Columnists

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..

My Edinburgh Fringe moment

By Peter Rosengard, September 13, 2013

Four weeks ago I woke up and thought I’d do a one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe. This was an unusual thought because I’m a life insurance salesman in London.

I rang William Burdett-Coutts, who has been “The Fringe” for over 30 years.

“Will, what you need is a bit of glamour and excitement. You need a show starring a life insurance salesman.”

More..

Unity is Chief Rabbi Mirvis's toughest challenge

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 13, 2013

I believe that the unity of the Jewish people is fundamental to our survival. I believe that many, if not all, of the disasters that have overtaken us throughout history have been due, in part at least, to our disunity. I believe that Jewish self-hatred is wicked and that it is contrary to the Divine Will. These beliefs go to the core of my existence.

More..

Rabin, Arafat and a handshake of hope

By Jonathan Freedland, September 13, 2013

It was twenty years ago today. On September 13 1993, in bright sunshine and nudged together by Bill Clinton – younger than the others, but playing the father figure – Yitzhak Rabin extended a reluctant hand to a smiling Yasser Arafat before an audience on the White House lawn.

More..

Some answers from on High

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 4, 2013

Next week, Marion and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. As wedding anniversaries go these days, this is no big deal.

More..

Stop this barmitzvah madness

By Miriam Shaviv, September 3, 2013

It’s time to do away with barmitzvah parties.

More..

Guidance on those EU guidelines

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 30, 2013

I make no apology for drawing your attention once more to the small matter of the “Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards.”

More..