The Diary

Mini driver arrested

By Simon Round, January 22, 2009

A mother was so delighted that her 11-year-old daughter had done well in a school exam that she allowed her to joy-ride in the family car. Police in Tel Aviv were staggered to discover a young girl behind the wheel, and her mother in the passenger’s seat.

The mother explained she had promised the child she could drive the car if she got an “A”.

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Nul points from Arabs

By Simon Round, January 22, 2009

In Britain, the controversy over the Eurovision Song Contest usually revolves around Terry Wogan’s participation, but in Israel it is taken much more seriously.

When it was announced that Christian Arab singer Mira Awad would perform alongside Jewish songstress Achinoam Nini, known as Noa, Israeli Arabs were furious.

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Boris donates gelt

By Simon Round, January 14, 2009

Being fined £60 for failure to pay your congestion charge is bad enough under normal circumstances but far more embarrassing if your name happens to be Boris Johnson, and your job is London mayor.

Perhaps he can be forgiven on this one occasion though. Boris was so excited about driving into London to light the Chanucah candles on December 22 that he clean forgot to fork out the money .

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Wedding music with a difference

By Simon Round, January 14, 2009

A Jewish couple celebrating their wedding in New York experienced an unexpected soundtrack. Waiter Stephen Buttafuoco played a recording of Arab demonstrators shouting “God is great” over the PA system.

It could be an expensive gesture — he has been charged with harrassment.

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Kanoute gets shirty

By Simon Round, January 14, 2009

Former Spurs and West Ham footballer Frederic Kanoute is in trouble for his overly political goal celebration.

After scoring for his club, Sevilla, in the Spanish Primera Liga last weekend, Kanoute lifted his shirt over his head to reveal a T-shirt with the word Palestine written in various languages.

Kanoute’s protest cost him a yellow card and he faces a fine from the Spanish FA.

Clearly, there are no longer split loyalties for Kanoute. As Tottenham fans will be aware, despite being a practising Muslim, Kanoute also used to be a “Yid”.

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Griffin: Jews are OK

By Simon Round, January 8, 2009

British National Party leader Nick Griffin has been on a charm offensive to explain how non-racist and reasonable are his party’s policies. He even took time out to chat to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv.

Griffin told the paper that he “has no time for antisemites”.

Indeed, to emphasise the point he added: “Four million Jews would be preferable to four million Pakistanis.” Charming.

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And now the good news — no, really

By Simon Round, January 8, 2009

Amid all the doom and gloom about recession, Gaza and the weather, at last some good news. A record number of people used our Social & Personal columns (P25-27) to announce engagements and births this week. Thirty seven couples decided to tie the knot while 36 babies were born. What was going on in April?

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We're from Turkmenistan!

By Simon Round, January 8, 2009

This letter, which was actually published by the South Wales Echo, sheds new light on both the conflict in Gaza and the origins of the Jewish people.

Peter Sunman of Cardiff asserts that “these Israelis [who attacked Gaza] are not Jews but are Ashkenazim which means that they adopted the Jewish faith as a matter of convenience.

“They are not born of a Jewish mother so cannot be Jews.”

He adds: “Since they [the Ashkenazim] are from Turkmenistan originally, how does the land of Palestine become their home?”

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Chanucah stress gets to Ronson

By Simon Round, December 30, 2008

Samantha Ronson, the DJ sister of record producer Mark Ronson and girlfriend of actress Lindsay Lohan, was briefly admitted to hospital last week... and blamed the stress of Chanucah for her ailment.

Ronson said her schedule left no time to buy Chanucah presents and that this led to a minor breakdown. She explained on her MySpace page: “Happy Chanucah! Thanks for all your messages. I’m home and all good.

“I was just pretty exhausted from travelling and working too much to buy Chanucah gifts and my Jewish mother was worried about me.”

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Skullcap and crossbones

By Simon Round, December 30, 2008

If anyone thought that the Jews were a nation of landlubbers, a new book sheds some interesting new light on what used to pass for a job for a nice Jewish boy.

According to Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Kritzler, there were a number of Jews flying the Jolly Roger on the high seas in the years following the Spanish Inquisition.

One, a man named Samuel Palache, was a “pirate rabbi” who sent a flotilla of privateers to operate against Spanish shipping. Then at weekends he returned to his congregation — as minister of Holland’s first synagogue.

Oy vey, Jim lad!

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