The Diary

Never the twain...

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2010

Two demos took place outside the Israeli Embassy in London this week, both of them Jewish. Hundreds of charedim rallied on Tuesday against the disturbance of ancient graves in Israel.

The previous day Liberal women held a vigil in support of Anat Hoffman, arrested for praying at the Western Wall. Pity the poor police had the two events clashed.

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Tomb Raider Torah

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2010

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie says she wants her six children to have knowledge of all faiths so they can make their own choice when they grow up. The heroine of Tomb Raider revealed that she even has a Torah in the house.

Jolie, by the way, is daughter of actor Jon Voight, who although non-Jewish, is a prominent supporter of Lubavitch.

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Low blow at the high table

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2010

University teacher Eve Garrard was taken aback when at an academic dinner she heard a fellow diner remark, "Bloody Jews!" Confronted, he tried to justify the comment, claiming Israel was "the same as the Nazis". But we want to know: who is the culprit?

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Ron: it was over the line

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

Frank Lampard's goal-that-never-was against Germany has been debated ad nauseam. But now the Chelsea and England playmaker is being used as a metaphor for the Middle East conflict.

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor compared Lampard's disallowed effort to those people who fail to see that Israel's critics have "crossed the red line" in demonising the state. Perhaps we could do with goal-line technology in both cases.

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Achtung, Irving's on tour

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

Life as a jobbing Holocaust denier can be tough in a recession. So "historian" David Irving has come up with a cunning plan. How about guided tours of Hitler's Secret Headquarters?

Irving is proposing you join him this September for, "a week-long guided tour of Hitler's secret headquarters and other historic sites".

Participants will get the chance to gain a real insight into one of the world's most reviled and ridiculed extremists. Oh, and there will be plenty of stuff about Hitler too.

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Rabbi v Home Secretary

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

There was high excitement at the JC newsdesk this week when details of a court hearing was emailed to us. But the case of Rabbi v Secretary of State For the Home Department turned out to concern an application made by one Abdi Sharif Rabbi.

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Bieber's Korea move

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

Teenage pop sensation Justin Bieber has been calling on fans to vote for the country they would most like him to visit on his upcoming My World tour. After the votes were counted, the country in second place was Israel with 624,803 votes, beaten narrowly by… North Korea.

Hmm, either the
Democratic People's Republic is unexpect-edly full of Bieber fans, or voters were not treating the poll with the gravity it deserved.

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BB's Ben on his bum

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

The last ever Big Brother boasts the last ever Jewish contestant.

Thirty-year-old Ben Duncan is a journalist obsessed with the Middle East who yearns to be an Arab. Asked by a housemate what the word tuches meant, he replied, "it's Latin for bum".

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Reform's early kick off

By Simon Rocker, July 1, 2010

The English soccer team may be cloven-hooved, but at least Reform leaders showed nimble feet. With the movement's annual meeting scheduled for Sunday afternoon, right in the middle of England's World Cup game against Germany, they hastily brought forward the meeting, slashed the agenda and gave strict orders to end well before the start of the match.

After the English performance, many of those who dashed home to watch must have wondered whether it was worth the effort. But movement head Rabbi Tony Bayfield can draw some consolation: at least a West Ham player scored.

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Bad call for shul visitors

By Simon Rocker, July 1, 2010

Bar- and bat-mitzvahs may bring lots of people to shul but visitors still appear to struggle with Shabbat etiquette.

Security staff at one United Synagogue confiscated a staggering 45 mobile phones and two cameras at the door on a recent Saturday morning.

In another instance, the warden of a synagogue was asked by a visitor if his shul had Wi-Fi. But the biscuit must be taken by the man who managed to smuggle his mobile in to the service and was caught texting for a takeaway.

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