Stephen Pollard

Exclusive: The real reason Britain voted against Israel at the UN

By Stephen Pollard, July 6, 2015

Britain voted in favour of a UN resolution based on a report that condemned Israel’s actions in last summer’s Gaza war and accused it of war crimes – at the request of Benjamin Netanyahu.

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NYLO New York

By Stephen Pollard, May 14, 2015

I've tried Downtown, Midtown and the Upper East, but my heart belongs to the Upper West.

And despite New York City's reputation for hotel prices as high as the skyscrapers, I maintain that if you look sensibly you can find seriously good value.

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David Cameron: Israel was right to defend itself over Gaza — I feel that very clearly

By Stephen Pollard, April 30, 2015

Last month’s JC poll showing that 69 per cent of British Jews are planning to vote Conservative might, on one level, owe more to the community’s view of Labour leader Ed Miliband than it does to any attributes of David Cameron.

But that is a far too flippant response to what is, by any standards, a huge endorsement of the Prime Minister.

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Israel was right to defend itself over Gaza, insists David Cameron

By Stephen Pollard, April 28, 2015

David Cameron has spoken of his belief that it is “important to speak out” about Israel’s right to have defended itself last year in Gaza.

In an interview with the JC to be published on Thursday, Mr Cameron contrasts the “indiscriminate” attacks on Israel with its defensive response.

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A medical breakthrough: starve, and you lose weight

By Stephen Pollard, April 8, 2015

You wouldn’t guess from our obsession with talking about our health, but a report a few weeks ago found that British Jews are in better health than almost any other group in the country.

I’m not convinced. Having just turned 50, I could cure your insomnia with a list of my various ailments — and I am far from alone in this.

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Larry David - the man I wish I was

By Stephen Pollard, March 12, 2015

I’m hoping that if I say Palestinian Chicken to you, it prompts thoughts not of sumac, za’atar and lemon but of the best 30 minutes of comedy ever. And if I say Ski Lift, it’s not Klosters or Verbier that spring to mind but Larry David pretending to be an Orthodox Jew.

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A better way to report the views of British Jews

By Stephen Pollard, January 14, 2015

One of the frustrations for anyone working in the Jewish community is that it has been impossible to provide a reliable snapshot of opinion on any given subject. What were our views of the Gaza war last summer? Do we think shechita is under threat? Have we experienced antisemitism? The list of issues on which it would be invaluable to know what Jews think is almost endless.

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Opera: Tristan und Isolde

By Stephen Pollard, December 11, 2014

I first heard Tristan und Isolde 29 years ago, with Reginald Goodall conducting at the ENO. Those performances set a high bar – they were so all-encompassing that I was unable to listen to music for weeks afterwards and, to this day, I can recall the impact.

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Balotelli: Reaction is both stupid and dangerous

By Stephen Pollard, December 4, 2014

Another week, another "football antisemite" exposed.

And another series of outraged comments from our communal leaders.

Last week it was Dave Whelan, the Wigan chairman, who informed a reporter that "Jewish people chase money more than everybody else", prompting demands that he be ritually defenestrated.

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Opera review: Idomeneo

By Stephen Pollard, November 13, 2014

Martin Kusej's cult-cum-dictatorship interpretation of Idomeneo was roundly booed on its opening night. But although much of it is rather silly - Arbace wanders around, inexplicably, with an accordion - much of it is rather good. It's thought-provoking to have the chorus singing not in admiration of Idomeneo but compelled by force to do so.

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Faiths unite in fury over two-religion GCSE plan

By Stephen Pollard, September 23, 2014

Plans by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to require GCSE religious studies students to learn about two faiths have been delayed following a row between Mrs Morgan and the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles.

The reform was due to have been announced this week and trumpeted at next week's Conservative Party conference.

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Opera review: Xerxes

By Stephen Pollard, September 18, 2014

I've seen Nicholas Hytner's production of Handel's comic opera at least a dozen times since it opened in 1985. And still I don't feel sated. This is simply one of the greatest opera productions - and it changed forever the perception of Handel as an opera composer. From box office death, Handel now almost guarantees a sell out.

This latest revival doesn't merely seem as fresh as ever.

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JW3 and LJCC set to unite in historic merger

By Stephen Pollard, September 17, 2014

JW3, the £50m London community centre, is to merge with the LJCC, the London Jewish Cultural Centre, based at Ivy House in Golders Green.

The merger, which has long been predicted but has been repeatedly denied by both organisations, will be completed within the year.

As yet there is no name for the new joint organisation. But both bodies are keen to maintain their identities.

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DEC Gaza appeal

By Stephen Pollard, August 14, 2014

There has been some controversy over the advert for the DEC Gaza appeal in this week’s paper.

I understand why some people are angry and upset and I thought it important to respond.

This is an advert, and not an expression of the JC's view. We keep editorial coverage entirely separate from our commercial operations.

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Jewish Chronicle is donating Tricycle’s cash to Israel charity

By Stephen Pollard, August 13, 2014

For a number of years the JC has carried a small weekly advert from the Tricycle Theatre. Given the theatre’s demand that the UK Jewish Film Festival sever its ties to Israel, we could simply have severed our own ties to the Tricycle.

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Is this the tipping point?

By Stephen Pollard, August 7, 2014

Malcolm Gladwell defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point”.

On Tuesday, Baroness Warsi resigned because the government refused to attack Israel sufficiently.

Later that day, the Tricycle Theatre told a Jewish charity it was not welcome unless it denounced Israel.

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John Kerry'sHamas-friendly ceasefire plan exposes his incompetence to all

By Stephen Pollard, July 31, 2014

It takes a special type of talent to unite Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the Saudis, Egypt and pretty much everyone except Hamas, Turkey and Qatar. The type of talent that mixes incompetence with jaw-dropping arrogance.

The talent, in other words, of the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

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Opera: Maria Stuarda

By Stephen Pollard, July 17, 2014

What is opera? One thing it isn't - or shouldn't be - is a parade of singers warbling for the sake of warbling. There is a long tradition of such productions - to wit, the regular vehicles staged for Dame Joan Sutherland to show off her vocal talents - that are more often than not hack works that would never deserve to be revived in any other context.

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Thanks for nothing, RIBA. Zero.

By Stephen Pollard, July 3, 2014

A few years ago I was mugged at the bottom of the escalators at Charing Cross Station. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the young men responsible.

They could so easily have gone further and slashed me with a knife, or given my head a kicking. As it was, all they did was push me over and grab my wallet.

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Morally corrupt Belgium

By Stephen Pollard, June 6, 2014

It didn’t take long. Within days of the Brussels murders, the conspiracy theorists (for which, read: “the Jews did it”) were at it. Step forward, Tariq Ramadan, lecturer on contemporary Islamic issues at Oxford University and Muslim Brotherhood aristocrat — the grandson of Hassan al Banna, the Islamist group’s founder.

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