allegory-truth-falsehood Israel USA 

Could Trump have been… you know… er, not wholly wrong?

An 18 year-old Jewish teenager, born in the US and living in the Israeli town of Ashkelon, has been arrested on suspicion of issuing dozens of fake bomb and other threats to Jewish communities in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand over a period of six months. The suspect reportedly used very complex methods to prevent himself from being caught so that law enforcement agencies had to use their own complex methods to find him. This is a most bizarre and disturbing development. Details of this young man, and…

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unknown Britain 

In the midst of grief, still confusion

In the aftermath of yesterday’s dreadful terror attack on the Palace of Westminster, which has so far left four victims dead and around 40 people injured, many of them seriously, the Prime Minister Theresa May today addressed the House of Commons. Among other remarks by Mrs May which struck the right tone of steely calm, there was however this exchange. A Conservative MP, Michael Tomlinson, said: “It is reported that what happened yesterday was an act of Islamic terror. Does the Prime Minister agree that what happened was not Islamic,…

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truth-and-falsehood USA Videos 

Truths, untruths and true untruths

Join me as I pick my way through some of the evidence surfacing about various explosive claims made by and about President Trump. A transcript of my remarks follows below the video. I have repeatedly called out President Donald Trump for his somewhat cavalier attitude to both language and facts. I’ve also said that, although sometimes he gets it wrong – letting fly on Twitter on the basis of something he’s seen or heard on Fox TV – sometimes we just don’t know whether he’s right or wrong; and sometimes…

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viola Britain 

Mrs May’s political cross-dressing

Theresa May isn’t a socialist. Her approach reflects a particular tradition in conservative thought which has much in common with European Christian democracy. As she has said, she explicitly rejects both “the socialist left and the libertarian right”. She is instead a statist, wedded to top-down paternalism (or perhaps more appropriately here, maternalism) and the beneficent role of activist government intervention. The rival “libertarian” or neo-liberal right makes a fetish of individual liberty and the free market, disdains tradition and devalues the importance of preserving social and cultural bonds. What…

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humpty Britain 

Hate crime through the Looking Glass

We’ve repeatedly been told that Britain is in the grip of a huge rise in Islamophobic attacks. According to Tell Mama, the group that monitors hate crime against Muslims, anti-Muslim attacks reportedly shot up by 326 per cent in 2015 and spiked again after the Brexit vote last year. All such hateful crimes and incidents are utterly to be deplored. These statistics, though, have come in for criticism about their methodology and should be treated accordingly with caution. The principal caveats concern the subjectivity of these reports, exacerbated by the…

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klan Britain Europe USA 

The alt-right smear

The neologism “alt-right” has now become part of the political lexicon. It is thought to be merely a term describing a new political movement. This is wrong. It is being used to spread confusion and hatred. The term was invented by a white supremacist called Richard Spencer. It is an obvious piece of manipulative linguistic legerdemain. For there’s nothing remotely “alt” – standing for alternative – about what Spencer does or says, nor other white supremacists or racists or fascists or neo-Nazis who also style themselves as “alt-right”. They are…

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Nebuchadnezzar; William Blake, 1795 USA 

How the monstering of Donald Trump has confused the Jews

President Donald Trump continues to be the focus of confusion and division, not least within the Jewish world. At first he was hailed as massively pro-Israel. He said he was opposed to the Iran deal and Israel’s treatment by the UN, promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and appointed as US ambassador a bullish supporter of the settlers. Jews on the Right were thrilled, Jews on the Left were dismayed. But then he invited Mahmoud Abbas to the White House and sent his envoy Jason Greenblatt to make…

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Jews being persecuted; Rochester Chronicle, 13th century Britain USA 

Trump is no antisemite

President Donald Trump seems to be a man who thinks (and tweets) from his gut. He appears emotional, self-absorbed and impulsive. His language is careless and inaccurate. He shoots his mouth off repeating something he’s seen or heard on Fox News or talk radio which as often as not turns out to be false. All these things are alarming and indefensible. Nevertheless the unprecedented distortion, fabrication, selective reporting, double standards, wrenching out of context and character assassination by association in the mainstream media’s general approach to Trump has created a…

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Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon at the latter's official residence, Bute House, Edinburgh Britain Videos 

May and Sturgeon go to war

British politics is entering very turbulent waters. Join me here as I discuss whether Prime Minister Theresa May can simultaneously fight EU bureaucrats, Scottish nationalists, Irish republicans and Remainers at Westminster, variously intent on seizing the moment for their agenda, scuppering Brexit or both. A transcript of my remarks follows beneath the video. The starting gun has been fired for independence in the United Kingdom. No, not independence FOR the UK from the European Union, or Brexit. Although the parliamentary bill enabling the government to start that process cleared its…

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