The Diary

Prosor, the prince of puns

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

Ron Prosor's penchant for puns will no doubt tax his translators at the United Nations when he takes up his new role there as Israel's envoy next month.

He was certainly quick with the quips at one of his final appearances as London ambassador, at the Bicom Israel advocacy conference on Sunday.

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Serenading the kibbutzniks

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

X Factor contestant Mary Byrne, from Dublin, was the guest of honour at an Israeli embassy reunion in London for kibbutz volunteers to mark the centenary of the collective movement.

She sang for guests, who were served their meals in a room mocked up as a kibbutz dining hall, and said that her year at Kibbutz Geva had "opened her mind to a world of peace".

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A brief encounter

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

Natan Sharansky, last of the speakers at the Israeli embassy's Yom Ha'atzmaut do in London on Monday, sensed the audience was getting restless. So the diminutive Jewish Agency chairman reassured them: "I promise to be very short".

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Don't say 'terrorist'

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

You can only marvel at the BBC's efforts to preserve neutrality. A recent TV news report, noting that the 2012 Olympics would mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes, said the attack had been carried out by Palestinian "paramilitaries".

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Second thoughts on peace?

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

The Palestinian diplomatic mission in London seems to be in two minds, judging from its website.

Its tourism section describes Palestine as comprising East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

But the interactive map (right) on its "Discover Palestine" page, decked out in the colours of the Palestinian flag, takes in all of pre-67 Israel.

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Jemima's goodwill mission

By Simon Rocker, May 19, 2011

Jemima Khan found herself the centre of unwelcome attention last week after feeling forced to deny malicious rumours on Twitter. But she will be happier at publicity over her involvement in an event tonight.

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A kippah cure for baldness

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

When your hair is rapidly disappearing and your head begins to resemble a desert, you confront an obvious problem: how do you clip on your kippah?

Well, Brooklyn artist Mark Svartz has found the answer; the hairmulka. A yarmulke attached to fronds of fake hair, it will happily sit atop the most denuded scalp.

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Diplomatic dynamos

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

You would probably think I was living in a parallel universe if I told you that Israel had won a "best delegation" prize at the United Nations.

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The wisdom of Solomon

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

It's good to see Stacey Solomon carving out a TV career, now as co-host of ITV1 Saturday night show Sing If You Can.

She has also published her autobiography this week - at the tender age of 21. But its title, My Story So Far, is no great shakes. After her I'm A Celebrity exploits, why not something a bit more literary like Confessions of a Kangaroo Shmekel-Eater?

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Randall on the money

By Simon Rocker, May 12, 2011

leading business journalist Jeff Randall has shown he is no mean fundraiser by heading the quest for £1.5 million for a Jewish studies chair at his old university, Nottingham.

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