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Can Israel keep the West on side?

Jerusalem On 7 October, Israeli security officials were already questioning how long they would be allowed to fight in Gaza. As the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) hurriedly mobilised more than 300,000 reservists, one official told me that ‘destroying Hamas depends on the length of our window of legitimacy’. Last week, I was on an embed

Why so many teenagers support Palestine

I’m a sixth-former in one of Britain’s largest comprehensives and know no one who supports Israel over Palestine. Some readers might find that shocking. Consider, though, how my generation gets its news. TikTok is today by far the no. 1 source of news for teenagers; YouTube is next, Instagram third. Studies show the average teen spends

Virology poses a far greater threat to the world than AI

Sam Altman, the recently fired (and rehired) chief executive of Open AI, was asked earlier this year by his fellow tech billionaire Patrick Collison what he thought of the risks of synthetic biology. ‘I would like to not have another synthetic pathogen cause a global pandemic. I think we can all agree that wasn’t a

The greatness of C.S. Lewis

He died on the very day that President Kennedy was assassinated, Friday 22 November 1963, so it is not surprising that the event was overshadowed at the time. With the passage of 60 years, C.S. Lewis’s reputation is undiminished and the sheer range of his achievements as a writer and teacher appears ever more prodigious.

How to date a widower

When is it acceptable to consider dating a widower? How do you know if they are still grieving and not ready to move on? According to statistics, men die earlier than women, so I was surprised this year to meet several whose wives had died before them. Divorced since the early 1990s, I had no

Sanctions against Russia have backfired

Does a British government department have the right to punish individuals who have broken no laws on the basis of their political views? Are private companies allowed to discriminate against customers on the basis of their nationality alone? For the past two years, the answer to both these questions has been yes – if they

Hope is not yet extinguished in Jaffa

When I first heard of the 7 October attacks, I feared it would be the beginning of a war on several fronts: in Gaza, in northern Israel, and in the West Bank. My biggest concern was that the high casualties from the retaliatory Israeli airstrikes would cause violence within Israel itself, as Palestinians in mixed

What prison taught me

I confess I never expected to see myself going to the lavatory on prime-time national TV. In fact, the expedition was a failure. Sharing a cell, especially with a young man with a record for GBH, is a very constipating experience. But when I accepted Shine TV’s proposal that I should submit to living alongside

Notes on...

Should you ever eat wild salmon?

When I say ‘Scottish salmon’ what do you see? I bet it’s a muscular 20-pounder flashing up a river, or a silver grilse leaping out of the water for the sheer joy of it. I bet it’s not a flabby beast, covered in sea lice, possibly half-choked by micro-jellyfish in its gills, living in waters