The Diary

Oops, left daughter behind

By Simon Round, August 8, 2008

We all know what it's like when you go on holiday - there's so much to take with you - passport, toothbrush, suncream etc - that it's easy to end up forgetting something. So let's lay off the poor parents who left their four-year-old daughter behind at Ben-Gurion Airport when they boarded a flight from Tel Aviv to Paris. After all, the unnamed Orthodox couple were late for their plane and in a terrible rush. They were carrying a large amount of luggage too - all of which they made sure accompanied the on board.

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Kabbalah, with free parking

By Simon Round, August 8, 2008

The Kabbalah Centre in midtown Manhattan is under attack - not for its religious practices but for its parking privileges. The centre, spiritual home of Madonna and other celebrities, has been issued 10 permits by the city authorities, which allows it to ignore restrictions outside its East 48th Street building.

Transportation Alternatives, a parking lobby group, has protested that the centre doesn't warrant special treatment, and most religious groups are usually allowed only one or two permits. But so far it has survived New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's crackdown.

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Coren still poles apart

By Simon Round, August 8, 2008

He's done it again. Last week, The Diary reported on how Giles Coren, The Times' restaurant critic and columnist, had annoyed Poles by accusing them of remaining in denial about their responsibility for the Holocaust.

In his latest column last Saturday, an unrepentant Coren responded to a critical letter from Polish ambassador Barbara Tuge-Erecinska by raising the Kielce pogrom of 1946, in which Polish Jews returning home after liberation from the camps were killed by Poles. That should keep the postman busy for another week.

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Knitters in a twist

By Simon Round, August 8, 2008

The American Anti Defamation League has got the needle over a recently published British knitting book which features an Adolf Hitler doll. The book, by Rachael Matthews, bizarrely includes instructions on knitting figures of historical dictators and has a picture of a Hitler doll adorning its cover. "It shows a profound failure by Ms Matthews to understand the horror of Hitler's Nazi machine," raged ADL national director Abraham H Foxman.

Well, it certainly seems a bit loopy.

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Obama is on message

By Simon Round, August 1, 2008

A yeshivah student has gone on television in Israel to confess to stealing the note written and placed in the Western wall by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The shamed student, identified only as Aleph, said on Israeli TV that he had passed the note over to the press. Aleph said: "I'm sorry. It was a kind of prank . I hope he wasn't hurt."

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Hacked off with Iranians

By Simon Round, August 1, 2008

They may not have their hands on nuclear weapons yet, but Iran is already at war with Israel - on the internet at least.

Hackers have made repeated efforts to block a message posted by senior American-Jewish figure Malcolm Hoenlein.

In it, Hoenlein tells the people of Iran: "We want to work with you. It is regrettable that you have a leadership that does not care about your welfare."

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Election coverage

By Simon Round, August 1, 2008

Republican and Democrat Jews can now wear their allegiance on their heads ahead of this year's presidential election with kippot from www.vanitykippah.com website

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Chinese say no to fishballs

By Simon Round, August 1, 2008

Last week we reported that due to government restrictions, kosher food could be thin on the ground come the start of the Olympics.

However, kosher athletes will have somewhere to go. Beijing's only kosher restaurant, Dini's, has stockpiled 7.5 tons of kosher beef and nine tons of chicken and plans to open 24 hours a day.

Chinese diners have been curious about the restaurant, and given their lack of squeamishness about eating any part of any animal, one would imagine they would be adventurous eaters.

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Theo’s car quip backfires

By Simon Round, July 25, 2008

Dragon’s Den judge Theo Paphitis is in hot water with viewers over a remark made on Sunday’s edition of Top Gear on BBC1.

The corporation has  received several complaints over Paphitis’s remark that fellow Dragon Peter Jones’s beige-coloured car was “Jewish racing gold”.

A Board of Deputies spokesman said: “The phrase ‘Jewish racing gold’ is known to us as a colloquial reference to a type of colour for a car; a phrase that has unfortunately leaked into mainstream usage.

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Party leaders’ lunch date

By Simon Round, July 25, 2008

It is not often that you get Gordon Brown and David Cameron to agree on anything, but both felt they wanted to mark an important milestone for the Jewish community. In 1858, Lionel de Rothschild became the first Jewish MP, and 150 years later representatives of all the main parties attended a lunch last Thursday at the House of Lords to mark the anniversary.

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