determination than either the British or the Americans at the international assembly. “It is because the Jewish people has been the classic victims of the doctrine of racial inequality that my delegation appeals with such fervour … Read more

The Islamists and the Progressives

LAST WEEK, FOUR DEMOCRAT members of the US Congress, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, attempted to remove a $US1 billion support package for Israel’s Iron Dome defence system from a stopgap spending act in the House of Representatives. They failed due to the overwhelming opposition of 420 of their colleagues. Did … Read more

The Meaning of Anti-Semitism

‘ANTISEMITISM ISN’T THE first name of hate, it’s the family name’. So spoke Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid at last week’s ‘Global Forum for Combatting Antisemitism’ in Jerusalem. Lapid went on to say that the term ‘antisemitism’ applied to ‘anyone who hates so much that they want to kill, eliminate, persecute and expel people just … Read more

The British and the Mandate

Review of Leslie Turnberg’s Mandate: The Palestine Crucible 1919-1939 (Vallentine Mitchell 2021) pp.320 Three years ago, a retired British army officer, Ian Westerman, wrote an article in Ha’aretz, entitled ‘What did the British ever do for Israel?’ This piece, courageously suggested that in an age of decolonising the academic syllabus and retrospectively rectifying the perceived wrongs … Read more

The Netanyahu Years

ON SUNDAY THE KNESSET voted to approve the ‘Change’ government of Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid. Whether this multi-headed pantomime horse will survive is an open question, but it does appear that Benjamin Netanyahu has been put out to political pasture. While it is too early to write him off, what are we to make of … Read more

The Last Days of Benjamin Netanyahu?

NETANYAHU IS DOWN, but is he out? At the time of writing, this question remains unanswered. In the interim, he has reverted to his old habit of incitement as he did just before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. His supporters in the Likud together with the Kahanists and the quiet admirers of Yigal Amir have door-stopped … Read more