No, Ambassador Regev, don’t turn Balfour into a holy Jewish text

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration is nearly upon us (November 2nd 2017) and its 67 words of apparent British imperial generosity towards the Jewish people are already taking on sacred status. We are about to canonise Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, and turn his letter to Lord Rothschild, which viewed “with favour” the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine, into a holy Jewish text. But unlike other Jewish scripture, these are not words our rabbis will be allowed to… Read more

Trust Me, I Was Once a First-Year Jewish Student Too

This month a new generation of Jewish students will begin their first term at university. Here’s my advice to them. Read more

“It’s About Equality, and That’s Why I Can’t Work With You on This.”

The strange thing is that calling for equal rights is generally considered ‘a good thing’ At least it is in Western liberal democracies. Except when it comes to Israel when suddenly a whole set of other considerations come in to play. Read more

Brace Yourselves for Costly Palestinian Solidarity

Well, you can’t say you haven’t been told. The Christian community in Occupied Palestine has just called time on 70 years of world-wide Christian/Jewish collusion in their oppression and slow demise. In an open letter to the World Council of Churches, they’re demanding a different course of action from their Christian sisters and brothers because, they write, the situation is now “beyond urgent”. The exasperation of the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine is understandable. The Church around the… Read more

So many bad ways to mark the Balfour Declaration – but here’s one good one

How to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration this November? You can be sure there’s going to be no end of bad ways. Albert Hall Hiring the Royal Albert Hall in London on 7 November with a 500 voice international Christian choir will definitely be up there with the most crassly inappropriate ways to remember Balfour. Don’t expect to see a single Palestinian Christian in the building which alone should make you question this event’s integrity. However, I… Read more

From Manchester to Jerusalem: The Limits of Trump’s Terror Narrative

A few hundred yards from the office where I work, 22 people were murdered on Monday night by a suicide bomber. A further 64 people were injured, many of them seriously. Among the dead were children and teenagers, and their mums and dads who’d come to collect them from a pop concert at the Manchester Arena. The victims came from across the north of England. It was the worst terrorist attack in the UK for 12 years and the concert… Read more

Church of Scotland Must Be Fearless Against the Bullying Board of Deputies

Once again, the Board of Deputies of British Jews has shown itself to be a bully when it comes to interfaith dialogue on Israel/Palestine. This time its victim is the Church of Scotland. It’s all depressingly predictable and immensely tiresome for anyone who cares about justice in the Holy Land and indeed the future of Jewish-Christian relations in the U.K. Balfour centenary Later this month (20-26 May) the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly will consider a new report advising the… Read more

Zionism, Apartheid and the Delegitimisation of Passover

‘Delegitimisation’ is the favourite attack word used by defenders of Israel’s unique (mis)understanding of democracy. It’s usually deployed to accuse human rights campaigners of wanting to ‘wipe the Jewish State off the face of the earth’ for daring to suggest an alternative and fairer way of running the country. The apocalyptic rhetoric is designed to close down a debate about institutional discrimination and portray the call for Palestinian rights as the most poisonous act of antisemitism since the Holocaust. It often… Read more

Dear Rabbi Sacks – stop your lies about BDS

Dear Jonathan Sacks Stop telling lies about BDS. Your video animation, designed to make the moral and political case against this year’s Israel Apartheid Weeks on campuses around the world, is a skilful piece of deceit that needs urgent challenge from all who support human rights. I’ve always admired your writing on Judaism and I recommend your books to others. Except where you talk about Israel, at which point you appear to abandon your learning and your ethical values. You’re… Read more

“As Jews, we welcome refugees” (unless they’re Palestinian). 

 Apart from the Israeli government, Donald Trump, and various Zionist lobby groups around the world, like the Board of Deputies of British Jews, everyone else knows that the West Bank Settlements are obstacles to peace. But there’s something else that’s just as big an obstacle to peace as the Settlements. But nobody wants to call it out. Nobody wants to draw attention to the double standards, the tragic irony, the gaping hypocrisy. It’s the obstacle to peace and reconciliation that… Read more

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