The Diary

Sir Alan is our number one

By Simon Round, May 16, 2008

The JC’s Power 100 of the most influential Jews in the country has sparked off plenty of debate in the media — mainly about how we could have possibly have fired (or rather failed to hire) Sir Alan Sugar.

For the record, Sir Alan — who is certainly Jewish and influential — did not make the list because, according to one of the judges, Ben Rich, although he is a generous philanthropist for Jewish causes, “he does not pursue a specific agenda”.

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Shimon Peres in fancy dress

By Simon Round, May 9, 2008

It has often been said that Israeli President Shimon Peres likes to get close to the ladies — well, now he will get his chance to get very close indeed. Israeli fashion designer Galit Levi has come up with a dress printed with the face of Peres and several of his predecessors to celebrate the 60th anniversary of independence. Let’s hope that whoever wears it looks more alluring than some of the rather serious-looking elderly men featured on it.

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Jenny retires - on us

By Simon Round, May 9, 2008

Who says that you cannot make a fortune as an employee of a public corporation?

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IDF shoots itself in foot

By Simon Round, May 9, 2008

The IDF went on the counter-attack after a family of five was killed in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, posting video footage on the internet to show they were not killed by Israeli gunfire as alleged. But attempts by newspapers to spread the word ended with the IDF shooting itself in the foot. It referred requests for pictures to a Jerusalem studio — which offered to release them... for a “handling charge”. Hasbara, anyone?

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Sir Alan would fire them

By Simon Round, May 9, 2008

Writers at The Daily Record in Glasgow slightly misunderstood our Sir Alan Sugar story last week.

Sir Alan told the JC that he was tempted to make a k’nackers special, to pit all those “know-it-all” critics in the media against his apprentices in the sure knowledge that the actual apprentices would win.

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Follow those cab drivers

By Simon Round, May 2, 2008

Researchers at University College London are trying to hail taxi drivers. It’s not that they are attempting to beat the rush hour — it’s the drivers they want rather than the cabs.

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Fritzl? Jewish? Surely not

By Simon Round, May 2, 2008

Of all the horrifying things about the discovery of the basement in Austria in which Eliza Fritzel was held captive since she was 18 by her father Josef, one of the spookiest is the photo of the bedroom in which she was imprisoned.

There, just visible on the wall tiles, are three Stars of David. You don’t think there is any chance he is, do you?

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Bahrain's kosher envoy

May 2, 2008

Jews in America almost certainly have nothing to fear from the person nominated to take over as Bahrain’s ambassador in Washington.

Unusually for a envoy from the Gulf States, the proposed ambassador is a woman, and even more unusually, she is Jewish. Huda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo belongs to the tiny Bahraini Jewish community — her ancestors were immigrants from Iraq.

Good news, but we estimate that the first Saudi Arabian Jewish appointee is still some way off.

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Matzah do about matzah

By Simon Round, May 2, 2008

It’s a problem that crops up at this time every year— what to do with all the matzah left over from Passover. A video posted on YouTube addresses this exact question. Called the Matzah Song, it gives 20 alternative uses for surplus unleavened bread: “Catch it like a frisbee with your friends in the park, or you could jump in the water and pretend you’re a shark. You can use it as a coaster when you’re drinking beer, or throw it as confetti for a happy new year.” Composers Michelle Citrin and William Levin even suggest — wait for it — eating it.

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On a wing and a prayer

By Simon Round, April 25, 2008

A passenger was thrown off an aircraft last week — for davening. The man, a strictly Orthodox Jew, went to the back of a United Airlines jet to pray shortly before take-off from New York’s Kennedy Airport. However, the plane was unable to take off for San Francisco while the man was unseated. Three flight attendants were unable to persuade him to interrupt his ma’ariv prayers — the man’s friends attempted to explain to them that, as Magnus Magnusson would have put it, once he had started he had to finish.

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