Geoffrey Alderman

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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Seeing sense in City synagogue

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 19, 2011

One would not normally associate the ceremonial of a City livery company with the forging of a revolution in the Orthodox Jewish world.

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This was no 'peace activist'

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 13, 2011

Few events - not even the execution of Osama bin Laden - have caused me greater pleasure in recent weeks than news of the death of the Italian so-called "peace activist" Vittorio Arrigoni.

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Croydon's suspect treatment

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 6, 2011

On February 25, I commented here on the weird, not to say alarming, goings-on at the Croydon Synagogue that is a branch of the Federation of Synagogues.

The worthy congregants of Croydon (or at any rate some 28 of them) decided that they could no longer tolerate the presence in their synagogue of their minister, the Reverend David Gilinksy.

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Review: Broadening Jewish History

By Geoffrey Alderman, April 29, 2011

By Todd M Endelman
The Littman Library, £39.50

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How Quakers turned spiteful

By Geoffrey Alderman, April 27, 2011

I have - or rather had - a soft spot for the Quakers. British Jews and British Quakers have had a common experience of life as second-class citizens of the state in which they live. The claim that the Quaker architect Joseph Avis declined (in 1699) to accept a fee for the construction of the synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Bevis Marks is almost certainly a bubbe meiseh.

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Our unrepresentative security

By Geoffrey Alderman, April 18, 2011

In the JC of March 11, there was an article by Dr Gilbert Kahn, who teaches political science at Kean University, in the United States.

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