Jews Against Themselves

In Jews Against Themselves, Edward Alexander, a retired English professor from Seattle, deals with the concept of “Jewish apostasy” – members of the tribe who “abandon” the State of Israel. Throughout this collection of essays, the author vents anger against Jews of ‘the progressive persuasion” who fall “to mobilize their intellectual resources on behalf of … Read more

Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State

Shlomo Avineri Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2013. pp.274 In his autobiography, Chaim Weizmann commented that Theodor Herzl was ‘not of the people’ despite being an inspiring leader and brilliant organiser. The author of this interesting book, the eminent Israeli academic and public intellectual, Shlomo Avineri, has not written a conventional biography of Herzl. Instead he has … Read more

The Birth of the Zion Mule Corps

One hundred years ago today, Turkey entered World War I on the side of the Kaiser’s Germany. Within days, Russia, France and Britain all declared war on ‘the sick man of Europe’. This event was probably far more important for Jewish national interests than the outbreak of hostilities between Britain and Germany in August 1914. … Read more

Bibi’s Big PR Stunt

As Israel celebrates the 66th anniversary of its founding, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to introduce an addition to the country’s basic laws — the closest thing it has to a constitution — to “legally anchor” Israel as a Jewish state. It seems that Mr. Netanyahu wishes to define the country as the nation-state … Read more

Who was Arik Sharon?

Ariel Sharon’s controversial life which ended on 11 January 2014, produced both adulatory tributes and acid condemnations. Few seemed to be able to lift the veil of confusion and provide insights into this complex character. Tony Blair, representing the Quartet at the memorial ceremony, describedhim as “tough but shy, indomitable, yet a servant to his people, … Read more

Arieh, the Last Witness

Arieh Handler was known to generations of British Jews for his intensive contribution to communal life, from founding Bnei Akiva in the 1930s to campaigning for Soviet Jewry in the 1980s. Yet his proudest moment was listening to Ben-Gurion reading out the Declaration of the State of Israel in Tel Aviv on May 14 1948. … Read more