The Vatican and the Jews

Pope Francis’s announcement that the Vatican will open the archives on the life and times of his predecessor, Pius XII (1939-1958) – some 16 million pages – has answered the call of historians over many decades. The attitude of Pius towards Jews, anti-Semitism and Nazi atrocities has remained a matter of controversy for Jewish and … Read more

Take Me to Your Leader

Review of Anshel Pfeffer’s Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu Published by Hurst, pp. 424 Netanyahu” means “given by God” in Hebrew. Anshel Pfeffer, one of Israel’s most insightful journalists and the author of this excellent biography, clearly doesn’t believe this to be the most appropriate of surnames for Israel’s current prime … Read more

More on Shimon Peres

THE transformation of Szymon Perski from Vishnyeva in Belarus into Shimon Peres, a founding father of the state of Israel, is a reflection of how the Jews have moved from the margins of history to its mainstream after two millennia of dispersion and persecution. An urbane cultured man who spoke several languages and wrote poetry, … Read more

Britain’s Moment in Palestine

Britain’s Moment in Palestine: Retrospect and Perspectives 1917–1948, Michael J. Cohen (New York and London: Routledge, 2014), isbn 978-0-415-72985-7, pp. 518, £90.   This is a revelatory book, which comprehensively details Britain’s contentious and anguished moment in Palestine as ruler and colonizer. In one sense this is a solid “old-fashioned” factual overview of British policy during the thirty … Read more

JFK: A Breath of Fresh Air Stifled

‘His career was as brilliant and promising as it was meteoric and short-lived. His advent seemed to usher in a new era flashing a ray of hope to a darkened world. He faced the desperate problems of our age with courage, with youthful vigour, with profound understanding and deep sympathy for the underprivileged, the disinherited … Read more

Labour Politics through Jewish Eyes

    An Interview with Gerald Kaufman MP 5 August 1992   CS: I believe that you apologized to your constituents shortly after Labour’s defeat in the 1992 elections for not being in a position to do more to help eradicate their poverty. GK: I didn’t apologize. What I said was that those of my constituents who were in a … Read more