Tony Greenstein | 16 February 2020 | Post Views:

Former Columnist and Historian of the Jewish Community, Professor Geoffrey Alderman, is Banned by Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard

Alderman’s ‘Crime’ was telling the truth which proves that the Zionists’ Antisemitism Disinformation Campaign was based on a series of lies 

An email from the Jewish Chronicle’s Stephen Pollard to Professor Geoffrey Alderman, a columnist for 14 years, was blunt and to the point: “as editor I no longer wish to have you in the paper.” A decision confirmed by Pollard in a phone conversation.

There are many, almost too many ironies, in this affair. Alderman is nothing if not a man of many contradictions but he has one, abiding fault as far as Pollard and the Zionist claque are concerned. He is too honest. Being an academic he feels an obligation to tell the truth. An almost unpardonable sin in the Court of Stephen Pollard.

Alderman’s latest academic research project is a study of the Jewish contribution to crime in the UK. In an interview with the Times Higher Education Supplement of July 13 2017 he said that ‘In the Oxford empirical tradition, I shall go wherever the evidence takes me.’

For Zionists, for whom defence of Israel right or wrong is all, this is entirely the wrong approach. The truth is secondary to the hasbarah (propaganda). That is why Zionists do so badly when they debate anti-Zionists.

The Zionist approach to such a study would be first to agree on the conclusions, namely that Jewish involvement in crime was minimal. Only then would they begin gathering evidence. You can see why Pollard had had enough of the good professor!

Alderman though is not your average progressive, still less a socialist.  He is religious and right-wing, as one would expect of someone who is Professor of Politics at the Britain’s only private university, Buckingham. But like Peter Oborne, the Tory journalist, he is a maverick and the Zionist tent has no room for mavericks.

What is surprising about Pollard’s decision is that it took him so long! Unlike previous editors, for example the late Geoffrey D Paul with whom I often crossed swords, Pollard has transformed the JC from a newspaper into a propaganda tract.  Dissenting opinions are rarely tolerated, which is why it is so boring. The idea of giving anti-Zionists space to debate issues or fairly covering the actual situation of the Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories would be enough to give its contributors a (kosher) heart attack.

Alderman was a successor to another maverick columnist, Chaim Bermant, who died 22 years ago. Although Bermant was anti-gay and hostile to the left, Bermant was the only person who consistently raised matters like the oppression of the Palestinians. He supported recognition of the PLO long before it was popular. He was also a fierce critic of the Orthodox. In an Obituary Letter to the Guardian I quoted his observation that the Orthodox fear peace because then there would be intermarriage (between Jew and non-Jew) ‘the worst of all sins in their eyes.’ Bermant also wrote that the ‘greatest threat to the character and integrity of the Jewish state comes from Jews not Arabs.’ 

Long and loud was the clamour of the JC’s readership for Bermant’s head but to his credit, the JC’s Editor stood up for him and freedom of speech. That was why the JC was a lively publication even if it made you chew your hair at times. It also had interesting contributors such as its Literary Editor, T.R. Fyvel, who succeeded George Orwell as literary editor of Tribune.

Not so today at the JC where you have to make do with such luminaries as MI5’s man at The Guardian, Jonathan Freedland and ex-communist reactionary David Aaronovitch. Pollard, the ex-Editor of the Daily Express and friend of its pornographic proprietor, Richard Desmond (someone who might be a useful subject for Alderman’s research!) doesn’t do free speech which was why he was a founder of the Henry Jackson Society, a nest of Islamaphobes and what used to be called ‘police state Democrats’.

Alderman is no friend of the Palestinians. He has no understanding of their suffering or the racist nature of Zionism. He doesn’t understand the contradiction inherent in a Jewish state which is bound to trample on what were once considered Jewish values such as justice, opposition to oppression and socialism.

The expulsion of the refugees and the military occupation of the West Bank, to say nothing of the apartheid nature of Israel are not Alderman’s concerns. When an Italian member of the International Solidarity Movement Vittorio Arrigoni was murdered in 2011 by an Islamist in Gaza, Alderman infamously welcomed his murder:

Few events – not even the execution of Osama bin Laden – have caused me greater pleasure in recent weeks than news of the death of the Italian so-called “peace activist” Vittorio Arrigoni. [This was no ‘peace activist’ Jewish Chronicle 13.5.11].

I suspect the above piece was more bravado and bluster but nonetheless it was shocking.

I said that Alderman was a man of contradiction, a ‘communal gadfly’ as the Jewish Chronicle article described him when he left the Board of Deputies to the sound of boos.

In an Interview with the Times Higher Education Supplement (13.7.17.) Alderman outlined his philosophy in the statement that ‘Folks don’t like the truth, do they? Even academic folks. Very sad.’ It would make a good epitaph for Stephen Pollard when the grim reaper comes a calling.

I said that Alderman was a man of contradictions and he is. Ironically he, of all people, in an article A man who deserves banning called, in November 2015, for the banning of another Jewish dissident, Gerald Kaufmann MP. In what was a prime example of the artificial hysteria generated by the fake anti-Semitism campaign, the Jewish Father of the House of Commons was targeted by groups such as the misnamed Campaign Against Anti-Semitism for having used the phrase ‘Jewish money’ in regard to the contributions of the Conservative Friends of Israel to Tory Party funds.

As I wrote in Geoffrey Alderman and Gerald Kaufman –Jewish Chronicle Columnist’s Exercise in Hypocrisy

surely this wasn’t the same Geoffrey Alderman who wrote, in an article Obama’s false  Iran Alternative (14.8.15) of ‘the fact that Jewish money, albeit American-Jewish money – is being used to this end has led the president to adopt an unfortunate and worrying rhetoric.  Israel and its supporters are warmongers and American-Jewish money is being used to drag America into war.’ 

Alderman’s main sin in Pollard’s eyes has been to contradict the JC’s incessant propaganda barrage to the effect that Corbyn is the worst anti-Semite since Adolf Hitler. Having worked with Corbyn Alderman knew that this was not true and last May he wrote an article in The Spectator Is Jeremy Corbyn really anti-Semitic? in which he stated that:

The fact of the matter is that Corbyn has an impressive record of supporting Jewish communal initiatives. For instance he was recently supportive of Jewish efforts to facilitate the speedy issue of death certificates by the north London coroner. In 2015 he took part in a ceremony in his Islington constituency to commemorate the founding of the North London Synagogue. In 2010 he put his name to an Early Day Motion (tabled by Diane Abbott) calling on the UK government to facilitate the settlement of Yemeni Jews in Britain. Indeed I could fill this entire article with a list of philo-Semitic EDMs that Corbyn has signed since he was first elected as Labour MP for Islington North in 1983.

Alderman went on to describe how:

In 1987 the West London Synagogue approached Islington Council with a startling proposal: to sell its original cemetery to property developers, destroying the gravestones and digging-up and reburying the bodies lying under them. This cemetery (dating from 1840) was not merely of great historic and architectural interest – in the view of orthodox Jews, the deliberate destruction of a cemetery is sacrilegious. So when Islington Council granted the planning application, a Jewish-led and ultimately successful campaign was launched to have the decision reversed. I was part of that campaign. So was Jeremy Corbyn. Meanwhile, the then-leader of Islington Council (1982-92), whose decision to permit the destruction of the cemetery was eventually overturned, was none other than Margaret Hodge

As if this was not blasphemy enough, Alderman went on to declare that ‘in my view context is, again, paramount.’ Alderman wrote that:

‘I will agree that from time to time, as backbench MP and party leader, Corbyn has acted unwisely. But the grounds for labelling him an anti-Semite simply do not exist.’

In the eyes of Pollard and the Board of Deputies Alderman had committed a Chillul Hashem, the desecration of the name of God, which is about as great a sin as man is capable of viz. telling the truth.

Of course to most normal people it is obvious that Jeremy Corbyn is not anti-Semitic. As Alderman points out he is a philo-semite, the exact opposite. But Zionists are not normal. Their values are, above all, those of state worship and veneration of the land over the people who live on it. To that end lying is just a means to an end.

Alderman isn’t the first journalist to suffer punishment at the hands of the Zionist press for expressing a dissenting opinion. Stephen Oryszczuk the foreign editor of Jewish News dared to criticise his own paper’s attack on Corbyn. He told The Canary:

It’s repulsive. This is a dedicated anti-racist we’re trashing. I just don’t buy into it at all.

Neither did the Jewish News editor as Oryszczuk was immediately put on gardening leave and soon after parted company.

Ironically Shraga Stern, wrote an articleAmong Charedim, Jeremy Corbyn’s defeat is not being celebrated at all. Charedim are ultra-Orthodox Jews. Presumably Pollard was on vacation or out celebrating in the week after the general election to let this article slip through. Or maybe Pollard, knowing that the JC’s circulation is continuing to decline sees Orthodox Jewry as a lucrative market.

Stern, a spokesman for Britain’s Ultra Orthodox Jews, had previously co-ordinated a joint letter from 34 Orthodox Rabbis dissociating themselves from the Board of Deputies attack on Corbyn. 

Yes I know that you didn’t hear about this letter. That was because the BBC and the Press decided that it bore the wrong message. The subtitle of Shraga Stern’s article was ‘The outgoing Labour leader has a distinguished record of support for our concerns’. Stern wrote that:

As the Campaign Against Antisemitism was forced to concede, a Deltapoll commissioned by the Jewish Leadership Council shortly before the election actually found that only 16 percent of 2017 Labour voters were wavering about voting for the Labour Party again because of the anti-Jewish prejudice that seems to have obsessed Mrs van der Zyl and the Deputies’ two ecclesiastical authorities, United Synagogue “chief rabbi” Ephraim Mirvis and Sephardi rabbinical authority Joseph Dweck.

In the Orthodox Jewish communities within which I live in Hackney, what was much more important was Labour’s promise to abolish Ofsted, which is currently engaged in what can only be described as a crusade against Torah-Orthodox schools.

Note how Stern puts Chief Rabbi in scare quotes.  Ephraim Mirvis is not recognised as a Jewish authority by the Ultra-Orthodox.  Or as Alderman wrote in the Guardian (13.7.12) ‘Once, the chief rabbi represented all British Jewry. No longer’

This was because of Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks response to a Home Office consultation on gay marriage in which he wrote that

“Our understanding [they declared] of marriage from time immemorial has been that of a union between a man and a woman. Any attempt to redefine this sacred institution would be to undermine the concept of marriage.” The submission also made the point that “any attempt to exclude the possibility of a religious ceremony for such [gay] couples would be subject to challenge to the European court of human rights, on the grounds of discrimination” – a fear that is shared by other faiths.

This then is the background to the banning of Alderman, someone whose integrity and honesty  is in sharp contrast to that of Pollard, who is the human equivalent of a rattle snake on heat. On 2nd February Alderman issued a statement

Statement by Professor Geoffrey Alderman

Jewish academic Professor Geoffrey Alderman has been no-platformed by the UK’s oldest Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Chronicle.

Announcing this, Professor Alderman has made public the contents of an email sent to him by the Jewish Chronicle’s editor, Stephen Pollard.

In that email, Pollard told Alderman that “as editor I no longer wish to have you in the paper.”This decision was confirmed by Pollard in a phone conversation with Alderman on 31 January 2020.Following that conversation Alderman said:

“I am saddened immeasurably by Stephen Pollard’s decision, on which he refused absolutely to elaborate when we spoke on 31 January.  I began writing for the Jewish Chronicle in 1974 and from 2002 until 2016 I wrote the paper’s main weekly Comment column. Since then I have continued to contribute to the paper from time to time. Stephen’s decision to ban me entirely from writing for the paper has come without warning and without any rationale that he has seen fit to share with me. I simply don’t know why the decision has been taken, and can only speculate.”

Such is the level of Pollard’s dishonesty that he wouldn’t even give a reason for his decision.  However they are not hard to fathom. Amongst Alderman’s crimes we should include an article in The Independent headed ‘This Labour Party row will not be settled by relying on a flawed and faulty definition of antisemitism’.

Attacking the IHRA misdefinition of ‘anti-Semitism’, which has the status amongst Zionists of the tablets of stone that Moses carried with him on Mount Sinai, is another cardinal sin.

In his article Alderman wrote that the 11 examples of anti-Semitism in the IHRA

‘embed numerous internal contradictions. One example affects to condemn as antisemitic “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” But the preamble that introduces all 11 examples explains that manifestations of antisemitism “might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”  

Well, a number of political regimes around the world have been criticised because they are alleged to be pursuing policies reminiscent of the Nazis. So how in principle can it be antisemitic to draw a comparison between “contemporary” Israeli policy and that of the Nazis? 

Alderman compounded his ‘crimes’ by making a submission to the Equality & Human Rights Commission slating the IHRA definition. Indeed one of the wondrous things about the IHRA is that no academics or legal scholars defend it and yet it continues to dominate the narrative.  Another example of Marx’s dictum that the ruling ideas in society are the ideas of the ruling class.

Geoffrey Alderman, who is Professor Emeritus at the University of Buckingham, has written 16 books, several of which are on the history of the Jews in the UK. These include The Jewish Community in British Politics, Modern British Jewry, British Jewry Since Emancipation and London Jewry and London Politics 1889-1986. In 2011 was awarded the Chaim Bermant Prize for Journalism. His website is He is also a monthly columnist for the Jewish Telegraph.

However you will be pleased to know that although Geoffrey Alderman is now banned from writing for the Jewish Chronicle, Pollard’s pages will still be open for the Daily Mail’s racist columnist Melanie Phillips whose latest piece is ‘Don’t fall for bogus claims of ‘Islamophobia’

I should add one other thing.  I first came across  Alderman’s name in 1978 when the Board of Deputies was launching ‘kamikaze attacks’ (Maurice Ludman, Editor Searchlight No. 41) against the Anti-Nazi League because of its anti-Zionist founders. The ANL bothered the Board far more than the National Front.  Alderman along with others like Miriam Karlin criticised their approach. See also Jewish Voice for Labour’s Jewish academic no-platformed by Jewish Chronicle

Tony Greenstein

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