Jennifer Lipman's blog

Jews fighting for Germany

By Jennifer Lipman, November 8, 2010

The New York Times had a lovely piece yesterday about the German army and a memorial event for the 467 German-Jewish soldiers who died fighting for their country in the First World War.

According to the NYT: “It was organised by the Association of Jewish Soldiers, a small but growing group in the German military whose existence testifies to the feeling by at least some Jews that it is possible for them to be patriots again in the nation that once tried to wipe them out.”


Mid-terms: some silver linings

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

So, the mid-terms have been and gone. As predicted, what was once blue is now stained red. The Democrats lost big and President Obama is no longer the messianic figure he once was.

And as has been widely trumpeted, this is just about the worst result for the Democrats since 1948. But, looking back to the election of that year, it’s worth noting that people seem to have more confidence in Obama than they did in Harry Truman.


Halloween costume advice

By Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2010

In just a fortnight, photographs of two politicians dressed as Nazis have been leaked into the public domain.

“I have not done anything wrong,” complained Mike Gardner (who went to a party as Adolf Hitler), formerly the Conservative leader of Harrogate Borough Council, as his party deselected him.


A view from the EDL demo

By Jennifer Lipman, October 25, 2010

As I boarded the train to Kensington yesterday, I noticed a large group of men and boys; the men mostly with heads shaved, the boys heartbreakingly young, with fair hair and flushed faces. All were wearing heavy black jackets and dark scarves. It was clear they were on the way to something big, something they found exciting.

Were they members of the English Defence League, on their way to demonstrate, ostensibly in support of Israel but really against Islam and a way of life other than their own? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it was just the paranoia setting in.


The 'Nazi' who came to Tea?

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

Rich Iott is having a bad week. The Republican candidate for an Ohio congressional seat, Mr Iott is having to defend himself after some unfortunate photos of him dressed as a Nazi surfaced (he's the friendly-looking guy on the third left).

The Tea Party politician apparently used to take part in Nazi reenactments, wearing German Waffen SS uniforms. To him it was just harmless fun – he used to go along to these events with his son – but not everyone sees it that way.


Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce...Cohen?

By Jennifer Lipman, October 4, 2010

I’m slightly behind on this season’s Mad Men, so in the interests of not ruining the suspense, I can’t Google too heavily for this one.

But it seems Don Draper might be getting a Jewish love interest.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, actress Cara Buono reveals the truth about her character Faye:

“She’s also Jewish. The line she says in the phone booth when she’s telling her boyfriend off. ' the ocean.' That’s an English translation of a Yiddish expression.


Justin Bieber, Bar Mitzvah boy?

By Jennifer Lipman, October 4, 2010

Well, sort of.

As this picture shows, it's just a matter of time. And it follows the revelation, care of Justin's Jewish manager Scooter Braun, that the singer has a Jewish side.

According to Mr Braun, the young pop sensation "prays the Shema before each show.

"First he says a Christian prayer, then he says the Shema."

The JC blogs, bringing hope to Jewish teenage girls everywhere...


Netta Zucker's new son

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2010

He’s unlikely to remember anything about it, but the newborn son of Sharon and Netta Zucker has had a dramatic entrance into the world.

Who are the Zuckers? They are an Israeli couple who were driving near the Teneh Omarim settlement last night when they were attacked by Palestinian terrorists.

Gunmen, believed to be from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Fatah's military wing) and the al-Quds Brigades (Islamic Jihad's military wing), shot at the car, mildly injuring Sharon Zucker.


Star of David, the science way

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010

As anyone who knows me can testify, I'm no scientist.

Still, I thought this particular finding by academics at Hebrew University in Jerusalem was rather lovely.

Apparently, it’s a new type of nanoparticle. Certainly more interesting than my lasting memory of biology class - looking at red onion through a microscope.


Succah, up and away

By Jennifer Lipman, September 17, 2010

After the kerfuffle caused by one Rabbi Mordechai Halperin when he flew to Germany with a suspicious shofar packed in his suitcase, it’s good to hear that lulavs and etrogs won’t meet the same fate.

From the US Transport Security Administration:


Lady Gaga's bad taste

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2010

Lady Gaga’s meaty costume choice at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday has according to The Times (paywall or I’d link) upset members of the Hindu community.

It has also annoyed the animal rights organisation Peta, who described it as “offensive” to wear cuts out of a dead cow.

Let’s refresh. Gaga, who has in her short career worn a dress made of Kermit the frog and offed her boyfriend in the video for Paparazzi, is supposed to do these things.


Does Time magazine care about peace?

By Jennifer Lipman, September 2, 2010

Nobody yet knows what will come of the latest round of Middle East peace talks, although it seems everybody in the international media has an opinion. That’s to be expected; there is perhaps no topic that gets tongues wagging quite so much as Israel.

But reasoned analysis is one thing. Quite another is what Time magazine have done this week. The cover of their September 13 issue reads, delicately encased in a star of David made of flowers: “Why Israel doesn’t care about peace”.


Tour Ed?

By Jennifer Lipman, September 1, 2010

Labour’s would-be leader Ed Miliband gave an interview to the Evening Standard yesterday in which he laid out his views on marriage and his education policies. Then, despite stating that he was an avowed atheist, Miliband-the-younger added:

“Obviously I'm Jewish, it is part of my identity, but not in a religious sense. I don't wish I had had a more religious upbringing.

“But I have Jewish friends who were part of the Jewish community growing up, going to Jewish youth clubs and other things.


Dough drama

By Jennifer Lipman, August 25, 2010

After last week's Manhattan bagel broiges, here comes another carb-related kerfuffle.

In New York (where else) buying a sliced bagel will now set you back more dough than a closed one.

As the New York Post reports:

"The cash-strapped state has been enforcing a bizarre distinction in the tax laws which requires delis and food peddlers to impose a levy on sliced bagels -- even though there is no tax when the breakfast staple is sold whole."


Let the 9/11 mosque 'breathe free'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 23, 2010

Daisy Khan, the wife of the imam behind the "9/11 Mosque", has compared the opposition to the plan to antisemitism. She’s absolutely right.

When I visited Washington last year, what struck me was America’s passionate belief in the constitutionally-affirmed right to freedom of speech.


Facebook soldier: pictures don't tell the whole story

By Jennifer Lipman, August 17, 2010

The uproar over the former Israeli soldier who uploaded an album from her army service is, in my view, entirely justified. But it’s important to think of this as an isolated incident.

Let’s be honest. This is not a case of somebody being tagged in an unfortunate or incriminating photo, a joke gone bad nor of privacy being unjustifiably invaded. Eden Abergil wilfully uploaded an album making light of a detainee’s plight and then to add insult to injury, joked about it afterwards.


A tale of two tragedies

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

A small story comes out of Israel and reinforces just how difficult achieving peace with Hamas really is.

On June 14, an Israeli policeman was killed near Hebron.

Command Sergeant Major Yehoshua (Shuki) Sofer, 39 and due to be married three months later, died after militants opened fire on him and two others.


Why the song and dance about an Israel gig?

By Jennifer Lipman, July 21, 2010

When you start a new book do you choose it based on the author’s political opinions?

Or when you watch a film are you particularly comforted by knowing the director voted the same way as you at the last election?

What about when you listen to a CD? Is your enjoyment enhanced by the knowledge the artist shares your views on spending cuts?


Bibi's guns go missing

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Proof that you should never, ever pack anything remotely valuable in a suitcase.

He might have been off to meet the most powerful man in the world, but while Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the White House to see Barack Obama with no problems, his luggage didn’t.

Four pistols belonging to one of Bibi’s bodyguards went missing somewhere between New York’s JFK airport and Washington.