Jennifer Lipman's blog

Rabbi Pinter’s blackberry…

By Jennifer Lipman, February 25, 2011

… and other stories.

A fascinating piece on Charedi life in Stamford Hill in today’s Telegraph. A well-balanced, in-depth look at the community, full of fascinating insights and colourful details.


Jewish football? It's fair play

By Jennifer Lipman, February 17, 2011

As a woman, one of the things I always appreciate when I go to football matches is how short the queues are for the toilets. A football stadium at half time is probably one of the only places in the world where the men have to wait for longer.

Obviously, it’s because football supporters remain more likely to be men than women. But that’s not to say women don’t like football; plenty do, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t. It would be sexist, horribly chauvinistic, to suggest women had no place to watch football.


Ice cream and democracy in the Middle East

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2011

Which would you prefer? You’re at an ice cream shop, and you can either have a scoop of an untested flavour – one that might turn out to be cookie dough fabulous, but might also be rum ‘n’ raisin terrible – or go for the boring chocolate one, like you always do.

Would you take the risk, step into the unknown? Your reward for such intrepid behaviour could be more like a punishment; you could end up with a cone you don’t want. But you could get something wonderful, something better than you’d imagined.


Words matter: Greenslade, Desmond, the EDL

By Jennifer Lipman, February 11, 2011

When Jan Moir wrote that inflammatory column about the death of Stephen Gately, there was a Twitter campaign and public outrage almost immediately, Likewise, Liz Jones’ rather tasteless piece retracing Joanna Yeates’s final steps prompted web-wide consternation.


Protest humour (part two)

By Jennifer Lipman, February 2, 2011

Ok, so boundaries and borders in the Middle East are often the subject of debate. But disagreeing over where the lines go isn't quite the same as misplacing an entire country. Which, obviously, is something a major news organisation would never do. Right?

Oh wait. Mazel Tov, Fox News for confusing Egypt with Iraq.

NB: I am told the map is actually from 2009. But last I checked, Egypt was still not where Iraq is back then


Protest humour

By Jennifer Lipman, February 2, 2011

Not to make light of the political situation in Egypt, but some wit on Twitter has come up with a nice way of summing up the delicate power balance in the region:

"Israel changes its relationship status with Egypt on Facebook to 'it's complicated'. Lebanon, Syria & Palestine 'like' this."



A questionable cartoon from the Daily Mail

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2011

The Mail has a story today about the gay couple, Steven Preddy and Martin Hall, who were awarded £1,800 after winning their case against the hotel owners who refused to let them share a room.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull, a Christian couple, turned the civil partners away after they realised that the booking was not for a husband and wife.


What do Jews and Chinese people have in common?

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

Well, Jewish fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg thinks she knows.

She told an interviewer at a Bloomberg panel event: "The Chinese people are very individual.

"I mean, they are not like the Japanese that are obedient. They're very — they're like Jews, really, except that there is a lot more of them.

"And you know, I mean, try to think of governing a billion and a half Jews."


Gun control and tragedy in Arizona

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

Michael Bloomberg said it best, although he’s not the only one to have made this point.

The mayor of New York told a crowd in the wake of the Arizona shooting spree: “We don’t know all the facts in this case yet, but we do know that every single day, 34 Americans are murdered.

“Every single day. Yesterday it was Judge John Roll and five other Americans and many more across the 50 states. Tomorrow, there will be another 34.”


Who else has had access to this bagel?

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

A cream-cheese bagel has become the latest item to cause havoc at airport security.

Florida professor Ognjen Milatovic was rushed off a plane from Boston to Washington and arrested for disorderly conduct and interfering with the operation of an aircraft after fellow passengers alerted staff to the suspect bagel.

No news yet whether he was able to take his lunch with him.


Hugo Chavez and Oliver 'diplomat' Stone

By Jennifer Lipman, January 5, 2011

If you were a rabble-rousing left-winger, who would you want serving as an ambassador in your country? Why, someone exactly like you, of course.

Hugo Chavez seems to take that view, anyway. He’s none too happy with President Obama’s choice of US ambassador to Venezuela, and has come up with a few suggestions of his own.

Speaking on TV yesterday, Chavez said: "I hope they name Oliver Stone.”


What not to call a Holocaust survivor

By Jennifer Lipman, December 23, 2010

There are many ways of describing Holocaust survivors. Courageous. Inspirational. Defiant.

But “winner” usually isn’t on the list.

So the powers-that-be at Fox News in America must be rather red-faced right now, after inadvertently (one hopes) captioning Elie Wiesel as a “Holocaust winner”.

Mr Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate, spent his youth as a prisoner of the Nazis in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, as detailed in his memoir Night. He may have survived the Holocaust, but describing him as one of life’s winners is, I’d hazard, going too far.


Read all about it - on the Herzliya-born Kindle

By Jennifer Lipman, December 21, 2010

I love my Kindle. Since Amazon’s version of an e-Reader came into my life two weeks ago, I have stared at it adoringly and fantasised about all the books I’m going to read on it.

When I finally brought myself to unwrap it from its pristine box, it was a wonderful moment.

An hour later, when I’d figured out how to turn the damn thing on, it was even better. Books downloaded in an instant, no need for a post-it note to keep my place, cheaper on screen (or so Amazon said) than in the shops. We’re going to be great friends, my Kindle and I.


WikiLeaks' in-house Holocaust denier

By Jennifer Lipman, December 15, 2010

Whether or not you think Julian “WikiLeaks” Assange is guilty of heinous crimes or the successor to Barack Obama’s saviour-of-mankind crown – in my view the jury is still out – it seems he’s been keeping some interesting company.


Aaron Sorkin, Sarah Palin and a politically expedient moose

By Jennifer Lipman, December 8, 2010

Is there a wittier Jewish writer out there than Aaron “West Wing” Sorkin?

Having managed to convince a fair proportion of Americans to vote for Jed Bartlet in the 2004 election, he’s now looking ahead to 2012.

Writing on the Huffington Post, he lays in to Republican maybe-candidate Sarah Palin, and how.

It’s all because the Alaskan politician and champion animal hunter, currently gracing American screens on her reality show Sarah Palin's Alaska, sliced and diced a caribou on TV.


A shark named Mossad?

By Jennifer Lipman, December 7, 2010

We Jews have been accused of a good few things in our time. Control of the media, killing the saviour of mankind, yada yada yada.

But I think this one pushes the boat out. Possibly literally.

The ever-so-rational sounding governor of South Sinai, Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, has a theory about the tragic deadly shark attack off the Sharm el-Sheikh coast.


Ahmadinejad's Google Earth nightmare

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when Ahmadinejad last looked at Google Earth.

There he must have been, going about his daily business – nuclear development, check, threats against Zionism and the Western world, check, attack on psychic sea creature, check – then suddenly...what’s this I see on Google Earth?

It couldn’t be. It just couldn’t be. But, wait. It is. It really is.


Kate and William and chopped liver

By Jennifer Lipman, November 16, 2010

The wait is over for Waity Katie. A big Mazel Tov to Prince William and his new princess Kate Middleton.

The natural question now is whether the Royal Wedding of the Century (my copyright) will have any impact on the Jewish world.

Which Jewish celebs will be invited? Will Lord Sacks be there and will he be eating Hermolis or Tony Paige? When are they going to have a L’Chaim? Will she be heading to Hatton Garden for a diamond ring?

To clear a few things up, I’ve had a look in our archives from the other Royal Wedding of the Century – Charles and Di, in 1981.


The curious case of Google Islam

By Jennifer Lipman, November 12, 2010

Oh, Americans. Forever doing their best to dispel the myth that they are not, ahem, the brightest of the bunch, a fair few have been rather upset with Google this week. Why?


The West Bank version of the Twitter joke trial

By Jennifer Lipman, November 12, 2010

The Twittersphere is in uproar. Yesterday a man named Paul Chambers lost an appeal against a conviction for making a (very bad) joke on Twitter about blowing up Robin Hood airport.

Former accountant Paul Chambers, 27, now owes a fine and costs totaling £3,600 (Stephen Fry has kindly offered to cover it), but Twitter isn’t done. At the time of blogging, the hashtag #IamSpartacus – a repeat of Mr Chambers’ original joke – is trending in Britain.