palestine Britain 

The British Foreign Office remains true to type

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, appears to be a genuine supporter of Israel. In which case she needs to address the fact that her Foreign Office is not. The Palestinians have been demanding that the British government apologise for the 1917 Balfour Declaration which supported “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. This declaration was embodied in the 1922 Mandate under which Britain accepted the administration of Palestine and the obligation to settle the Jews there. The demand for an apology led to a…

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img_0038 USA 

Melanie is visiting America

For the next couple of weeks I shall be on a speaking tour of the US. If you are interested in attending any of my presentations, here are details of some of them. On April 28/29 I will be speaking at a Yom Ha’Atzmaut Shabbaton at Young Israel synagogue, Century City: On May 2 I shall be speaking to the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley at 7.15 pm. Please go to their website for further details. On May 4 in the evening I shall be speaking in Redlands, California:…

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police Britain 

If black lives matter then use stop and search

For years, stop and search has been intensely controversial as the policy that disproportionately targeted black boys. It was therefore brandished as proof positive that the British police were institutionally racist. Of the 27 teenagers who died as a result of knife attacks in London over the past two years, most were black or from an ethnic minority background. In other words, rather than stop and search disproportionately targeting black boys, reducing the use of this power means black boys become disproportionately targeted as the victims of violent crime. Isn’t…

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poitiers-battle Europe 

The phoney and the fascist

France now faces a choice between two extremes. Emmanuel Macron, who will confront Marine le Pen in the second round  of the French presidential election, is routinely described as a centrist. He is not. He is described as such merely because, in the west, the centre of political gravity has been shifted over the last several decades so that what was once a left-wing position is now regarded as the centre while what was once regarded as the centre is now described as the right. Macron stands for the denial…

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map Israel USA 

Not a deal but a surrender

According to this account of a story in the Arab newspaper Al Quds, the Trump administration intends to offer a deal to the Palestinian delegation which is due to arrive imminently in Washington. Stop paying salaries to the families of terrorist prisoners and those terrorists killed in their attacks on Israel, the Americans will say, and in return President Trump will shelve his proposal to move the US Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Oh dear. If this is true, the sting of this apparent proposal is not just…

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shoki Britain 

Mrs May rides the tiger

Who would have thought that Theresa May was a risk-taker? The ultra-cautious, careful, circumspect British Prime Minister has just caught everyone by surprise by declaring a snap general election for June 8. Various commentators have jumped to the conclusion that, with the Conservatives now 20 points ahead of the Labour Party in the polls, Mrs May is merely playing a political game she cannot lose. On the contrary: she has surely taken a mighty risk. True, the Labour party currently resembles a piece of wreckage floating inexorably out to sea….

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le-carre Britain 

Let’s hope the new Smiley doesn’t betray us

The legendary spy George Smiley is to return this autumn in a new John le Carre novel. This finest of all le Carre’s characters confronts what is still the great question of our time: how to fight great evil without losing our moral compass. The problem is that the moral ambiguity at the heart of Smiley’s circle has paralysed the west in real life too. To read my whole column in The Times, please click here (subscription only).

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