Columnists

My new kind of bad language

By Julie Burchill, November 11, 2010

I never much saw the point of learning languages at school. But at the age of 51, I find myself learning Hebrew - along with my equally philosemitic friend Nadia.

Slowly but surely, I have achieved a reading age of two after a whole six months, but I have every intention of sticking at it. And I can't remember, with the exception of my current marriage, ever feeling that way about anything, from stamp-collecting to Sapphism.

It helps that we have a great teacher - Mrs Yael Breuer of Rehovot, Israel, now happily resident in Brighton.

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Kangaroo court of law society

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 11, 2010

Please accept my apologies for bothering you again with the deeds and misdeeds of the Russell Tribunal.

I know that some 20 months ago I summoned up the courage to trouble you with the antics of this entity, and
I entirely understand that, as busy people with livings to earn and loved ones to be cared for, you probably do not wish to be troubled again in the slightest with the frolics and capers of a body whose deliberations (if one can call them that) are frankly not worth the time of day. But trouble you I fear I must, for a reason that I will make clear.

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Rabin's legacy sits to the right

By Miriam Shaviv, November 4, 2010

Fifteen years after his murder, Israelis don't care much about Yitzhak Rabin.

None of the main television channels planned to cover the commemoration ceremony for the slain leader this year - the state broadcaster, Channel 1, only reversed tack following a Facebook campaign. Last Saturday night, the organisers of the memorial could not even fill Rabin Square, the site of Rabin's murder on November 4, 1995. They will most likely have to move to
a smaller location next year.

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War Logs exposed a sad truth

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 4, 2010

Every cloud has at least one silver lining. Consider, for example, the recent international commotion occasioned by the release, on the WikiLeaks website, of the so-called Iraqi War Logs - around 400,000 documents relating to allied operations in Iraq from 2002 to 2009.

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Allow our artists Leigh way

By Jonathan Freedland, November 1, 2010

Last week saw two Manchester Jewish titans of the arts of near-identical vintage get two very different responses from our community.

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Don't wear Tutu with blinkers

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 1, 2010

Earlier this month, on the occasion of his 79th birthday, Desmond Tutu, Anglican cleric and Nobel prize-winner, announced his retirement from public life. From all over the world, fitting encomia were showered down upon this turbulent priest, who made a name for himself in the 1980s as a fierce critic of the apartheid regime in which he had grown up, and later made another name for himself as the prime mover in the so-called truth-and-reconciliation movement that, some claim, has played a pivotal role in the transformation of South Africa into a peaceful, multicultural society.

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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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