The Diary

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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Naked before the law

By Simon Round, December 30, 2008

An Israeli man found himself briefly behind bars after a card game went terribly wrong.

The Ashdod man, in his 20s, lost the game and a bet, according to which the loser had to run naked through the streets of the town, take a swim in the sea and run back again.

He was intercepted by surprised police officers while completing his mission at midnight.

After being arrested on charges of public nudity, the man made an unusual request to officer Levin Constantine. “I ask you to allow me to return to my friends naked.”

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The evidence is complete pants

By Simon Round, December 23, 2008

An Israeli woman has come up with a slightly unusual way of proving that her husband cheated on her.

The woman, in her 50s, took a pair of her husband’s underpants to a lab in a bid to prove that an affair was taking place.

Without going too closely into the rather icky details, the lab was able to confirm that certain, er, secretions, proved that someone had gained access to the aforementioned Y-fronts and that the DNA of the sample did not belong to either the wife or the husband.

The evidence was then supplied to the Rabbinical court as proof that adultery had taken place.

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