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Could Trump have been… you know… er, not wholly wrong?

An 18 year-old Jewish teenager, born in the US and living in the Israeli town of Ashkelon, has been arrested on suspicion of issuing dozens of fake bomb and other threats to Jewish communities in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand over a period of six months. The suspect reportedly used very complex methods to prevent himself from being caught so that law enforcement agencies had to use their own complex methods to find him. This is a most bizarre and disturbing development. Details of this young man, and…

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truth-and-falsehood USA Videos 

Truths, untruths and true untruths

Join me as I pick my way through some of the evidence surfacing about various explosive claims made by and about President Trump. A transcript of my remarks follows below the video. I have repeatedly called out President Donald Trump for his somewhat cavalier attitude to both language and facts. I’ve also said that, although sometimes he gets it wrong – letting fly on Twitter on the basis of something he’s seen or heard on Fox TV – sometimes we just don’t know whether he’s right or wrong; and sometimes…

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klan Britain Europe USA 

The alt-right smear

The neologism “alt-right” has now become part of the political lexicon. It is thought to be merely a term describing a new political movement. This is wrong. It is being used to spread confusion and hatred. The term was invented by a white supremacist called Richard Spencer. It is an obvious piece of manipulative linguistic legerdemain. For there’s nothing remotely “alt” – standing for alternative – about what Spencer does or says, nor other white supremacists or racists or fascists or neo-Nazis who also style themselves as “alt-right”. They are…

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Nebuchadnezzar; William Blake, 1795 Instant Articles USA 

How the monstering of Donald Trump has confused the Jews

President Donald Trump continues to be the focus of confusion and division, not least within the Jewish world. At first he was hailed as massively pro-Israel. He said he was opposed to the Iran deal and Israel’s treatment by the UN, promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and appointed as US ambassador a bullish supporter of the settlers. Jews on the Right were thrilled, Jews on the Left were dismayed. But then he invited Mahmoud Abbas to the White House and sent his envoy Jason Greenblatt to make…

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Jews being persecuted; Rochester Chronicle, 13th century Britain USA 

Trump is no antisemite

President Donald Trump seems to be a man who thinks (and tweets) from his gut. He appears emotional, self-absorbed and impulsive. His language is careless and inaccurate. He shoots his mouth off repeating something he’s seen or heard on Fox News or talk radio which as often as not turns out to be false. All these things are alarming and indefensible. Nevertheless the unprecedented distortion, fabrication, selective reporting, double standards, wrenching out of context and character assassination by association in the mainstream media’s general approach to Trump has created a…

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The banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus; Jan Victors, 1840s Global conflict Israel USA 

A parable for our times

Today and yesterday (depending on where you are in the world) observant Jews have been celebrating the festival of Purim by reading the megillah of Esther. This is the story of the Persian king Ahasuerus, commonly identified as Xerxes I, who went along with the plan hatched by his vizier Haman to exterminate the Jews. Ahasuerus was then persuaded out of this by his Jewish queen Esther, who was urged on by her brother Mordecai, and hanged Haman instead. Witty folk have been comparing Ahasuerus to Donald Trump. This is…

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Battle of Williamsburg, 1893, Library of Congress USA 

The non-denial denial

Once upon a time, in the days when the media had its eyes open, journalists would be galvanised by what they dubbed “a non-denial denial”. Poring over what was actually said when someone denied an allegation, journalists would pounce upon the words or phrases which revealed, as often as not by their absence, that the denial had been carefully worded to make some fine distinction that was calculated to conceal the truth while protecting the denier from any subsequent accusation of lying. The very opposite is true today. Starting with…

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Vincenzo Camuccini: La Morte di Cesare, 1804-1805 USA 

Sedition stalks the Beltway

While the US media is in a feeding frenzy over feverish claims that the Attorney-General Jeff Sessions lied over his Russian contacts, the evidence is steadily building that this is actually part of an attempted rolling coup against President Trump. The accusations against Sessions would be laughable were they not so menacing. According to Justice Department officials, Sessions had two encounters last year with the Russian AmVbassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak. The first was at a Heritage Foundation event in July during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, when…

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Antisemitic sign, pro-Palestinian rally San Francisco 2009 Britain USA 

Viewing antisemitism through a glass darkly

Suddenly, everyone’s worried about surging antisemitism. Remarkable. In recent decades, antisemitism has been the prejudice that dare not speak its name. The “Israel apartheid weeks” on campus, the blood libels about Israelis wantonly killing Arab children, the high proportion of attacks on Jews by Muslims – no one was allowed to call this anti-Jewish hatred. Anyone who did so was accused of Islamophobia, sanitizing the crimes of Israel by waving the shroud of the Holocaust and so on. Now people are shouting about antisemitism almost every day. Recent events are…

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extinct-dinosaur Britain USA 

The left dies in daylight

The British political and media class is today poring over the entrails of yesterday’s by-elections. The Tories won an unprecedented victory in Copeland, while Labour defeated the UKIP leader in Stoke. The discussion is over whether Labour’s hapless far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn is finished or will use the victory in Stoke to stagger on, and whether the useless UKIP leader Paul Nuttall made a strategic error in targeting Labour rather than Conservative voters. This all misses the point. The by-elections point to something rather bigger that is now taking place….

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