Voice of the Jewish News: Gaze into our crystal ball for year to come…
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Voice of the Jewish News: Gaze into our crystal ball for year to come…

This week's editorial offers a few predictions for 2018, looking at what might happen in international, national and communal affairs

New Year's Eve fireworks in central London brought in 2018. 

Source: Mayor of London on Twitter
New Year's Eve fireworks in central London brought in 2018. Source: Mayor of London on Twitter

 Predictions about the year ahead are famously difficult. No serious publication should ever undertake such an exercise – they are minefields, trap-laden mazes, voids into which only fools enter. So, of course, we thought we’d give it a go.

The year 2018 will see military action against Hezbollah to Israel’s north. British Jews will make the state’s case on the airwaves, as in recent years over Gaza, and raise money for towns where some of the proxy Iranian terror group’s many rockets get through (most will be intercepted).

The conflict will escalate when Syria’s government tries to get involved (given the debt of gratitude it owes the group) but overwhelming strength from Israel will mean that it is over fairly quickly – within months. Lebanon will emerge a more broken state, with ethnic tensions again in evidence.

At home more Israeli accents will be heard on the streets of London, as business types list their businesses here. Diplomats will wax lyrical about how trade, cultural and academic links grow by the day, while the growing community of Israelis based in the UK will increase their exposure to the British Jewish community by sponsoring events and initiatives. This will not, however, prompt the further mingling of British and Israeli Jews in the capital – groups who have sadly preferred to keep themselves largely to themselves.

Politically, a handful of left-leaning Jews will start to dribble back to Labour, but north London constituencies with big Jewish populations will stay staunchly Conservative, after the Tories boost their communal appeal when Home Secretary Amber Rudd – who could one day be Prime Minister Rudd – proscribes the whole of Hezbollah, thereby ending the charade of anti-Israel activists flying the yellow flag of a group sworn to destroy Israel during the annual Al-Quds Day march through London, using the legal get-out clause that they are “only supporting the political wing”.

There will be more consolidation in the Jewish charities sector, prompted by slim budgets, tightened government offerings, reduced philanthropy, rising inflation and a worsening economic outlook as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

In education, Hasmonean will get the green light for its green belt expansion to accommodate its boys-girls merger in a single amalgamation, while the Orthodox community’s pitched battle with Ofsted over teaching requirements related to gender and sexuality will continue.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and peaceful 2018.

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