The Diary

Hurndall drama turn-off

By Simon Round, October 10, 2008

We at the Diary enjoy a conspiracy theory as much as the next column, and therefore are always on the lookout for television programmes with Jewish content programmed for times when Jews cannot watch.
The latest example is The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall - a drama based on the shooting of the British peace activist by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip five years ago.

The film will be shown next Monday evening, when religious Jews will be observing Succot and therefore cannot watch television.

Coincidence? The truth is out there.

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A Religious wave in LA

By Simon Round, October 10, 2008

They do enjoy unusual blessings in California. Recently the JC reported on the gay San Francisco shul which had come up with a brachah for "unexpected sex".

Meanwhile, down in LA there is a different preoccupation - the surf. A rabbi was among several religious leaders who turned up to "bless the waves".

Explained Carol Weinfeld of Temple Beth David: "Some people pray in forests and others by a calm cool lake."

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So, Israel will eat Iran

By Simon Round, October 10, 2008

Here's a contender for the best newspaper correction of the year.

Israeli daily Ha'aretz explained that, in its interview with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, the minister intended to say that Israel would "hit Iran" before it obtained a nuclear bomb, and not "eat Iran" as published in the newspaper. The transcript of the interview, which was conducted in English, was approved by the minister's aides before publication.

Ha'aretz said it regretted the misunderstanding.

It all leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

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‘Awan’ Yentob will be angry

By Simon Round, October 3, 2008

The Diary predicts that heads may soon be rolling at the Radio Times.

The creative director at the BBC, Alan Yentob, is one of the corporation's very top men, who may not be amused to see that the listing for his Imagine programme shown on September 27, has him listed as "Awan Yentob".

There is however, a remote possibility that, as Yentob is of Iraqi-Jewish descent, he may have reverted to the Middle Eastern version of his name.

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Bridge makes people cross

By Simon Round, October 3, 2008

The new Calatravva Bridge in Jerusalem has been controversial since its inception - the main sticking point being whether is should have been built, given its high cost.

However, a new problem has cropped up. Some residents have complained that residents in certain areas near the bridge claim it is possible to look up the skirts of women (and Scottish people) crossing the bridge. This has caused consternation, given the religious traffic in Jerusalem.

Could this now be the world's first bridge with a mechitzah?

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IDF is watching Big brother

By Simon Round, October 2, 2008

Big Brother has finally hit Israel, along with all the normal controversy which comes with the programme.
However, there is one group which is particularly uneasy about the content of the programme - Israel's military censors. They have already warned the producers that the participants have to stop talking about their military service, for fear that secrets may inadvertently be revealed on live TV.

Production company Keshet attracted complaints from viewers concerned about loose talk which the IDF decided could cost lives.

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Nippers back Barack

By Simon Round, October 2, 2008

If Barack Obama sweeps to victory in the US presidential elections next month, it may be partly due to his secret weapon - Jewish grandchildren.

One of the more weirdly named support groups for the Democrat nominee for the top job is "Jewish Grandchildren for Obama", which was set up, according to its blurb, to "help educate older generations of Jewish voters about why Obama is the best choice - domestically and internationally".

But why stop there? We could have Jewish nieces for McCain and perhaps even Jewish kilt-wearers for Brown.

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Broiges of the week: Gabriella Shalev v Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann

October 2, 2008

Israel's new ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriella Shalev, is furious with the organisation's General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, who hugged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following a rabidly anti-Israel speech by the Iranian President. Said Shalev: "The man [Brockmann] is known for his dislike for Israel, to put it mildly, and those who heard the speech could think that Israel is the most important country in the world, as if there are no other problems or hotbeds of terrorism in the world."

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Tim Walker and ‘ethics’ at the Telegraph

By Simon Round, September 26, 2008

Here is a question for Telegraph editor Will Lewis. What does it say about your diarist Tim Walker's professional standards that, once again, we find his column printing original JC material unattributed, as if it were his own? The latest example has Walker quoting Lord Levy as saying that David Miliband "doesn't have the gravitas or the stature to be a great leader of the Labour Party. But talk to me in 10 years' time...", and so on.

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Are Japanese really Japs?

By Simon Round, September 26, 2008

Could the Japanese actually be Jewish? The Oniazuma website carries an article which claims that they may just be one of the lost tribes of Israel.

For instance, one of Japan's largest festivals, the Gion festival, is believed by many to be the same as ancient Israel's Zion festival. And the Japanese Shintoist holy day is Yamoboko Junko, or "going atop the mountain to rest the shrine" - a link to Noah's Ark, perhaps.

It may all be nonsense... but it might explain why so many of us love sushi so much.

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