Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.

  • So Goodbye Mr Olmert

    Daniella Peled
    Jul 30, 2008

    He held on, and held on, and held on - and then all of a sudden Olmert let go of power in a hastily-arranged, surprise press conference.

    "I believe with all my heart in my ability to continue to serve, the same as I believe in my innocence," he told Israeli prime time news on Wednesday night.

    Well sorry mate, precious few people agree with you on either point.

  • Overly Keane

    Danny Caro
    Jul 30, 2008

    As a Liverpool fan I don't want to rub salt into the wounds but spare a thought for Spurs fans who recently had Keane printed on the back of new home shirts.


    I'm not sure if the Irish striker will go down as a legend in the club's folklore but his departure is certainly a blow to everyone connected to White Hart Lane.

  • Reading into Obama's note to G-d

    Miriam Shaviv
    Jul 28, 2008

    The Israeli daily Ma'ariv is currently being blasted by all sides for publishing the (actually rather charming) note left by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the Western Wall.

    The paper has been criticised by no less than the rabbi who supervises the Kotel for interfering in Obama's relationship with G-d and for acting in a "sacrilegious" manner. The Police have even been called upon to intervene. Meanwhile, one of the yeshivah students who supposedly took the note has apologised publicly, although one does wonder why he had to go on national television in order to make his regret known.

    A rare dissenting voice comes from blogger "Jameel", who asks whether Ma'ariv would still be in hot water for publishing Obama's kvittel  had the sentiments he expressed in his note been more politically loaded.

  • A Bit of The Wall is to Fall

    Daniella Peled
    Jul 28, 2008

    A High Court ruling means a 1.5 mile stretch of the security barrier is to be moved, after petitions from Palestinians affected by the route and human rights groups.

    The IDF was also peeved after it became apparent that the route of this particular section had been chosen to make room for a new settlement - not out of any security concerns.

    That's one of the many problems of the barrier. It's impossible to deny it has had security benefits for Israel. But it's also impossible to deny that large sections of its more than 250 mile route function as a political tool.

  • How blaming Israel can get you off the hook in a court of law

    Miriam Shaviv
    Jul 25, 2008

    This is one of the most worrying examples of anti-Israeli bias I have ever come across.

    Last month, six men were acquitted in a Belfast court of causing more than £300,000 of damage to an office belonging to an American arms manufacturer in Derry, Northern Ireland, in August 2006 (one was convicted of theft of two computer discs).

    They had broken into Raytheon’s building, destroyed its computer mainframe, damaged PCs, thrown documents out the window, and barricaded themselves inside the building for eight hours.

  • Cricket madness

    Danny Caro
    Jul 24, 2008

    What is the world of cricket coming to when a batsman can appeal against an umpiring decision?

    The English have always been great advocates of fair play but Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan created history today when he had a decision overturned by the third umpire.

     I believe that goalline technology should be introduced in football and hawkeye is a great concept for commentators and spectators in cricket but an appeal by the fielding team should only be decided by the umpire in my book.

  • Chumra of the week

    Miriam Shaviv
    Jul 24, 2008

    First, we had Orthodox Jewish women wearing burkas.  Now, we have Charedi women coming back from weddings and other simchas being told they should wear 'overcoats' - because the sight of them in their best clothes in the street could be too much for some men. (According to the Kosover Rebbe of Boro Park, "Though it may be hot in warm weather, it is a good thing".)

    The burkas were bad enough - but at least (if there is an 'at least' when you are talking about women feeling they must cover up their own faces) the initiative came from the women themselves, and was really not supported by most rabbis or others in their community.

    But the idea of women having to cover up perfectly modest, but nice-looking clothes, comes from another source: a commercial company, called Modest Design, which came up with the idea, and then sought rabbinic precedent and approval.

  • The Russian revolution continues

    Miriam Shaviv
    Jul 24, 2008

    A few weeks ago, The Jerusalem Post's Calev Ben-David reported that the brand-new editor of Ha'aretz, Dov Alfon, was making substantial changes at the paper, toning down or getting rid of many of the best-known voices on the far left and firing (and then rehiring) its social affairs reporter, who focused on the plight of the poor.

    Ben-David explained at the time that:

     Like all print media nowadays, Haaretz is struggling to keep and attract readers and advertisers, and some of the editorial changes seem to clearly reflect an effort to make the paper a little less heavy, including reducing and putting less emphasis on its most radical voices. There is only so much space on a news page, and if you start focusing more on economic, consumer and lifestyle issues, it's going to come at the expense of other fields, including politics and social affairs.

  • Bring back the good old days

    Danny Caro
    Jul 24, 2008

    Is football’s bubble about to burst? Euro 2008 was a roaring success, even without England I should add. But the silly season is well and truly under way with talk of Ronaldo’s proposed transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid running on and on.

    I hate such scenarios where the papers have a series of tit-for-tat headlines but believe that agents are partly responsible. Surely there must be something else to write about.

    As a lifelong Liverpool fan, it annoys me to see Gareth Barry-gate and the Robbie Keane story getting daily coverage. Until the recent controversy with the Reds’ American owners, the Anfield club prided itself on keeping such matters private and confidential, but now it appears that nothing is secret.

  • Gordon Brown's speech defect

    Miriam Shaviv
    Jul 23, 2008

    Yesterday I reported that, according to Sky News's Adam Boulton, our prime minister has difficulty pronouncing the word 'Jerusalem'. Now The Evening Standard's diary adds,

    Sources at the Jerusalem Post note that Brown mangled his attempt at a Hebrew quotation before going on to pronounce "Auschwitz" as "ouchwhich".

    How do you think he would pronounce, "complete disaster as prime minister"?