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7 July 2011

In this week’s New Statesman: Israel’s next war

Mark Thompson takes on Murdoch | Norman Finkelstein interview | Will Self: what Derren and Gordon Br

By George Eaton

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In this week’s New Statesman, five years after Israel’s disastrous invasion of Lebanon, we look at the coming conflict between the two countries. In our cover story, Amos Harel says with both sides heavily armed and mutually hostile, the Israeli-Lebanese border represents a lasting danger to the Middle East and the world. Elsewhere, Jon Bernstein talks to Norman Finkelstein, who explains why he can’t bear to vote for Barack Obama and why he’d have to be “certifiably insane” to deny the Holocaust.

This week’s critics section is curated by Joan Bakewell and features an exclusive short story by Margaret Drabble, Marina Warner on why we must defend public libraries, and Omid Djalili on why “writing stand-up comedy is like sifting for gold.”

Joan has also interviewed BBC director general Mark Thompson, who warns that Rupert Murdoch could have “media power unheard of in British history” if the government approves his takeover of BSkyB.

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Elsewhere, Mehdi Hasan laments Murdoch’s grip on the British political elite, Rafael Behr talks to Francis Maudeabout privatisation and the unions, David Blanchflower warns of a recession-induced crime wave, Gavin Kelly asks if George Osborne will become the “15p Chancellor”, and John Pilger looks at the strange silencing of liberal America.

All this, plus Chris Mullin on a new biography of Tony Benn, Laurie Penny on the Question Time drinking game, and Will Self on what Derren and Gordon Brown have in common.