Your blogs

  • The women-only Bin Laden White House pic

    Jennifer Lipman
    May 17, 2011

    By now, everyone's seen that photoshopped White House picture - you know, the one where Hillary Clinton mysteriously disappeared from view.

    Thanks to blogger Erica Sackin (on a very different Brooklyn site - FreeWilliamsburg.com), we now know what the scene would have looked like had it been only women in the room.

    Whether there would have been the scene in the first place had Hillary been charged with making the decision on Bin Laden is a different matter, though Mrs Clinton's shocked face suggests things could have played out very differently.

  • 'Pinkwashing': Israeli pride and the peace process

    Jennifer Lipman
    May 13, 2011

    If I asked whether the Obama administration was using its record on healthcare reform to excuse its policy on Syria, what would you think?

    You might well have strong opinions on either subject – perhaps that healthcare reform was a brave but costly step, or that the White House should put its money where its mouth isn't quite on Syria. But looking at the two together? For most people, the one has very little to do with the other.

    Now, change the Obama administration to "Israel", healthcare reform to "gay rights" and Syria to "Palestine", and ask the question again. Except that you don't have to: Time magazine has helpfully done it for you in this week's issue. Writes one David Kaufman:

  • Cheryl Cole's Jewish hair

    Jennifer Lipman
    May 10, 2011

    Of all the showbiz stars about, Cheryl Cole isn't usually one mistaken for being Jewish.

    But according to OK magazine, the X Factor presenter has got one kosher credential.

    Discussing her styling in a new advert for L'Oreal and her look at the US X Factor auditions, the fashion pundits write: "Chezza has hit Hollywood with hair the size of a Jewish grandma."

  • Bin Laden's death shouldn't be a kodak moment

    Jennifer Lipman
    May 6, 2011

    A couple of months ago I opened an email that I later wished I hadn't. It contained photographs, grisly, explicit photographs of the victims of the Itamar massacre.

    Yuli Edelstein, Israel's Minister of Information explained the decision thus: "our goal in sending out the photos was clear: to show that this attack crossed all lines."

    A fair point, surely. Israelis – sadly – are perhaps more desensitized than others around the world to scenes of horror and devastation, yet what happened to the Fogels was incomprehensible.

  • Julian Assange finds another Jewish conspiracy

    Jennifer Lipman
    May 3, 2011

    Never knowingly under-paranoid, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has found a new Jewish bogeyman.

    Following on from his "Jewish conspiracy at the Guardian out to get me" meltdown, I give you Assange v Zuckerberg.

    As told to Russia Today, Assange thinks Facebook is "the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented".

  • Dateline Washington

    Geoffrey Paul
    May 3, 2011

    Just as those who were around at the time recall where they were when Kennedy was assassinated, folks here in Washington DC are already exchanging details of where they were when they heard of the Osama bin Laden assassination. Most it seems were already in bed (a vast amount of US TV viewing seems to be done in a prone position) but quickly aroused themselves when they heard the President was to make an unprecedented near-midnight address to the nation. There's no question about the boost the killing of bin Laden has given his prestige. His re-election seems almost guaranteed, unless the Republicans find a strong (non-female) candidate to put up against him and there is no sign of this to-date. Many American Jews, specially on the religious right where support for Likud is solid, are concerned that a strengthened Obama,relying on his national popularity,will feel emboldened to pressure Israel for a deal with Fatah (now, possibly, Fatah-Hamas) which will be unsafe for Israel. Obama was already so unpopular among some Orthodox Jewish groups that congregations with which they pray have, quietly and unofficially, dropped recitation of the prayer for the President. While they most certainly applaud the political and military risk that Obama took in authorising the bin Laden operation, they are unlikely to be sporting the favourite tee-shirt of the day which proclaims the widespread delight that "Obama Got Osama!"

  • More than a few crumbs

    Geoffrey Paul
    Apr 21, 2011

    Having spent the first days of Passover in an American venue of kosher excess - 24-hour food of such variety, quality and abundance that it becomes almost impossible to accept a small portion, the wine bottles piled high with an invitation to help yourself - it came as a real shock to open the New York Times to a front page splash, based on a Census Bureau report, that the poorest village, town or city in the US with a population of more than 10,000 is the Satmar-dominated ultra-orthodox community of Kiryas Joel, less than an hour's drive from New York City. Seventy per cent of its 21,00 residents live in households whose income is below the federal poverty threshhold. The women marry young and have many children. The median age in Kiryas Joel is 12. Many of the boys will follow in their fathers' footsteps and spend their days,not working, but in religious studies.

    All of which intrigued the New Yirk Times reporter. If things, according to the Census Bureau, were so bad, how come they had thriving schools and a first-rate medical centre with a highly-developed welfare system for over-burdened mothers? If you visit Kiryas Joel, you won't find people starving or a lack of pushchairs, kids' bikes or even cars. How do they do it ? Well, in the first instance, in any election, federal or state, Kiryas Joel can be counted on to vote as a solid block for favoured candidates. When it comes to handing out funds for education, health or programmes, these favoured candidates are unlikely to forget Kiryas Joel. Most unlikely. Then there's the matter of the local poultry slaughter house which has a throughput of 40,000 chickens a day. Since the community owns it, it rates as a not-for-profit enterprise. And the major matzo bakery which produces 800 tons of matzo a day? That belongs to a local shul and is equally a charitable enterprise.

    They certainly know how to count their chickens in Kiryas Joel,,,which reminds me, it must be time to go and have a bite or two to eat.And a glass of wine, of course.

  • Help the JC mark Israel's 63rd birthday

    Jennifer Lipman
    Apr 18, 2011

    What's your favourite thing about Israel?

    To mark Israel's 63rd birthday, we want you to send in video clips and photos telling us what it is about Israel that you love.

    Whether it's the diverse geography, the view of the Kotel in Jerusalem, the Israeli drivers or the taste of an Iced Aroma, let us know and we'll put them together into a video for the world to see.

  • Bieber, Bibi, Barack and Bill

    Jennifer Lipman
    Apr 15, 2011

    Remember when Bill Clinton hosted Charlotte Church at the White House? Did you know Mariah Carey recently entertained the Obamas for Christmas? Or that before he became Prime Minister David Cameron dined with Simon Cowell?

    What about the Alternative Vote campaign (both yes and no) at the moment – both sides of which are a veritable who's who of showbiz supporters?

    What have they got to do with a teenage pop star from Canada with floppy hair?

  • Don't stop leaning: Glee's Pesach connection

    Jennifer Lipman
    Apr 13, 2011

    For years, we had Ross and Monica Geller, then Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler and of course the Sandy and Seth Cohen double act. But in recent years, there have been very few.

    I'm talking about Jewish characters on the small screen. Years after the demises of Friends, The OC and of corse The West Wing, television watchers remained without a credible "Jewish hero or heroine to get behind. And no, the cast of Friday Night Dinner and Grandma's House don't count.

    So when Glee launched last year, it marked a turning point. Rachel Berry, a proud Jew who even, in one memorable episode, dated rudeboy Jew Noah Puckerman. Awkward humour, annual Simchat Torah screenings of Schindler's List, Neil Diamond Songs. Jewish TV quota, check.