Boris, Bibi and the Press

DURING THE PAST WEEK, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been engulfed in wave after wave of allegations and accusations about his conduct in the highest office of public service in the UK. He has seemingly slipped deeper and deeper into the slime of sleaze. On a wide range of issues, a familiar story has … Read more

On Matzpen

Review of Lutz Fiedler’s Matzpen: A History of Israeli Dissidence (Edinburgh University Press 2020) pp.408 Lutz Fiedler’s highly informative book about the far Left group, Matzpen, is a welcome addition to the recording of both Jewish and Israeli history. This book started life as a doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Dani Diner, a stalwart of … Read more

In the Jaws of the Crocodile

Review of Emil Draitser’s In the Jaws of a Crocodile: A Soviet Memoir, published by the University of Wisconsin Press 2021, pp.276 What’s a Purim miracle? A Jewish boy getting into Moscow University! Charlie Chaplin once commented that ‘to truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it’. For Jews, … Read more

On Isi Leibler

Review of Suzanne Rutland’s Lone Voice: The Wars of Isi Leibler, published by Gefen Books 2012, pp. 663 This book is about the life and times of Isi Leibler, a leader of Australian Jewry and a bare knuckle fighter for Jewish rights. Lone Voice: The Wars of Isi Leibler (Gefen Books) is also an account of … Read more

Alexei Navalny and the Jewish Dilemma

Last Saturday, tens of thousands of people came out across Russia in support of Alexei Navalny, the detained opponent of Vladimir Putin. Demonstrations took place from Vladivostok in the East to St. Petersburg in the West — and significantly outside the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv. Over 3,000 demonstrators have been arrested. In the past, … Read more

Survival on the Margins

Review of Eliyana R. Adler’s Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union. Published by Harvard University Press This book tells the story of the tens of thousands of Polish Jews who were forcibly deported to special settlements and camps in the interior of the Soviet Union in 1940. They had … Read more

Leningrad 1970

Fifty years ago, on Christmas Day 1970, a handful of British Jews gathered in the bitter cold outside the Soviet Embassy in Bayswater. The news had reached London the night before that two Soviet Jews, Mark Dymshits and Edward Kuznetsov, had been sentenced to death. The announcement on Christmas Eve of these draconian sentences had … Read more

Thirty Years after Meir Kahane’s Death

Thirty years ago, on 5 November 1990, Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defence League (JDL) in the US and the Kach party in Israel, was gunned down by an Egyptian Islamist, El Sayyed Nosair, at the Marriot Hotel in Manhattan. He was 58 and a father of four. Kahane had repeatedly proclaimed his … Read more

President Trump’s Jewish Problem

IN MARCH 2019, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, told the Christian Broadcasting Network he believed that God was acting through President Trump to protect the Jews of Israel. While Queen Esther had saved the Jewish people from certain Persian annihilation during Purim, today, Pompeo argued, President Trump was saving the Jews from the wrath of … Read more