Columnists

Shul that barred its minister

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 28, 2011

Over the past four months, I have been asked to interest myself in no less than three disputes between ministers and their congregations. Legal considerations prevent me from writing about two of them. But in neither case have I encountered anything approaching the venom that characterises events at the Croydon outpost of the Federation of Synagogues.

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Palestine Papers' real scoop

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 21, 2011

Many commentators far more erudite than I am on the subject of peace in the Middle East have given vent to their erudition in respect of the so-called "Palestine Papers"- the 1,600 or so documents leaked to Al Jazeera and then passed on to other media.

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Word on the street is… mild

By David Aaronovitch, February 21, 2011

In 2003, a matter of weeks after the fall of Saddam, I went to Cairo to make a programme for Channel 4.

I was apprehensive, not because I was asking about the problem of Middle Eastern antisemitism but because the airwaves and foreign pages had been full of hoary lock-shaking concerning what was universally called "The Arab Street".

TAS (for short) was furious. TAS was potentially violent towards Westerners. It would be best - when encountering TAS - to pretend to be Irish or Patagonian.

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So, regime change is now good

By Melanie Phillips, February 14, 2011

The reaction in Britain and America to the turmoil in Egypt has produced a number of astounding revelations.

The first is that everyone in the bien-pensant world is now apparently a neo-con. You really do have to rub your eyes very hard at this.

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Progressives' genuine progress

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 14, 2011

This year marks the centenary of the founding of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue. The LJS was established by - and owed its survival beyond a difficult birth to - a partnership between the gentleman scholar, Claude Goldsmid Montefiore, and the woman who wanted desperately to be his wife (but whose advances he rebuffed), Lily Montagu.

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Stop this shocking proposal

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 9, 2011

From time to time, the JC has been criticised - and so have I, personally - for reporting and commenting on events from a narrow ethnic or religious perspective.

Appearing at a charity fund-raising panel last year, I was asked whether it was really "a good thing" for me to use this column simply to air "Jewish" concerns.

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Palestinian leaks' positive side

By Daniel Finkelstein, February 9, 2011

I have just started reading a book on political hypocrisy. It has started rather well but I haven't got to the point yet. You see, the back cover promises that, by the time I get there, the book will have explained why hypocrisy is not as bad as it is usually painted. It is an honourable part of liberal democratic tradition, apparently. I hope that is right because, otherwise, I've just wasted a lot of time reading about Thomas Hobbes. But I bet Julian Assange is even keener than I am to learn that hypocrisy has its plus points.

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New ways of wishing 'gd Shbs'

By Miriam Shaviv, January 28, 2011

It is 11 years since a number of Israeli rabbis came out against their followers using the internet, and at least half-a-decade since they attempted to ban internet-enabled mobile phones.

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Rules seem beyond our Ken

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 27, 2011

In principle, there is no reason why an active politician - one still involved in the cut-and-thrust of public life - should not also have a regular slot as a contributor to or even as a presenter of a television programme.

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McCarthyism - Israeli style

By Jonathan Freedland, January 24, 2011

'An evil wave is sweeping over Israel" and the latest act of the Knesset "sends a warning signal: here is darkness."

Before you dash off a letter to denounce the authors of those words as hateful anti-Zionists bent on delegitimising the state of Israel, pause a moment. Because the first quotation comes from the Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and the second from Likud MK Benny Begin. What could have moved such fervent Israeli patriots to speak this way?

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