Oliver Kamm

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Oliver Kamm
Registered: 11 December 2008

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POSTS BY OLIVER KAMM

The poison in the Kremlin

By Oliver Kamm, September 11, 2014

The disturbing recrudescence of antisemitism in Europe is not only connected with Gaza and the tragic Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last year, I interviewed on stage Anne Applebaum, the historian, about her book, Iron Curtain. It's a magnificent account of the postwar subjugation of Eastern Europe by Soviet communism, an ideology in which antisemitism played a role.

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Sophistication and illusion

By Oliver Kamm, July 31, 2014

Norman Finkelstein, the American far-left activist, was interviewed a couple of months ago on Al-Jazeera's Head to Head. I was one of the pundits cross-examining him. We didn't get on. I criticised the quality of his historiography and he compared me to the dust beneath his feet.

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Mask of the populist right

By Oliver Kamm, June 19, 2014

Europe's populist Right has had a makeover. It typically now disclaims antisemitism and expresses sympathies with Israel. It seeks the support of Jewish voters on the strength of its opposition to militant Islamism.

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Stefan Zweig - a reputation regained

By Oliver Kamm, May 9, 2014

Stefan Zweig, one of the most popular authors of his time, killed himself in February 1942, at the age of 60. He took poison. So did his wife, Lotte.

They were in exile in the Brazilian town of Petropolis. Zweig’s neatly handwritten suicide note is stored at the National Library of Israel. It’s a poignant reflection on his years of wandering since leaving Austria in 1934.

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Russia's digrace to journalism

By Oliver Kamm, March 27, 2014

If you wanted expert commentary on the politics of the Middle East, would you turn to Nick Griffin? You wouldn’t? That makes you different from a television channel that you may not have seen, but that has millions of viewers in the UK alone and has clocked up more than a billion views online.

It’s RT, founded in 2005 and known till 2009 as Russia Today.

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Don't criminalise racism - disrespect it

By Oliver Kamm, February 13, 2014

In a parliamentary debate last week, Yasmin Qureshi, a Labour MP, compared the position of Palestinians in Gaza to the plight of Jews in the Holocaust. It was “quite strange”, she said, that the Israeli government was “complacent and happy” for Palestinians to be treated like “Jews who suffered genocide”.

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Clemency for Jonathan Pollard? No

By Oliver Kamm, January 2, 2014

A child born today will grow up with absolutely no conception of privacy at all,” said Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, in his “Alternative Christmas Message” on Channel 4.

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Idealist and realist: rich blend of Zionism’s instigator

By Oliver Kamm, December 12, 2013

HERZL: THEODOR HERZL AND THE FOUNDATION OF THE JEWISH STATE
By Shlomo Avineri
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20
REVIEWED BY OLIVER KAMM

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Germany must seek out owners of looted art

By Oliver Kamm, November 15, 2013

To the devoutly irreligious like me, the word “miracle” does not come easily. Yet two developments since 1945 might reasonably be described that way.

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Chesterton defence that doesn't stand up

By Oliver Kamm, October 10, 2013

Antisemitism is an evil, not a writerly idiosyncrasy. That’s a mere truism. It needs to be stated, however, because the Catholic Church is examining the case for canonising G K Chesterton, author of the Father Brown detective stories.

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G K Chesterton: a writer unfit to be a saint

By Oliver Kamm, August 29, 2013

G K Chesterton is a minor writer in vogue.This has less to do with his literary merits than with his religious apologetics. A Catholic convert, Chesterton wrote exhaustively on the virtues of faith. The Bishop of Northampton has appointed a priest to make initial inquiries whether Chesterton should be canonised.

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A secular society is the key

By Oliver Kamm, June 23, 2013

Teaching science to Jewish children is not the enemy of knowledge but the prerequisite of it, declared the JC in its leader last week. It was a reference to disquiet among Charedi Jews about the GCSE science curriculum. Michael Gove, the education secretary, wishes to put greater emphasis on teaching evolution. Charedi educators maintain that this "flies in the face of their ethos and culture".

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A damaging document

By Oliver Kamm, May 12, 2013

'All men," wrote Reinhold Niebuhr, the great Protestant ethicist, "are naturally inclined to obscure the
morally ambiguous element in their political cause by investing it with religious sanctity. This is why religion is more frequently a source of confusion than of light in the political realm."

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Chomsky, sophistry champion

By Oliver Kamm, March 28, 2013

Among Jewish contributors to modern intellectual life, few carry as much name-recognition as Noam Chomsky. Visiting London last week, he drew enthusiastic crowds to a lecture given in honour of Edward Said, the Palestinian literary critic, and an interview at the British Library with Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian columnist and my fellow JC contributor.

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Civilisation beyond the Church

By Oliver Kamm, February 15, 2013

It is particularly difficult for a Pope that comes from Germany to come here,” said Benedict XVI at Auschwitz in 2006. This was surely true.

But the Pope, who resigned this week, might have mentioned, too, the difficulties for the Roman Catholic Church in confronting its own historical contribution to the hatreds that fuelled the Holocaust.

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