Columnists

Braw bricht lichts of Chanucah

By David Aaronovitch, December 13, 2012

So, readers, "Happy Hannukah!" That's what it says on the strange, giant, zinc candlestick near Jack Straw's Castle in Hampstead (for our more observant customers, I ought to explain that Hampstead is a shtetl about 2,500 miles west of Jerusalem and 10 miles south-east of Radlett).

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We can’t ignore this sorry affair

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 11, 2012

At first glance, the story of the divorce of Beth Alexander and Michael Schlesinger is all too familiar. Two young people meet. They get married. Children come along — in this case, twin boys. Then things start to go wrong (or perhaps they started to go wrong much earlier). The couple split up.

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A double-standard abstention

By Melanie Phillips, December 9, 2012

The double standard was breathtaking. The UN vote to give the Palestinians non-member, observer status has smashed the Middle East peace process to bits.

In bringing this to the General Assembly, Mahmoud Abbas was in unilateral breach of his obligation under the Oslo Accords to proceed by way of bilateral negotiations with Israel.

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Open mouths but closed eyes

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 4, 2012

OK. I agree that the semi-hysterical revelries commissioned by Hamas once its cease-fire with Israel had been announced reflect a kind of madness. Much of the Hamas infrastructure is in ruins. A number of key Hamas operatives have succumbed to their wounds. Neither Iran nor Hizbollah came to Hamas's aid. Nor did its Egyptian godfathers of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Feeling at home in the Synod

By Daniel Finkelstein, December 2, 2012

It's an odd thing, when you are called Finkelstein, to find yourself commenting on the internal debates of the Church of England. But such was my fate - both on television and in print - when the Synod made its decision not to allow women to become Bishop.

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Cold facts from a seat of learning

By Peter Rosengard, November 28, 2012

I'm starting my own Middle East diversionary tactic today in the hope that this might restore some sense of proportion to the newspapers' front pages. And here is Rosengard's Breaking News Headline: Saudi Arabia has dirty fridges.

In an international study of nine countries, 95 per cent of Saudi fridges failed the bacteriology test for E. coli.

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Welcome addition to UK Jewry

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 27, 2012

For seasoned devotees of this column, this is a rare moment. I'm about to welcome the establishment of a new Anglo-Jewish communal organisation. What's more, I'm going to say that its establishment is long overdue.

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Unlovable, but not self-hating

By Oliver Kamm, November 26, 2012

Postwar America found not only prosperity but a new literary voice. Philip Roth, one of its principal exponents, has now laid down his pen. Having written 31 books, Roth has decided that he has said what he wants to say. He told the New York Times last week: "I sat around for a month or two trying to think of something else and I thought, 'Maybe it's over, maybe it's over'."

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Spectre of Stalin in our land

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 20, 2012

In recent weeks, two legal actions began in two different courts. The outcome of each will directly impact on Jewish communities throughout the UK.

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Arrest threatens Orthodox too

By Miriam Shaviv, November 16, 2012

Last month, Anat Hoffman donned her talit and began leading a prayer service for women at the Western Wall. As she hummed her first tune, she was interrupted by a policewoman demanding that she wear her talit like a scarf. She complied and continued. During the Shema, she was interrupted again, this time by a policeman telling her to lower her voice.

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