The Diary

Spare our meat, Mr Wilders

By Simon Rocker, March 17, 2011

Holland's Party for Freedom, led by the combative Geert Wilders, is among those backing a new bill which would effectively end shechitah there through compulsory stunning. Mr Wilders was once barred from Britain because of his views on Muslims - he has called for a ban on the Koran - although he was allowed in last year.

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The happiest man in America

By Simon Rocker, March 10, 2011

If you want to be happy, take a cue from Alvin Wong of Hawaii.

According to a formula used by Gallup to measure wellbeing, the paragon of contentment would be a tallish Asian-American Jew who was in his 60s, married with children, living in Hawaii and earning more than £80,000 year.

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Elite company for Mr Blair

By Simon Rocker, March 10, 2011

The Israeli press has taken an interest in the hospitality apparently being shown to the Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair by local businesswoman Ofra Strauss. The glamorous divorcee chairs the Strauss group, Israel's second largest food manufacturer whose products include Elite chocolates.

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The great sports conspiracy

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

You can't fool the Iranians, who have rumbled that the 2012 Olympic Games is a cunning plan to promote the interests of Israel. Their delegation protested to the International Olympic Committee this week that the official logo for the London Olympiad spells the word "Zion".

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Make Dana our diplomat

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

several British-born diplomats have been tipped to replace Ron Prosor as Israel's UK envoy, including Mark Sofer and Daniel Taub.

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The wig that went missing

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

New Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner got short shrift from Sunday Times critic A A Gill who called it a "sad and feeble leftover thing". He noted there was little Jewish about it besides Tamsin Greig's shtetl? Shtetl? I am reliably informed the gremlins got to his copy and he actually wrote sheitl.

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Sex please, we're Jewish

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

A survey of Nottingham students from six religions found that Jews were the most permissive in their attitudes towards sex.

More than 70 per cent of our youngsters claimed to be sexually active - 27 per cent higher than the average.

Better start sending the chaplains round with chastity belts.

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Reform's royal invitation

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

Recently retired Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield is certainly in royal favour. Having collected his CBE from Buckingham Palace last week, he has been invited to dine with the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle early in April. At the end of the month he will join them again, this time in Westminster Abbey for the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

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Trotsky and the pop star

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

Genealogists, here is a mission for you. The Evening Standard reported that Sylvia Young, founder of the London theatrical school, believes she is related to Leon Trotsky.

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BBC's history in the making

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

After recently revealing BBC plans for a Simon Schama history of the Jews, I can now give more details.

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