Blogs

Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.


  • Now we're 64: Ambassador Taub's children steal the show

    Jennifer Lipman
    Apr 30, 2012

    At the Israeli Embassy's Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration last week, Ambassador Daniel Taub's children wowed guests with their version of "When I'm 64".

    The song, performed by Judah, Sophie, Reuven, Asher and Amichai Taub, had the audience clapping and cheering - and for good reason.

    When we were younger, when Israel began, not so long ago

  • Keep me a seat in the Lords

    Simon Rocker
    Apr 26, 2012

    A parliamentary committee this week backed the government’s proposal that in future members of the House of Lords should be restricted to a maximum 15 years’ service.

  • Extraordinary

    Jenni Frazer
    Apr 25, 2012

    The Guardian's letters page and its adjunct Corrections column is a constant source of fascination. This week it excelled itself with a letter from Ben (I am not an antisemite) White, letters attacking the Globe Theatre for not withdrawing its invitation to Habima to perform in London, a correction for having traduced the JC over a BNP blog, and this little gem:
    "The caption on a photograph featuring passengers on a tram in Jerusalem observing a two-minute silence for Yom Hashoah, a day of remembrance for the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, wrongly referred to the city as the Israeli capital. The Guardian style guide states: 'Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel; Tel Aviv is.'"
    Well. Where to start? With one hand the Guardian giveth, with the other it taketh away. It carefully cloaks itself in we-love-the-Jews-hood by running the Yom Hashoah photograph in the first place. Even the Guardian couldn't find anything snarky to say in the caption.
    But wait! Yes, it had made a mistake according to the paper's style guide. It is the paper's style guide, you see, which carelessly runs roughshod across international norms of sovereignty and a country's right of self-determination. No matter that Israelis believe Jerusalem to be their capital; the Guardian style guide trumps that belief, as simply wrong.
    No ifs, buts, qualifications; the Guardian knows best. Here is The Times on the same issue: "Jerusalem must not be used as a metonym or variant for Israel. It is not internationally recognised as the Israeli capital, and its status is one of the central controversies in the Middle East." That's a reasonable and sane approach.
    Sad conclusion: the Guardian has lost the plot.

  • The Guardian backs down

    Stephen Pollard
    Apr 23, 2012

    I've just heard that the Guardian has agreed to post a correction to their diary story.

    Having libelled me by implying that I lied to their reporter, they now accept they got it wrong and are about to post this:

    "In a diary item about the presence of blogs by Carlos Cortiglia, the BNP's
    mayoral candidate, on the Jewish Chronicle website we stated that the blogs were
    still available on November 23. We went on to say that this "conflicts" with the
    editor of the JC, Stephen Pollard's,  account "that he became aware of
    Cortiglia's blog and deleted all trace of it 'last September' ". To clarify: he
    told the Guardian's reporter that "in September we were alerted to the fact that
    Cortiglia had set up a user blog and the moment we were told, we blocked him and
    changed [the] entire system". Mr Pollard has asked us to point out that this was
    not meant to imply that all traces of the blogs had been deleted in September –
    in fact the measure he took at that time was to block Cortiglia's access. He
    ordered the blogs to be deleted more recently."

  • The Guardian's libel of me

    Stephen Pollard
    Apr 23, 2012

    UPDATE:

    I've just heard from the Guardian at last that they accept the need for a clarification and will be posting this:

    "In a diary item about the presence of blogs by Carlos Cortiglia, the BNP's
    mayoral candidate, on the Jewish Chronicle website we stated that the blogs were
    still available on November 23. We went on to say that this "conflicts" with the
    editor of the JC, Stephen Pollard's, account "that he became aware of
    Cortiglia's blog and deleted all trace of it 'last September' ". To clarify: he
    told the Guardian's reporter that "in September we were alerted to the fact that
    Cortiglia had set up a user blog and the moment we were told, we blocked him and
    changed [the] entire system". Mr Pollard has asked us to point out that this was
    not meant to imply that all traces of the blogs had been deleted in September –
    in fact the measure he took at that time was to block Cortiglia's access. He
    ordered the blogs to be deleted more recently."

  • What Mel Gibson could learn from Lady Bracknell

    Jennifer Lipman
    Apr 12, 2012

    So, does Mel Gibson really “hate Jews” quite as much as Joe Eszterhas claims he does?

    According to Eszterhas, Gibson is an unrepentant antisemite, who used him to clean up his reputation after that infamous drink-driving anti-Jew rant, and all the rest. Mel Gibson will no longer star as Judah Maccabee, the Jewish hero and warrior, or at least not in the Warner Bros version of the film as scripted by Eszterhas.

    Eszterhas’ private letter to the actor, made public on a gossip website as all good Hollywood take-downs are these days, includes some pretty strong accusations; Gibson wanting to convert Jews through the film (he thinks his acting is just that damn good?), rubbishing the Holocaust (that old faithful) and repeating the blood libel of “the sacrifice of Christian babies and infants” (FYI, Mel, that’s not what the Torah says).

  • Drake's "re-barmitzvah"

    Marcus Dysch
    Apr 11, 2012

    Canadian rapper Drake is one of the hottest names in the music industry at the moment.

    His collaborations with Rihanna have propelled him to the higher echelons of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. He has written tracks for, and performed with, global megastars including Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Alicia Keys. Drake has almost seven million Twitter followers.

    Drake – whose real name is Aubrey Graham – was born in Toronto in October 1986, the son of an African-American father and Canadian-Jewish mother, who sent him to a Jewish school and ensured he had a barmitzvah.