Columnists

Collaterally damaged again

By David Aaronovitch, December 6, 2010

I would like to agree with Leeds Jewish Representative Council president Hilton Lorie, quoted on the front page of last week's JC à propos of l'affaire Davis, when he said that wisdom lay in knowing "when to keep shtum". So this is the end of this week's column. Goodbye. . .

Meh - as I gather people say these days. I am neither by profession nor inclination a shtum-keeper.

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Canada PM shames UJIA boss

By Melanie Phillips, November 29, 2010

On a recent speaking tour in Montreal and Toronto, I was struck by the beleaguered state of many Canadian Jews. They were battling the usual mad barrage against Israel from the media, politicians on the left and rabid anti-Israel and Judeophobic lies and libels on campus. Home from home, in other words.

But perhaps the most troubling aspect was that they appeared not to possess the verbal ammunition with which to respond. It seemed to me that, as I wrote here last month, the problem was that, to a greater or lesser extent, they themselves had been sucked into the narrative of lies.

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Perils of being on the guest-list

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 29, 2010

Asimchah always brings a modicum of tsores.

This truism is particularly true of weddings. How well do I remember that, in the months leading up to my own nuptials, my over-harassed parents and future in-laws were presented with potential guests phoning to say that they would never sit next to named other potential guests because of some broiges or other the details of which they could, however, not now recall.

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Net threats and court conduct

By Daniel Finkelstein, November 18, 2010

I have received only one proper death threat. And it wasn't very nice. It was during the 1997 General Election campaign when I was working for the Conservative Party, masterminding its biggest defeat since 1832. When I called the police, the officer asked me, as I called him from inside Tory HQ as we headed for a Labour landslide, whether I could think of any reason why someone might not like me. I said that, if I racked my brain, I was sure I could.

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Israelis' avoidably poor state

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 18, 2010

Earlier this month, Israel's National Insurance Institute released its annual poverty report for 2009. It does not make for pleasant reading.

The institute has found that around 435,100 Israeli families - accounting for more than 1.75 million individuals - were then living below the poverty line.

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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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