Your blogs

  • Tolerance

    Geoffrey Paul
    Oct 24, 2010

    American Jews associated with the Weisenthal Centre want to build a Museum of Tolerance on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery at the heart of Jerusalem. They are opposed by an unlikely alliance of imams, ultra-orthodox and reform rabbis and historians who say that an ancient graveyard - still containing some bones and gravestones dating back nine centuries - is inappropriate for such a museum.

    Muslims want to build an Islamic Centre, with mosque and cultural facilities, on a site bordering Ground Zero in New York where Islamist terrorists killed over 3,000 American citizens in the bloody aerial attack on the World Trade Centre. A survey for Time Magazine found 61 per cent of those polled opposed the construction of the mosque.

    But the respondents were not implacably opposed to Islamic religious buildings, with 55 per cent happy to have a community centre and mosque near to their home, just not adjoining Ground Zero. They, like the critics of the Jerusakem museum, found the Ground Zero site inappropriate.

  • Not bungled

    Geoffrey Paul
    Oct 12, 2010

    I wish the media could find a gradation between “bungled” and “successful”. It is highly unlikely that Linda Norgrove, the British aid worker taken hostage in Afghanistan, was killed in a “bungled” rescue attempt, as so many of Tuesday’s papers were reporting. Hostage rescues are highly risky enterprises, taking place at close quarters in settings where the captors have the upper hand from the outset. It was a dreadful and tragic accident, a consequence of a carefully considered political decision that the rescue should be attempted. Israel will remain forever renowned for the success and amazing skill and courage of the Entebbe hostage rescue. But she, too, has moumted rescue operations - Maalot, the Savoy Hotel (Tel Aviv) come to mind - in which there have been tragic losses of life, including civilians caught in crossfire. Brave men attempred to rescue Ms Norgrove. They failed. On occasion that will happen.

  • The 'Nazi' who came to Tea?

    Jennifer Lipman
    Oct 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.

    His Democrat opponent, who probably can’t believe her luck, has registered her disgust. Jewish Republican whip Eric Cantor has criticised Mr Iot, and the Republican Jewish Coalition has stated that Mr Iot “clearly lacks the judgment we should expect of lawmakers".

  • At the going down of the sun....

    Geoffrey Paul
    Oct 7, 2010

    A reader has drawn my attention to the fact that it is not only kids who are going hungry in Israel. There is a shocking story in the Los Angeles Times, which I have been able to verify from other sources. Speaking of poverty among Holocaust survivors in Israel as “something of a dirty little secret,” it claims that an estimated 70,000 survivors — one-third of the total of those living in the Jewish State — don't have enough money to make ends meet.The ageing survivors are regularly showing up in soup kitchens or government welfare agencies.

    About half of Holocaust survivors are older than 80 and dying at a rate of 35 a day. Many survivors, it is said, fall through the cracks or receive insufficient aid from Holocaust compensation programmes, which are largely funded by $60 billion in German reparations and administered by the Israeli Government and New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

    Many survivors living in Israel receive monthly payments ranging from $300 to $1,000. But, as survivors age and experience increased health problems, the payments are no longer enough, according to the LA Times correspondent.

  • Say that again....

    Geoffrey Paul
    Oct 4, 2010

    While the number of millionaires in Israel soared by 43% in just one year, from 2008 to 2009, a rate bested only by Hong Kong and India, Israeli charities, quoted in the Hebrew press, report that " at least 223,000 families suffer from what is referred to as ‘nutritional insecurity’ - a state in which a person has no regular access to essential nourishment”. In plain English, they are hungry. In truth, poverty in Israel, statistically, is worse than even Turkey and Mexico. Almost one in five Israelis live in poverty, according to OECD guidelines; for children, the rate is nearly one in three. It is reported that some 6 per cent of hungry Israeli children resort to crime to feed themselves and, despite the existence. of many charities intended to alleviate hunger in childhood, thousands of kids are turning up at school every morning having had no breakfast and with no prospect of a hot meal that day.

  • Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce...Cohen?

    Jennifer Lipman
    Oct 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:

  • Justin Bieber, Bar Mitzvah boy?

    Jennifer Lipman
    Oct 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.

  • Netta Zucker's new son

    Jennifer Lipman
    Sep 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

    Jennifer Lipman
    Sep 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.

  • He's behind you!

    Geoffrey Paul
    Sep 21, 2010

    If you are of Transylvanian descent, watch out. I received this worrying message today: "Vampire Teeth, listed as approved Parev on p.41 of The Really Jewish Food Guide 2010 are currently being reformulated." I really cannot be sure whether the fangs are being sharpened or, more likely, blunted since the London Beth Din - Kashrut Division issued the warning. Apparently, gelatine is being injected into the molars which, when they bite, will infect you with treif. Oh, the trials of kashrut....