The Diary

Belle de Juives' pillow talk

By Simon Rocker, November 19, 2009

So now we know. Belle de Jour, the anonymous blogger and author of The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, finally unmasked herself this week – as a now Bristol-based medical research scientist, Brooke Magnanti.

As we revealed three years ago, Belle was our Belle, who during an online interview fondly recalled Friday nights at her grandmother’s, Jewish youth summer camps and felafel in Israel.

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Two literary bedfellows

By Simon Rocker, November 19, 2009

Amos Oz and Philip Roth, both wrongly fancied for this year’s Nobel Prize, are up for another literary award, which, alas, is not one that they are likely to wish to add to the trophy store. They have been shortlisted by the Literary Review for the annual Bad Sex in Fiction award, set up to mock dubious descriptions of erotic activity.

Roth has been nominated for a scene in The Humbling, a tale of an ageing actor and a lesbian, while Oz for a novelist’s reveries about a waitress in Rhyming Life with Death.

I shall spare you further detail.

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What's the beef?

By Simon Rocker, November 19, 2009

A reader was perturbed by Gastropub owners Geronimo Inns’ plan to bring in some different cuts of meat, called clod, sticket, knuckle and “Jewish fillet”.

Does the last term not have some doubtful origin, he asked? It, in fact, refers to the forequarter portion popular in the kosher trade because the rabbis do not permit true fillet.

And why can’t you get kosher fillet? Don’t get me started on that.

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A foodian slip

By Simon Rocker, November 19, 2009

"This fantastic evening," said Norwood president Richard Desmond, introducing Carol Sopher, chairman of the charity’s annual dinner on Monday, "has been organised by Carole Sobell".

Whoops! Ms Sobell was not even the caterer, which was Tony Page. Made aware of the error, Mr Desmond continued, “Sorry Carol... What do you want to call me?”

The gracious hostess declined the offer. Any suggestions?

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Ramsgate's golden gift

By Simon Rocker, November 12, 2009

The Mayor of the Ramsgate, David Green, was due to drop into the London Jewish Cultural Centre this week for the launch of a costume exhibition designed by one of his constituents, Mark Negin.

He was expected to wear the priceless golden chain of office donated by one of the town’s most illustrious former inhabitants, Sir Moses Montefiore.

So priceless that the Mayor may only wear it if guarded by his Sergeant who, should the Mayor be attacked, is under orders to protect the chain first.

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Eliot the antisemite

By Simon Rocker, November 12, 2009

TS Eliot’s antisemitism has been a matter of heated debate in literary circles but fresh evidence of it comes in a new edition of the poet’s letters.

In one, Eliot wrote that he was “sick of doing business with Jew publishers”; in another, he thought that “racial envy” tipped Jews towards Bolshevism. Not to mention his mother having an “instinctive antipathy to Jews, just as I have to certain animals”.

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Tongue-tied Edwina

By Simon Rocker, November 12, 2009

Former minister Edwina Currie has been taking a breather from current affairs in her post-political years. On a JC Any Questions panel at Nightingale House this week, she was asked her view of the JFS case at the Supreme Court and the Goldstone report on Gaza.“Excuse me, what is the Goldstone report?” she was heard to remark, with JFS equally an enigma.

Quick, someone, buy her a JC subscription for Chanucah.

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Stacey's snappy dad

By Simon Rocker, November 12, 2009

While Stacey Solomon sings her way towards TV stardom, her dad David is busy capturing happy memories as a simchah photographer. His speciality is Charedi dos, judging from the smiling couples in his online gallery such as Betzalel and Esty, Moshe and Sheina, Shloimele and Miriam.

Pity they don’t allow women wedding singers at frum functions, because I am sure Stacey does a mean Siman Tov Umazeltov.

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Ross Kemp takes on Israel

By Simon Rocker, November 12, 2009

A few weeks ago we reported a sighting of EastEnders actor Ross Kemp frolicking off the Tel Aviv beach.

But there was more to his visit than may have appeared. Sky have revealed that he is to present a two-part documentary series in January on the political situation in Israel and Gaza.

The programmes will give people “a better understanding of this complex and troubled part of the world”, he hopes.

His TV documentary career has already led him to explore gang warfare and soldiering in Afghanistan.

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Punch and Juju

By Simon Rocker, November 5, 2009

Wanted: four to six “fairly observant” Jewish lads, aged between 16 and 25, willing to spend a weekend in Newcastle next month with some Muslim peers for a video project. Filmmakers Juju Productions want to record the “jovial rivalry” between the two groups, culminating in a trip to watch the world boxing title fight between Muslim Amir Khan and Jewish Dmitry Salita in the city on the night of Saturday December 5.

The young spectators are meant to bond in interfaith fraternity while their light-welterweight role models try to pound each other to a pulp.

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