Your blogs

  • What do Jews and Chinese people have in common?

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jan 17, 2011

    Well, Jewish fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg thinks she knows.

    She told an interviewer at a Bloomberg panel event: "The Chinese people are very individual.

    "I mean, they are not like the Japanese that are obedient. They're very — they're like Jews, really, except that there is a lot more of them.

  • Tunisian dominoes

    Geoffrey Paul
    Jan 16, 2011

    I have no doubt that Israeli military and political think tanks are hard at work trying to assess the outcome of events in Tunisia on such vulnerable neighbours as Jordan and Egypt and, within the same zone of influence, Libya and Algeria. There is no question at all that changes of regime in either Jordan or Egypt - unlikely immediately given the strength of their internal security forces - would have a major impact on Israel (and no less the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza). There are some fanciful soothsayers in Israel who see the monarchy in Jordan being overthrown by the country’s Palestinian majority who will then create their Palestinian state which will absorb their brothers and sisters in the West Bank and Gaza and leave Israel within its present borders. That is to presume the Jordanian Palestinians are more sympathetic to Fatah than Hamas. There is absolutely no justification for this. None at all. And, in Egypt, if the Mubarak dynasty is to be brought to an end, by whatever means, it is likely to be followed by - if not a regime dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood - a strongly Islamist coalition. The two signed peace agreements Israel has - with Jordan and with Egypt - will be worthless given the overthrow of the existing regimes and a whole new ballgame will be signalled in the Middle East. Tunisia was the first domino. Who will predict the last?

  • Gun control and tragedy in Arizona

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jan 10, 2011

    Michael Bloomberg said it best, although he’s not the only one to have made this point.

    The mayor of New York told a crowd in the wake of the Arizona shooting spree: “We don’t know all the facts in this case yet, but we do know that every single day, 34 Americans are murdered.

    “Every single day. Yesterday it was Judge John Roll and five other Americans and many more across the 50 states. Tomorrow, there will be another 34.”

  • Who else has had access to this bagel?

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jan 10, 2011

    A cream-cheese bagel has become the latest item to cause havoc at airport security.

    Florida professor Ognjen Milatovic was rushed off a plane from Boston to Washington and arrested for disorderly conduct and interfering with the operation of an aircraft after fellow passengers alerted staff to the suspect bagel.

    No news yet whether he was able to take his lunch with him.

  • Hugo Chavez and Oliver 'diplomat' Stone

    Jennifer Lipman
    Jan 5, 2011

    If you were a rabble-rousing left-winger, who would you want serving as an ambassador in your country? Why, someone exactly like you, of course.

    Hugo Chavez seems to take that view, anyway. He’s none too happy with President Obama’s choice of US ambassador to Venezuela, and has come up with a few suggestions of his own.

    Speaking on TV yesterday, Chavez said: "I hope they name Oliver Stone.”

  • No more than a nod

    Geoffrey Paul
    Jan 5, 2011

    It’s a fair guess that not too many readers of the JC are habitual readers of the New Statesman or its bloggers. There has long been a sense that you’ll find neither open mindedness nor fair dealing when it comes to matters Israeli or, even less so, Zionist. Memories are still fresh of the 2002 cover displaying a golden Star of David stabbing a Union flag with the splash headline “A Kosher Conspiracy?" With its startling overtones of European antisemitic iconography, the cover introduced a feature on the so-called Zionist lobby. Eventually the journal ran a qualified apology from the editor, Peter Wilby. So it came as a bit of a surprise when one of the New Statesman’s contributing editors ran a piece this week in praise of Israeli justice (the guilty finding against President Katsav). More than that, Sholto Byrne indulged in some interesting if not totally convincing speculation about why Israel is held to to a different standard than others, concluding that when Israel meets and exceeds that standard, “we owe our applause” Of course, the piece is not free of the usual digs at Israel and there’s no reason to take satisfaction in a few crumbs of praise. But anything from the NS which does not depict Israel as a totally pariah state is worth a nod of recognition. You can read the whole blog at
    www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/01/israel-palestinian-stand...

  • Isn't it quiet!

    Geoffrey Paul
    Dec 29, 2010

    There are few phone calls that matter. Almost no Spam e-mails. If you doin’t look out of the window, it’s great. There’s even time to read the stuff you would not bother with, like dear Julie Burchill in Prospect magazine. Having told the JC she has given up her column and announced that shul no longer has any appeal for her, she tells this improving journal that her New Year resolution is “Reach a reading age of 12 in Hebrew - so far, it’s five.” Why bother? The real fun was in an e-mail from a cruising brother deep into the penguins, whales and icebergs of Antarctica. His cruise ship was joined by a Lubavitch couple along the way in south America who, apart from all the other necessary supplies, brought their electric cholent pot with them. But, alas, alack and gevalt, the chief steward ruled it too serious a fire hazard to allow them to keep it puttering away in their cabin over Friday night into shabbat lunch time. Imagine, cold cholent……in the Antarctic! Next week, all will be back to normal, sadly….

  • What not to call a Holocaust survivor

    Jennifer Lipman
    Dec 23, 2010

    There are many ways of describing Holocaust survivors. Courageous. Inspirational. Defiant.

    But “winner” usually isn’t on the list.

    So the powers-that-be at Fox News in America must be rather red-faced right now, after inadvertently (one hopes) captioning Elie Wiesel as a “Holocaust winner”.

  • Read all about it - on the Herzliya-born Kindle

    Jennifer Lipman
    Dec 21, 2010

    I love my Kindle. Since Amazon’s version of an e-Reader came into my life two weeks ago, I have stared at it adoringly and fantasised about all the books I’m going to read on it.

    When I finally brought myself to unwrap it from its pristine box, it was a wonderful moment.

    An hour later, when I’d figured out how to turn the damn thing on, it was even better. Books downloaded in an instant, no need for a post-it note to keep my place, cheaper on screen (or so Amazon said) than in the shops. We’re going to be great friends, my Kindle and I.

  • Our man in the Lords

    Geoffrey Paul
    Dec 17, 2010

    Part of my argument for not appointing a new chief rabbi in 2013 (for which there was no room in the JC today) is that Lord Sacks’ retirement could open the way for an even larger communal role for him as Emeritus Chief Rabbi. Released from the shackles of the United Synagogue and the Beth Din and with a seat in the House of Lords, the way is open to him to become spokesman for the entire Anglo-Jewish community without regard to denomination.