Monica Porter

Striking doctors shamed by history

By Monica Porter, September 8, 2016

Doctors love to paint themselves as altruists, people filled with compassion for others, concerned only with healing the sick and comforting the afflicted. They're not in it for material gain, oh no, not like bankers and businessmen and those dodgy politicians. They slog away purely to serve humanity.

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Review: Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews

By Monica Porter, July 21, 2016

By Michael Smith
Biteback Publishing, £10.99

Towards the end of the First World War, an intrepid, multilingual young army captain called Frank Foley - son of a West Country railway worker - was recruited by the British Intelligence Corps to run networks of secret agents in Europe.

It was a role for which he had exceptional aptitude.

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A secret Japanese history

By Monica Porter, July 14, 2016

I have just returned from my second trip to Japan (I have family there) and once again, I've been amazed by those most impressive of peoples and their glittering, futuristic capital. Tokyo is the city of dog lovers where you won't see dog's mess on a pavement. Its high-density streets are bustling but you'll never be jostled, let alone find any litter.

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Review: Asylum

By Monica Porter, April 22, 2016

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Review: Raoul Wallenberg

By Monica Porter, February 25, 2016

By Ingrid Carlberg
Maclehose Press, £30

Investigative journalist Ingrid Carlberg's biography of Raoul Wallenberg, the young Swedish diplomat who faced down the Gestapo and rescued Jews in Budapest during the murderous months of 1944 when Hungary came under Nazi occupation, follows quite closely on the heels of that by historian Bengt Jangfeldt.

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Here's why most languages are dreck

By Monica Porter, February 18, 2016

A Jewish friend once told me that, for a goy, I "sure use a lot of Yiddish".

"Well, yes," I replied. "There's a good reason for that, bubbeleh." And I explained why, although I'd been born and raised a Christian (up to a point), I gave free rein to my "inner Maureen Lipman".

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Review: The Munich Art Hoard

By Monica Porter, January 21, 2016

By Catherine Hickley
Thames and Hudson, £15.95

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My book is about love and not hate

By Monica Porter, January 7, 2016

The one fear that haunts Jews more than anything else - even more than the prospect of endless intifadas or of Iran building a nuclear bomb - is that of disappearing as a race, a culture and a religion, through the gradual, peaceful process of assimilation. In a nutshell, "marrying out".

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We escaped from Hungary, but we paid a price

By Monica Porter, December 3, 2015

Suddenly the world is awash with refugees. And migrants. Great waves of humanity on the move, all seeking asylum. And as always, the movement is from east to west, because only traitors (think Kim Philby and Edward Snowdon) or religious fanatics (i.e. volunteers for jihad) ever flee in the opposite direction.

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The agony and anticipation of waiting for a dream to come true

By Monica Porter, September 13, 2015

How long does it take for a dream to die? Five years? Ten? Fifteen? Well, I have had a certain dream for 25 years now, and you know what? After a long quarter-century of disappointments, I think I might have to let it go. Which is a real shame, because it's a wonderful dream.

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We're just Hungary for success

By Monica Porter, July 16, 2015

Four decades ago I read a snippet in a British newspaper which so impressed me that I cut it out and pasted it into my cherished notebook of thought-provoking quotes. It came from a Professor Andre Brousson, whose claim to distinction has unfortunately been obscured by the passage of time.

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The only SS judge who brought Nazis to trial

By Monica Porter, July 9, 2015

His SS Nazi Party identification card, dated 1936, shows a sombre-looking young man with short-cropped hair and round-rimmed spectacles. His rather protruding ears add to the air of 1930s dorkiness. Just another quasi-intellectual Nazi bureaucrat, you might think.

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You don't have to be black - or Jewish

By Monica Porter, June 18, 2015

The most bizarre news story to hit the headlines last week was the one about the American black civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal, who was revealed to be covertly white.

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Next year in Jerusalem for this shiksa

By Monica Porter, April 16, 2015

I’ve been thinking more and more about how great it would be to emigrate to Israel. Make Aliyah. See, I even know the right expression. Okay, I’m not Jewish, but is that really such a problem? I mean, my heart is in the right place. And I’ve been writing for the JC for decades. That should count for something.

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Review: After Birth

By Monica Porter, April 2, 2015

By Elisa Albert
Chatto & Windus, £10.99

Heaven save us from the post-feminist, feminist novel. At least I think that's what American writer Elisa Albert's book is. It's hard to tell, because Albert is a "literary stylist", so she experiments with new forms and isn't always coherent.

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Interview: Giles Coren

By Monica Porter, March 12, 2015

We are told that our life expectancy is increasing all the time, but broadcaster Giles Coren, who is also restaurant critic of The Times, has been pondering a disquieting fact: in his family, the trend has been in reverse. His great-grandfather lived to a ripe old 93, his grandfather passed away at 76, and his father Alan Coren, the celebrated humorist, died at 69.

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Befriending Nazis saved me

By Monica Porter, January 22, 2015

There are many astonishing tales of survival under the Third Reich, but Freddie Knoller's story is in a class of its own. Not many Jewish fugitives made a living by showing Wehrmacht soldiers around the night clubs, cabarets and brothels of occupied Paris, mingling with scantily-clad dancing girls, jazz musicians, tarts and Nazis.

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The last mourning pilgrim to the loneliest place on Earth

By Monica Porter, November 27, 2014

This year has been Holocaust Memorial Year in Hungary, the land of my birth. Seventy years ago, in 1944, the Nazis marched in to deport to Auschwitz the country's 800,000-strong Jewish population.

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Review: Unchosen

By Monica Porter, October 14, 2014

By Julie Burchill
Unbound, £14.99 (Ebook £4.99)

Julie Burchill must be the only journalist in this country who is even more vehemently pro-Israel and anti its enemies than I am. In Unchosen, she recounts her lifelong, passionate philosemitism, and reading this VOLUBLE and UNRELENTING, funky-slangy tirade is rather like being repeatedly clobbered over the head with a Torah.

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Dates - and other ingredients

By Monica Porter, October 7, 2014

Do Jewish men make the best lovers? Ha! I knew that would get your attention.

But seriously, this is a question that we gentile women occasionally consider while having a chinwag about the male of the species. Jewish men do have a reputation for being highly adept in the bedroom, but is it deserved? Or is it a myth propagated by those very same chaps, perhaps in order to woo non-Jewish ladies?

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