The targeting of Jewish teenagers on Oxford Street is a wake-up call

When a friend shared a video of drama on Oxford Street on Monday night, I knew it would go viral. The clip showed a gang of men harassing a group of Jews on a bus, spitting, cursing, making obscene gestures, and even appearing to perform a Nazi salute. This was a group of Jewish teenagers being taken by their rabbi to see the Chanukah lights at Trafalgar Square. They had stopped on Oxford Street and, in their exuberance, left the vehicle to do a Jewish dance on the pavement. That was when it happened. Let’s start with the good news. I knew this story would attract attention because such naked demonstrations

The ridiculous rehabilitation of Azeem Rafiq

Has Azeem Rafiq been forgiven yet? He’s certainly working on it. After finding himself on both sides of a racism scandal, the former Yorkshire cricketer’s rehabilitation PR operation has been nothing if not swift. As the story broke last week that Rafiq had sent messages mocking Jewish people, he apologised immediately: ‘I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community’. The following day, in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, Rafiq apologised again: ‘My genuine feeling is that I deserve the flak. I f***ed up’. ‘It’s for the Jewish community to decide whether you guys accept my apology,’ he added. Is this really how apologies now

How does Azeem Rafiq explain his past behaviour?

Azeem Rafiq is not having a good week. In addition to having to issue a grovelling apology for antisemitic messages, this morning it was reported in the Yorkshire Post that a mobile number belonging to him allegedly sent creepy sexual messages to a teenage girl, declaring a desire to ‘grab you push u up against wall and kiss you.’ In short, the former Yorkshire and England star has bizarrely managed to find himself at the centre a racism storm, an antisemitism storm and a sex storm all at once – as a victim in the first case and a perpetrator in the second. So far, Mr Rafiq hasn’t commented on the young woman’s allegations and

Stephen Daisley

Priti Patel’s Hamas ban doesn’t go far enough

It’s been a rough old week for Hamas. The UK announced plans to proscribe the organisation, Justin Bieber ignored its call to cancel his 2022 concert in Tel Aviv, and even the recently friendly Labour party has vowed that it ‘does not and will not support BDS’. One minute, you’re going about your business, trying to drive the Jews into the sea, and the next you’re being treated like you’re the bad guy. Priti Patel’s decision to add Hamas to the Home Office list of terrorist organisations corrects a 20-year-old error which saw the Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades — Hamas’s paramilitary wing — outlawed in 2001 but the rest of

Jeremy Corbyn: Luciana Berger was not hounded out of Labour

Jeremy Corbyn has spent the past few weeks going on something of a road trip of British universities. Now sitting as an independent for Islington North, Corbyn spoke at the Oxford Union last month where he was asked if he had any regrets about his time as Labour leader to which he replied: ‘Regrets? I’m really with Frank Sinatra on regrets actually – I’ve got a few but too few to mention.’  Sangfroid that will be of little comfort to the 46 MPs who lost their seats 18 months ago… Today it was Cambridge who played host to Corbyn for an hour. Joel Rosen, the president of the Cambridge Union, pressed his guest

Revealed: Labour readmits councillors suspended over anti-Semitism claims

Since his election as Labour leader Keir Starmer has pledged to take a ‘zero tolerance’ stance on anti-Semitism, in a bid to mark a break with Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure. So Mr S was disturbed to learn that not one but two Labour councillors suspended for anti-Semitism last September were yesterday readmitted to the Haringey CLP and are now part of the Labour group once again. A leaked email seen by Mr S from Amy Fode, the London Labour regional party, confirms that ‘Cllr Preston Tabois and Cllr Noah Tucker suspensions have ended today and any restrictions on attending group meetings or being part of the group are now lifted.’ Tabois was accused

Roald Dahl and the limits of cancel culture

Roald Dahl was a proud antisemite but if it’s real courage you’re after, look to his family who, a mere 30 years after his death, have finally acknowledged that the children’s author wasn’t keen on the Jews. The Sunday Times reports that the family ‘recently met for the first time in several years to discuss the problem and published a discreet apology for his racism on his website’. In the statement, buried deep on the official Roald Dahl website, his family ‘deeply apologise for the lasting and understandable hurt caused by some of Roald Dahl’s statements’, though they make no mention of what these ‘prejudiced remarks’ were or to whom

The Jewish Chronicle must be saved

The Jewish Chronicle must be saved. Take that as our starting point and there is all the more chance of success. The oldest continuously-published Jewish newspaper in the world issued this statement yesterday, on the eve of Passover: ‘With great sadness, the Board of the Jewish Chronicle has taken the decision to seek a creditors voluntary liquidation of Jewish Chronicle Newspapers Ltd. Despite the heroic efforts of the editorial and production team at the newspaper, it has become clear that the Jewish Chronicle will not be able to survive the impact of the current coronavirus epidemic in its current form.The liquidation is expected to be finalised in the coming 2