And so it came to pass

In a recent article in the London Review of Books, Edward Said passionately condemned the Israel-PLO Accord as “an instrument of Palestinian capitulation, a Palestinian Versailles”. Said emotionally dismantled the Accord and found little of value. “A century of sacrifice, dispossession and heroic struggle”, he wrote, “had finally come to nought”. Said gloomily accentuated the … Read more

Death by Indecision

The war in Bosnia has shown that aggression does pay. Under the terms of the Geneva Agreement, the Serbian nationalists together with their Croatian accomplices have been satisfied in their demand for land and power. Bosnia, as we knew it eighteen months ago, no longer exists. Yet Sarajevo seems to have survived that evil bombardment—as … Read more

Coalition Crisis

A crisis in Israel’s ruling coalition was always a distinct possibility, ever since prime minister Yitzhak Rabin persuaded the secular Meretz and the religious Shas parties to join his Labour-led government But now the strains are beginning to show. Shas, together with other religious parties, has been calling for the dismissal of Shulamit Aloni, the … Read more

One Faith, Two Worlds

Piety and Power: the World of Jewish Fundamentalism by David Landau (London 1993)   THE hermetic world of Jewish fundamentalism is an enigma to many Jews and non-Jews alike. The fundamentalists were, for example, against the recent controversial proposal by mainstream Orthodox Jews to erect an eruv in Barnet last month — much to the … Read more

The Female Learning Curve

On first reading, the ruling by the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, legitimizing women’s prayer groups, seems to be an important step forward for large numbers of orthodox women. He has acknowledged the growing demand from Jewish women for a more authentic framework for spiritual expression. It is also abundantly clear from his consensual statement that … Read more

Rabin’s Double Bind

  Yitzhak Rabin’s offer to allow 100 deported Palestinians to return from their freezing camp in Lebanon was the result of pressure, not just from the Clinton administration, but from within his own cabinet. With hindsight, dovish ministers in the Labour-led coalition regarded the deportation of more than 400 Hamas supporters as an incredible blunder. … Read more

Twilight of the Idols

THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE: AN ACCOUNT OF OUR TIMES David Selbourne For those who felt uplifted by Rocking Bill Clinton’s inauguration, this book is the ideal antidote. Its lurid tales of rape and pillage, Aids proliferation and ethnic cleansing, neo-Nazism and Islamic fundamentalism, are guaranteed to depress even the most questioning optimist’s hopes for … Read more