Columnists

Doctors expose my blind spot

By Peter Rosengard, August 11, 2013

On Sunday, I went on a blind date. I was fully prepared. My 17-year-old daughter had texted me my instructions: “Dad, don’t be on the phone the whole time — in fact don’t even take your BlackBerry. Don’t talk about yourself the whole time. Don’t try and be funny the whole time. Don’t be late”.

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Not a scintilla of authenticity

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 9, 2013

Believe me, if I thought for one moment that the so-called “Middle East Peace Process Talks” (the phrase is that of the US State Department) had a chance in a trillion in bringing genuine peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours I would back them to the hilt.

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Let’s all tame Twitter now

By Daniel Finkelstein, August 9, 2013

I have spent an odd few days on Twitter. Well, both on Twitter and not on Twitter actually.

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Ani Yonatan. Efshar l'azor li?*

By Jonathan Freedland, July 24, 2013

Several years ago I did a Jewish event alongside Michael Gove. It was clear whose views the audience preferred. Courteous, witty and as hawkish as they were on Israel, he was the son-in-law of their dreams (apart from the obvious drawback).

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Burt’s very blurred big picture

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 14, 2013

At the end of June, House Magazine carried an interview with the parliamentary under-secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, Alistair Burt. Burt has a daunting portfolio, for his responsibilities encompass no less than 27 countries stretching from North America through North Africa to the Middle East.

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Speak truth? How dare I?

By Melanie Phillips, July 14, 2013

Recently, I found myself facing a baying mob, aka a booing, sneering audience bristling with outrage and hostility towards me, on Question Time.

Nothing new there, then.

So what unpardonable thing had I said this time? Simply that the government’s priority should be to neutralise Iran, since this posed the greatest current threat to Britain and the west.

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When history is in a sorry state

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 8, 2013

On June 25, Dr James Renton, a history lecturer, delivered a lecture at the School of Oriental and African Studies on the subject of the Balfour Declaration. Hosted by Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Renton addressed the question "Should Britain apologise for the Balfour Declaration?" He clearly believes the answer is in the affirmative.

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An unhelpful approach

By David Aaronovitch, July 7, 2013

Two weeks ago in the JC the writer Douglas Murray described the idea of Islamophobia as "a crock". Douglas and I have shared a few platforms over the years and I have a respect for his combination of intellectual and street-fighting skills.

So it is with disappointment and trepidation that I take issue with him here. He is, I think, completely wrong. And here's why.

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Assaulted rabbi deserves to win

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 28, 2013

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s election season in Israel. The candidates are setting forth their manifestos, and — naturally — throwing verbal vitriol at each other. Insults fly thick and fast. Two weeks ago, one of the candidates was actually physically attacked by certain of his opponents. “It’s disgraceful (I hear you say) — but what can you expect of politicians?”

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Science and religion: we don’t control the facts

By Daniel Finkelstein, June 28, 2013

When I last visited my doctor’s surgery I saw a big sign on the wall with the figure 79 in large bright red letters. This, the sign said, was the number of patients who had failed to attend appointments in the past week and not told the doctor. As I explained to readers of The Times later the same week, this sign is a mistake.

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