The Diary

Israel's royal celebration

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

The last royal wedding must have taken place in Israel a couple of millennia ago and probably involved one of the Herods.

But some British expats are planning to celebrate today's marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

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Not so festive in Palestine

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

Among those who made the Pesach exodus from London was Jewish Book Week director Geraldine D'Amico. But while others reclined in Herzliya or Eilat, she followed a different itinerary, visiting the West Bank as guest of the British Council-backed Palestine Festival of Literature.

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Musical mastermind

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

JC editor Stephen Pollard will be on BBC Radio 4 on Monday lunchtime, but he won't be talking about antisemitism or Israel. He will be taking part in a heat of Counterpoint, a musical equivalent to Mastermind, where among other things he will be tested on his knowledge of Puccini.

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Stoning shul truants

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

Nonsense of the Week award goes to atheist philosopher A.C. Grayling, who was quoted in Metro saying that there was a chapter in Deuteronomy which tells you "how you should stone to death anybody who doesn't go to synagogue on the Sabbath".

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Hard to put the lid on yid

By Simon Rocker, April 28, 2011

Spurs supporters cocked a predictable snook last week at attempts to ban the word "yid" and the antisemitism it reflects on the terraces.

Only days after the the Baddiel brothers released their anti-racism film The Y-Word, White Hart Lane fans, used to styling themselves the "Yid Army", raised the familar chant during last week's derby with Arsenal.

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Mr Hague clears his diary

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

I was about to tell you of frustration within the Board of Deputies that it still had not been granted a meeting with Foreign Secretary William Hague two months after making the request for one.

The Board had become worried about British policy after the UK's UN envoy voiced hopes of seeing a Palestinian state by September.

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Where Israel shines on TV

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

A round of applause, please, for one television station that has been quietly showing Israel in a positive light.

Take a bow, shopping channel QVC. Whenever my wife switches it on - which is frequently - there seems to be an Israeli jewellery designer promoting their wares.

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Pesach in Corrie St

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

Reader Geoff Levene believes that we were right (and thus Howard Jacobson wrong) in thinking there have been no Jewish characters in Coronation Street. But he recalled that Reg Holdsworth and Curly Watts were once shown in the local store in front of a display of matzot.

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Celebrity shopping

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

Spotted among shoppers filling their unleavened trolleys at Kosher Kingdom in Golders Green last week was none other than master spoonbender Uri Geller.

I shouldn't be surprised if one or two of the horseradishes were left with strange curvatures.

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Shooting the royal couple

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

When Kate Middleton walks down the aisle next week, David Coleman will be watching more intently than most. He will be in charge of directing live TV coverage of the ceremony for ITV and Sky News from the time guests file into the abbey.

A few days later the Stanmore Synagogue member will be on communal duty when he films the Chief Rabbi's Yom Hashoah service in Ilford.

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