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Can't concentrate? Don’t go away

By Joe Joseph, November 26, 2009

I am at London’s O2 arena, watching a tennis match between a Swiss and a Spaniard, and a fan in the seat in front has a flag the size of Seville that he’s waving every time the Spaniard hits the ball, obstructing my view. What is the etiquette? Is it OK to tell him to cut it out?

So come on
Let me entertain you
Let me entertain you …

What? That snatch of Robbie Williams that you just heard in the last paragraph? Oh, that was to keep your attention on this column.

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Bitching is not what it used to be

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, November 19, 2009

I recently had my hair done for a TV presenting job. So while I was trapped in this West End salon in a small confined chair, hair tinted and trussed up in more tin foil than a turkey at Chanucah, I had nothing to do except read.

I cursed my luck when I realised that I had forgotten my book, then my phone battery went dead and thus I was left to leaf through the endless copies of “Celebrity” magazines.

One thing I noticed is that we love a good feud. For example, Posh Spice on Jordan: “Who let the dogs out?”

Cheryl Cole on Lily Allen: “You’re fat and ugly.”

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There's no need for the gloom

By Stephen Pollard, November 19, 2009

It’s been a year since I arrived at the JC. Before I came, I had some professional experience of the community, having helped establish an antisemitism think tank, and written a fair amount about Israel and the Middle East. But other than that, I was no more connected than most people — the occasional shul visit and a strong Jewish social life.

So these past 12 months have given me a wonderful opportunity to learn about the community, from its heart, with the perspective of an outsider (although after a year at the JC, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call myself that again!).

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Netanhayu is steering Israel to disaster

By Yariv Oppenheimer, November 19, 2009

Richard Goldstone is an antisemitic Jew, Turkey has long since become an Islamic state, the Russians are a disappointment, the Chinese are confused, the Indians are wrong, the Swedes and Norwegians are always against us, and the Americans — we can do without them.

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We must lead fight against extremists

By Martin Bright, November 19, 2009

I recently had the pleasure of addressing an audience of well-informed, liberal and politically committed Jews on the rise of radical Islam in Britain. I suggested it was a tragedy that east London, for so long associated with Jewish immigration and the fight against fascism, had now become the home of the Islamist extreme right.

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Career advice for kids? Are you mad?

By Simon Round, November 12, 2009

By the time you read this column I will have gone through one of the most terrifying experiences known to humankind.

Right up there with scaling Everest, confronting the contents of those scary jars of gefilte fish and finding a spider in the bath, is… The School Parents’ Evening.

Somehow, sitting and waiting to see the teacher has never lost its power to strike fear in my heart.

This time, it will not just be my daughter Lucy’s tendency to put the other children off by being silly we will be discussing (no idea where she gets that from).

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Tories, drop your Euro allies

By Denis MacShane, November 12, 2009

The argument over the Tory alliance with populist right-wing parties in Eastern Europe has caused great heartache amongst politicians fighting antisemitism.

Exaggerated claims have been made on both sides. Michal Kaminski is not a roaring Jew-hater in the classical antisemitic mould. He supports Israel — but then both Nick Griffin of the BNP and Jean Marie le Pen have also expressed pleasure at Israel’s military attacks on Muslims.

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Exposed: Dispatches’ prejudice over Bicom

By Poju Zabludowicz, November 12, 2009

On Monday night, Channel 4’s Dispatches programme will focus on what it calls “one of the most powerful… least transparent lobbying groups in the UK”, the pro-Israel lobby. Sadly, the programme seems to have a pre-determined agenda. Some people have suggested that the production team felt compelled to “balance out” their two recent programmes exposing the footprint of radical Islamism in the UK.

I come to this conclusion with a heavy heart, having been led a not-so-merry dance over the past ten days by the programme makers.

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Mitzvah Day embodies my vision

By Tony Blair, November 12, 2009

The Jewish community has a long history of public service. It is central to the core beliefs of the Jewish faith — Tzedek, Tzdek, Tirdof (Justice, Justice, Shall you pursue). Indeed, the Torah itself is, in its entirety, the DIY guide to making the world a healthier, wholer and saner place.

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It's my policy to lead a thrilling life

By Peter Rosengard, November 5, 2009

If you’re ever on a plane and the passenger in the next seat won’t stop talking, just tell him you’re a life insurance salesman; he won’t say another word. He might even try to get off the plane… in mid flight.

I should know — I’m a life insurance salesman.

Anyway, three weeks ago, after seeing a friend off at Heathrow, I grabbed some spaghetti at a restaurant in Terminal 5 and was just about to catch the train back to Paddington, when I glanced up at the departure screen.

Paris, New York, Sydney, Athens, Tel Aviv…

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