Let's recognise our friends

By Richard Benson, December 22, 2010

On 8 December, the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, wrote to me, announcing government funding for the security guards at 39 voluntary aided Jewish schools. He said the funding, "should fully meet the parental costs of the guarding... parents of Jewish pupils in VA schools in England should not have to pay for counter-terrorism measures, over and above mainstream security costs. Any responsible government should meet those additional costs on its citizens."


Murder can never be a cause for celebration

By Sharon Segel, December 20, 2010

Osama bin Laden, Carlos the Jackal and Abu Nidal are just some of the names in the terrorist pantheon who have been feted as "glorious heroes". Fortunately, however, western governments do not in general subscribe to the notion that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".

In western democracies, the phenomenon - recently manifested on the streets of Stockholm - of a person carrying a bomb or strapping on a suicide belt in order to murder innocent civilians, or ordering others to do so - is not merely alien, it is repellent.


I stand by my criticisms

By Isi Leibler, December 17, 2010

In these pages last week, Jonathan Freedland accused me of indulging in a "viciously personal" attack on, and misrepresenting the views of, Mick Davis.

Let me begin with a clarification. My source was the Jewish Chronicle itself, which summarised Davis's remarks by stating: "One of British Jewry's most senior leaders this week shattered a long-standing taboo by publicly criticising Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the peace process, voicing moral reservations about some of Israel's policies and calling for criticism of Israel to be voiced freely throughout the community."


Christian voices wanted

By Nathan Jeffay, December 17, 2010

The Western Wall is not, and never has been, Jewish. So says the western-backed Palestinian Authority.

Last month, the Palestinian Ministry of Information published an Arabic-language document on its website supposedly proving that Jewish attachment to the Western Wall is a new phenomenon, that the site is owned by a Muslim family, and that it is actually part of the Al-Aksa Mosque.


I caught a cold from a cheese

By Peter Rosengard, December 17, 2010

Thirty years ago, I was working on a kibbutz, looking after the cows, and one day I had an idea.

I suggested they market a brand of cheese and call it 'Cheeses of Nazareth'. For some reason they didn't go for it.

I like cheese, but only if it's really stinky. So when a friend took me to La Fromagerie in Marylebone and I entered the cheese humidor, I was in cheese heaven. It was like a cigar humidor, only bigger and freezing - even colder than outside on the street.


Best stick to bishoping, Nigel

By Stephen Pollard, December 10, 2010

I have discovered an unexpected pleasure since entering the world of religious media - the special delight in spotting the many bizarre religious comments which emerge from unlikely sources.

You know the sort of thing: TV presenters who think that having an expensive haircut and a botoxed forehead qualifies them to adjudicate on the schisms within Judaism; or self-appointed Muslim spokesmen who claim to have unearthed the anti-Muslim agenda of the JC.

But last month I came across a comment which makes all the others look like models of rational thought.


Kosher television takeover

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, December 10, 2010

The end of the year is upon us. The secular year that is. Now is a time to sit back with a glass of sherry, look into the fire and reflect upon the eternal question: "How was it for the Jews?"

We know that there has been a rise in antisemitic attacks and that university campuses are rife with hostility to all things Israeli and that some people confuse their virulent loathing of Israel with a seeming dislike of Jews in general. We know all that. It's the same every year.


Hero's 'enough already' peak

By Alan Montague, December 10, 2010

The recent news that the National Trust is planning to fence off part of Kinder Scout brought Benny Rothman to mind.

You may have heard of Kinder Scout - it is the highest point of the Peak District, and a popular destination for tourists. But Benny Rothman? Some heroes are unsung. This one appears to have dropped out of the charts completely.


While other women are advancing, ours are not

By Gita Conn, December 9, 2010

There are more women in Parliament, following the last election, than ever before in the history of the UK. Almost a quarter of MPs are female with four women in the Cabinet and 12 in ministerial posts.

In the professions and public life generally, women are winning the fight for equality that previous generations worked so hard to achieve.


We must do more to tackle campus extremism

By Marcus Dysch, December 9, 2010

The first anniversary of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to blow up a plane will be marked in a fortnight.

The former University College London student's arrest sparked the creation by Universities UK, the umbrella group which represents vice-chancellors, of a working group to tackle the proliferation of extremist activity on British campuses.

Since its formation it has uttered not a single word in public about what should be done. Our repeated attempts to interview Malcolm Grant, the UCL provost who chairs the group, have been met with a wall of silence.