Geoffrey Alderman

Beware of the hot-air fascists

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 3, 2015

Next month, the Board of Deputies will host a forum on climate change. The event is the brainchild of the Board's "social-action group", and will allow participants to "share perspectives" as a prelude to a United Nations conference on climate change planned for the end of the year.

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Review: Anti-Judaism - this isn't easy, bedtime reading

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 26, 2015

In the fourth century CE, two Christian theological giants, Saints Jerome and Augustine, engaged in an ill-tempered discussion about Jews and Judaism. Jerome accused Augustine of harbouring "Judaising" tendencies because he defended Jewish law; Augustine retaliated by revealing that Jerome was known to read texts in their original Hebrew, rather than in Greek translations.

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Time to right a grievous wrong

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 24, 2015

The news that the United Synagogue has sold the former official residence of its chief rabbi - 85 Hamilton Terrace, NW8 - for a sum reported to be not less than 10 million pounds is both good and not so good. The residence (through the hallowed portals of which I was privileged to pass on no less than four occasions) always struck me as overly pretentious.

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Obama’s false Iran alternative

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 13, 2015

No one on the right side of half-witted can view the agreement reached between the international community and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran as anything other than, at best, a fudge and, at worst, a capitulation to Iranian obstinacy.

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Stopover needs to be the start

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 6, 2015

I understand that Israel premier Bibi Netanyahu intends to stop over in London on his way to New York next month, in order to engage in "bilateral talks" with the British government as a prelude to his addressing the UN General Assembly. No doubt the nonsensical Iranian nuclear deal will be high on the agenda, together with the equally farcical "peace process".

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Corbyn win could have benefit

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 30, 2015

Although a lifelong trade-unionist, I have never been wealthy enough to afford the luxury of indulging in a socialist mindset. Neither am I a member of the Labour party. But the present kerfuffle over the party leadership interests me a great deal. At the July 20 "hustings", the four leadership contenders addressed a Jewish audience.

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Secrets that should stay hidden

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 23, 2015

Two weeks ago, the JC's front page was devoted to the retirement of a leading communal civil servant, Carol Laser, who as Director of Security at the Communal Security Trust "for over 25 years, co-ordinated the Jewish community's security needs, working alongside colleagues from anti-terror units, the United States Secret Service, and Israel's security experts."

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Hats off to Hackney's Holy Joe

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 16, 2015

Josef Lobenstein ("Holy Joe"), who has died in his 88th year, was a charming but also controversial and divisive figure in British Jewry, loved and loathed in equal measure by the Hackney charedim among whom he lived, by the wider community of Jewish communities in the UK, and by the Conservative party with which he identified and of which he was a paid-up member for most of his adult li

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A raid on Entebbe's legacy

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 9, 2015

We've just celebrated the 39th anniversary of "Operation Thunderbolt". To mark the occasion, the distinguished military historian, Professor Saul David, has published what will probably remain, for the foreseeable future, the definitive account of what he rightly terms "the most audacious hostage rescue mission in history." David is a superlative storyteller.

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Freedom for neo-Nazi idiots

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 2, 2015

On July 4, a group of neo-Nazis, reportedly led by Eddie Stampton, is planning to hold a demonstration (now moved from Golders Green to central London) to protest against "the Jewish occupation of Britain."

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Face up to an unhealthy truth

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 25, 2015

Later this year, the European Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists (EABCT) will hold its annual conference in Jerusalem - or, as the official conference website put it, "Jerusalem, Israel." There's nothing out of the ordinary about this arrangement.

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Betrayed by a Supreme error

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 18, 2015

Last week the US Supreme Court ruled a law passed by Congress 13 years ago was unconstitutional. This enactment sought to give US parents of children born in Jerusalem the right to obtain for their offspring passports indicating the children had been born in Israel. But on June 8, the Justices of the Supreme Court "struck down" this law.

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Charedi ghetto's flimsy walls

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 11, 2015

On May 19, the Charedi website "Behadrey Haredim" carried a report to the effect that rabbinical and other authorities of the Belz Chasidim in London had the previous day given written instructions, in Hebrew, that - unless exempted by a "special committee" - females of the Belz species were forbidden to drive motor vehicles, and that, if any Belz mother was found after Rosh Chodesh Ell

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Is Cameron really a best friend?

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 4, 2015

Even before the Conservative election victory had been confirmed, Israeli government spokespersons were welcoming the likelihood of David Cameron retaining the keys to 10 Downing Street. Mr Netanyahu had apparently already congratulated Cameron on his "impressive victory".

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Cooking up a religious storm

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 28, 2015

Asher was the eighth son of Jacob and the progenitor of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Some 22 years ago Colin McArthur and his wife, Karen, in setting up a bakery in Newtownabbey, outside Belfast, decided to name it after this biblical personage.

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Time is not on the Board's side

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 22, 2015

The recent contest for the presidency of the Board of Deputies struck me as one of the most civilised and enlightened in the Board's history. The hustings were well conducted and threw up some fundamental issues that affect the Board itself as well as the wider and pressing concerns of British Jewry. Chief among these was the problem of communal leadership.

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An Orthodox crisis of legitimacy

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 14, 2015

On March 20, I devoted this column to a consideration of shifting allegiances within the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, and the effect these might have on other Orthodox groupings, such as the United Synagogue, the Federation of Synagogues, and the Union itself beyond its Stamford Hill redoubt.

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Finally, our vote's come of age

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 7, 2015

By the time you read this, the General Election will be over, bar the shouting, of which there will be more than usual. While we wait for that to begin, let me draw your attention to one of the most remarkable features of the election - remarkable because the media has taken it for granted: the Jewish Vote has come of age.

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Too cross with making a cross

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 3, 2015

Weary of the current political mud-slinging and descent into personal invective, I have been searching for some light electoral relief - and I may have found it.

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The obscenity of extravagance

By Geoffrey Alderman, April 23, 2015

First, the bad news. I have to tell you that the quote of £55,000 obtained by the JC for a slap-up kosher wedding amounts to a considerable underestimate of the probable true cost.

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