Geoffrey Alderman

The wrong LPO punishment

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 28, 2011

On September 1 a performance at the BBC Promenade Concerts was deliberately interrupted by persons who had bought tickets for that performance but whose real intention was not musical appreciation but musical disruption.

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Spying: a job for a Jewish boy?

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 23, 2011

As an Oxford undergraduate, required to be in residence for just three eight-week terms a year, I was reasonably well off. But as a research student I had to finance all my travel and other expenses, plus my year-round board and lodging, out of a modest quarterly subvention of £125 (around £600 per month at present values). My bank balance was never very healthy.

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Review: The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 19, 2011

I do not envy the task of any editor who agrees to produce a one-volume "dictionary" of Anglo-Jewish history.

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An elected Chief Rabbi? If only

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 9, 2011

If I thought there was a cat in hell's chance of our being able to elect the next Chief Rabbi of "the United Hebrew Congregations", believe me I would hurry to don my second-best streimel and dance with a Sefer through the streets of St John's Wood, declaring as I went that not only do we all want Moshiach Now but that I would wager what, if anything, remains of my reputation that the Moshiach ha

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It's anti-Zionism that is racist

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 2, 2011

Here's a question for you: what do the cities of New York, Durban and St Andrews (technically a royal burgh, but please indulge me just this once) have in common? Answer: they're all places where anti-Zionism and antisemitism coalesce.

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And now for some good news

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 30, 2011

From time to time I'm accused of ignoring 'good news.' 'You're preoccupied with dirty linen,' a caller recently bawled at me down the telephone line. 'There's so much that's good about British Jewry; but all you're interested in are its shortcomings.' Well, it so happens that over the past fortnight a number of good news stories have come my way. I propose now to share three of them with you.

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Taking liberties with the law

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 22, 2011

In last week's JC, Daniel Greenberg considered a private member's bill currently before the House of Lords that seeks to address concerns emanating from reported practices of certain Sharia courts in the UK.

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Knesset is a democratic body

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 12, 2011

A month ago, the Knesset enacted a law to counter the harm being visited upon Israel - including the West Bank - by those who call for a boycott of its academic, economic and cultural institutions. The legislation does not "criminalise" boycotters - no such person will be guilty of a criminal offence, at least insofar as this particular enactment is concerned.

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Death that exposed ignorance

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 8, 2011

What does the sad death of Amy Winehouse (Aleha haShalom) tell us about the ways in which Judaism is perceived within British society?

The late Ms Winehouse and I inhabited different worlds. It's not simply that we came from distinct generations. She lived a lifestyle that I would never have lived and purveyed a musical genre of which I am ignorant. But she was Jewish and so am I.

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JLC cashes in on Board game

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 29, 2011

On July 17, members of the Board of Deputies were privileged to witness a PowerPoint presentation given by Mick Davis, chair of the United Jewish Israel Appeal and head of the trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council.

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Making sense of bad behaviour

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 22, 2011

As part of the South Bank Literature Festival on July 10 a debate took place between supporters and opponents of what was termed "cultural boycott". The discussion was billed as an event focused on cultural boycotts in general and whether such devices "can be an effective, indeed morally imperative, political strategy".

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When the 'pogrom of the valleys' erupted in Wales

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 21, 2011

In 1966, while researching the background to Britain's first-ever national railway strike (August 1911), I came across a minute written by Winston Churchill, then Home Secretary in Asquith's Liberal government. That year was a bad one for industrial disputes and for public order. Churchill had a penchant for ordering the army to succeed where he judged the police had failed.

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Wilders serves freedom's cause

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 15, 2011

In the cause of freedom the interventions of Dutch politician Geert Wilders are both a blessing and a curse. They are a blessing not merely on account of Wilders' own support for Israel, but because he has been absolutely unrepentant – and unrelenting – in his insistence on telling the truth about militant Islam.

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Why I am still in the dire UCU

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 8, 2011

In common with other academics who have not yet resigned their membership of the University and College Union, I have come under a certain amount of pressure to resign mine. This I have no intention of doing.

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The excess that brings access

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 1, 2011

What are we to make of Vivian Wineman's blunt admission to the Board of Deputies about British Jews' lack of influence over government policy? What conclusions are we to draw from this public acknowledgement that British Jews - or rather the organisations that claim they represent British Jews - have "good access" to government ministers but apparently no influence over them?

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Bright is not necessarily right

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 24, 2011

On December 17 last, I devoted this column to a consideration of the academic accomplishments of Ms Jennifer Peto, who had submitted to the University of Toronto a Master's thesis entitled The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education.

In this thesis, and on the basis of what I considered its shallow consideration of two Holocaust education

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No new gay way to stay frum

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 17, 2011

On July 22 2010, a Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in our Community was issued over the names of around 170 mainly Israeli and American Orthodox rabbis and educators.

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Continually Spreading Trust

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 10, 2011

A month ago today, the second most senior police officer in the Metropolitan Police, Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin, chaired a meeting at New Scotland Yard.

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Council taxing our patience

By Geoffrey Alderman, June 3, 2011

The silly season has certainly come early this year.

Take Scotland. And, in particular, West Dunbartonshire. The elected councillors of West Dunbartonshire have reiterated their determination to enforce a policy (apparently first adopted in 2009) banning "the purchase of any goods… which were made or grown in Israel."

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Is the NUS 'difference' racist?

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 27, 2011

In my experience, May is rarely a happy time on university campuses. Students are gearing-up for their end-of-year exams. Teachers are putting the final touches to the assessments their students will face - the ominous lull before the inevitable storm.

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