Columnists

The spread of flotilla sickness

By Melanie Phillips, June 10, 2010

The flotilla episode provided the trigger for a frenzied demonstration of the world's collective loss of mind over Israel.

Israel did what it was entitled to do and what any other country at war would do: intercept boats that might be carrying weapons for an aggressor regime. Since six out of the seven intercepted boats then proceeded peacefully to Ashdod where their cargo was checked, this was demonstrably not an Israeli "attack".

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A Prime Minister's question

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 10, 2010

On several occasions prior to taking office, David Cameron was gracious enough to boast of his friendship with the Jewish people and to declare pride in his own Jewish ancestry. Unfortunately, I now feel moved to question how sincere those protestations of friendship really were. So, here goes:

Dear Prime Minister,

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Will a Jewish template work?

By Daniel Finkelstein, June 3, 2010

It can't be on Israel again - they'll have had plenty of that. And the general political stuff won't work with this audience. We can take questions on that, but that's all. Why don't we go down the charity route?

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A Muslim in need of faith facts

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 3, 2010

Mohammed Asif is the chief executive of Engage, a pressure group launched in September 2008 to "enable active citizenship and participation by British Muslims in furtherance of its aims to create a more inclusive and tolerant Britain".

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How not to find Jews funny

By Julie Burchill, May 27, 2010

When I was a 12-year-old, redneck kid growing up in the West Country, one of my most prized possessions was a slender paperback called Best Jewish Jokes. Though it's been almost 40 years, I can remember some of the gags till this day:

1. Mrs Cohen is in bed with her lover when Mr Cohen walks in. Mrs Cohen: "Oh no, there's Blabbermouth - now everyone will know!"

2. Mrs Cohen tells Mrs Steinberg: "Don't tell anyone, but I'm having an affair!" Mrs Steinberg: "Mazeltov! Who is doing the catering?"

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Experiencing Hackney downs

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 27, 2010

I recently spent a pleasant morning in Jewish Hackney, visiting some of my old haunts and marvelling at the changes that have taken place in the borough since I married and moved away from the area some 36 years ago.

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Covering up a shocking crime

By Miriam Shaviv, May 21, 2010

No subject has irritated the Orthodox world more, this year, than sexual abuse perpetrated by its religious leaders.

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CST sledge-hammer, MPAC nut

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 21, 2010

The Community Security Trust seems to be seriously exercised by the antics of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. Why?

It transpires that, earlier this year - well before the general election - the CST held a meeting with the Equality and Human Rights Commission raising concerns about MPAC.

The CST was particularly concerned about MPAC's propaganda activities against certain serving MPs whom it perceived as being either sympathetic to Zionism or Islamophobic.

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The PM who understood Jews

By Jonathan Freedland, May 13, 2010

There'll be no hard evidence of it - not since my upstairs neighbour on this page, Prof Alderman, ended his studies of the Jewish vote in British general elections - but it is widely assumed that, last week, Britain's Jews switched their allegiance from Labour to Conservative.

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Special pleading's bad effects

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 13, 2010

At its recent biennial conference, Liberal Judaism's chief executive, Rabbi Danny Rich, warned his audience against "special pleaders" - by which he meant those who argue that faith groups should be accorded an exceptional position within British society.

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