Geoffrey Alderman

Open mouths but closed eyes

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 4, 2012

OK. I agree that the semi-hysterical revelries commissioned by Hamas once its cease-fire with Israel had been announced reflect a kind of madness. Much of the Hamas infrastructure is in ruins. A number of key Hamas operatives have succumbed to their wounds. Neither Iran nor Hizbollah came to Hamas's aid. Nor did its Egyptian godfathers of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Welcome addition to UK Jewry

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 27, 2012

For seasoned devotees of this column, this is a rare moment. I'm about to welcome the establishment of a new Anglo-Jewish communal organisation. What's more, I'm going to say that its establishment is long overdue.

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Spectre of Stalin in our land

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 20, 2012

In recent weeks, two legal actions began in two different courts. The outcome of each will directly impact on Jewish communities throughout the UK.

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Why anti-Zionists are racists

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 8, 2012

Last week marked the 95th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. This took the form of a letter, written on 2 November 1917 by Arthur Balfour to Walter (Lord) Rothschild. Balfour was then Foreign Secretary in Lloyd George’s wartime coalition government. Rothschild was an eccentric but well-respected zoologist who also happened to be the country’s richest Jew.

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Facts behind a skewed survey

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 2, 2012

On October 23 Ha’aretz published a sensational headline, supported by a breathtaking editorial. It read: “Survey: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel.” The editorial, penned by the paper’s well-known, empty rhetorician (and editorial board member) Gideon Levy, did not mince its words.

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Miliband chose the wrong man

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 30, 2012

On October 2, Labour leader Ed Miliband - the first Jew to lead the party - made a remarkable speech to the socialist-inclined faithful assembled in Manchester. Miliband invoked the political philosophy of Benjamin Disraeli, the UK's first Jewish prime minister, who was a Conservative.

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Taxpayer-funded discrimination

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 23, 2012

How far should the British state go in enforcing the private religious prejudices of its citizens?

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Smell of garbage clears the air

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 15, 2012

I've just finished watching Innocence of Muslims, the film that has led to worldwide, often violent and occasionally murderous protests by adherents of the Islamic faith. As I did so, news came through that Muslim leaders are threatening to bring the film to the attention of the United Nations, with a view to persuading the international community to enact a law against religious defamation.

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Imperfect prize, perfect winner

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 10, 2012

I have been thoroughly bemused by the international furore surrounding the decision of the municipality of Frankfurt-am-Main to award a 50,000 euro prize to Dr Judith Butler, an academic who teaches critical theory at Berkeley, California.

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Tragedy of an academic stage

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 3, 2012

Royal Holloway and Bedford New College - to give it the mouthful of a title by which it was established by private Act of Parliament in 1985 - sits majestically at the top of Egham Hill, Surrey. Its origins lie in the ambitions of one of the great Victorian entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Thomas Holloway, by whom it was founded in the 1880s as an institution for the higher education of women.

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Hague's poor university exam

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 24, 2012

I make no apologies for bringing to your attention again a matter that I raised in my column two months ago. On that occasion, I berated the Israeli academic establishment for its frankly self-serving opposition to the proposal to upgrade the status of Ariel University Centre, in the West Bank, to that of a full university.

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On the move: exiles and emigres

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 21, 2012

What you see is not necessarily what you get. The blurb on the cover of this book states that it is “a comprehensive account of how the Jews became a diaspora people.”

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Coming to a podium near you

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 16, 2012

In common with other members of British Jewry enjoying a certain media presence, from Maureen Lipman to David Baddiel and Vanessa Feltz, I am the recipient of invitations to speak to all manner of communal groups.

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Truth rebuffed as 'interference'

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 11, 2012

A great deal of heat has been caused by a letter sent last month by Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, to the Quartet (the USA, EU, UN and Russia) - the group charged with facilitating a Middle East peace process.

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I come to bury, not to raise

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 4, 2012

In common, I'm sure, with many other JC readers I initially thought that reports of the sale in parts of Jerusalem of special glasses that blurred salacious visions were nothing more than mischievous rumours. But they weren't.

The manufacture of "blinkers" - or "vision impeding hoods" - to blot out forbidden images I initially took to be a gimmick. I was wrong.

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Romney is not alone on Israel

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 27, 2012

Yanks! You either love 'em or hate 'em. Or (like me) both. Until I went to live and work in the US some 12 years ago my experience of Yanks was confined to meeting them at conferences and spending time as a tourist in their midst. The US is a vast country. Most of its citizens do not have passports and so have never ventured beyond its borders.

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Romney is not alone on Israel

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 27, 2012

Yanks! You either love 'em or hate 'em. Or (like me) both. Until I went to live and work in the US some 12 years ago my experience of Yanks was confined to meeting them at conferences and spending time as a tourist in their midst. The US is a vast country. Most of its citizens do not have passports and so have never ventured beyond its borders.

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Putin’s policy on Syria is right

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 21, 2012

Is it really in the interests of Israel, or of the West, that the Syrian civil war should result in the departure from Damascus of President (and ophthalmologist extraordinary) Bashar al-Assad?

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'What if' game is a cheap trick

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 13, 2012

"Counterfactual conditional analysis" is a phrase used to describe an approach to the past in which the questions asked are not "what happened and why did it happen?" but rather "what might have happened and why did it not?" In other words, the "what if…" approach.

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Prejudice made respectable

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 6, 2012

On the subject of the unassuming hairdresser from Oldham, Mohammed Sajid Khan and his diminutive but charming wife Shasta Khan much more remains to be said.

Mr and Mrs Khan hold the dubious record of being Britain's first married couple to be convicted of terrorist offences. At Manchester Crown Court she was given an eight-year sentence as a reward for having planned to blow up Jews.

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