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bbc_broadcasting_house_eric_gill Britain 

Disgusting acts and creative genius

Consternation! The tsunami of sexual allegations that is still gathering force looks like it may wash away the Netflix series House of Cards, to which I am hopelessly addicted. Its star Kevin Spacey, who plays a monstrously corrupt US president, has been accused of sexually abusing young men working on the show. He is accused of similar behaviour at London’s Old Vic theatre where he was artistic director for more than a decade. Kevin Spacey remains a great actor and revived the Old Vic. None of the charges against him…

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massacre_of_jews_woodcut_1493 Britain 

The roots of Labour’s antisemitism problem

An article in the Daily Mail reveals the astonishing scale of visceral antisemitism in the Labour party: “The abuse includes one Labour member describing Jews as a ‘corrupt master race’ controlling sex-trafficking, pornography and wars worldwide. Another wrote: ‘Every f****** Jew that died in the Holocaust was a blessing.’ One councillor suggested there was a worldwide Jewish conspiracy and that Israel wanted to commit atrocities across the whole world. “…A message was shared from the online Labour Party Forum, showing a man with a large nose reading the BBC Six…

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palestine Britain Israel 

Britain’s unfinished Balfour business

Sir Simon McDonald, the top official at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a former British ambassador to Israel, told a pro-Israel conference in London yesterday that the second part of the 1917 Balfour Declaration “remains unfinished business” that Britain had a duty to see through. What was this “unfinished business”? The FCO has falsely claimed that that the second half of the Balfour Declaration made a pledge to the Arabs of Palestine that remains unfulfilled, and that way to fulfil it is through the establishment of a Palestine…

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palestine Britain Israel 

BBC Today’s disgraceful Balfour travesty

UPDATE  An earlier version of this post contained some loose wording which has now been corrected. in particular, I said Nick Robinson had stated the Balfour Declaration had promised a homeland to the Arabs too. He did not state that. Although I believe the Today programme allowed calumnies to go unchallenged, I am not accusing Nick Robinson of lying. Nor am I accusing him of being an Israel-basher or an antisemite. I have therefore removed certain phrases which did not clearly express what I intended to say and may have given…

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union-jack-cupcakes Britain 

The half-baked broadside against Brexit

Fancy! Who’d have thought that Britain’s best-loved cookery show was not in fact about baking but bigotry? The producer who founded The Great British Bake Off, Richard McKerrow, has claimed the show is “radically anti-Brexit”. This is because, he suggests, it challenges Britain’s innate racist instincts. Although it has the air of a quintessential English country fête, he says, viewers who may have little contact with people of different backgrounds have warmed to the 2015 winner, the Times food writer Nadiya Hussain, and other ethnic minority or foreign-born contestants. “It…

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palestine Britain 

The malevolent guest at London’s Balfour dinner

When Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend this week’s dinner in London to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, a dinner to which Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited as the guest of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, Corbyn said Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry would attend in his place. Now remarks made by Thornberry inescapably imply that, like Corbyn, she too regrets the fact that Israel was ever created. Instead she supports its mortal enemies whose agenda remains Israel’s destruction. In an interview…

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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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