Columnists

Why did Alastair Burt lose his job?

By Martin Bright, October 18, 2013

Reshuffles are a funny business. At times during the New Labour years it seemed as if the ministerial cards were thrown in the air for the mere amusement of the Prime Minister.

More..

It's courage versus arrogance in the Mirvis Limmud row

By Daniel Finkelstein, October 17, 2013

Look, I hope you won’t mind what I have to say here. It’s just that, well, I think it needs to be said, however diffident I am about it.

More..

Tall tales of teeth and smiles

By Peter Rosengard, October 13, 2013

As I drove back to London last week after taking my daughter to start her big adventure — university — I thought back to her batmitzvah speech when she’d revealed that when she was a little girl, every day when she came home from school her mother had asked her the same question: “Did you make the right choices today?”

More..

Great TV, but there were gaps in Simon Schama's story

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 11, 2013

Next year, I shall be giving some classes on the recent history of the Middle East — or, rather, on the history of the Jewish dimension to Middle Eastern politics since the early 19th century.

My audience will be a mixed bunch of UK, EU and international students, all of whom will (if past experience is anything to go by) come with a predetermined set of ideas about that history.

More..

Chesterton defence that doesn't stand up

By Oliver Kamm, October 10, 2013

Antisemitism is an evil, not a writerly idiosyncrasy. That’s a mere truism. It needs to be stated, however, because the Catholic Church is examining the case for canonising G K Chesterton, author of the Father Brown detective stories.

More..

Obama is in la-la land over Iran

By Melanie Phillips, October 3, 2013

Everyone is acting precisely according to the script. The fanatical Ayatollah Khamanei, the sole real power in Iran, has manoeuvred the West into the end-game.

Just as foretold, his cipher, the new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, has presented himself falsely as the voice of moderation.

More..

Confront the Charedi Taliban

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 25, 2013

I'm not in the least surprised that the Department for Education is carrying out an investigation into the education of Orthodox Jewish boys in institutions not officially registered for this purpose. On the contrary, I’m surprised that it has taken the government so long to convince itself — or to be convinced — that this is a scandal demanding investigation.

More..

Hail to the rights of passage

By David Aaronovitch, September 24, 2013

Despite myself I’ve been having a jolly time recently. And one of the jolliest of these times was at a 60th birthday party the week before last. The man whose emergence from youth we were celebrating is one of those welcome new friends of my middle years, so although I know his past and family a little, most of what I heard that night constituted news.

More..

Can this Jew-hater G K Chesterton be a saint?

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 18, 2013

I never cease to be amazed at the lengths to which some will go to excuse or belittle clear expressions of antisemitism articulated by public figures, present or past. The issue of G K Chesterton, to which Oliver Kamm brought our attention in the JC last month, is a case in point.

More..

High cost of the Syria climb-down

By Daniel Finkelstein, September 17, 2013

It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a great moment. Prime ministers are never — really, in modern times, never — overturned in the House of Commons on great matters of foreign policy. I don’t think I could argue with the universal conclusion of my colleagues that to lose in this way on acting in Syria was a disaster. I don’t suppose David Cameron disagrees either.

More..