The Diary

Goldberg’s contract

By Simon Round, May 14, 2009

Keen readers of the JC’s Social & Personal column (aren’t we all?) will have noticed that prominent QC (and the JC’s legal columnist) Jonathan Goldberg has announced that he is to get married “quietly” to his American fiancee, Regina Skyer in New York in October.

We are glad he decided not to keep the engagement quiet, too.

More..

Iraq’s reactor reaction

By Simon Round, May 14, 2009

The Iraqi Foreign Affairs Committee is (rather belatedly) planning to sue Israel for damages following the bombing of its nuclear reactor in 1981.

This is in reaction to recent reports that a Jewish organisation was demanding compensation for the families of Jews who fled the country in 1947. MP Muhammad Naji Mahmoud has proposed the country sues Israel for “billions of dollars” over the reactor bombing.

More..

The Jewish Chronicle loves me, says Omid

By Simon Round, May 7, 2009

Iranian-born Omid Djalili has recently been in the news over a Jewish joke to which BBC3 controller Danny Cohen took exception.

However, in his BBC1 show this week, Djalili reminded viewers of his Jewish credentials. Back in the ’90s he performed a show called The Arab and the Jew with Ivor Dembina.

He said: “The Jewish Chronicle called it a beacon of light in an otherwise hopeless situation.” But The Scotsman was not so complimentary. “They said the Arab is better than the Jew but only in the sense that emphysema is better than full-blown lung cancer.”

More..

Stressed? Eat a tomato

By Simon Round, May 7, 2009

The results of new research announced at a conference in Israel indicates that Israeli tomatoes can considerably reduce blood pressure — and may therefore be the perfect antidote to life in the country itself.

Tomato capsules, which are made from modified, Israeli-grown tomatoes, reduced the blood pressure of volunteers.

Better red than dead then.

More..

BMI: We can’t find Israel

By Simon Round, May 7, 2009

Passengers on BMI flights to Tel Aviv were in uproar after Israel was wiped off the inflight map — which instead showed the plane heading for Mecca.

The airline denied that it had an anti-Israel agenda. BMI said that the plane had recently been bought from a bankrupt Muslim charter airline and the map had been adapted to show places holy to Islam. A statement announced: “If BMI has any political agenda not to anger neighbouring countries it would not have invested so much in the Tel Aviv line.”

More..

Syria’s partying

By Simon Round, April 29, 2009

JC columnist Geoffrey Alderman was very surprised to find himself invited by the Syrian Ambassador, Sami Khiyami, to the annual celebration of Syria’s “National Day” at the country’s embassy in London.

Said Alderman: “I have not a clue why I was invited but I accepted. The only person I recognised at the reception was Jeremy Bowen.”

As the only guest sporting a kippah, Alderman admitted that he did receive one or two perplexed glances but said that the behaviour of his hosts was “punctilious”.

More..

Israel has a pig broblem

By Simon Round, April 29, 2009

The outbreak of swine flu is causing consternation in Israel where even the name is controversial.

Because pork is not kosher, Israel’s deputy health minister Yakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party has said the virus should be called “Mexican flu”.

No one seems to be listening. Everyone is too worried about catching the virus.

More..

It’s no joke for Danny

By Simon Round, April 29, 2009

It is not just at Durban II that Iranians and Jews have clashed recently.

At a recent internal BBC conference, Iranian-born comedian Omid Djalili launched into a tirade against BBC3 controller Danny Cohen over the use of what he perceived as offensive material on the channel. Then Cohen retorted that he had been offended by a joke that Djalili had told about the Jewish Secret Service (What is it called? Answer: MI6, MI5, MI4, MI3...MI final offer?)

More..

Freud back on list

By Simon Round, April 22, 2009

Of all the newspaper reports following the death of Sir Clement Freud last week, the one which he would be least happy about was the story that appeared on the JC’s website.

Back in 1974, when Freud was a Liberal MP, he demanded that he be removed from a list of Jewish parliamentarians compiled by the JC — despite the fact that he came from a Jewish family which fled the Nazis and that his grandfather was the Jewish psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud.

If we ever make a list of deceased Jewish Members of Parliament, rest assured that Freud will be on it.

More..

No eggs and it’s no yoke

By Simon Round, April 22, 2009

Following Easter, shoppers may well be sick of the sight of eggs, but in Israel, they just cannot get enough of them.

Such has been the run on eggs over Pesach that major supermarkets have run out as exhausted Israeli chickens fail to keep up with demand.

Chicken farmers are said to be working overtime to, er, crack the problem.

More..