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HepHep riots, Frankfurt, 1819; from contemporary engraving by Johann Michael Voltz; antisemitism Britain Israel 

Eugenic libels, Jews barred at Warwick U

This all gets ever more dreadful. A vile event was put on at Warwick university last night. It was advertised as featuring unhinged claims that Israel was using eugenics to enhance the Jewish birthrate at the expense of Arab reproduction, and a disgusting proposal to retaliate by using eugenics to do the same in reverse to Israel. The indefatigable David Collier and two other Jews tried to attend the meeting, which was supposedly a public event. They were barred from entry. Collier writes: “It is difficult to describe the emotions…

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the-guardian Britain 

Peter Preston

Peter Preston, who was my editor at the Guardian when I worked there, has died at the age of 79. The Guardian is running tributes to him from former colleagues to which I have contributed this: Peter was a complex, difficult character who hid behind a wall of elliptical utterances and deniable obfuscation. Presiding over the temple of media liberalism, he himself was no ideologue. When I worked as the paper’s social policy editorial writer, there were occasions when he approved the argument I was making even though it was…

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HepHep riots, Frankfurt, 1819; from contemporary engraving by Johann Michael Voltz; antisemitism Britain 

Time to shame those who spread prejudice

University antisemitism is a serious and growing problem. Jewish students increasingly say they fear being on campus because of anti-Jewish vilification or harassment. Last year, an NUS study found more than a quarter of them had been subjected to personal abuse on social media or other channels. The universities minister, Jo Johnson, made an important speech last week at Limmud, the acclaimed Jewish learnathon. While the universities had to defend free speech better than they were doing, he said, there could be no place on campus for antisemitism. A welcome…

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william-blake-voltaire-c-1800 Britain 

Where to draw the line on true free speech

Offensiveness or wrong-headedness hurt no one. The claim that they do is designed to shut down legitimate debate. The proper antidote to speech that offends is other speech. Opinion anchored in reason can be countered by other opinion. Lies can be exposed by factual evidence. Truth emerges from debate and disagreement. The only sort of speech that deserves to be banned, on campus or elsewhere, is that which peddles true prejudice. This means speech that attacks people on the basis of an irrational hatred which by definition is immune to…

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once_upon_a_time_writer_author_story_short_story_legend_myth_once-738184 Britain 

A novel idea

Many people fondly imagine they “have a novel inside them”. I certainly did. That, though, was where for most of my life it stayed. Firmly inside. For as long as I can remember, I believed some people had the gift of writing creatively while others did not and that I was without doubt in the latter category. So the disjointed fragments of stories and characters that swirled around in my head stayed there. Until now. For, to my surprise, I find that I have written a novel. What’s more, it…

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minefield Britain Israel 

Perfidious Albion (yet again)

After the UK’s morally repellent and intellectually vacuous support for the vicious UN resolution against President Trump’s recognition that the capital of Israel is the capital of Israel, in what sense can Britain now claim to be an ally of either Israel or America? And what price now all Prime Minister Theresa May’s warm words of sympathy and support for Israel and the Jewish people?

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inquiries Britain 

The rape of Britain’s justice system

There are two possible explanations for the rape scandal now engulfing the police and Crown Prosecution Service. The first is rank incompetence and the second is ideology. Clearly, competence has hardly been on display in the two rape cases that have collapsed within the space of one week. These could have caused devastating miscarriages of justice against the two defendants who were unjustly charged. This cannot simply be explained away, however, by carelessness or bungling. The real reason is that, from top to bottom of the criminal justice system, the…

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blake_dante-divine-comedy-1757-1827 Britain 

The EU is the engine room for extremism

In the minds of many Remainers, those who want to leave the EU hate Europe and Europeans. The idea that one might love visiting Europe and like Europeans but nevertheless not want to be ruled by them is apparently incomprehensible. Britain is pulling up an existential drawbridge. The Brexiteers’ desire to open up the world is deemed a retreat into isolationism. Behind all this lies a curious paradox. While Brexiteers believe they are about to reclaim their political identity, these Remainers feel that they are about to lose theirs. To…

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last-judgment-sisstine-chapel-michgelangelo-1534-1541 Britain 

The wreckage of the unbelievables

The last few days have seen further outbreaks of that rationality, consistency and sense of proportion with which many Remainers, those opposed to Britain’s exit from the EU, have become so indelibly associated. Following last week’s Commons rebellion by 11 Conservative MPs who joined opposition MPs to defeat the government over their insistence that Parliament should have a “meaningful” vote on the UK’s Brexit deal, there has been uproar over the insults to which they have been subjected by Brexiteeers, the calls to deselect them and the death threats they…

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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…

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