Sergei Lavrov’s Words

A few weeks ago, the urbane Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, came out with a bizarre statement to Italian television that Hitler was of “Jewish blood” and that “the most ardent antisemites are, as a rule, Jews”. Jews, therefore, only had themselves to blame for millennia of persecution and extermination. They had brought it upon … Read more

1982 Revisited

‘No more silence; no more compromise, no more acquiescence; no more vacillation, no more appeasement’. So spoke a young deputy at a Board of Deputies meeting in September 1982, defiantly challenging its leadership. It was directed at the Board’s Israel policy in the aftermath of the massacre of Palestinians by Christian Phalangists in the Lebanese … Read more

Naftali Bennett: One Year On

ON JUNE 13, the 36th government of the state of Israel will be commemorating the first anniversary of its formation. The mere fact that the coalition, forged by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, is still in existence is nothing short of a miracle. This political pantomime horse, composed of the Right (Yamina, Yisrael Beiteinu and … Read more

Come to the Cabaret

LONDON THEATRE-GOERS have been flocking to see the revival of Cabaret and marvelled at the decadence and hedonism of the famed Kit Kat Klub in Weimar Germany. The production was, of course, characterised by the rise of Nazism and dark visions of an impending doom. Yet in the minds of many a mesmerised audience during recent weeks, … Read more

Realpolitik, Morality and the Ukrainian Tragedy

AS THE WAR in Ukraine enters its second month, it is clear that Russian forces have been unable to secure a quick victory. The Ukrainian population, including its 30% Russian speakers, have fiercely opposed the invaders and united most of the international community behind it. Five Russian major-generals have been killed, together with thousands of … Read more

The Jewish Comedian and the Great Dictator

“PUTIN IS ABSOLUTELY insane! He is the super villain of today!” So spoke Volodomyr Vysotski of the Jewish Social Initiative in the Ukraine in a recent interview with the BBC. This is a blunt assessment with which the vast majority of Jews will agree. The threat to use tactical nuclear weapons and the presence of … Read more

Mr Smotrich comes to town

THE RECENT VISIT of Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the “Religious Zionism” party in Israel, to Britain, provoked an unprecedented strong response from leading Jewish organisations and an embarrassed silence from many orthodox rabbis. Smotrich met quietly with representatives of Bnei Akiva and Mizrahi, the Religious Zionists’ movement and the chief executive of Chabad in … Read more

The Boris and Bibi Show

“YOU HAVE SAT there too long for all the good you have done. In the name of God, go.” So spoke Leo Amery MP to Neville Chamberlain in the House of Commons in the wake of British military failures before the Nazi advance in 1940. These words, originally attributed to Oliver Cromwell during the English … Read more

Resurrecting Stalin

New Year, 1953. British Jews looked forward to a year far better than the one that had just passed. In the summer of 1952, they had watched in horror the trial in Moscow, and subsequent execution, of Jewish writers and poets. This was followed by the false conviction and killing of Jewish communists in Prague … Read more