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Oh Jeremy Corbyn, Oh Jeremy Corbyn

The next Prime Minister?

No Common Ground? Abuse on the left

I just want to pick out one rather odd, but somehow telling, detail from debates on this topic.  Sarah Ditum’s thoughtful and wide ranging  article on this issue touches on the dangers of legitimising ‘punching up’.
Embedded in the idea of justified abuse (which is then categorised as non-abusive, because justified) is the idea of “punching [...]

Losing Palestine

Recently the Israeli government cut off most of the electricity to Gaza. I don’t even want to think about the ethics involved in making that decision. Any government who had even the tiniest concern for the populace it was elected to govern would pay the electricity bill even to its worst enemy for the sake of [...]

Sex segregation in schools

Here’s the background:
A state-funded Islamic school in Birmingham unlawfully discriminated against pupils when it separated them by sex from age nine, a court has been told.
The court of appeal case could lead to other schools that practise similar segregation across the country having to make drastic changes to how they operate, or to split into [...]

Alan Johnson in Prospect | “One more heave” doesn’t work: we need a new peace paradigm for the Middle East

BICOM and Fathom are launching a major new report today – “A Future for Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding” by Ned Lazarus, preface by Jonathan Powell (download here). I’ve written this oped in Prospect about why we commissioned the report and what it tells us.
The old paradigm of peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians is exhausted and a new [...]

Zionism and Antisemitism: Pears conference, May 2017. Alan Johnson on ‘Leon Trotsky vs Antisemitism’

At a recent conference organised by The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck, University of London , I gave a 20 minute talk on ‘Leon Trotsky and Antisemitism’. The (high-quality) podcast can be found here, along with 30 other presentations (scroll). LISTEN HERE.

Responses to Anne Marie Waters’ UKIP leadership bid

Anne Marie Waters started her activist career firmly on the left.  She worked closely with Maryam Namazie, and campaigned to be adopted as a Labour candidate in Brighton.  Then, in 2013, she resigned from her position as Co-Spokesperson of One Law for All and by 2014 had joined UKIP.
I’m in sympathy with much of what [...]

LGBT+ Muslims challenged on Pride march in Toronto

Recently I posted about the disgraceful treatment of Jewish marchers at a Gay Pride event in Chicago.  In Toronto it was gay Muslims who fell foul of the regressive left. You can read more about the background here, and also watch a brief clip of the protestors being challenged.

The demonstrators were told they were emboldening [...]

Fathom 17 out now

Fathom 17 is a special issue to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
We have three essays on the genesis of the Declaration.
Efraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad, offers a fascinating study of the World War One Jewish spy network in Palestine, NILI – an acronym for the biblical Hebrew phrase, Netzakh Yisrael Lo [...]

Tariq Ramadan, Islam and FGM

Tariq Ramadan’s response to Imam Shaker Elsayed’s controversial pronouncements on FGM, circulated via a ten minute Facebook video, has already attracted considerable criticism. Here are just a few further thoughts on the issue.
The opening of the video is a little elliptical. I’ve put the relevant sections in bold:
“My position as a Muslim scholar, my position: [...]