Martin Bright

Beware the woman who bids to lead the Greens

By Martin Bright, August 2, 2012

Over the summer, almost unnoticed amid the blanket coverage of the Olympics, the future of one of our political parties is being decided. Across the country, hustings are taking place to allow the Green Party to decide its next leader.


Modest request but leaves a bitter taste

By Martin Bright, July 26, 2012

This week the London Olympics will finally begin and the organisers will hope the carping of the naysayers will be drowned out in a rush of national pride and sporting excellence.


Good week for education but what will long-term effects be?

By Martin Bright, July 19, 2012

This has been a good week for Jewish education.

The approval of three new Jewish free schools shows the government is prepared to back the establishment of new institutions with an ethos based on Jewish faith and culture. It also demonstrates a real appetite in the community to set up new schools and the tenacity to follow through.


Blind faith of brothers and others in law

By Martin Bright, July 16, 2012

When the political class loses faith in its ability to make moral judgments, what does it do? It calls in the lawyers. The present fashion for judge-led inquiries in the UK has given us the Leveson inquiry into the ethics of the press, and may yet lead to a similar examination of the ethics of banking.


Ed Balls shows he is ready to learn from Israel

By Martin Bright, July 5, 2012

Ed Balls may have his problems persuading the wider public of his charms, but he has always been a popular figure in the Jewish community.

He is a consistent supporter of Israel who spent considerable time working on the economic situation in the occupied territories on behalf of the G8.


My grandmother the 'Shabbos goy'

By Martin Bright, July 5, 2012

I wasn’t entirely surprised to read about the almost utopian vision of East End life in Arnold Circus.

My grandmother, Irene Bevan, grew up in Bethnal Green and lived not far from the street mentioned in the BBC programme.

A mongrel East End gentile of uncertain origins herself, she always talked of the warmth between the Jewish and non-Jewish communities.


Ed Balls unveils plans for UK-Israel 'economic dialogue'

By Martin Bright, July 5, 2012

An incoming Labour government will learn from the Israeli hi-tech success story and consolidate the UK-Israel trade relationship, according to Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.


Israel 'in breach of international law' over child detainees

By Martin Bright, June 26, 2012

Israel's treatment of children detained by the military authorities in the West Bank puts it in serious breach of its obligations under international law, according to a damning report by a high-level delegation of British lawyers.


Camel Corps gone but FCO still out of touch

By Martin Bright, June 14, 2012

This week I came to the conclusion that the Foreign Office genuinely believes it is in tune with mainstream Jewish opinion in this country. The convention of background briefings to journalists means that I can only state that I "understand" this. I cannot identify or quote my sources. But, believe me, I do understand this to be the case.


The Jews who taught me to run

By Martin Bright, June 6, 2012

I have always been influenced by Jewish writers, from the biblical authors of my secular-Anglican childhood to an adolescence dominated by Franz Kafka and Leonard Cohen. One of the first books I reviewed in the mid-1980s was Primo Levi's The Drowned and The Saved, which probably did more to form my political outlook than any other work of non-fiction.


Bugged conversations 'could reveal extent of Britain's Holocaust knowledge'

By Martin Bright, May 31, 2012

The author of a forthcoming book on the Jewish refugees who listened in on the bugged conversations of captured German PoWs believes that the work of this top secret operation could reveal the extent of British government knowledge of the Holocaust during the war years.


'Be loyal to Israel' pleads foreign minister Lieberman

By Martin Bright, May 24, 2012

Diaspora Jews should support Israel’s government regardless of its political complexion, according to its controversial Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Jewish National Fund in London on Tuesday evening, Mr Lieberman said that Jews who organised a petition against his visit were a legitimate part of the debate about the future of Israel.


Labour Palestine group comes of age

By Martin Bright, May 17, 2012

On Monday, Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East held its annual parliamentary reception. The usual backbench phalanx was there, including Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Burden.


Ken pays price for sectarianism

By Martin Bright, May 10, 2012

At around 10 o'clock on Friday evening I received a call from a prominent figure in the Jewish community, a lifelong Labour supporter who had worked for the party in his youth.

The count for the London mayoral election was looking closer than anyone had predicted and my caller was getting twitchy.


Boris and Ken: Like old drunks at a wedding

By Martin Bright, May 3, 2012

The London mayoral election has been the opposite of edifying. The grown-ups have been behaving like drunken relatives at a wedding reception.


Even in Auschwitz, humanity did prevail

By Martin Bright, April 26, 2012

It was, without doubt, one of the proudest moments of my life. To stand at the memorial to those who suffered and died at Auschwitz-Monowitz, and pay tribute to the British prisoners of war who worked alongside Jewish slave workers in the IG Farben chemical works, was a deeply humbling experience.


Ambassador: we must all be witnesses

By Martin Bright, April 26, 2012

Israel's ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, has called on the Jewish community to build on the success of this year's March of the Living and boost the numbers of British young people attending the event in the future.


Corbyn won't back away from Salah

By Martin Bright, April 26, 2012
Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn has refused to condemn demands for an inquiry into the influence of the Israel lobby, or the antisemitic comments of a Palestinian activist whom he invited to tea on the Commons terrace.

Last week, the JC reported that Mr Corbyn backed calls by the lawyer for Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, for an inquiry into the influence of "pro-Israe


Jeremy Corbyn calls for inquiry on 'pro-Israel lobby'

By Martin Bright, April 19, 2012

The left-wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn has backed calls for an inquiry into the influence of "pro-Israel lobbying groups" on government policy.


How Ken went from total denial to unheard-of regret

By Martin Bright, March 29, 2012

It was all supposed to be so convivial. On March 1 a peacemaking dinner was convened at the London Jewish Cultural Centre to bring Ken Livingstone together with concerned Labour supporters within the Jewish community.

At the former mayor's side was Simon Fletcher, Mr Livingstone's longstanding lieutenant, known to have been concerned at the deterioration of relations with London's Jews.