Columnists

Spurs and their missing stars

By David Aaronovitch, October 21, 2010

For many North Londoners, Wednesday night was the biggest event since the Stones hit Hyde Park in '69. The mighty Spurs in the top European competition for the first time for two generations, and playing Inter Milan (not Dinamo Cluj or FC Basel) in the fabled San Siro stadium. What romance! What soccerly riches!

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The university that censors

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 21, 2010

The annual Belfast Festival is the child of Queen's University, one of the UK's leading "research intensive" seats of learning. The festival grew out of an enterprising undergraduate initiative in the deeply troubled 1970s; it was - as its website rightly proclaims - "a cultural oasis in a landscape dominated by political upheaval."

It has - as its website also rightly proclaims - played a pivotal role in the cultural renaissance of the city and has attracted celebrities and intellectuals from around the world.

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How defenders need to attack

By Melanie Phillips, October 14, 2010

Last weekend, I was a speaker at a huge CAMERA conference in Boston on the topic of the "war by other means", the global campaign of demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel.

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Proud Jew Ed strong on Israel

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 14, 2010

Now that Ed Miliband has been elected as the first Jewish leader of the Labour Party, what does this tell us about Labour and its Jewish constituency?

What does Ed's acceptance speech at the party conference last month tell us about his approach to his Jewishness and how - if at all - it will shape his leadership of the party? I raise these questions because Ed himself went out of his way to raise them in that conference speech, which is one of the few party-conference addresses that I've bookmarked for future reference.

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Street life is never comfortable

By Miriam Shaviv, October 7, 2010

It was miserable timing. Two weeks ago, the JC revealed that a number of activists in the UK were trying to establish a left-leaning Israel group, which would support Israel but not shy away from criticising its government. The initiative, which is being spearheaded by Hannah Weisfeld, formerly of the Jewish Community Centre for London, was directly inspired by the liberal American lobby group, J Street, which, since it was founded in 2008, has increasingly challenged the more conservative Jewish establishment.

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No way to settle the conflict

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 7, 2010

The Palestinian Arab leadership is making a real song and dance about Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. But why? After all, these settlements are hardly at the root of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours and their Islamist sponsors.

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Unpleasant body language

By Julie Burchill, September 28, 2010

Apparently, the journalist India "Muslims-are-the-new-Jews" Knight has turned down a spa trip to Israel.

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It is fine to sound off in shul

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 28, 2010

Hearing, and then reading of, the dramatic but cheerless story of the congregant who used the opportunity of a full house at the recent Rosh Hashanah evening service of an Orthodox synagogue in north-west London to publicly denounce a fellow male worshipper as an adulterer caused me to reflect on the appropriateness of a synagogue as a place in which such a grievance might legitimately be aired.

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Oh what a beautiful building

By Daniel Finkelstein, September 21, 2010

When I was a boy, they built some shops round the corner from my house. They looked like rather a good thing to me. But what did I know? I was only a boy. And I was biased in any case, since the new stores provided one of the few places I could go without crossing a road.

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Free speech: the burning issue

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 21, 2010

Prior to the recent anniversary of the Islamist attacks on the World Trade Centre and other American targets, an obscure American pastor threatened to publicly burn copies of the Koran on the lawn of his church in Gainesville, Florida.

The publicity given to this (subsequently withdrawn) threat sparked worldwide condemnation. Other Christian communities in the neighbourhood were joined by leaders of Muslim and Jewish congregations in berating pastor Terry Jones and his self-declared "International Burn a Koran Day."

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