Columnists

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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Board acted with gay abandon

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 25, 2013

It's a plucky commentator indeed who sets out to criticise the editor on whom he relies for his weekly dole. But this is what I am about to do, and I'm about to do it primarily in order to correct a serious misconception that I fear is widespread within British Jewry.

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A secular society is the key

By Oliver Kamm, June 23, 2013

Teaching science to Jewish children is not the enemy of knowledge but the prerequisite of it, declared the JC in its leader last week. It was a reference to disquiet among Charedi Jews about the GCSE science curriculum. Michael Gove, the education secretary, wishes to put greater emphasis on teaching evolution. Charedi educators maintain that this "flies in the face of their ethos and culture".

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Union heeding wake-up call

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 18, 2013

On the assumption that most of you are not devotees of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, or in full paid-up membership of one of its numerous conventicles, I need to bring you up to speed on developments within the Union and its affiliates that are without precedent.

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Women's prayers answered

By Miriam Shaviv, June 17, 2013

When you hear the same promises from leaders for years, or even decades, cynicism is inevitable. So I will forgive any readers who laugh when I predict there is going to be significant progress on one of the thorniest issues facing our community: the role of women in Orthodoxy.

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When the Israel boycott goes mainstream

By Jonathan Freedland, June 7, 2013

Sometimes it takes just a single word. This particular word, used three times in a newspaper article, offered a glimpse of an unwelcome future - one in which Israel is seen all but universally as a pariah state.

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