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stalinhitler Britain 

Communism and fascism: the double standard

Had he still been alive, the Marxist professor Eric Hobsbawm would almost certainly have been asked for his thoughts on the centenary of the Russian revolution. His views would have been treated with respect if not admiration. Now let’s have a small thought experiment. Imagine that Hobsbawm was a committed fascist and to the end of his life refused to resile from his support and admiration for Hitler. Would such a Hobsbawm have been sought out for his reflections on the anniversary of Hitler’s accession to power? To read my…

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janus Britain Israel 

Brits still two-faced over Balfour

Astonishingly, the British Foreign Office is still continuing to undermine the Balfour Declaration, the centenary of which falls in a couple of weeks’ time. In a speech at the UN Security Council a few days ago Jonathan Allen, the UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, said the following: “From the outset, I would like to make clear, as we approach the centenary of the Balfour Declaration next month, that the UK understands and respects the sensitivities many have about the Declaration and the events that have taken place in…

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palestine-demo-654x365 Britain Israel 

The drumbeat of alarm grows louder for British Jews

Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to attend next month’s dinner in London to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration confirms what many have long suspected. His antipathy to Israel goes way beyond hostility to Israeli “settlements” or any romantic attachment to the Palestinian cause. He does not support the existence of Israel at all. How else to explain his refusal to attend a dinner to celebrate the event which kick-started the (agonising) process that eventually resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel? And if he thus opposes the self-determination…

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clownfish Britain 

Engendering the NHS

Imagine the scene. You have a sore throat and hacking cough. You visit your GP. “Please stick out your tongue,” says the doctor, “but before you do so I need to ask whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bi or other.” Ludicrous? Disturbing? Of course; and soon, perhaps, a scenario being played out in a surgery or health centre near you. To read my whole Times column (£), please click here. Oh – and why the fish? It’s a clownfish. It turns from male into female. You might say that,…

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may-ice-sculpture-12-56-17 Britain 

The vanishing Conservative party

You really do have to feel for Theresa May over her catastrophic party conference speech. With a heckler who got far too close, a prolonged coughing fit and a visibly disintegrating party slogan backdrop, this concatenation of calamities would have shaken the hardiest of performers. Someone reportedly as shy as Mrs May must be in agony over the whole thing. Cruelly, the debacle is being portrayed as a metaphor for Mrs May’s premiership. Her grip on power is supposedly melting away, just as her speech evaporated under the merciless heat…

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justin-welby Britain 

A kinder society? Really?

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has taken a hammering for claiming that the BBC didn’t display the same integrity over its role in the Jimmy Savile scandal as the churches had done over allegations of child abuse in their own ranks. The archbishop was immediately accused of hypocrisy. The broader point he made was perhaps more interesting. “I think,” he observed, “we are a kinder society, more concerned with our own failures, more willing to be honest where we go wrong.” A kinder society? Really? To read my entire…

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jeremy_corbyn_speaking_at_the_labour_party_general_election_launch_2017 Britain 

Antisemitism engulfs Britain’s Labour party

Jerusalem Post At its annual conference this week, Britain’s Labour Party crossed a chilling and fateful line. At a fringe meeting there was a call to treat Holocaust denial as a legitimate contribution to debate; Israel was compared to the Nazis; and there was a demand to expel pro-Israel Jewish groups from the party. On the conference floor itself, a Jewish woman spewed a stream of defamatory falsehoods, distortions and smears about Israel. She then received an ecstatic standing ovation for stating: “I am not an antisemite. This party does…

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Die sogenannten "Hep-Hep-Krawalle" in Frankfurt am Main, Antisemitische Ausschreitungen in Deutschland 1819; Radierung, zeitgenössischOriginal: Frankfurt am Main, Historisches MuseumStandort bitte unbedingt angeben!; Britain 

Labour’s lanyard of hate

The reverberations from Tuesday’s Jew-baiting hate-fest at the Labour party conference rumble on, as well they might. David Collier’s blog post here on what he experienced at the conference is a must-read. I found this observation particularly chilling: “At the Labour Friends of Israel event, there were anti-Israel activists actually taking photos of the MPs who were present. No doubt to add new faces onto existing expulsion ‘lists’… To my knowledge, I had my photo take twice at the conference. Once as I was leaving the ‘Free Speech’ event, an…

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779px-massacre_of_jews_woodcut_1493 Britain 

The Labour Party – a safe space for hate

What has been revealed about the Labour party at its annual conference in Brighton should make all decent people shudder. A fringe meeting hosted a call for Labour to debate whether the Holocaust actually happened, the libelling of Israel as a racist, Nazi, apartheid and colonialist state and a demand that Jews who supported Israel should be kicked out of the Labour party. What was so chilling was not just that the meeting, called Free Speech on Israel (aka Safe Space for Hate) provided bigots with the opportunity to spew…

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bus Britain 

In defence of Boris

The now (in)famous article Boris Johnson wrote about Brexit in the Telegraph (on his Facebook page here) has been presented entirely in political terms. It was an attack on Theresa May, an act of disloyalty or treachery, a sackable offence, the outcome of blind ambition and his positioning for a leadership challenge. Well ok, maybe it was such a challenge and then again, maybe it wasn’t. But what was so wrong with the article itself to have provoked such apoplexy? For it was no more or less than a passionate…

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