Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.

  • Politics returns to centre stage in France

    November was a month of commemoration. Not just of 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918, which is a national holiday in France without red poppies, but rather 13 November when in 2015 a series of terrorist actions killed 130 and left 500 wounded.

    As an act of defiance, the Bataclan Theatre was reopened with a highly emotional concert by former Police front-man Sting.

    Public ceremonies were held and television documentaries soberly revisited the confusion and delays by overwhelmed police and medical services who had unprepared for such terrible events.

  • Fires ...and Israel

    Student Views
    Nov 29, 2016

    For one of the first times in years, Israel has been making headlines without being accused of terrorism, murder and apartheid. It’s a shame it took 80, 000 families being displaced from their homes in Haifa alone to get the international community to see Israelis as humans, rather than monsters.

    It’s also a shame that it took such drastic measures for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to come together for the greater good of saving human lives, regardless of religion, nationality and beliefs. Forty-one firefighters and eight trucks were sent by President Abbas to Haifa in order to fight the blaze alongside their Israeli counterparts. There was no bitterness or resentment to be seen on either side; simply a group of people helping their neighbours in need.

    This extension of an olive branch by Abbas could be the start of a new relationship between Israelis and Palestinians and Israel’s reaction – and that of the international Jewish community – to this olive branch will be crucial in determining the future of potential peace in the Middle East.

  • Strictly recap: Judge Rinder escapes as Strictly judges finally condemn Ed Balls

    Strictly Watch
    Nov 29, 2016

    Talk about a way to send you reeling into the working week.

    They may not have been the best celebrity dancers, but even so, seeing Judge Robert Rinder and Ed Balls plummet into the bottom two on Sunday evening was a sorry sight indeed. When it came to entertainment, they absolutely stole the show.

    But then, the dance-off results were hardly surprising; one look at the leaderboard - where Ed and the Judge were placed last and second to last respectively on Saturday night - showed them to be in jeopardy.

  • Strictly recap: Hiptastic Judge Rinder brings Rio to Blackpool

    Strictly Watch
    Nov 21, 2016

    Oh Blackpool, you never disappoint.

    While, so far as seaside resorts go, you may not quite match the crystal azure waters or paradisal sandscapes of the Maldives or the Caribbean, there is one night of the year which guarantees you to be the hottest ticket in town.

    I am, of course, talking about the Strictly Blackpool special; otherwise known as Strictly on steroids.

  • Tottenham vs West Ham: Why does this keep happening?

    The Spurs Blog
    Nov 21, 2016

    Once or twice in a season a game comes along which reminds you why football captures the imagination like no other sport.

    The sheer emotion, the rip-roaring atmosphere, the extreme thrill of the comeback win. Sadly once or twice every couple of years there is also a game where you get a glimpse into all that’s rotten in football and society.

    And so it was on Saturday, for the tea-time London Derby against West Ham United.

  • Reflections of a derby that failed to light my fuse

    The Arsenal Blog
    Nov 17, 2016

    The Emirates Stadium hosted the 184th north London derby on Sunday, in what was a rather unremarkable affair. Arsenal and Spurs were evenly matched as the latter extended their unbeaten run, while Liverpool climbed to top of the division after taking advantage of a Manchester City draw.

    The derby has a reputation for thrilling and being bad-tempered football, but the big match was a tactical deadlock that failed to live up to its name. Mauricio Pochettino’s seemingly risky experiment of a back three worked against an Arsenal side whose attacking line, led by Alexis Sanchez, failed to penetrate the impressive trio who executed the offside trap to perfection.

    Ronald Koeman’s similar defensive trial failed miserably against a rampant Chelsea side, eventually becoming victims of a 5-0 thrashing. Both derby goals came from set-pieces (a Wimmer own goal assisted by an Ozil free-kick and a Harry Kane penalty, making it five goals in four derbies for the young Englishman returning from injury), demonstrating the lack of innovation shown in open play.

  • On Trump’s Triumph

    Student Views
    Nov 16, 2016

    Ellie Hyman writes...

    The entire world was shaken last week as Donald Trump, millionaire business mogul with approximately zero political experience and the temperament of a five year old child, was declared President of the United States and Leader of the Free World. A man who has been accused of sexual violence and defrauding of the people he is now supposed to be leading; a man who is a racist, misogynist and a bully, by objective definition.

    It appears that a large proportion of the Jewish population, not only in America and Israel, but around the world, deems it acceptable to overlook these problems because of Trump’s apparent support of Israel and Jews.

  • Inspired by women of different faiths

    Ella Garai-Ebner
    Nov 14, 2016

    It’s been quite a week for women. On the brink of electing the first female President, the dream was shattered – whilst, unfortunately, the glass ceiling was not.

    In her concession speech, Hilary Clinton urged “To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

    The very next day, 400 girls, from 18 faith schools across London, gathered together in Westminster to take their own steps towards realising Clinton’s words, at a conference called ‘Women of Faith: Leading the Change”.

  • Strictly recap: Where did it all go wrong for Daisy Lowe?

    Strictly Watch
    Nov 14, 2016

    It all started out so well for Daisy Lowe.

    The model kicked off proceedings on Saturday night with a “groovy” 70s-themed Salsa, beaming broadly as she swung her hips and channelled her inner hippie.

    Her lifts, in particular, were praised, with judge Bruno Tonioli saying she had “all the right ingredients for a tasty salsa”.

  • A new look at keeping kosher

    Noa Gendler
    Nov 9, 2016

    I think kashrut is outdated. As someone who does not believe that the Torah came directly from God, but was written down by humans (men, let’s be clear) in accordance with their local and contemporary beliefs, I do not struggle with the idea that a set of religious laws, meaningful and valuable as they may have been and may still be, should change in order to reflect our own society and in doing so create the same impact for us.

    Crucially, keeping kosher is no longer the complicated process it used to be – particularly if, like me, you live in North-west London.

    Kosher meat can be delivered to your front door, most large supermarkets have a kosher section, and the range of food products available to us is wide enough that if kosher meat is unavailable we won’t go hungry. It wasn’t always this way, though – until very recently, the laws of kashrut had an overwhelming impact on what Jews could eat, when, where and how.