A Rose is a Rose is a Rose is etc

By David Aaronovitch, June 17, 2010

On the second leg of a train trip to Kiev, I began to think on the proposition that where you say something matters as much, if not more than, what you say.

The provocateuse was Professor Jacqueline Rose, whose very, very long article in the London Review of Books I was reading. Her piece - "J'accuse. Dreyfus in our times" - purports to examine what might be learned from the late 19th-century case of the Jewish officer in the French army, falsely convicted of treason and transported, and the subsequent scandal.


Numbers that don't add up

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 17, 2010

The counting of Jews has never been straightforward. Orthodox Jews maintain that it is forbidden to count Jews directly. Some say that in biblical times a half-shekel was taken from every Jew, and then the coins were counted.

Today, in Israel, the prohibition on counting Jews is side-stepped through the argument that the census also counts non-Jews. In Britain, the census now contains a religious identity question, but I have come across individual Jews who tell me either that they do not answer this question, or that they answer in a nonsensical manner.


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".


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,


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?


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".


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?"


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.


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.


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.