The Diary

Barking up the wrong tree

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

Despite web rumour, Kate Middleton is unlikely to be of Jewish stock.

What's stirred it is that her mother Carole was born Goldsmith: and further up the matrilineal line lies great-great-grandma Elizabeth Myers.

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Lock, stock and mohel

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

Madonna took her commitment to the Kabbalah Centre so seriously that she not only had her son circumcised but also her ex-husband, film-maker Guy Ritchie, according to the centre's Karen Berg, quoted in New York magazine.

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Beware of the sauce

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

Israeli cuisine is coming up in the world. Still, I wonder at the Tel Aviv restaurant whose menu included the following item: gnocchi with "chess nuts, parmegano reggiano and fresh pee" (sic). That's carrying the search for organic ingredients a bit too far.

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The Apprentice absentees

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

Apprentice master Lord Sugar may be the only Jew in the boardroom in the new series of the show. While no fewer than a quarter of last year's 16 candidates were Jewish, this year's crop has yet to reveal the slightest heimishe trace.

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Israel's royal celebration

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

The last royal wedding must have taken place in Israel a couple of millennia ago and probably involved one of the Herods.

But some British expats are planning to celebrate today's marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

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Not so festive in Palestine

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

Among those who made the Pesach exodus from London was Jewish Book Week director Geraldine D'Amico. But while others reclined in Herzliya or Eilat, she followed a different itinerary, visiting the West Bank as guest of the British Council-backed Palestine Festival of Literature.

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Musical mastermind

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

JC editor Stephen Pollard will be on BBC Radio 4 on Monday lunchtime, but he won't be talking about antisemitism or Israel. He will be taking part in a heat of Counterpoint, a musical equivalent to Mastermind, where among other things he will be tested on his knowledge of Puccini.

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Stoning shul truants

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

Nonsense of the Week award goes to atheist philosopher A.C. Grayling, who was quoted in Metro saying that there was a chapter in Deuteronomy which tells you "how you should stone to death anybody who doesn't go to synagogue on the Sabbath".

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Hard to put the lid on yid

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

Spurs supporters cocked a predictable snook last week at attempts to ban the word "yid" and the antisemitism it reflects on the terraces.

Only days after the the Baddiel brothers released their anti-racism film The Y-Word, White Hart Lane fans, used to styling themselves the "Yid Army", raised the familar chant during last week's derby with Arsenal.

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Mr Hague clears his diary

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

I was about to tell you of frustration within the Board of Deputies that it still had not been granted a meeting with Foreign Secretary William Hague two months after making the request for one.

The Board had become worried about British policy after the UK's UN envoy voiced hopes of seeing a Palestinian state by September.

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