Columnists

Israel itself is their real target

By Daniel Finkelstein, January 29, 2009

When HL Menken was editor of the New Yorker, he hit upon an excellent way of dealing with the huge number of letters he received every day. Whatever the correspondent said — praise, complaint, advice, insult — he or she would receive the same reply: “Dear Sir (or Madam), You may be right. Yours HL Menken”.

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The Jews who wish others dead

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 29, 2009

Now that an uneasy truce has descended upon Gaza and southern Israel, it is time to consider some of the uglier domestic repercussions of the recent conflict. By “domestic”, I mean here, in the United Kingdom, where it seems to me that Israel’s action has unleashed an anti-Jewish demon that lay, like some slumbering reptile, waiting for its moment to pounce.

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Outrage that is highly selective

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 22, 2009

In the aftermath of the London transport bombings of July 2005, a number of respected leaders of Islamic communities in the UK, whilst condemning the bombings without reservation, called nonetheless for an official inquiry into their cause.

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Why I did not 'rally for Israel'

By Jonathan Freedland, January 14, 2009

It was a strange weekend. Saturday saw a demonstration against Israel’s military action in Gaza. Of course I was not there. I could never stand with those who oppose not just Operation Cast Lead but Israel itself, those who carry banners linking the Star of David to the swastika.

As a believer in Israel, someone who wants desperately to see that country flourish, that could clearly never be my place.

So would I be at the Sunday solidarity rally, standing in support of Israel? Well, no, I could not stand there either.

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How Gaza reveals home truths

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 14, 2009

In every cloud there is at least one silver lining. In the present conflict in Gaza, there are several.

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The BNP respectable? Hmmm

By David Aaronovitch, January 8, 2009

I begin the goyishe new year with the shattering observation that people are odd. If we are very unlucky, we might find out in the next 12 months just how odd. This generalisation is attached to a story, of sorts. About a month ago, following the leak of the membership lists of the British National Party, I wrote in The Times that respectability would always be denied to an organisation that contained, at its core, a collection of genuine antisemites and equally authentic criminals and convicts.

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Jews who are no longer Jewish

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 8, 2009

Of all the columns I have written for this page, none has caused a greater outcry than that published on 3 August 2007. This addressed the question of whether or not it was possible for Jews to engage in a meaningful dialogue with Muslims. Referring to the Koran, and to the very early history of the Islamic faith, I observed that Islam had been founded “in part, on an explicit anti-Jewish discourse”.

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Out of tune fiddling on the roof

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 30, 2008

Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, the location of the bizarre end-of-term production of Fiddler on the Roof reported in the JC of December 19, is a prestigious, much-sought-after state school. As its website proudly proclaims, it was the first sixth-form college in the country to be awarded Ofsted’s “designated outstanding” status, by virtue of being assessed as outstanding in all inspection categories.

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Durban II: a sick, cynical farce

By Melanie Phillips, December 30, 2008

A few days before 9/11, the UN hosted an appalling explosion of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hatred at an obscenely named “human rights” conference in Durban, South Africa.

While the worst of these gross libels and Nazi-style caricatures were expressed by the NGOs attending the conference, the official governmental declaration also made its underlying anti-Israel agenda clear.

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Chanucah v Xmas: no contest

By Daniel Finkelstein, December 23, 2008

Slade were wrong. Yes: “Here it is, Merry Christmas”. But not everybody is having fun.

Every year at Christmas time, I have the same discussions with my colleagues. How can I be doing nothing — nothing — to celebrate the great day? They find it hard to believe that I do not mark the birth of Christ at all. Not even by putting a little pine tree in my lounge.

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