The Diary

A horrible thought

By Simon Round, July 16, 2009

Just as the Chief Rabbi celebrates his peerage comes news that may chill his fans to the marrow. The BBC is debating whether to open Thought for the Day to non-religious contributors. Sir Jonathan is a regular on the so-called “God slot” on Radio 4’s Today programme, and the possibility of his being replaced by a humanist is just too horrible to contemplate.

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Amsterdam 1 Newcastle 0

By Simon Round, July 16, 2009

The Jewish mayor of Amsterdam has not endeared himself to football fans in the north east. Job Cohen called on Sunderland to be banned from a tournament in his city later this month when it emerged that local rivals Newcastle United would be playing a pre-season friendly at the same time in nearby Utrecht. Mayor Cohen feared that there would be very little friendliness in evidence if the two sets of supporters were to encounter each other. He didn’t get his way, though. The Football Association barred Newcastle from travelling instead.

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Another Wacko story

By Simon Round, July 9, 2009

Here is a woman who is either crazy or has an incredible story to tell. Nona Paris Lola Ankhesenamun Jackson claims that she is Michael Jackson’s widow and the real mother to his children. She also says she is the daughter of a Saudi Arabian prince... and Jewish (presumably on her mother’s side).

So bizarre was Jacko’s life that nothing would surprise us.

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Is Ahmadinejad Jewish?

By Simon Round, July 9, 2009

Could Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad possibly be Jewish?

Well he is certainly very sensitive about the suggestion. A blogger who suggested that he might have some Jewish ancestry has been arrested.

Dr Mehdi Khazali was reportedly detained after writing on his website earlier this year that the president had changed his family name from Saburjian — thought to be Jewish in origin. And during the election campaign, reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi also challenged Ahmadinejad in a live TV debate to give his full name.

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Bottle of dry red

By Simon Round, July 2, 2009

First there was freeze dried coffee — now there is freeze dried blood.

Scientists in Israel are working with the army to turn IDF soldiers’ blood into a freeze dried powder.

The plan is that the powder will be sent to the battlefield with the soldier and in the event that a transfusion is needed, it can be stirred in with a little water to create a lifesaving solution.

Brigadier General Dr Nachman Ash, head of the medical corps, told reporters if the idea proves itself it could also be adapted to civilian life.

Great idea — and much less messy than the liquid version.

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Sainthood for Sacks?

By Simon Round, July 2, 2009

Could it be that Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is keeping quiet about a change in his status?

The Mayor of Enfield, Eleftherios Savva, recently wrote to Alan Sless of Enfield and Winchmore Hill Synagogue: “I enjoyed…the opportunity to meet Chief Rabbi Professor St Jonathan Sacks.”

Is it time to rename his shul, St Jonathan’s Wood Synagogue?

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Costumes make a splash

By Simon Round, July 2, 2009

Just in time for the heatwave, strictly Orthodox women are being offered the opportunity to buy a fully modest line of swimwear.

As temperatures soar into the 30s, a new line of swimming costumes, called Sea Secret, has been designed by two French-born Orthodox Jews.

They feature below-the-arm and below-the-knee swimwear designed for women who want to hang out at the beach but still wish to maintain Orthodox standards.

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Koogle is kosher

By Simon Round, June 18, 2009

Until now, strictly Orthodox Jews have been reluctant to use the internet search engine, Google, for fear of clicking on something immodest or unkosher.

Now, they do not have to — they can Koogle it instead.
The new Orthodox-friendly search engine — a pun on the haimishe potato bake — filters out religiously objectionable material.

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Not All Right, Wright

By Simon Round, June 18, 2009

President Barack Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, made the headlines last week when he asserted “them Jews” were depriving him of access to Obama.

The negative publicity persuaded him to apologise. “I’m not talking about all Jews... I’m talking about Zionists,” he explained.
Oh, well that’s OK then.

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Adam: Al qaeda’s top jew

By Simon Round, June 18, 2009

They say the Jews get everywhere, well here is proof that one has ended up in a very unlikely position — running Al Qaeda.
Adam Yahiye Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American, is one of the most influential Al Qaeda activists. In a new video, he has spoken about his Jewish roots for the first time.

Gadahn’s grandfather was Jewish but don’t expect any reminiscences about bowls of chicken soup on a Friday night.

Gadahn is fairly hardcore — indeed, he is on the FBI’s most wanted list,

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