Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.

  • Postcard from Lod

    Danny Caro
    Jul 14, 2009

    Do not enter. That is the sign I was expecting to see after hearing some unfavourable reports about Lod – the venue for Team GB’s Open Cricket match against South Africa.

    The drugs capital of Israel, as described by my driver Ami, who reminds me of Mr T, is somewhere one should try to avoid. Ami is no weakling. He regularly lifts heavy weights and is built like a brickhouse. He has given me plenty of sound advice since I arrived to cover the Maccabiah, so when he talks, I listen.

    The fact that he was less than enthusiastic about taking me there said everything I needed to know.

  • The Whitehouse

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 14, 2009

    Watching the Daily Politics on BBC2. The caption under Andrew Roberts reads:

    Andrew has dined in the Whitehouse with...

    We hand over our earnings, under threat of imprisonment, for this.

  • Libido gum

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 14, 2009

    Hamas have discovered a dastardly plot:

    Is Israel targeting the Palestinian population in Gaza by distributing libido-increasing chewing gum in the Strip? A Hamas police spokesman in the Gaza Strip Islam Shahwan claimed Monday that Israeli intelligence operatives are attempting to "destroy" the young generation by distributing such materials in the coastal enclave.


  • The big issue: Obama's hair

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 14, 2009

    Remember that little story last week about President Obama giving a girl the once over at the G8? (Although the video showed - quelle surprise - that Sarkozy's letch was far more pronounced.)

    James Delingpole saw the pics and drew a far more important conclusion: the President is losing his hair. Or, as he writes:

    [I]s the president’s hair starting to come out in funny, tufty little
    packages, almost, one might say, as if the onerous business of
    transforming a once proud free nation into a liberal fascist tyranny
    has started to trouble not just his mind but his scalp too.

  • Er, the horror

    Jenni Frazer
    Jul 13, 2009

    I've just learned, with some consternation, that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was born in the same nursing home in Glasgow as me and my brother. (Brown's older, by the way.)
    I didn't realise that the Orchard Park Nursing Home, now a hotel, was supposedly the Queen Charlotte's of Glasgow. How aspirant of my parents.
    And there was I thinking that the blue plaque in the bar was reserved for us.

  • Potty for poetry

    Jessica Elgot
    Jul 13, 2009

    Ok, yes this is my second Harry Potter related post in my very short time at the JC, but I couldn't resist this.

    The Telegraph reports
    that Daniel Radcliffe is following in the footsteps of his Jewish poetic forefathers like Allen Ginsberg and Isaac Rosenberg by pouring out his little teenage heart into poetry for cult mag 'Rubbish'.

    But Radcliffe decided to keep his anonymity by using the distinctly kosher pen name Jacob Gershon, a combination of his middle name and the Jewish version of his mother's maiden name, Gresham.

  • UK to Israel: Cast Lead means no more gun spares

    Stephen Pollard
    Jul 13, 2009

    This is a story which is going to run and run:

    The UK government has revoked the licenses of five arms companies to
    supply to the Israeli military with spare parts for guns on Sa'ar 4.5

    British officials have confirmed that the ban was imposed because
    the supplies were being used by Israeli battleships which participated
    in the attack on Gaza.

  • Who knew?

    Jenni Frazer
    Jul 13, 2009

    Seth Freedman, writing in The Guardian's Comment is Free, discloses his own, difficult experience in appearing on Press TV, which he now acknowledges was a counter-productive activity. The Iranian-funded TV station Press TV, Freedman says, "pretends to be a reputable, impartial broadcaster. In reality, it is anything but."
    Entertainingly, however, Freedman says the blinkers fell from his eyes when being interviewed on Press TV by Tony Blair's most tiresome relation, his step-sister-in-law, Lauren Booth. Freedman had written an op-ed for the JC, and Booth opened her questioning by saying she had been "surprised to read something in the Jewish Chronicle that was true."
    I am somewhat surprised to find that Booth is such a regular reader. If only that were the case. She might learn something.