Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.
- Jessica Elgot
Aug 3, 2009
The attack on the gay youth advice centre in Tel Aviv was a tragic set back for the country which has set the standard for gay rights in the Middle East.
But as blogger Chas Newky-Burden points out:
"In many of the countries surrounding Israel, the government and police would not be condemning and hunting somone who murdered gay people - they would be committing the murders themselves as part of their barbaric legal systems."
The worst thing that could happen as a result of these heartbreaking murders now is that Israel is categorised, along with its neighbours, as a hotbed for violence and intolerance against the gay community, when the country has in fact led a shining example.
I had a piece in the Open Minds slot in yesterday's Sunday Times Magazine. It's here.
- Simon Rocker
Aug 3, 2009
A rather sad tale of everyday intermarried life from this weekend’s Guardian.
In a first-person piece, Annabel Wright, a self-confessed “non-practising Jew” married to a “lapsed Church of England” husband, recounts how her 12-year-son Marcus became interested in Judaism and wanted to have a barmitzvah.
A friendly Progressive rabbi suggested that she and Marcus join classes at the synagogue but, alas, Annabel eventually found she couldn’t go along with the religious ride. “As time wore on, I realised that if Marcus was to follow the faith, I just couldn’t do it with him,” she said.
Press TV has just been held by OFCOM to be in breach of the required impartiality standard. The judgment is here:
Under the Communications Act 2003, and therefore the Code, due impartiality must be preserved by broadcasters in all major matters of political or industrial policy. In dealing with these major matters broadcasters must include an appropriately wide range of significant views.
...The Israeli-Palestinian conflict understandably raises extremely strong views and emotions from all sides. It is right that broadcasters are able to reflect such opinions within its programmes. There must be a place for such programming which gives air to highly opinionated and vocal reaction on issues of such importance. However, in order to comply with the Code, broadcasters must ensure that, when discussing matters of major political or industrial controversy or a major matter relating to current public policy, a real range of significant views are included in a programme. Further, in such cases, when presenting any significant alternative view, it must be given due weight and consideration.
I've been away for a few days, devoid of news, so I'm only now catching up with the key story, which we covered here.
I don't know whether to be thrilled or in despair: thrilled that
The cast of Seinfeld will finally be reunited after 11 years
- Danny Caro
Jul 31, 2009
The football world has lost a dear friend and gentleman in Sir Bobby Robson.
I have wonderful memories of his best achievement on the international stage where he led England to the 1990 World Cup semi-final.
Not around to see the heroics of 66, I was kept on the edge of my seat as his team made hard work of getting out of a group.
- Marcus Dysch
Jul 31, 2009
After India last week we now have Iran apparently making attempts to keep out narcotics from Afghanistan.
Where next? Italy? Ivory Coast? Indonesia might find it a bit trickier….
- Stephen Pollard
Jul 30, 2009
Fancy owning a football club? Tranmere Rovers is up for sale on ebay.
I'm going to use one of those auction stealer bits of software and see if I can buy it for a tenner.
- Jenni Frazer
Jul 30, 2009
A reader — and I use the term loosely — expresses deep anxiety about a story in the Daily Mail, about the police being issued with hijabs in case they have to enter a mosque. When are they going to start issuing the police with kippot in case they have to go in to a shul, she complained.
In some confusion, and given that I admit a built-in prejudice against anything that appears in the Daily Mail, I sought a little enlightenment. It turns out that the Avon and Somerset Constabulary have taken the interesting initiative of equipping its female officers with a uniform issue hijab. They are, in fact, £13 headscarves, embroidered with the force's name and logo, and are designed to be multi-faith: "They are designed to be used in any place of worship and can be used to cover the head or the shoulders. For example, plain clothes officers could use them to cover their shoulders in a Catholic Church, or they can be used to cover the head in synagogues."
For the life of me, I don't see what is wrong with that. I imagine the Mail put a typically spiteful anti-immigrant spin on the story, but frankly, I think the police should be encouraged if they are trying to show respect for religious observance, of whatever stripe.