You are here
khybar-chanters-london-december-2017 Britain 

Open antisemitism in Britain. Who cares? Not the anti-racist left

A demonstration was held in London last week in protest at President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It featured the usual suspects: the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Friends of Al Aqsa, War on Want, Socialist Worker. Nothing surprising about any of that. The far left — along with significant NGOs — is motivated by a vicious loathing of Israel and support for those committed to its extermination. It’s hardly news, therefore, that they would react so virulently against the idea that the Jewish people are…

Read More
uk-jews-programme Audio Britain 

British Jews, right and left

I was interviewed for an interesting and thoughtful BBC Radio Four programme about the changing political allegiances of British Jews, presented by Jo Coburn. It contains some poignant personal reminiscences, fascinating historical and political nuggets and no small anguish at how this tiny community’s ingrained nervousness as the target of bigotry has now soared once again to a high level. You can listen to the programme here.

Read More
jihadi-john Britain 

When it’s right to kill terrorists

The new defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, has provoked a virulent onslaught from which not even his pet tarantula has been able to save him. His offence was to state that Britons who have fought for Islamic State abroad were rightly being hunted down and killed to ensure they never returned to Britain from Libya, Iraq or Syria, the breeding grounds for plotting attacks in the UK. “A dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain,” he said. Outrage! The lethal use of force should always be a last resort. Sometimes,…

Read More
knife Britain Israel USA 

The British and European perfidy

Palm Beach, Florida, Friday Twenty-four hours after President Trump’s watershed speech recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, there has been predictable Palestinian violence and equally predictable, almost unanimous condemnation from Western European leaders and the western left. What needs to be understood is that the former is symbiotically connected to the latter. As I said in my blog post yesterday, the Palestinians use violence in order to get a reaction that advances their agenda. Until now, the west has duly obliged. For a variety of reasons including fear, ideology and bigotry…

Read More
hope-in-a-prison-of-despair-evelyn-de-morgan-1887 Britain 

Cheer up Remainers, Brexit will be a liberation

Many Remainers behave as if they have been bereaved and are still in deep mourning. By contrast Brexiteers, other than being fearful of betrayal, are full of cheer. How could it not be so? After decades when the UK’s ability to govern itself through its own laws and policies was relentlessly sliced away, it’s now getting this back. How can regaining democratic sovereignty be anything other than a source of joy and positive vision? Faced with this inconsolable distress, one must in all compassion suggest a course of grief counselling….

Read More
800px-cow_female_black_white Britain 

Pull the udder one

The surprise publishing bestseller of the autumn is the slim volume The Secret Life of Cows. The author, Rosamund Young, chronicles the life of Stephanie, Ivor, Olivia, Alice, Jake and the rest of the herd on her Worcestershire organic farm. She regards every bovine as an individual with a distinctive character and a full range of emotions and experiences. Their lives, she writes, are as full and varied as our own. The secret life of cows may be richer than we realise. The secret life of humans, however, is more…

Read More
whitby_abbey_ruins_yorkshire Britain 

The Church of England’s auto-immune disease

It is certainly important for religious bodies, like everyone else, to be sensitive to the needs of those who don’t fit in. Being inclusive, however, does not mean giving powerful interest groups the right to remake society in their own image. Which is precisely what’s happening. The church hierarchy fails to grasp that secularism is a direct attack on the bedrock principles of Christianity. Secularism would ditch Biblical precepts in favour of radical autonomy, replacing normative morality and even physiological reality by subjective emotion and remaking the world in the…

Read More
apocalypse Britain 

The British government maelstrom

The British government is currently experiencing some, ahem, internal turbulence. The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, told a parliamentary committee last week that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British woman currently in jail in Tehran accused of being a British spy, had been “simply teaching people journalism”. This totally undercut her defence that she had merely been in Iran on holiday, and added fuel to the Iranians’ charge that she had been running a journalism course aimed at spreading anti-Iran propaganda. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was promptly dragged back to court where Johnson’s remarks were cited…

Read More
allegory-of-peace-and-justice-giaquinto-corrado-175354 Britain Israel 

The strategic importance of the argument from law

Earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was almost prevented from speaking at Princeton University after left-wing Jewish students claimed her work “causes irreparable damage to the prospects of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Meekly genuflecting to this preposterous claim, Princeton Hillel, no less, abruptly canceled her invitation. The day was saved by Chabad, which provided a venue in which Hotovely could speak. Hillel officials subsequently apologized for this disgraceful episode, adding that this was “an isolated incident.” Well no, it isn’t. I had an identical experience…

Read More
great-ormond-street-hospital Britain 

My article wins a legal reporting award!

I am delighted (and somewhat amazed) to report that I have won the UK Bar Council’s print and on-line Legal Reporting Award for my piece on the tragic Charlie Gard case last July. The piece was first published as a blog post here and the Sunday Times published an updated version that weekend here. You can read the Bar Council’s press release about this award here.

Read More