The Diary

The Anne Frank flat

By Simon Round, December 4, 2008

The prize for the tasteless Anne Frank promotion of the week goes to an Amsterdam accommodation agency, advertising its holiday apartments near Anne Frank’s house.

“Amsterdam Stay Apartments present the Anne Frank apartment,” announces the website. “Live like Anne Frank during your Amsterdam stay with keys to your own roof attic apartment.”

Living like Anne Frank eh? That means visitors will be locked into an overcrowded apartment with no privacy, restricted food and under constant fear of being betrayed to the Gestapo.

That sounds like a great holiday.

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Koran texts, via Israel

By Simon Round, December 4, 2008

Busy Muslims who are unable to fit in five prayers a day can now get a Koran text service — thanks to an Israeli company. Pelephone now offers users the chance to tap into verses from the Koran whenever they want for £1 a month.

What next? Old testament on demand for Jewish customers? Er, yes. Pelephone has been providing a Bible service since last year.

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Bush’s Chanucah mix-up

By Simon Round, December 4, 2008

The White House has got its seasonal holidays mixed up. Again.

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Maureen on Acid

By Simon Round, November 27, 2008

It has been a big week for confessions by Jewish women of a certain age. Both Maureen Lipman and Esther Rantzen divulged they had been a little wild way back in the '60s.

Lipman says she took LSD as well as cannabis.

"I took it once and rather unpredictably ended up with someone I shouldn't have," she told a Five documentary entitled Sex Drugs and Rock ‘n'Roll: The 60s revealed. However, Lipman was not a hardcore druggie . She admits she never "actually learnt to roll a joint. I guess it was that Jewish Princess stuff".

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Bah humbug

By Simon Round, November 27, 2008

On Monday's Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman interviewed a panel including JC columnist Daniel Finkelstein on the tax rejig. "This is a good Christmas to be Jewish," joked Finkelstein. And a good Chanucah to be Hindu.

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Yasmin’s false start

By Simon Round, November 27, 2008

Independent columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown claimed last Monday that since Stephen Pollard has taken up editorship of the JC, the paper, which formerly expressed a range of views, "is turning hardline".

If true, this would be quite some achievement. Alibhai-Brown's claim about the new, hardline nature of the JC was published several hours before the new man even took charge.

And they say Jews are paranoid.

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Should they be c3n5oring number p1ate5?

By Simon Round, November 27, 2008

An MP has discovered that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is censoring number plates.
Among those which have been withheld are those approximating to the words Hizbollah (HE58OLA), Bus bomb (BU58OMB) and combinations resembling Jihad and Hamas. GA5OVN (gas oven) and GOO5TEP (goose step) have also been banned, as well as combinations of letters and numbers which hint at sex or alcohol.

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Anne Frank a soft target

By Simon Round, November 20, 2008

Alexander Furnishings in Wigmore Street in London's West End is currently stocking a range of cushions with black and white images of heroes, such as the Martin Luther King, Princess Diana, er, Tony Blair and... Anne Frank. Whatever next? Auschwitz prints for the living room wall?

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Obama’s Israeli cousins

By Simon Round, November 20, 2008

One group of Israelis is very happy with the victory of Barack Obama in the US presidential election - they believe they are related to him.

The Bedouin tribesmen of the northern village of Bir al-Maksour say they plan to travel to Washington to congratulate Obama personally.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Abdullah told Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot that Obama's Kenyan grandfather was married to one of the tribe's women. He said: "With us Bedouins, you know who you're related to, even after many generations."

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Can we copy? Yes we can

By Simon Round, November 20, 2008

Have you noticed the stunning similarity between America’s President-elect, Barack Obama and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu? Possibly not. However, if you check out the two politicians’ websites, you will find they are almost identical in appearance, with a blue background and spookily similar layout. Could it be that Obama’s team were so impressed with the veteran Israeli former prime minister’s website that they decided to copy it for their triumphant campaign? Or is it just possible that Netanyahu is hoping that some of the Obama sparkle might rub off on him?

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