Reviews of the year 5768

I realised today it’s Jewish new year. Shana tova l’kulam to everyone whatever your creed.

Here are some reviews of the news of the Jews in the past year.

The Jerusalem Post lists the Israelis of the year by sphere of influence, including a mystifying portrait of a settler who apparently is anti-extremist. If he is anti-extremist then things must be pretty extreme.

The Anti-Defamation League is worrying about the UN and global attitudes to Jews.

Totally Jewish notes the recognition of Gordon Brown, the predicament of Fur refugees, the assessment that UCU’s boycott was unlawful, the rise of the BNP (with North London polls held on Yom Kippur!) and 40,000 people marching in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Israel’s creation.

Ha’aretz’s top stories for 5768 are assassination, tractor attacks, a suicide bombing, a ceasefire, a child abuse case, Obama, Livni, Ahmedinejad and two obituaries (considering these pressures you have to hand it to the Israelis…)

The JTA focus is on Israel – the self-critical Winograd Report on the war on Hesbollah, the Annapolis peace talks and the resulting ‘shelf agreement’, the corruption charges against Olmert, Hamas’s breach of the blockade, Israel’s bombing of a suspected Syrian nuclear investigation, Israel’s peace talks with Syria, and what to do about Iran’s nuclear capability, and the return to Israel of the remains of Israeli reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

My memories come from just a small, rather arid section of Jewish goings-on to do with not religion, not culture, but politics – Karsenty’s legal success in insisting the death of Mohammed Al Dura (lubricant of anti-Zionism and the intifada) was a propaganda hoax, the anti-Israel graffiti on English Jewish streets, the ongoing rot of UCU with hard left/right (who can tell these days) antisemitism, UCU’s disgusting treatment of David Hirsh, Green antisemitism, BNP courting the Jews (that the Left repelled with its cuddling of Islamist extremists), Harry’s Place taking on the atavistic forces of Hamas UK, PACBI and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine wrecking OneVoice’s peace concerts, the launch of the UK Friends of The Abraham Fund, Mearsheimer and Walt, the launch of the Z-Word, the launch of J Street, the Community Security Trust’s report on antisemitic discourse, Olmert’s declaration today that to give peace a chance, Israel must pass back the West Bank and Golan, and the sense, as the vilification rains down on the City’s bankers and hedge fund managers, that societies in crisis have a primordial urge to scapegoat.


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