Columnists

Idling and ignorant in Italy

By David Aaronovitch, September 7, 2010

I write in a state of Jewlessness. In this small, southern seaside resort at the fag-end of the Italian national holiday season, there have been no Jews visible for over a week.

We are not talking here just about no bearded, hatted, kippah-ed, sidelocked, bewigged and Volvoed Jews. That can sometimes happen in parts of London.

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Can these rabbis be forgiven?

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 7, 2010

Five years ago, in the pages of this newspaper, a communal scandal was brought to your attention. Two Jewish children, born to Jewish parents, were denied entry into a leading Jewish school.

The reason for this denial of entry had nothing whatever to do with money, scholastic ability or shortage of school places.

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The left wins… rhetorically

By Melanie Phillips, September 2, 2010

Someone I met recently posed what I thought was an interesting question.

Like me, he had read and admired the moving interview in last Sunday's Observer with the Israeli novelist David Grossman, whose son Uri was killed when his IDF tank was hit by a rocket in the final hours of the aborted war with Hizbollah in 2006.

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Tribute to Tribune's lost world

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 2, 2010

I was distressed - devastated would be a more accurate description - to read that the future of the Jewish Tribune is in doubt. It is a publication for which I have a genuine, if perverse, affection. To be frank, I'm addicted to it. When it arrives I devour its contents from last page to first.

What is it about this weekly Anglo-Yiddish scandal sheet that so mesmerises me?

To begin with, it's the paper's steadfast refusal to separate fact from comment.

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To learn Hebrew, just have fun

By Miriam Shaviv, August 26, 2010

Parallel universes exist mostly in the realm of science fiction. But this summer, I was privileged to enter my own alternative reality. For four weeks, I got to see a life I could have lived but don't, a child I could have had, but don't. I got as close as I will probably ever get to bringing up Israeli children.

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A child rabbi? I don't think so

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 26, 2010

I once agreed to be a member of a panel set up by a synagogue to choose a new rabbi. To begin with all went well. Advertisements were placed in suitable newspapers. My fellow panel members and I drew up a shortlist of those applicants we intended to interview. There was one outstanding CV, that of a mature man, just turned 45, well qualified in terms of both his religious and secular education, and with excellent references.

We decided to interview him and another candidate, a much younger gentleman, scarcely 24, but also well qualified on paper, and also with excellent references.

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Johnny is not the rotten one

By Julie Burchill, August 19, 2010

I love Israel and I love Rihanna, so imagine my glee earlier this year on seeing a photo of her lying by the exact Tel Aviv swimming pool where I had been lounging just a few days before! I'm less fond of Lady Gaga so I wasn't quite as stoked to see her mooching around the Western Wall. And I can't stand Madonna so I wasn't overjoyed to see her strutting around the Promised Land.

But, hey, every little helps in the war against the half-wits seeking to demonise Israel through the medium of cultural boycott.

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No outcry at Abbas's racism?

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 19, 2010

In mid-July, in an interview with the Jordanian newspaper al-Ghad, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, set out his minimum conditions for a definitive peace treaty with Israel.

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Beware of chain-letter blight

By Daniel Finkelstein, August 12, 2010

The Judaic Studies programme of the University of Kentucky offers a course designated as "History 323: The Holocaust". I found this out last week for a rather odd reason, and I thought you would like to know.

Every so often over the past three years, you see, I have been receiving emails about the teaching of the Holocaust. Perhaps you have, too. And I have been ignoring them. But now I realise that perhaps I shouldn't have.

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Friends uninvited to the party

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 12, 2010

My dictionary defines a "gaffe" as "a blatant mistake or misjudgment". Prime Minister David Cameron has recently been accused of having made several political gaffes in the course of various ill-judged foreign policy initiatives.

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