The Diary

A brief encounter

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

Natan Sharansky, last of the speakers at the Israeli embassy's Yom Ha'atzmaut do in London on Monday, sensed the audience was getting restless. So the diminutive Jewish Agency chairman reassured them: "I promise to be very short".

More..

Don't say 'terrorist'

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

You can only marvel at the BBC's efforts to preserve neutrality. A recent TV news report, noting that the 2012 Olympics would mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes, said the attack had been carried out by Palestinian "paramilitaries".

More..

Second thoughts on peace?

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

The Palestinian diplomatic mission in London seems to be in two minds, judging from its website.

Its tourism section describes Palestine as comprising East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

But the interactive map (right) on its "Discover Palestine" page, decked out in the colours of the Palestinian flag, takes in all of pre-67 Israel.

More..

Jemima's goodwill mission

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

Jemima Khan found herself the centre of unwelcome attention last week after feeling forced to deny malicious rumours on Twitter. But she will be happier at publicity over her involvement in an event tonight.

More..

A kippah cure for baldness

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

When your hair is rapidly disappearing and your head begins to resemble a desert, you confront an obvious problem: how do you clip on your kippah?

Well, Brooklyn artist Mark Svartz has found the answer; the hairmulka. A yarmulke attached to fronds of fake hair, it will happily sit atop the most denuded scalp.

More..

Diplomatic dynamos

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

You would probably think I was living in a parallel universe if I told you that Israel had won a "best delegation" prize at the United Nations.

More..

The wisdom of Solomon

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

It's good to see Stacey Solomon carving out a TV career, now as co-host of ITV1 Saturday night show Sing If You Can.

She has also published her autobiography this week - at the tender age of 21. But its title, My Story So Far, is no great shakes. After her I'm A Celebrity exploits, why not something a bit more literary like Confessions of a Kangaroo Shmekel-Eater?

More..

Randall on the money

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

leading business journalist Jeff Randall has shown he is no mean fundraiser by heading the quest for £1.5 million for a Jewish studies chair at his old university, Nottingham.

More..

Get hammered for Israel

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

Enjoy the Hebrew Hammer, a blend of vodka, curaçao, lemon and lemonade, concocted specially for students celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut by the Duke of Cambridge, a cocktail bar in Oxford. It's blue and white (with the ice). They ought to serve it at the Bicom Israel conference on Sunday.

More..

Indy writer's Israel rethink

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

When it comes to Israel, Independent columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown belongs with the bashers rather than the backslappers. So some readers were left rubbing their eyes on Monday when she suggested that Israel's supporters may have a point in complaining that it is unfairly picked on by the left.

More..