Mad Hatter's tea-party, from Alice's Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll; Tenniel illustration Britain 

Rudderless over immigration in Brexitland

What a mess the British government is now in over immigration — a mess that the arrival of the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, is unlikely to clear up. Consider. Amber Rudd resigned as Home Secretary through misleading Parliament over whether or not the government had “uncompassionate” targets for removing illegal immigrants. This followed the revelation that the government had treated appallingly Caribbean “Windrush” immigrants who arrived in the sixties but who were threatened with deportation decades later. These Windrush immigrants, however, were in Britain legally. Doesn’t the fact that…

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islands Britain Israel USA 

Three islands of exceptionalism in west’s darkest hour

On a plane to New York this week, I watched the movie Darkest Hour for the second time. If it packed a punch the first time, on second showing it seemed even more apposite to our current nail-biting era. The movie is about the traumatic period in May 1940 when, as the Nazis swept across Europe, Britain was staring at the prospect of defeat and invasion. Darkest Hour points out the catastrophic error of trying to negotiate with a regime whose agenda brooks no compromise. Britain didn’t acknowledge this until…

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constitutional Britain 

Betraying Brexit voters spells constitutional crisis

The constitutional crisis bubbling just below the surface ever since Britain voted to leave the EU is now at the point of eruption. That crisis is the prospect of parliament pitting itself against the people. Remainers and EU negotiators are ganging up in a push to reverse Brexit through the back door. The House of Lords passed an amendment last week committing the government to outline its moves to enable the UK to remain in a customs union with the EU. The Commons will have a symbolic vote on this…

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simon-wiesenthal-lecture-april-12-2018 Global conflict 

Time to go? Simon Wiesenthal memorial lecture

Last week, I was privileged to deliver the Simon Wiesenthal memorial lecture at St John’s Wood synagogue in London. My title was “Time to go? Jews in Britain and Europe”. Did I answer my own question? Find out by watching a recording of the event below. An edited version of the text of the lecture is due to be published in the June issue of Commentary magazine, which will be on line next month.

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swamp USA 

Giuliani’s hiring means the end is nigh. But for whom?

The legendary former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, is to join President Trump’s team as a legal adviser. This has thrown people into a tizzy. What does it signify? For anti-Trumpers, it apparently signals that the End is finally Nigh. If President Trump has called in his long-term friend, the arch-fixer Giuliani, it can only mean that panic has now set in over the Mueller investigation and Trump is heading for impeachment. For Trump’s supporters, on the other hand, it signifies that the End is Nigh… but for Special…

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

In Britain and Europe, antisemitism’s ugly history repeats itself

Violent Islamist attacks on Jews in mainland Europe are causing acute concern. But fanatical religious belief which creates the impulse to murder Jews in the service of God, however appalling and terrifying, is not hard to grasp. What is even more unsettling is that people from the European mainstream, who have gone to great lengths to show they have learned the lessons of the Holocaust, or who display affection for the State of Israel, or who are obsessed with anti-racism and human rights – that such people are now coming…

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israel-70-birthday Israel 

An open letter to the Muslim world

Dear Muslim world, The State of Israel is 70 years old today and I am writing from its capital city, Jerusalem. I realize that for most of you, the words I have just written will cause your gorge to rise. In Israel, they are a source of jubilation. Israel’s rebirth as the Jewish national homeland out of the ashes of the Holocaust was in itself an astonishing achievement, unique in the annals of the world. For it to have survived the unparalleled attempts to destroy it ever since is regarded…

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commonwealth of nations flag Global conflict 

Commonwealth v UN and a bankrupt culture of impunity

This week, 53 Commonwealth heads of government are meeting in London for their biennial conference. Cue attacks on the Commonwealth as a useless relic of discredited imperialism and supine monarchism. The Commonwealth is attractive to countries that are not aggressive but value freedom and security. The UN is morally bankrupt. It is not fit for purpose. It never will be while it treats human rights abusers as legitimate members and allows them to operate with impunity. What we need instead is a United Democratic Nations which treats dictators as pariahs….

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putin-and-assad-weekend Global conflict 

The weekend bombing of the Syrian chemical facilities

So what did the weekend bombing of three chemical weapons facilities inside Syria achieve? Well, if what we are being told is true, it knocked out three Syrian chemical weapons facilities. That’s good. This may have set back, maybe seriously, Syria’s capacity to use chemical weapons.That’s good, maybe very good. So is that good enough? No way. Let’s ask a different question. What was the strategic aim of the weekend’s bombing raid? According to our three motivated musketeers, Trump, Macron and May, it was to deliver the message that the…

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