Your blogs

  • The subtle delegitimisation of Israel

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jul 28, 2011

    It was with a heavy heart that I wrote this story – about the curious absence of Israel from Pull and Bear's global list.

    I like the chain and shop there sporadically; in fact, the very reason I noticed the board was because I was buying a pair of Pull and Bear jeans (grey, a £20 bargain, since you ask).

    I'm not going to stop shopping there; I don't believe in boycotts and don't consider it a step in the right direction to fight ignorance with the monetary equivalent of stamping your feet.

  • The Times and Amy Winehouse's Jewish funeral

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jul 27, 2011

    Following Monday's moan about the Mirror and its not-entirely-accurate report about Amy Winehouse's funeral, here's another.

    The Times today dedicated the majority of a double-page spread to the "celebration of an 'angel' played out in public glare".

    The reporters noted: "The day began with an Orthodox Jewish funeral service in a synagogue in Edgware: Winehouse, despite her feistiness and rebellion, was always a woman who recognised tradition."

  • An Israeli Autumn?

    Geoffrey Paul
    Jul 25, 2011

    A major dilemma is fast looming for that larger part of the diaspora which, if not subservient to the slogan 'Israel right or wrong', feels emotionally, ideologically, even, it might be said, tribally committed to total support of the Jewish State, certainly when face-to-face with a critical non-Jewish world. But it is going to be different and the adjustment will demand new approaches and mind-sets for, if we are not on the edge of an “Israeli Spring,” we are imminently going to see challenges to the Israeli government and the ruling parties which are without precedent.

    Within the last few days, Israel has experienced acts of civil disobedience unparalleled since the 'fifties and 'sixties. Thousands have marched and demonstrated in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa against the dearth of affordable housing. Roads have been blocked, tent cities have sprung up, and young families have taken to the streets in protest on a scale which has not been seen previously on a civil issue. These are not the disaffected “Black Panthers” of the Sephardi protests in earlier years. These are young men and women who are most decidedly in the mainstream.

    They have now been joined in protest, a different protest, by doctors, headed by the president of the Israel Medical Association, who say that the once highly-regarded Israeli health service is near collapse, with doctors being overworked and insufficient funds being invested to keep the service viable. The IMA head is himself planning to start a hunger strike on Monday to draw attentiom to the situation. There is even talk of a national strike on August 1 and the Prime Minister has called off a visit to Poland in which he wanted to seek support against UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

  • The Mirror and Amy Winehouse's Jewish burial

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jul 25, 2011

    It seems clear that troubled star Amy Winehouse will have a Jewish burial, after a post-mortem examination.

    While a hungry media waits for more details: when, where, who will attend, will there be a shiva (OK, that one is less of a concern for the media at large), one newspaper decided to explain to its readers how Amy's behaviour in life could impact her death.

    From the Mirror:

  • A helpful Yiddish guide to phonehacking

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jul 20, 2011

    For all that Jews are supposed to control the media, the News International / hacking / News of the World / Brooks / Murdoch scandal has so far played out without much of a kosher angle. But never fear, it can still be interpreted with one. Over to Matthew Norman at the Indy:

    "Andy Hayman is a schtick fleisch mit oigen (imbecile; literally, a lump of meat with eyes), James Murdoch a nebbish (sad loser), his father a schvuntz (there you must rely on innate feel for onomatopoeia), and Ms Brooks a rosher (dead naughty)."

    Do you agree? Candidates for the shmucks and schmerils of the scandal so far in the comments below.

  • 1967 and all that

    Geoffrey Paul
    Jul 17, 2011

    s'funny how everybody got uptight in May when President Obama spoke of an Israel-Palestine peace agreement based on the 1967 boundaries with land swaps (presumably to take account of some current realities). Not a few Israeli – and other - commentators saw this as some kind of sell-out of the special American-Israeli relationship. But it was all said, and more, a year ago by Dan Shapiro, the National Security Council's advisor on the Middle East, when he addressed the Anti-Defamation League at its annual get-together in the United States. He has been a top advisor to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton on the Israel-Palestine peace process since the installation of the new Administration. Scarcely any “peace mission” to Israel in the last two or three years has not included him in its membership. Some believe him to be the real architect of American policy vis-a-vis the Israel-Palestine peace process. In which case Prime Minister Netanyahu - who knows him very well indeed, well enough to entertain him in his kitchen - is going to hear some tough talk (in Hebrew, a language in which he is fluent) from the new US Ambassador to Israel: Dan Shapiro.

  • The mystery of Nick Robinson’s glasses

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jul 13, 2011

    At the Holocaust Education Trust's Student Ambassadors event last night (more on that in this week's paper), the BBC's Nick Robinson cleared up one of the biggest political mysteries of the week.

    No, not phonehacking. I'm referring, of course, to what happened to his signature spectacles.

    He revealed to the crowd that he had not, in fact, chosen a new pair. "I'm not that bold," he said. "It was simply that I smashed them and I couldn't find my spare pair at home."

  • It's good to talk (if you're a Jewish MP)

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jul 12, 2011

    They say Jews like to talk, and it seems Jewish politicians are no exception.

    Parliamentary monitor They Work For You have compiled a list of the most chatty MPs in the class of 2010.

    On the Conservative side of the bench, Robert Halfon is the overwhelming winner of the "most likely to talk in a debate award". He's spoken in a whopping 160 debates since he entered parliament for Harlow – 26 more times than the next talkative Tory.

  • Haneen Zoabi's black and white argument

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jun 30, 2011

    Haneen Zoabi, the Israeli Arab MK, writes a vitriolic piece for Comment is Free on the deportation of banned Israeli Raed Salah. I won't go into the details – you can peruse the contents as you wish – but there was one point that particularly jarred.

    She says: "There is no other meaning to a "Jewish state" except the recognition of the legitimacy of granting privileges to Jews in Israel at the expense of Palestinian citizens, annulling the legitimacy of our struggle for real democracy."

    So, question from the class. If there is "no other meaning" to a Jewish state than the denial of privileges to its non-Jewish citizens, what exactly would a Palestinian state amount to?

  • Foreskin Man: the movie

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jun 30, 2011

    The comic book into movie formula has become a tried and tested staple of summer cinema. But who would play the mohel-hunting superhero Foreskin Man in a big screen adaptation?

    That chiselled face, that blonde hair, those blue eyes. Perhaps Brad Pitt could take on the role of the ultimate American hero? Or Ryan Reynolds, after he hangs up his Green Lantern costume? Or what about Leo?

    But we're in luck. Foreskin Man creator Matthew Hess has revealed exactly who he'd choose to play his eponymous character.