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Exclusive: Revealed – the secret identity of the CST’s former director of security

After a number of weeks of discussion and secret meetings, I was able to reveal the identity of the former head of security at the Community Security Trust.

Carol Laser had spent 25 years working in the shadows, co-ordinating with Scotland Yard, foreign intelligence services, and working to keep the Jewish community safe from attack.

She agreed to be interviewed at length at her home, and told me how she had done it. Read the interview here, or below:

In a small room in the headquarters of a Jewish charity, a crowd of senior figures gathered for a leaving do like no … Continue Reading

Interview: Ed Miliband

On the eve of the UK general election, I interviewed Labour leader Ed Miliband for the Jewish Chronicle.

We discussed his approach to Israel and the Palestinians, antisemitism in Britain, and his views on personalities including British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, and American comedian Larry David.

You can read the interview here, on the JC website, or below:

Ed Miliband’s relationship with the Jewish community has been sorely tested in the year since the Labour leader claimed he felt closer to British Jews than ever before.

But as the election campaign reaches its climax, the man fighting to be Prime Minister this week … Continue Reading

Yvette Cooper: ‘It’s nonsense to say Labour is anti-Israel’

My interview with Labour’s shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper:

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has hit back at claims that Britain’s relationship with Israel would be weakened if Ed Miliband became prime minister.

Ms Cooper said it was “utter nonsense” to claim this country’s role as a key ally of Israel would be seriously diminished if Labour won the general election in May.

She also insisted that Labour’s relationship with the Jewish community was “as strong as ever” and that differences of opinion on Israel should not detract from the ongoing work between Labour politicians and communal organisations.

Ms Cooper was responding to comments … Continue Reading

Interview: Lynne Featherstone

My interview with Liberal Democrat minister Lynne Featherstone:

Controversial Liberal Democrat MP David Ward could be stripped of the party whip for his offensive tweets about Jews and Israel, according to the party’s most senior Jewish minister.

Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone said the Bradford East MP was treading a thin line with his regular attacks on social media.

He briefly lost the party whip following disciplinary action in 2013 after posts targeting Jews and Zionists.

“He might lose it again if he’s not careful. There’s a thin line between free speech and hate speech and incitement,” Ms Featherstone told the JC.

“Obviously, the party … Continue Reading

Labour government would weaken Israel-UK relationship, says cabinet minister

My interview with Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers:

The impact of a Labour government on Britain’s relationship with Israel could be “chilling”, the Northern Ireland Secretary has claimed.

Theresa Villiers told the JC that this country’s role as a key ally of Israel would be seriously diminished if Ed Miliband were to become prime minister in May.

The senior Conservative minister has more Jewish constituents than any other member of the cabinet. As MP for the north London seat of Chipping Barnet, she represents in Parliament large sections of the Jewish community in Whetstone, Totteridge and Woodside Park.

She has used meetings at Barnet … Continue Reading

Revelation TV

I appeared on Christian television channel Revelation TV to discuss the British media’s coverage of the Gaza conflict and Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

Their Middle East Report show, hosted by Simon Barrett, featured clips from American broadcasters and footage from the Israeli Defence Force.

We also discussed how the Jewish Chronicle had reported on the conflicted.

You can watch the broadcast on Revelation’s website, here.

John Bercow needs to rise above the jokes about his height

I wrote a piece for the Guardian’s Comment is Free section on comments made by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow about height.

You can read it here, or below:

I had been looking forward to meeting John Bercow. Tales of his height – or rather lack of it – are legendary in Westminster. This is the politician who is literally looked down on by his colleagues because of his diminutive stature. Ribbing Bercow for being 5ft 6in tall has become almost as much a part of the political scene as claiming David Cameron is a toff, or Ed Miliband is … Continue Reading

A haven for troubled teens

My feature on the Boys Clubhouse, a centre which helps hundreds of young Jewish men get a new start in life, can be read here on the Jewish Chronicle website, or below:

The centre’s unmarked entrance seems fitting – the project inside is one of the Jewish community’s hidden treasures.

Despite being based in the centre of Hendon, north-west London, the Boys Clubhouse is largely unknown within Anglo-Jewry. Yet its essential work gives hundreds of young Jewish men a new start in life.

Run by Ari Leaman, the Clubhouse is central to efforts to tackle addiction problems and criminal behaviour among Jews … Continue Reading

Revealed: who gets what among charity movers and shakers

My exclusive Jewish Chronicle feature on the salaries of chief executives at Jewish charities in Britain, can be read here on the JC website, or below:

The range of salaries paid to executives working in Jewish communal organisations is revealed in depth today.

A JC investigation into the biggest pay packets on offer at charities shows more than a dozen figures taking home six-figure incomes.

Our top 25 charities and communal bodies have a collective income of a quarter of a billion pounds, and between them recompense top earners to the tune of more than £2.5 million every year.

The executives we highlight … Continue Reading

Shalom Scotland – on the road with Israel’s ambassador Daniel Taub

I spent a day on the road in Edinburgh with Israel’s ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub, so see what goes into being a top diplomat.

Read the piece here on the Jewish Chronicle website, or below:

In the corner of a university classroom, Daniel Taub tucks into a shortbread biscuit, loosens his collar and removes his suit jacket.

Israel’s ambassador to Britain had just given an hour’s lecture to an international group of students in Edinburgh, and now he was taking a moment to relax before embarking on the next engagement.

Accompanying Mr Taub on his visit to Scotland was the JC, … Continue Reading