Geoffrey Alderman

Shocking and false slur on Bibi

By Geoffrey Alderman, March 15, 2012

In last week's Independent Dr Avi Shlaim, emeritus professor of international relations at the university of Oxford, unburdened himself of his views on Benjamin Netanyahu and the prospects for peace in the Middle East.


JLC's sinister march to power

By Geoffrey Alderman, March 8, 2012

Last month, the Board of Deputies witnessed a blistering attack upon the Jewish Leadership Council by none other than the Board's own senior vice-president, Jonathan Arkush.

The deputies had been considering the circumstances in which a communal initiative to meet the Prime Minister had been hijacked by the JLC, whose spokespersons far outnumbered those of the Board.


Ken is only ever on his own side

By Geoffrey Alderman, March 1, 2012

I've spent a lifetime studying politicians. I remain fascinated by the way in which those who practise the political arts are able to justify the unjustifiable, and in so doing can appear to turn hypocrisy into a virtue. The deeds and misdeeds of the political classes long ago ceased to shock me.


Wrong to shred Fred's Honour

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 23, 2012

I am not an economist. I do not know whether the current crisis from which this country is suffering really is the fault of the banking fraternity rather than (as some of my economist friends insist) an inevitable phase of an equally predictable economic "cycle".


Why is Gove so partial to CST?

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 16, 2012

At first glance, the recent spat between the Guardian and the Community Security Trust seems just a storm in a teacup. At the end of January, the Guardian's Rob Evans ran a poorly researched story about Education Secretary Michael Gove, who has for several years been a member of the CST's advisory board.


Whatever Happened To British Jewish Studies?

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 27, 2012

Tony Kushner and Hannah Ewence (Eds)
Vallentine Mitchell, £50

A half-century ago it would have been unthinkable to have embarked on an academic career in British-Jewish studies. Outside of the department of Hebrew at University College, London, virtually the only established university posts in this field were located in departments of theology.


Feeble reasons not to boycott

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 26, 2012

Earlier this month, the Board of Deputies declined to adopt a resolution urging "all those who oppose antisemitism to refrain from buying the Guardian or advertising in it".


Unbalanced forms of balance

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 12, 2012

I have some sympathy with Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism, who has found himself at the receiving end of communal opprobrium following his decision to participate in a sixth-form study day at the Gryphon Church of England school, chaired by the Bishop of Sherborne, Graham Kings.

The event was focused on Israel and Palestine.


How not to choose our leaders

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 5, 2012

I've said it before. I'll say it again. The Jewish communities of the UK are run by some of the best brains in the land: captains of industry; giants of commerce; leading lights of the learned professions; men and women who are at the tops of their respective trees.


When background is a barrier

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 29, 2011

I have just finished updating my history of Hackney Downs school, first published 40 years ago. Founded by the Grocers' Company in 1876 it was, in its heyday, one of the finest boys' secondary schools in the land. In 1995, dubbed by the tabloids as the "worst" school in England, it was shut down.


Lowering of higher education

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 22, 2011

Last month, Israel's Council for Higher Education (CHE) endorsed the findings of an independent study that it had commissioned to evaluate the quality of departments of political science at eight of Israel's institutions of higher education. Overall, the study had much to say that was approving and complimentary.


Are US's leaders fit for offce?

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 15, 2011

Last week the United Synagogue made a particularly nasty attack on this newspaper. I have read more or less every edition of every Anglo-Jewish broadsheet since the beginning of time. But I have never before read an attack of such viciousness on any such newspaper, and I would never have expected such a mindset to be projected from within the portals of the US.


Tis not our season to be jolly

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 8, 2011

An Open Letter to Lord Sacks of Aldgate
Dear Jonathan

I feel compelled to write to you, both as a Jew and as a Jewish husband and father, to express to you the deep unease that I felt on reading press reports of your homily delivered at the Scottish Parliament at the end of last month.

I refer in particular to certain declarations that you reportedly made during the course of your re


Let us play Jewish guessing game

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 1, 2011

Last week, I was privileged to give a public address in Tredegar in south Wales as part of the commemorations there of the anti-Jewish riots that swept through the Western Valleys in August 1911. The audience was composed almost entirely of non-Jews.


Peace of mind over loose talk

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 24, 2011

Have you been following the twists and turns of the crisis-laden fallout that has followed the revelation that Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy recently regaled each other with disparaging remarks about Bibi Netanyahu? Do you think Netanyahu was right to demand a public apology, failing which he would withdraw Israel's ambassadors from France and the USA?

You haven't?


The Charedi custom of excise

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 23, 2011

On November 3, the Jewish Tribune could hardly contain itself. It reported that "A new Oxford English dictionary tailor-made for use in Charedi schools" had been launched through an initiative of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.


Fiasco sheds light on New Order

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 14, 2011

On this page on July 29 I offered an analysis of the lecture given to the Board of Deputies by Mick Davis, UJIA chair and chief trustee of the Jewish Leadership Council. I explained that in his address Davis had mapped out the New Order that he and the JLC intended to impose upon British Jewry.


A mystery of life and death

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 7, 2011

Today I'm going to tell you a story. It's a story you may well have heard before, at least in part, for it featured in the Jewish Chronicle some years ago as an anonymised "Ask the Rabbi" item.


Freedom: the right to be unfair

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 28, 2011

A British newspaper recently ran a story focussed on the decision of the transport authorities in a certain capital city to introduce women-only buses. To which capital city did this story refer?


Arab Spring turns to cruel winter

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 26, 2011

Did you, perchance, notice the Arab Spring? This singular phenomenon, like some deceptively beautiful carnivorous plant, lived but a very short time upon this earth, but then died a violent death, eagerly devouring many of its children in the process.