Columnists

A politically sophisticated community? Come off it

By Stephen Pollard, August 22, 2013

When you’re editing a newspaper, one of the most frequent questions you ask is: what’s the peg?
I play a little game with myself, constructing tenuous pegs for stories with no apparent link to the JC, just to see if I can find a way, in theory, of getting them in to the paper.

More..

Learning Hebrew - just a minor lamentation

By David Aaronovitch, August 16, 2013

I was sailing away from Odessa when Jonathan Freedland’s column on learning Hebrew was published in the JC, so I only got round to reading it this week.

Readers may recall that Mr F, one of my favourite scribbling Jews in a crowded field, gave himself up to a minor lamentation (wringing but no rending) on the inability of a sufficient number of British Jews to speak Hebrew.

More..

A person of no importance?

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 16, 2013

So tell me, just how important do you think you are? And – scarcely less significant but frightfully important nonetheless — just how important do you think you ought to be?

More..

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”.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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).

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..