Geoffrey Alderman

Are we really still polls apart?

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 26, 2015

Yachad was established four years ago to advance views of British Jews who believe that for peace to break out between Israel and its Arab neighbours there needs to be a negotiated settlement involving: (a) the return of Israel to its 1949 armistice lines, with minor land swaps; (b) the repartitioning of Jerusalem; and (c) an offer of compensation - in lieu of "the right of return" - to Arabs al


A man who deserves banning

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 19, 2015

Earlier this month, the London Beth Din took the unprecedented step of placing an advertisement in this newspaper publicising the fact that it had banned from entering any constituent synagogue of the United Synagogue one John Abayahoudayan, who has apparently for the past 15 years refused to issue a get to his wife Rivkah. The couple were divorced civilly in 2002.


In danger of conning ourselves

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 12, 2015

The story of fraudster Dan Jacobs is a miserable tale, made worse by the knowledge that his victims included his wife's parents and an elderly grandmother. Appearing at Harrow Crown Court two weeks ago, Jacobs admitted five counts of fraud, totalling £120, 573.


Netanyahu's burden of blame

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 5, 2015

Last month, eleven Israeli Jews were killed and more than 100 injured in an epidemic of brutal attacks upon Jews throughout Israel. While there is no comfort to be gleaned from these outrages, they do send some clear messages that we ignore at our peril.


Orthodoxy grows complacent

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 29, 2015

This month, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research published the findings of its inquiries into the demography of Britain's Charedi communities.


A lecturer’s unqualified bias

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 26, 2015

Gresham College was the brainchild of Sir Thomas Gresham, a 16th-century merchant and financier who left a fund to be jointly administered by the Corporation of London and the Mercers' Company for the purpose of instituting a programme of free public lectures by Gresham "professors". The College was established in 1597 and has been fulfilling this promise ever since.


Roots of defection, routes of departure

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 21, 2015

Why do Jews turn their backs on their religious and communal heritage and, in extreme cases, convert to other religions? Professor Todd Endelman sets out to answer these questions but - as he admits - the research is hampered both by the anecdotal, frequently suspect and inherently biased nature of some of the biographical evidence and by the lack of systematic quantitative data.


Khan: a friend and boycotter

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 16, 2015

Seasoned addicts of this column will, I hope, agree that I've never used it to advocate voting for a particular political party or a political person. I myself have never belonged to any political party, and I regard myself as a detached academic observer, grown ever more cynical as one birthday has followed another.


Corbyn and the racist mob

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 8, 2015

At the end of July I devoted this column to the candidature of Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour Party. I concluded thus: "Corbyn… has a problem with Jews… This fear - of imagined Jewish power - has haunted the Labour Party from the moment of its foundation. A Corbyn victory would at last bring this apparition into the open, where it desperately needs to be."


A high degree of foolishness

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 1, 2015

Over this coming weekend a conference will take place at the University of Exeter on the theme "Settler Colonialism in Palestine".


Not lies but damned statistics

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 24, 2015

Here's an anniversary no one appears to be celebrating: 50 years ago, the Board of Deputies established a "Statistical and Demographic Research Unit." You've never heard of it? That's hardly surprising, because it no longer exists.


Sinister truth of a terrorist myth

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 17, 2015

Would you like to hear some good news that should be welcomed by all genuine peace lovers?


Why join a House of Disgrace?

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 11, 2015

Stuart Polak, director of the Conservative Friends of Israel, has just been elevated to the peerage. This would appear to be good news, both for Mr Polak himself and for British Jewry. But I'm unable to join in the celebrations.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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".


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.


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."