History

Telling our story for 120 years and more

By Madelyn Travis, October 25, 2013

One Saturday in 1916, two Jewish soldiers at Sluch Camp near Brecon in Wales were cleaning the mess tent after breakfast. When they had completed the job, a lieutenant inspected their handiwork. He was unimpressed. “You bloody Jews,” he berated them, ‘if I had my way with you I would make you go down on your knees to clean up, with me over you with a riding crop.”

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Great TV, but there were gaps in Simon Schama's story

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 11, 2013

Next year, I shall be giving some classes on the recent history of the Middle East — or, rather, on the history of the Jewish dimension to Middle Eastern politics since the early 19th century.

My audience will be a mixed bunch of UK, EU and international students, all of whom will (if past experience is anything to go by) come with a predetermined set of ideas about that history.

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Wanted: war stories from heroes of WWII

By Sandy Rashty, September 13, 2013

A new group is launching a UK-wide campaign to collect stories and memorabilia from Jewish men and women who served in the British army during the Second World War.

The Association of Jewish War Heroes has been set up to amass material to fill a new section of the Latrun military museum in Israel that will be dedicated to war heroes from Britain.

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‘Do not send treasures back to Iraq’

By Sandy Rashty, September 1, 2013

Senior Jewish figures are backing an international campaign to prevent the return of religious artefacts to Iraq.

A collection of sermons from the 17th-century, a 1902 Haggada, a 400-year-old Bible, and Torah scrolls were among thousands of artefacts discovered by United States officials after raiding Saddam Hussain’s intelligence office in May 2003.

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Portugal gets £4m fund for heritage sites

By Kevin Zdiara, August 16, 2013

Portuguese Secretary of State for Culture, Jorge Barreto Xavier, has announced a £4.3m project aimed at restoring and renovating Portugal’s Jewish heritage sites.

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Berlin hotels boycott Holocaust denier David Irving

July 26, 2013

David Irving, the Holocaust-denying British historian, is planning a controversial return to Germany but may have a hard time finding a place to stay as hotels in the German capital have banded together to boycott him.

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When history is in a sorry state

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 8, 2013

On June 25, Dr James Renton, a history lecturer, delivered a lecture at the School of Oriental and African Studies on the subject of the Balfour Declaration. Hosted by Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Renton addressed the question "Should Britain apologise for the Balfour Declaration?" He clearly believes the answer is in the affirmative.

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An American thinker’s Jewish journey

By Kenneth Sacks, July 5, 2013

At a time when European antisemitism appears once again to be on the rise, it is pertinent to recall the experience of the 19th-century intellectual, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who learned of the struggles of British Jews and consequently became their advocate in America.

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Banker, Traitor, Scapegoat, Spy?

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 5, 2013

Next year we shall commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. When Britain declared war on Germany scenes of jubilation were seen throughout the UK. But as the war dragged on, and as British casualty lists climbed to obscene levels, violent anti-German hysteria, cynically exploited by politicians, gripped the nation.

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Zionist history's murder mystery

By Colin Shindler, June 16, 2013

Eighty years ago this coming Sunday, Haim Arlosoroff was gunned down during a Friday-night walk with his wife on the Tel Aviv beach. He was 34 and a rising star in the Zionist firmament. He was a respected political thinker - in the words of his biographer, Shlomo Avineri: "the critical student of Marx, Kropotkin and Nietzsche, a product of Russian populism and German Romanticism".

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