antisemitism Global conflict Jewish people 

Holding hostage the memory of the Jewish dead

A profound and bitter battle between Israel and Poland has been brought to crisis point by the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which is being commemorated by world leaders this week at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem and next week at Auschwitz itself. The roots of the row lay in remarks made last December by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He claimed that Poland helped start World War II, and accused it of being an antisemitic country that had welcomed Hitler’s plan to liquidate Europe’s Jews. A few days later, Polish…

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Jewish people 

The west mourns the Jewish dead. But what about the living?

At Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Jan. 23, some 46 political leaders and royals, including Britain’s Prince Charles, will be attending the fifth World Holocaust Forum to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. At this and doubtless other such memorial events, many eloquent, important and heartfelt observations will be made about the evils of Nazism and Jew-hatred. In today’s climate, however, there’s something disquieting about such memorializing. Given the eruption of physical and verbal attacks on Jews in Britain, America and Europe, it…

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Jews Culture wars 

Antisemitism: the ultimate marker of cultural derangement

The attacks against Jews in New York and London during the past week have left people deeply shocked. The stabbing rampage against Hanukkah celebrants in Monsey, N.Y., following a deadly attack on a kosher supermarket in New Jersey in which two Chassidic Jews were shot and killed, has produced much anguished discussion among American Jews about the loss of a security they had previously taken for granted. In London, graffiti promoting an unhinged conspiracy theory linking Jews with the 9/11 attacks materialized on a synagogue wall and storefronts prominently situated…

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Boris Johnson Hanukkah message Britain Israel 

A Boris bear-hug against British antisemitism

Is the British government beginning to change its century-old attitude of ambiguity towards Israel and come out instead as its unequivocal friend? Don’t get too excited just yet. It’s certainly true that, fresh from his thumping election victory, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered an extraordinary Hanukkah message to the country’s antisemitism-beleaguered Jewish community. Going far beyond predictable seasonal bromides, he delivered a very pointed profession of heartfelt support. The festival of lights, he said, was a time to celebrate the Jews’ unique identity. “When the Maccabees drove the forces…

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Britain Culture wars USA 

Political auto-immune disease among diaspora Jews

Why are so many diaspora Jews doing the dirty work of their mortal enemies for them? In the United States, most Jews still support the Democratic Party despite the refusal by some politicians — namely, the four freshmen congresswomen who call themselves “the Squad,” and have made anti-Jewish and anti-Israel remarks — to distance themselves from the Jew-baiting Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. American Jewish leaders are also deeply reluctant to speak out against black or Muslim Jew-hatred, of which there have been some shocking recent examples. Immediately after…

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Britain Culture wars 

The shocking thinking of Britain’s Jewish community leadership

My column in last week’s Jewish Chronicle, which you can read here, ignited a firestorm of controversy – most of it abusive, much of it tendentious, and all of it missing the point of or actively misrepresenting what I actually wrote. In the piece I argued that, while attacks on Muslims should be condemned, the specific charge of Islamophobia was designed to silence any criticism of the Islamic world. I further argued that it was terribly wrong to equate antisemitism with Islamophobia, the accusation of which provided cover for Muslim…

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Conversations with John Anderso Culture wars Videos 

Our cultural crisis: conversation with John Anderson

I recently sat down for a second video discussion with John Anderson, the former deputy prime minister of Australia, over the crisis in western culture and society. We discussed my own political journey, described in my memoir Guardian Angel, in which I came to understand that the great battles over the traditional family or education involved a wholesale repudiation of objectivity, evidence and truth itself. The result is our current era of cultural totalitarianism. We also talked about the war to the political death between on the one hand, national…

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Britain Culture wars 

Two reasons why so many still don’t grasp the new antisemitism

At last Sunday’s rally against antisemitism in Westminster, more than 3,000 people listened to a range of speakers denounce anti-Jewish bigotry. Beyond that rally, however, reaction among the general public to the hatred in the Labour party directed at Israel and the Jewish people does not seem to reflect its eye-watering scale and viciousness. Leaked evidence collected by the Jewish Labour Movement exposed a virtual tsunami of crazed venom, with statements that Jews were “subhuman” and should “be grateful we don’t make them eat bacon for breakfast every day”, that…

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The View Britain 

The British working-class saves Britain – and its Jews

The relief was overwhelming. When the exit poll on Thursday evening correctly predicted a large majority for Boris Johnson’s Conservative party, British Jews allowed themselves to breathe again. Overcome by the sense of deliverance from a great evil, some wept. Immediately before the election, both Labour and Conservative party hierarchies had been seized by the belief that Britain was heading for a hung parliament and a coalition led by Labour’s hard-left leader Jeremy Corbyn. Many British Jews were gripped by a deep sense of dread and panic. In the event,…

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Culture wars USA 

The New Jersey terror attack

The shooting attack on the kosher grocery store in New Jersey in which three Jews were murdered after a police officer was gunned down was a terrorist atrocity directed at Jews. New Jersey officials have confirmed that Jews were the target of the shooters who specifically selected the kosher store for attack. The incident began at a cemetery where a police officer was shot dead by two people, subsequently identified as 47-year-old David Anderson and 50-year-old Francine Graham, whom the officer had recognised as connected to a murder. Surveillance footage…

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