Neviim Tovim, blogs by Gillian Gould Lazarus

Archive for January 2019

I was in Crete with my seventeen year old daughter, just the two of us. The sun was going down behind the awning of a Chinese restaurant where we sat outside, eyeing the menu for bean curd and vegetables.

At the next table, three or four British boys aged twenty or so were chatting, eating and casting discreet glances at my daughter. If I remember rightly, one of them approached our table and asked her out.

The boys were Jewish. How did I know that? Perhaps I heard some reference in their conversation to BBYO or RSY or Alyth Gardens or Solly’s falafels. Later, when my daughter went for a drink (coffee I presume) with the young man, he told her, ‘We were saying “Is she G or is she J?”’

‘Ah. Well I’m J,’ she answered.

Takes one to know one. Some of the local people assumed she was Greek and only the presence of the blonde English looking mama indicated otherwise. A woman spoke to her in Greek and she replied ‘I don’t understand.’

‘Well you ought to, it’s your language,’ said the woman in English.

My two other daughters also have been taken for Greek, Italian or Spanish; I, never. In Israel, they can tell on sight that I’m from England and I can’t think how that works.

When I was a child, we had a family holiday in France. My parents met a Jewish couple and, as my mother didn’t speak French, Yiddish was the language of communication. The new friends looked at me running around the shop with a toy monkey and said ‘She doesn’t look Jewish.’ You can read Howard Jacobson’s ‘Shylock is My Name’ if you think possessing a monkey is a negative indication of Jewishness, but it was probably the fair hair which was the deal breaker.

What does it mean, to look Jewish, when Israel is a melting pot of Ethiopian, Mizrachi, Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews and the latter look like Israelis while the Diaspora Ashkenazim don’t? Why do the haredim in Israel look like the haredim in Upper Clapton?

Sartre said that different nations have different stereotypes ‘…Each country has its Jews and our picture of an Israelite hardly corresponds at all to our neighbour’s picture.’ (Antisemite and Jew, Jean-Paul Sartre, 1945)

Perhaps different political tendencies also have variant stereotypes of Jews. The far right supplies antisemitic cartoons taken from nineteenth and twentieth century literature, such as the Protocols and Der Stürmer. I recognize the images from books I’ve read about the rise of Nazism and also, unfortunately, because the online world shows me that they still have currency. The far left is as likely to supply a caricature of a brutal soldier with an enlarged fist, stamped with a Star of David.

Socially, I encountered very little antisemitism as a child and only very slightly more at university. Occasionally, someone would complain, in affable tones, about the excessive number of Jews in this, that or the other milieu. I would then say, ‘I’m Jewish’ and invariably they replied ‘Oh! I’m not antisemitic!’ I should add that during such conversations, I had the sensation of being on an out of control roundabout, my head spinning and a ringing in the ears. It’s just one of those things, when someone doesn’t know you’re Jewish and says something they wouldn’t venture, if they knew.

Interviewing Rachel Riley for Channel 4, Krishnan Guru-Murthi asked Rachel about her Jewish identity. Part of her reply got her into trouble with Mr Corbyn’s praetorian guard.

‘You wouldn’t know – I don’t look like a typical Jew or anything like that,’ she said. I understood. There are many kinds of solidarity among blondes.

Michael Rosen tweeted: ‘Hello @RachelRileyRR you said that you “don’t look like a typical Jew or anything like that”. Can you give a quick rundown of what a “typical Jew” looks like (as distinct from you) and “anything like” what? What is the “that”, here? Thanks.’

There were many delighted responses, hostile both to Rachel Riley and to the notion that the left might have a problem with Jews. As put-down of the Countdown presenter followed put-down, some familiar names appeared, journalists vocal for Mr Corbyn and some accounts familiar to me, due to their volubly expressed antipathy to Israel.

One person replied ‘Whilst her comment is unmistakably anti-Semitic, she is not.’ [sic]

Michael Rosen replied quite severely: ‘What? What does this even mean? We’ve had a year in which single comments have been pored over as evidence of antisemitism. Along comes a line out of Alfred Rosenberg’s Nazi textbook and you say this?’

The person’s rather opaque response had been hostile to Rachel Riley, but not hostile enough to satisfy Michael Rosen. He wanted Rachel to be comparable to Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi theoretician.

Of course it made me wonder. The people who told me that I don’t look Jewish – were they being like Alfred Rosenberg? And am I like Alfred Rosenberg, given the countless times that I’ve looked in the mirror when young and now I’m old, and thought that, notwithstanding the light hair and eyes, I definitely look Jewish?

In April 1990, my husband David was in the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, enduring a course of chemotherapy called interleukin 2. According to the consultant oncologist, it was an expensive treatment. The NHS was willing to invest in saving a young man of forty-one but IL2 was aggressive and David was becoming increasingly frail.

It was the first night of Passover. I made my way from North London to the Marsden, carrying an old-fashioned picnic basket in which I had packed some hard-boiled eggs, matzot, a shank bone, which features on a Passover table and a haggadah, the Passover seder prayer book.

In those days, I conceived a fear of traveling by underground, so I took a bus to Victoria Station, the overground to Sutton and then a taxi to the hospital.

David was in a cubicle in the Bud Flanagan ward. I saw at once that he looked yet weaker, depressed, in the valley of the shadow.

I told him about the picnic basket. He sighed. It was not of interest to him. So I sat beside his bed and after a while took the contents out of the basket. I began to read from the Haggadah. It included some psalms and I read aloud Psalm 130, which is known to Christians as De Profundis, in English ‘Out of the depths’and in Hebrew, Mi-ma’amakim.

My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchman for the morning

David stirred and suddenly sat up.

‘Is there any meat on that shank bone?’ he asked. I handed it to him and he began to chew on the mutton adhering to the bone.

‘It’s good,’ he said. He looked quite bright-eyed. We talked, I can’t remember of what, perhaps of our children or our plans for when David came home.

By ten-o-clock that night, I was in a taxi to Sutton Station which took me to Victoria and there, I made my way to the bus stop.

A burly, middle-aged man was sitting on the pavement, leaning against the outer wall of Victoria Station. I gave him a pound but he called out, in an agitated voice, ‘I haven’t got anywhere to go!’

His urgency reached me so I checked my purse and turned back.

‘If you give me back that pound, I’ll give you a fiver,’ I said.

Willingly he held out the pound coin and we did the exchange. Then I said ‘Would you eat some hard boiled eggs?’ and he nodded, so I gave him the eggs, the Passover beitzot from my basket.

Then my bus arrived.

Towards the end of Passover, David was still in hospital. I went to the synagogue and, in the sermon, the rabbi told a folk tale about the prophet Elijah, who is said to visit earth from time to time in the guise of a beggar. In the story, an old couple who showed generosity to Elijah were rewarded with a beautiful house. Elijah has a special relevance to Passover, and a glass of wine stands ready for him on the Seder table. The door is opened so that he may enter and drink the wine, to presage the coming of the Messiah. So far, Elijah has abstained, despite, I suppose, millions of earnest invitations.

I went to the hospital and found David looking much brighter. He said ‘I dreamed that I was home and you’d prepared a beautiful house for me.’

He did come home after a week or so and the hospital ceased chemotherapy, the illness being managed with morphine and much help from the North London Hospice.

I always remember that beggar, named in my mind as Elijah and if a homeless person calls out to me, I try to give them something. I used to have direct debits for a couple of charities, Great Ormond Street being one and the other, I forget; then there was a time when I was strapped for cash and stopped my charitable direct debits. I preferred to make an ad hoc contribution to something like Children in Need or Red Nose Day, something that you didn’t have to keep up on a monthly basis.

Last year, there was a scandal involving some major UK charities which may have put off some donors. There is also a well known charity which is so partisan against Israel that they organize events on campuses for something they are pleased to call ‘Israel Apartheid Week.’

I am a little suspicious now of some large charities, unsure whether the money is used to feed the hungry or to provide toy rifles so that the students of Orcshire Metropolitan University can role play being bad Israelis and good Palestinians.

If a friend or relation does a run for charity – and they do, constantly – I make a small donation, out of respect for their efforts.

Meanwhile, I give my small change to Elijah, more visible on our streets than ever.

David died in July 1990. The number of his grave in the XXXX Synagogue Cemetery is 130.

More than the watchman for the morning,
More than the watchman for the morning.

I was bad at maths, but the maths teacher, Mrs Rosenberg, was sympathique, always good humoured and I’d seen her on CND marches, when I was there too, with my family. She showed an interest in my oil paintings, which was kind of her, considering that she was artistic herself, her sculpture later exhibited at the Royal Academy.

I was fifteen. She asked if I would paint a portrait of her little boy and invited me to her house in Stoke Newington. It was a sunny day and we went into the garden where her husband was sitting in a deck chair.

‘This is Cliff,’ she said, which was disconcerting as I was expecting to call him Mr Rosenberg. Furthermore, she called him what sounded like ‘Glixon’ and I found it best to avoid using any name at all. I set up my easel in the garden and the three year old sat patiently while I painted his portrait and his brother, a bright ten-year-old, kept up a sociable chatter. They were a charming family. Mrs Rosenberg made lunch, boiled chicken wings, and ‘Cliff’ made me a present of a book he’d written, ‘State Capitalism’.

Mrs Rosenberg drove me home when I’d finished painting, I in the back, Cliff in the passenger seat.

‘Are you religious?’ she asked me.

‘I’m an agnostic’ I said.

‘An agnostic is either a shame-faced believer or a shame-faced atheist,’ said Cliff.

In subsequent weeks, I persevered with ‘State Capitalism,’ as it was polite to read a book someone gave you, especially if they were the author, but it was impenetrable and I gave up, having gleaned the message that the Soviet Union was not even communist any more.

When I was sixteen, I went to CND meetings and, in due course, had a boyfriend who was a member of the International Socialism group. I learned from him that Cliff was a famous Trotskyist and found myself back at the house in N16 for an IS meeting.

Everyone who spoke was impressively, dauntingly, intellectual although nothing was quite as unfathomable as ‘State Capitalism’. My boyfriend, aged eighteen, smoked his pipe. I was in love with him, which may seem irrelevant as far as International Socialism is concerned, but probably had something to do with my readiness to become involved.

I started going to the meetings regularly.  Due to lack of space in their living room, a lot of people sat on the floor. Cliff was quite a personality.

Someone asked him about the brutality used by Lenin in suppressing rebellions against the new Bolshevik government.

Cliff said ‘Listen. On the Queen Mary, the Captain allows the crew to play soccer on deck but, on a little rubber dinghy, you open your blooming mouth, you’ve had it.’ He spoke in parables. He meant that Soviet Russia under Lenin had been too fragile to permit rebellion.

When my boyfriend broke off with me, I carried on going to IS meetings. I could tell if the ex-boyfriend was there as soon as I entered the house, because I could smell his pipe.

I went on picket lines and sold Socialist Worker. Somehow I wound up on the editorial board of a louche, short-lived journal called Rebel. I didn’t say a word at any of the board meetings.

The Six Day War happened. I had never heard anyone question Israel’s right to exist but Cliff, a Jew born in Mandate Palestine, was very anti-Israel. He said that as a teenager attending a talk about workers’ rights, he’d called out ‘Arab-Jewish unity!’ An Israeli bouncer came and broke his little finger.

A woman who was somewhat supportive of Israel said, ‘Cliff, I think your little finger is affecting your judgment about this.’ Yes. There were a lot of Jews in IS and I believe not all of them were against Israel at that time. Cliff was anti- Israel but he wasn’t like JVL. As far as I recall, he didn’t deny the existence of  left antisemitism.

My parents were not pleased when I went home from meetings talking about the rights of Palestinians whom they thought of as Jordanian Arabs, complicit in trying to destroy Israel. My parents were not right-wing. They attended anti apartheid rallies and CND marches but they disliked my association with IS, later renamed – in about 1976, I have been reminded – as the Socialist Workers’ Party.

It was the late sixties and I was in Grosvenor Square as often as not, protesting against the Vietnam War. Membership of all the Trotskyist factions – the Workers’ Revolutionary Party, Militant, Tariq Ali’s International Marxist Group – had quadrupled and more, and the SWP more than any of them..

In a pub, a comrade who’d recently joined the group assured me that all Jews were rich capitalists. I couldn’t believe that I was hearing it from a comrade. I hadn’t thought that I would meet antisemitism on the left. It was of course very much milder than the left’s utterances about Jews in this year of grace 2019.

The SWP espoused the cause of Al Fatah and I heard that some comrades had gone to training camps in Jordan, preparing to fight Israel. I was shocked by this and resolved to leave the group.

I penned a letter to the chairman of my local branch, which was no longer in Hackney as my parents had chosen to move to a London suburb closer to the North Pole. He was Ian B, a teacher at a college of Further Education and subsequently Cliff’s biographer. I wrote of my attachment to Israel and pointed out that the SWP took a very one-sided view of the conflict, which was not, in my view, a third world struggle against colonialism.

Ian wrote back, telling me that the SWP was a broad church and that there was room in it for members like me, who held a favourable view of Israel. It was a nice letter, and I can’t imagine anyone in the SWP speaking that way today. Indeed, I wish I still had the letter, so that I could check my memory of it.

Nevertheless, I left ‘The Group’ as it was sometimes called. I was nineteen. I went to university and joined the Socialist Society but kept clear of all Marxist factions. I was very interested in my degree course, philosophy and – I don’t know why now – I avoided a module in political philosophy in my second year and opted for medieval: Aquinas instead of Hobbes, Anselm instead of Adorno. I went on some anti-apartheid demos and participated half-heartedly in a students’ sit-in in the Whitworth Hall.

I spent a summer in Israel and worked on a kibbutz for a few weeks. I didn’t care for the American volunteer who said Israelis were superior persons and I hung out with the French contingent, of Algerian origins. I loved Jerusalem with its golden sky and stone buildings and I prayed at the Western Wall where prayer was a local call.

I returned to England, went back to University, got married, had a baby; then there was a general election and Harold Wilson was Prime Minister again. I wore a red rosette on election day and so did the baby. There was a Labour government all the way until Margaret Thatcher.

On and off, I was a member of the Labour Party. At elections I stuffed envelopes with Labour leaflets and delivered them to voters. Mrs Thatcher got returned in 1983 and 1987. There was Spitting Image to cheer us up. My children watched it and learned the names of all the government ministers. Mrs Thatcher went and John Major became Prime Minister. The Conservatives won another General election in 1992. I cried as the results came in.

Then it was 1997 and Labour won, with Tony Blair. I drank champagne with like-minded friends. How happy we were.

One day, Mrs Rosenberg came into the bookshop where I worked. Twenty – no, thirty years had passed and made a difference but she was recognizable. I called her by her name and told her I had been a pupil.

‘Were you…with us?’ she asked, eyeing me with something of her former, twinkling expression.

I told her that I was, but had left over Israel.

She said ‘You think Israel will save Jews but only Arab-Israeli workers’ unity can save Jews.’

I thought it was a point worth considering, except that it sounded more like pie-in-the-sky optimism than a serious prediction.

In 2000, I heard that Tony Cliff had died, at the age of eighty-three. I remembered his age as he was born the same year as my father.

The left seemed to have hardened. Disturbing reports hit the media, about sexism, bullying and worse in the various Trotskyist factions. Their obsessive hatred of Israel was impossible to miss and some of the left-wing discourse about Jews began to resemble that of the far right. After 9/11, it became more emphatic and many on the left embraced an urban myth about Israel being behind the attack.

The Iraq war happened and Tony Blair fell from grace in the eyes of very many. I let my Labour Party membership lapse, not that I blamed Blair, but in 2003 and the years following, it was difficult to know the full nature and extent of errors which had undoubtedly occurred under his watch.

The new Prime Minister Gordon Brown soon got a bad press and Vince Cable called him a combination of Stalin and Mr Bean. As a one-liner it was quite funny but it seemed to damage Gordon Brown’s standing and of course there was the crash of 2008, which would have been more effective even than Vince Cable in influencing the electorate. So in 2010, we got the Coalition, from which the LibDems have not, to this day, recovered.

Once, on the 253 bus on my way home from work, I saw a sprightly old woman standing among the passengers, immersed in reading some kind of pamphlet. I thought she might be Mrs Rosenberg, now ninety plus, and her t-shirt emblazoned with a left wing logo seemed to confirm this. Her pamphlet was font size 10, remarkably small for the eyes of a nonagenarian, and I was unable to glean the subject matter. The upshot is that I made myself known, we got seats on the bus and traveled some way together. She told me she had just written an autobiography called ‘Fighting Fit’. She still struck me as a likeable and impressive woman. Again we spoke of Israel without bitter disagreement. I was not anti-Palestinian and she was not antisemitic. I didn’t refer to the troubling antisemitism which seemed to have become embedded in the far left.

After the next General Election, Mr Cameron was still Prime Minister but without the Coalition. Ed Miliband resigned as Leader of the Opposition and the surprise winner was Jeremy Corbyn. Believing that his anti-Zionist record bordered on antisemitism, I left the Labour Party which I had rejoined early in 2015.

I didn’t expect the avalanche of antisemitism which I have witnessed in the Labour Party since, as if all manner of ex BNP and National Front supporters had joined forces with the most charmless elements of the Trotskyist and Stalinist left. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I encounter a new kind of enmity when I express my opinions online.

I sometimes wonder, do left wing people who are not antisemitic see what’s happened to the left? Those who deny that it’s happening and attribute the narrative to Zionist smears are probably not free of bigotry,  undiscerning at best in matters of racism; at worst, so wedded to furthering the socialist agenda that any harm to Jewish communities seems a small price to pay. And certainly, for many on the left, Israel and Palestine symbolize the struggle of bourgeois and proletarian, evil and good, imperialism and revolution, heresy and orthodoxy.

Often, an adversary on Twitter will ask, ‘Why don’t you ever talk about right-wing antisemitism?’

Well I’ve talked all my life about right-wing antisemitism but now the left is nudging the far right, in that horseshoe where the extremities almost touch. Not unrelated are the terms I have seen on Labour forums, excoriating black or Asian Conservatives and  ‘Blairites’ with dehumanizing words which I’m not inclined to cite.

Was it I who changed, or the Left, or the world?

The prime suspect is the world. It makes changes to religion too and science and every kind of belief. Generally, something can be salvaged from former belief.

The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.

Who said that? It was Hubert Humphrey. I can’t believe that I’m quoting Lyndon Johnson’s Vice President. I don’t much like the word handicapped, but the quotation speaks of government’s obligations towards the least privileged in society. And I think one should add, a government has obligations to those who come to their shores or cross their borders, seeking a refuge from conflict, poverty or persecution, which is how my grandparents settled here, in ‘this other Eden’.

That Aristotelian, rationalistic, medieval philosopher Maimonides produced thirteen principles of the Jewish faith. Number twelve states with patient tenacity:

I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and, though he tarry, daily I await his coming.

Secular Jews who opted for revolution also had messianic expectations. And the national anthem of Israel is called ‘The Hope’.  With difference degrees of patience, we all wait while the Messiah tarries.

I used to open the book of Psalms at random, looking for inspiration, and was often disappointed to find the author, usually King David, calling on the Almighty to vanquish his, David’s, numerous enemies.

They swarmed about me like bees, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.(Psalm 118:12)

This wasn’t the verse I was looking for. Generally, I was seeking something to help with a little mild depression. If Saul had written psalms, they probably would have suited my purpose.

Even now, this minute, I open Psalms just to see what will come up, and find:

Thou hast been a refuge for me, a tower of strength in the face of the enemy. (Psalm 61:4)

I follow a Twitter account which quotes ‘They swarmed about me like bees’ in his or her Twitter bio. I can’t remember the name of the account but, like mine, it’s one of those active against online antisemitism. If you mention antisemitism on Twitter, they will swarm about you like bees, make no mistake. If you link antisemitism with Corbyn’s Labour, they will sting if they can.

A journalist from the Jewish Chronicle was kind enough to mention me in an article about fighting antisemitism. The next time I saw my rabbi, the first thing he said was ‘Have there been any repercussions from that article?’ There had not, but a little time has elapsed and I find it is sometimes mentioned in unfriendly accounts.

Twitter is a rough playground. Prior to my activity on Twitter, I wasn’t accused of anything worse than being unworthy of my driving licence. Nowadays, angry tweeters sometimes call me a murderer or a mass murderer, an apologist for infanticide and, more frequently, the paid agent of a foreign power (one whose national anthem starts with the words ‘Kol od balevav’).

My own experiences of hostile reaction on Twitter are a microcosm – a nanocosm – of those who are prominent in the fields of entertainment, journalism, and politics; celebrities in other words. This month, a young Jewish woman, famous for her television appearances, is the victim of the usual accusations, insults and gibes, because she has spoken about the problem of antisemitism on the left. It makes me inexpressibly sad to see the torrents of ill will which have come her way.

A Jewish lawyer who happens to have a debilitating physical illness received tweets wishing for his death. He replied in kind and was penalized by the Law Society. On Twitter, an enemy will ‘dox’ (or is it ‘doxx’?) you if they can, contacting your employers, especially if you are a professional or hold a position of responsibility.

This is not something I personally have to worry about, as a retired Waterstones grunt, but I worry a great deal about the possible injury to others who fight the good fight.

Rabbi Lord Sacks, esteemed for his scholarly books promoting interfaith harmony,  last year accused Jeremy Corbyn of antisemitism, following the ‘English irony’ video.  The obloquy from some of  Mr Corbyn’s supporters was eye-wateringly vindictive. Rabbi Sacks had made a provocative and courageous statement and it gave comfort to some who were afraid to say as much openly. I thought, ‘Now that Rabbi Sacks has spoken about it, they’ll understand.’ That was very far from the truth.

I have seen my own name and profile photo, like a Wanted poster, on the Twitter timelines of people who block me. They warn others about my account and say I am in league with their most feared adversaries.

There is a comfort in online solidarity – being ‘in league’ – for all of us, on all sides. This is true for me and true for those who post about me from behind a block. Yes, one feels friendship for a supportive group – for any support at all, because the fact is, they do now swarm about us like bees. I understand that these ‘enemies’ see us likewise as swarming around them and around Jeremy Corbyn. I can imagine what that feels like and the anxiety they suffer is not to anyone’s advantage. These people who call us ‘Chosenites,’ ‘Khazars’ and ‘Zionazis’ nevertheless are the enemies I have now acquired.

Post Script

We are now in the year 2019; Mrs May’s deal for Brexit has been defeated and her government has survived a vote of no confidence. Social and political divisions are increasingly acrid and I am immersed in Twitter wars of attrition where, as I tweeted a day or so ago, the enemy faints not nor faileth. I received a little more attention than usual, positive and negative and some prominent British Jews are being bombarded with negative attention, because they have taken up a position against Labour antisemitism. Mr Corbyn continues to enjoy the support of some Jewish individuals who devote themselves to discrediting those who oppose him. This is not a division of orthodox and Reform, nor even of Zionist and ‘meh about Israel,’ nor of Brexit and Remain nor of Labour and Conservative. The divisive notion is Jeremy Corbyn, generally perceived as very good or very bad and not much in between. Myself, I have no doubt that he is very bad.

Those who’worship the trousers that cling to him’ use invective such as ‘fascists’ ‘supremacists’ ‘smear merchants’ ‘shills’ and, recently, ‘child-groomers’ and some of  Corbyn’s Jewish supporters participate vigorously in derogating the anti-Corbyn Jews, brushing shoulders with hardcore antisemites in their earnest defence of the Labour Leader. The forum ‘Truthers Against Zionists Lobbies’ which I archive on this blog includes one or two contributions from Jewish bloggers.

Each side claims to be representative, either of the ruakh, the spirit of Judaism or of the Jewish community. People in the circles in which I move are anxious and speak of Corbyn as a threat, so to my mind, his Jewish supporters are a small minority.

Each side knows the arguments of the other side so well that bingo cards are devised for satirical purposes, citing the expected arguments of the opposing Z group or the J group, where J is for Jeremy and Z, I don’t need to say.

When I began this blog post, a couple of weeks ago, I was remembering the Jewish tradition, in desperate times, zog tehilim – say psalms when all else fails.

I open my book of Psalms and am awed to find that that the Psalmist seems to have knowledge of Twitter.

64 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;

preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
from the throng of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless,
shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see them?”
They search out injustice,
saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.”
For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.

Yes, I know there are some who think of me as the secret plotter, whetting my tongue like a sword. All of us are all this to our enemies. Can there be a time when our own Jewish community in the UK are not at loggerheads, whether over the ordination of women, over Israel and the Palestinians, or over Jeremy Corbyn? Bechayeichon uveyomeichon: in our lifetime and in our days, speedily may it come.

  • James Casserly: Unfortunately there seems to be no middle ground, no nuance and even less humanity on Twitter. Like you, there are people I have no time for, some I a
  • keithmarr: G < div dir="ltr">Twitter is such a cesspit you can more or less guarantee any opini
  • Gillian Gould Lazarus: You're Nathan Hull, aren't you, an abusive troll who uses the alias Gerard O'Neill?