What’s the matter with Thomas Friedman?

It’s a question Israelis and Israel advocates of all political stripes have been asking in recent months. What has caused Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist and pro-market liberal, to lurch from centre-left defender of the State of Israel to increasingly shrill basher of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli government, and the state itself? We […]

In defence of Martin Bright

If you’ll permit the intrusion of a shegetz into the controversy attending the Jewish Chronicle’s reporting on London Citizens, I’d like to add a few thoughts. London Citizens is an alliance of community groups based in the capital that brings together representatives from all the major faiths to be found in Britain. Hitherto known for campaigns on the […]

By their fruitcakes ye shall know them

You can always judge a politician by their followers. Mitt Romney attracts the committed, Ron Paul the committable. Grassroots campaigners are essential in American politics, in those states with lengthy caucus and primary processes, and even elsewhere thanks to the Internet’s empowerment of the ideologically energised. Politicians must rely on these people to get their message […]

Ron Paul, an unexamined phenomenon

The American primary process, a kind of elongated sweeps for the cable news channels, is a four-yearly vaudeville show that doubles as a selection process for future leaders of the free world.  Imagine the aesthetics of American Idol welded to the intellectual demeanour of pro football. When it’s the Democrats, there’s also a touch of the campus […]

Let us now praise an infamous man

Christopher Hitchens is gone.  ‘Dead’, he would prefer. ‘Gone’ is too mystical, a tacit indulgence of superstitious notions of a life beyond the temporal. ‘Death is certain,’ he insisted. ‘There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.’ Now who will rail? Now who will rage? Now who will reason? Hitchens was more than an […]

Israelophobia – the ‘new’ old prejudice

Something is rotten in the modern Left. An unhealthy segment of what likes to call itself the ‘progressive movement’ increasingly loses its mind when it comes to the subject of Israel. These people long ago allowed their objection to certain Israeli government policies to calcify into an irrational hatred of the entire State of Israel. […]

The Republican Party and the credibility gap

In the screenwriting business, the toughest challenge is pushing plot: writing the expositional dialogue that drives the story forward and keeps the audience up to speed. It’s a thankless task: if the dialogue is too hokey, the audience will hiss; too subtle, and you risk leaving people behind. Worst of all is the scrutiny it […]

‘A humble and dedicated man… he was quite simply a gentleman’

Decency. Humility. Kindness. Those words were repeated endlessly at the funeral service for MSP Bashir Ahmad, who died suddenly on Friday. They were the words chosen – by everyone from imam to first minister – to describe a politician whose friendships and influence cut across parties and communities. With the shock of his death still […]

How I became Lizzy Bennet

Being Elizabeth Bennet: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure By Emma Campbell Webster Atlantic Books, pp.352 Do you remember the choose-your-own-adventure books that squatted brazenly on the school library shelves? Those laminated interlopers that enticed you with their E-number colour schemes and promises of author-sanctioned page-skipping privileges? How they mocked the “serious” titles and their obsession […]