St George and the Dragon, Paolo Uccello, between 1458 and 1460 Britain Israel USA 

Britain gets it right. Twice. What gives?

Extraordinary! The British government has started making bold and good moves. No fewer than two such sets of developments have been spotted in as many days. On Sunday, at the Paris conference called to get the Middle East peace process back on track stick the knife into Israel good and proper before Obama leaves the White House, Theresa May’s government refused to sign its closing statement. “There are risks,” said the UK Foreign Office,“that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for…

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us-consulate-jerusalem Israel USA 

Change the nameplate now!

How should anyone respond to threats, intimidation and blackmail? By giving in? Surely not. The appropriate response would be to bring the matter before an appropriate authority equipped to deal with this through condign action against the perpetrator. And what if the target of such threats, intimidation and blackmail is that appropriate authority itself? US President-Elect Donald Trump has said he intends to move the US Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In response, the Fatah Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said such a move would “destroy the two-state…

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knesset Israel USA 

The capital of nowhereland

One of the more bizarre ways in which the west subjects the Jewish people to double standards is to tell them that they alone cannot decide for themselves the identity of the capital city of their own country. Thus we find General James Mattis, President-Elect Trump’s pick for Defence Secretary, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing that as far as he is concerned the capital of Israel is Tel Aviv. “The capital of Israel that I go to, sir, is Tel Aviv, sir, because that’s where…

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crop-wall Britain Israel 

Perfidious Boris?

In the House of Commons this afternoon the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, who had just returned from meeting the Trump team in Washington DC, made the following statement: “I think it is a widespread view in Washington, and across the UN Security Council, that settlements are illegal… John Kerry was completely right to draw attention to the illegal settlements and to the substance of [UN Security Council] resolution 2334. I remind the House that the UK was closely involved in its drafting…” Last week, the US House of Representatives…

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poor-box_edited-1 Britain 

Charities should stop meddling in politics

In 2008 the Charity Commission accordingly relaxed the rules to allow charities to conduct political campaigns. Although their main purpose must not be political, charities are now able to carry out political activities as a means of supporting their foundational aims. This allows them to launch highly partisan political campaigns. Non-governmental they may be. However, with substantial parts of their funding now coming not from private donations but from government grants, the NGOs have developed into a powerful, unaccountable sector of state-funded political activism. My column for The Times (subscription…

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meryl-streep USA 

Meryl Streep’s broken heart

Meryl Streep is a very great screen actor. That is all President-elect Trump needed to say in response to her extremely disobliging remarks about him at the Golden Globes. Such public magnanimity would have made her look sour, mean and diminished by comparison. It would have been the smart thing for him to do. Instead he got down in the gutter, calling her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”. Which she certainly is not. In revealing such a thin skin he displayed vulnerability and thus weakness. This will…

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civil-war Britain 

Mrs May doesn’t know what Brexit means after all

After David Cameron’s “big society”, we now have Theresa May’s “shared society.” Spare me. Mrs May is clearly anxious to demonstrate that she stands for something other than becoming Britain’s accidental Prime Minister. She was unexpectedly precipitated into 10 Downing Street after the country voted for Brexit last June causing her predecessor, who had so arrogantly assumed the country would do no such thing, to fall on his sword. So tomorrow Mrs May is to give a speech about her vision for Britain, which she has previewed in an article…

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fortune-t-360x480 Britain 

Economists find their crystal ball is cracked

Economists have been forced finally to acknowledge what everyone from HM the Queen downwards has known for a considerable time: they don’t seem to have a clue about what’s going on. First they failed to spot the full scale of the financial crash until it was too late. Then they predicted that a vote for Brexit would cause the British economy immediately to implode. For these sins first of omission and then commission, they are now having to explain what could possibly have gone so badly wrong with folk as…

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cartoon-2 Israel 

Real liberals must shun Palestinian colonialism

With Israel still looking down the barrel of a diplomatic gun as the Obama presidency approaches its final days, it’s high time to change the narrative. Western progressives define themselves through various fixed positions. They are against racism. They are against colonialism. They are against ethnic cleansing. They are against police states. And they are against antisemitism. So there is a political agenda that is surely tailor-made for Western liberals and left-wingers to shun and condemn as an utter negation of all they hold dear. The goal of the Palestinians…

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