A timely Royal reminder
Auschwitz is the ultimate symbol of Nazi evil, but it is Bergen Belsen that’s most informed this country’s relationship with the Holocaust – from liberation by the British army to Richard Dimbleby’s eyewitness reports for the BBC to the displaced persons camp and hospital set up at the nearby British Bergen-Hohne army barracks where survivors were nursed. So news that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are to honour victims of Bergen Belsen during a visit to the camp next month – weeks after the 70th anniversary of its liberation by 11th armoured divison – is as fitting as it is timely.
The media has been awash with news stories marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
The fight against Hitler’s Germany may have been won 70 years ago, but the sight of Her Majesty at Bergen Belsen will deliver a powerful reminder that the battle against modern-day Nazi ideologies continues to this day.
The Arkush era begins
Internal frictions too often taint our communal relations. From Progressive movements to the ultra-Orthodox community, we must always remember there is more that unites us than divides. In an era of growing anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, the need for a united, all-encompassing Board of Deputies is greater than ever. Under the highly experienced leadership of newly-elected president Jonathan Arkush, the community’s mouthpiece must ensure all voices are heard so it remains an influential and effective presence in all our lives.
The sound of muzak!
The hottest date in the arts calendar is here again! The Eurovision Song Contest – taking place this weekend in Vienna – offers a chance to catch up on what the Latvian music industry has been up to and proof positive, if it were needed, that the EU is doomed. Israel brings its catchiest tune since Dana International to this year’s event, sung by 16-year-old Nadav Guedj. But don’t make travel plans to attend the 2016 contest in Tel Aviv just yet. At odds of 80/1, the chances of Guedj taking pride of place alongside Dana’s Viva La Vida are as distant as Iceland avoiding the dreaded nul points.