Columnists

It’s not Zionism that fuels hate

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 28, 2009

A question that has often arisen in recent times is: what are the causes of contemporary anti-Jewish prejudice? It is a big question, and it would require a great deal more space than a newspaper column to answer it in any depth.

Nonetheless, simply because a question has been asked before doesn’t mean it should not be asked again. Just because I’m a simple newspaper columnist doesn’t mean that I should not attempt some sort of answer. Besides, I confess that I have an ulterior motive in troubling you again with this topic.

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Why I am rooting for Ahmadinejad

By Miriam Shaviv, May 28, 2009

Most Westerners do not know who they want to win the Iranian presidential elections on June 12. But they certainly know who they want to lose: the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Lawyer Alan Dershowitz wants Ahmadinejad prosecuted for “incitement to genocide”. Liberals line up to slam him as an “extremist” who stands in the way of a détente with the United States. And the Americans themselves have told Israel to tone down their anti-Iranian rhetoric until after the elections, because it might give Ahmadinejad a boost.

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Boycotting Limmud failed. So why again with JCoSS?

By Miriam Shaviv, May 21, 2009

Certain generals, it is said, always fight the last war — using the tactics that provided victory in the past in order to fight new battles, even when completely inappropriate. But our United Synagogue rabbis are blundering even further — fighting the last war, even though it was one they lost.

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Proper Jewish pride, by George

By Melanie Phillips, May 21, 2009

Against the current backdrop of rampant anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice, we find ourselves once again asking the age-old question: why are people antisemites? What is it about the Jews that makes some people hate us so much?

But we might also ask ourselves the reverse question: why are other people philosemites? Why should certain people have such a deep love for the Jews? And what might be learned about the Jews from such love?

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Why Bibi and Obama cosied up

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 21, 2009

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu met US President Barack Obama in one of the most minutely choreographed get-togethers in the history of diplomatic relations. The President can claim an overwhelming mandate to break with the policies of the Bush era. The Prime Minister can claim an overwhelming mandate to protect Israel’s interests in the international arena.

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All religions are not the same

By Daniel Finkelstein, May 14, 2009

Here’s the argument. I will lay it out for you as simply and as swiftly as I can. I am a Scientologist. Well, no better than a Scientologist. Religions are man-made, and there is no reason to favour their claims to moral authority or special protection. And what demonstrates this is our attitude to new religions.

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Slaughtering of the opposition

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 14, 2009

The decision by the European Parliament last week to legalise Jewish religious slaughter —shechita — in all EU member states is a victory for religious freedom. It also reflects a remarkable pooling of efforts by a disciplined coalition of pro-shechita lobbies: the European Jewish Congress, the Conference of European Rabbis, and last but by no means least, Shechita UK.

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Palestinians don’t want a state

By Miriam Shaviv, May 7, 2009

Do the Palestinians really want a state? It seems like a rhetorical question. The Palestinian struggle for self-determination has been a feature of international politics for decades and a Palestinian state has been the ultimate goal of negotiations with Israel since the Madrid Conference in 1991.

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Beware ‘ethnic’ lists for MPs

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 7, 2009

Last November, I devoted my column to a consideration of the Speaker’s Conference that had been summoned to “consider, and make recommendations for rectifying, the disparity between the representation of women and ethnic minorities and disabled people in the House of Commons and their representation in the UK population at large”.

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A very futile boycott attempt

By Jonathan Freedland, April 30, 2009

Tricky business, boycotts. Take the case of Omar Barghouti. In 2004, the graduate of Columbia in New York helped found the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel campaign, urging scholars and researchers around the world to cut ties with Israel’s universities. But, as reported in last week’s JC, Barghouti is studying for a doctorate at… Tel Aviv University.

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