Columnists

When hypocrisy met vanity

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 20, 2013

Coincidence is a funny thing. Take last Wednesday. I had reserved that morning to prepare a lecture on the intellectual origins of Nazism. I intended asking why so many apparently sane academics saw fit to endorse Nazism, and indeed promote it.

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Truman show’s real star

By Daniel Finkelstein, May 17, 2013

As ome of my best friends are Jews. It is a boast so thin and irrelevant that it has become an in-joke. So it was a surprise to discover, when reading the other day, that one of the most important and positive events in the modern history of the Jewish people took place because someone's best friend was Jewish. And I thought it was a story worth telling.

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One small step, not a giant leap

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 13, 2013

The election of Mrs Karen Appleby as the first female chair of a United Synagogue shul (St Albans) is certainly a landmark. The question is, precisely what sort of a landmark is it?

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A damaging document

By Oliver Kamm, May 12, 2013

'All men," wrote Reinhold Niebuhr, the great Protestant ethicist, "are naturally inclined to obscure the
morally ambiguous element in their political cause by investing it with religious sanctity. This is why religion is more frequently a source of confusion than of light in the political realm."

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It’s not necessarily good to talk

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 7, 2013

In 1906 a portentous meeting took place between Chaim Weizmann and the Conservative leader Arthur Balfour. Weizmann expounded to a shocked Balfour the broad principles of Zionism. Balfour was shocked because these unashamed nationalistic aspirations did not reflect the views he was accustomed to hearing from the highly assimilated Anglo-Jewish establishment whose company he enjoyed.

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Wrong arm (and wrist) of the law

By Peter Rosengard, May 6, 2013

The editor has had quite a week. He tweeted: "I've had car vandalised, been pick-pocketed and had pram stolen from locked car. In leafy suburbia." And "the police don't give a damn".

I am of course hugely sympathetic but it could have been worse. It did at least ebb and flow over the whole week and didn't erupt in one great, cataclysmic, criminal episode.

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End this personality cult

By Miriam Shaviv, May 2, 2013

It has been a bad year so far for Orthodox rabbis. Across the channel, French chief rabbi Gilles Bernheim quit after admitting plagiarising texts and faking his academic credentials while, last weekend, similar charges were levelled by Maariv against the Israeli chief rabbi, Yonah Metzger.

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When segregation is acceptable

By Geoffrey Alderman, April 30, 2013

Recent media reports have focused on instances of gender segregation at events arranged by Islamic societies at British universities.

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Plan could end in blame game

By Jonathan Freedland, April 26, 2013

The long-ago BBC Jerusalem correspondent, Michael Elkins, once lamented that too many war reporters had not served a journalistic apprenticeship by working on a local newspaper.

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Fit for a king, but not for a rabbi?

By Geoffrey Alderman, April 22, 2013

The tragedy of Gilles Bernheim is symptomatic of a wider hypocrisy where issues of intellectual dishonesty are concerned.

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