Geoffrey Alderman

Should rabbis dabble in politics?

Should rabbis dabble in politics? Should they use their influence to persuade their congregation to follow a certain political path? Should this authority extend to interventions in parliamentary elections and other matters of national debate? I pose these questions because in recent days British Jews has been confronted with some dramatic instances of very public

Are British universities institutionally racist?

How genuine and inclusive are complaints about institutional racism affecting non-white academics and students in British universities? To find out, over the past half year I’ve made it my business to attend academic conferences (four in all) focused or largely focused on alleged racism at UK universities and the experience of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic

Britain doesn’t need another Holocaust memorial

David Cameron announced five years ago that he was establishing a “Holocaust Commission”. The purpose? To “investigate what more needs to be done to ensure Britain has a permanent and fitting [Holocaust] memorial and the educational resources needed for generations to come.” Out of this Commission came a Holocaust Memorial Foundation; and out of this

Is Jeremy Corbyn really anti-Semitic?

Is Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite? I began researching the answer to this question well before Danny Finkelstein’s recent revelation in the Times that eight years ago Corbyn had written a glowing foreword to a new edition of Imperialism: A Study, written by the radical economist John Atkinson Hobson, first published in 1902. Context is paramount. That’s why

Academic freedom is now being betrayed by academics

The ultimate purpose of a university is, without fear or favour, to pursue the truth, and in furtherance of that ideal I try, as an historian, to go wherever the evidence leads me. That some folks – even some academic colleagues – may not feel comfortable with the end results is of absolutely no consequence.

Everyone loses when universities lower their entry requirements

The UCAS deadline for the receipt of applications for university entry this coming autumn has just passed.  In terms of lifetime earnings a university degree – especially a degree from a top-drawer Russell Group university – is still excellent value for money, so thousands of students now working hard to complete their sixth-form studies will

Will Labour finally stop sweeping anti-Semitism under the carpet?

In February, the co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, resigned after having publicly accused the Club of harbouring and articulating rank prejudice against Jews and other minority groups. Mr Chalmers – who is not Jewish – declared that a ‘large proportion’ of Club members had ‘some kind of problem with Jews‘. He

If ‘non-violent extremists’ can’t express their views at universities, where can they?

Last month, the government’s Counter-Terrorism & Security Bill became law. One provision is the legal obligation it places upon ‘specified authorities’ to ‘prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. ‘Specified authorities’ includes universities, whose vice-chancellors made several interventions as the legislation made its way through Parliament. The Education (No.2) Act of 1996 places a duty on