MatthewHarris




The need for civility

By MatthewHarris, December 20, 2010

Guys, I'm glad that my blog encourages a vigorous debate, but must you express yourself so rudely? You're not being rude to me, but you're being stunningly rude to each other. As people who are presumably adults, is it really necessary to address each other as "ridiculous fool" and invite each other to have a PET scan?

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Government response on Antisemitism

By MatthewHarris, December 18, 2010

I was at the launch of the Coalition Government's response to the All-Party Inquiry into Antisemitism (http://www.antisemitism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Cm-7991-web1.pdf), at which Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks spoke eloquently about campus extremism (http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/42585/chief-rabbi-speaks-campus-extrem...).

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This I like

By MatthewHarris, December 17, 2010

I am indebted to Paul Usiskin for the following:

"Hi. This is Sarah Palin. Is Senator Lieberman in?"

"No, governor. This is Yom Kippur."

"Well, hello, Yom. Can I leave a message?"

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The Coalition Government and Holocaust education

By MatthewHarris, December 16, 2010

It's also good news that Schools Minister Nick Gibb has re-affirmed the Government's commitment to keeping Holocaust education on the national curriculm for schools in England (http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/42694/shoah-teaching-will-stay). As Nick Clegg said in November:

"We meet on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the horrific Night of Broken Glass. It is sobering to reflect on anniversaries such as this, which must never be forgotten.

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Detention of children for immigration purposes

By MatthewHarris, December 16, 2010

As the grandson of asylum seekers, I am pleased by Nick Clegg's announcement that children will no longer be held in immigration detention centres (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8204528/Nick-Clegg-ch...). This is a Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment and I am very proud that it is being implemented. No civilised country should lock up innoncent children.

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Proud to be a Lib Dem Zionist

By MatthewHarris, December 13, 2010

I am surprised and disappointed to see that, elsewhere on this site, Jonathan Hoffman has written about me: "When it comes to a choice between being a LibDem and being a Zionist, you will go for the former every time." As Jonathan knows (http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/not-leaders-debate-hendon-parliamentary-hu...), during the General Election campaign, I spoke with Hendon's Tory and Labour candidates at Hendon Mosque, at a meeting organised by Barnet Muslim Forum - http://vimeo.com/10744722.

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Great news on school security

By MatthewHarris, December 9, 2010

I am delighted that Michael Gove has pledged £2m in Government funding for Jewish school security (http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/42362/%C2%A32m-jewish-schools-security). It is great that the Coalition Government is doing this and congratulations must go to the CST for their successful work on this. The Government's pledge is in line with a recent speech by Nick Clegg, in which the Deputy Prime Minister said: "I deeply resent the fact that antisemitism remains a factor in the life of the Anglo-Jewish community.

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Letter on kosher meat in The Independent

By MatthewHarris, November 29, 2010

I don't read The Independent. I'm a Guardian reader who's defected to The Times. But I was at my parents' house and I saw this awful Independent column by Johann Hari: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-har.... So I wrote a letter, which, I now discover online, they published last Tuesday (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-how-animals-are-kil... - Henry Grunwald had a letter in there as well). Here is the letter as I sent it:

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Scottish Secretary's speech to Board of Deputies

By MatthewHarris, November 25, 2010

I had the good fortune to be present at Sunday's special, 250th anniversary meeting of the Board of Deputies, at which there was a speaker from each of the three main parties. Representing the Liberal Democrats was one of our UK Cabinet Ministers, the Scottish Secretary, Michael Moore, who made the following, well-received speech:

"Mr President, distinguished guests, it is a great pleasure to be here today on behalf of the Liberal Democrats on this very happy occasion.

"Before I talk about this momentous anniversary, I want to mention another reason why today is special.

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Video of Nick Clegg's speech - and a great post by Robin Shepherd

By MatthewHarris, November 13, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-AZ_pdhBMY is a video of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's excellent speech to Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel's lunch on Wednesday 10 November. I particularly welcome what Mr Clegg had to say about changing the law on universal jurisdiction. I was also very interested to read this blog posting by Robin Shepherd discussing the speech: http://www.robinshepherdonline.com/british-government-junior-partners-in... and I urge people to read it.

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Video: Nick Clegg's speech to Lib Dem Friends of Israel meeting

By MatthewHarris, September 23, 2010

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, gave this excellent speech at Lib Dem Friends of Israel's packed party conference fringe meeting on Monday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A37wHgqCKeo

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The great yarmulke debate

By MatthewHarris, May 8, 2010

One thing that came up at the election count, when I spoke to Conservative friends during the interminable wait for the results, was a question of headware. I was raised as a Liberal Jew before drifting into non-affiliation, going as I do (usually only once a year, on Yom Kippur) to a Masorti shul of which I am not (yet) a member. I grew up in a world in which one only donned a yarmulke when attending a synagogue service or something else of a definitely religious nature.

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Haaretz interview with Nick Clegg

By MatthewHarris, May 8, 2010

The election has (obviously) been and gone, but falling through a time warp comes this piece from Haaretz from Wednesday night: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/nick-clegg-to-haaretz-i-ad.... I was especially interested in what he had to say about Iran.

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All quiet on the MPAC front?

By MatthewHarris, May 5, 2010

I am pleased to say that the despicable Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) appear to be having little influence on the election campaign in Hendon. MPAC advised people to vote Lib Dem or Tory to ensure the defeat of Hendon's Labour MP. I have made it clear (http://matthew4hendon.blogspot.com/2010/04/thanks-but-no-thanks-rejectin...) that I do not want the votes of people who are following MPAC's advice (and I wish the Tory candidate had done likewise, but that's up to him).

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The "Swift Boat Veterans" hit Britain

By MatthewHarris, May 4, 2010

Remember "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth"?

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Viral emails: a Lib Dem responds

By MatthewHarris, May 4, 2010

Here is an email that I have sent; please feel free to circulate it yourselves:

Dear friends

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Lib Dems: A message from David Cesarani

By MatthewHarris, May 4, 2010

The distinguished Anglo-Jewish historian David Cesarani has given me permission to share this email, sent by David recently to a friend who had been planning to vote Lib Dem, but had swung back to Labour for reasons of communal concern; David writes:

Dear Friend,

I think you are wrong about the Liberal Democrats and I cannot understand why you want to waste your vote on a Labour party that has betrayed almost everything you hold dear and that harbors in its ranks people who hate Israel and blithely utter anti-Jewish stereotypes without reproach from the party's leadership.

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Hendon in Haaretz

By MatthewHarris, May 3, 2010

One of Israel's top newspapers has fairly covered our British General Election campaign, including re:- Hendon: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/british-candidates-court-u...

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