Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.
- Marcus Dysch
Oct 28, 2011
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has been forced to cancel a conference with trade unionists which was due to take place tomorrow.
The event was expected to promote boycott methods and encourage local groups to support BDS measures against Israel. Speakers were to include RMT general secretary Bob Crow.
In a statement, the PSC said the event would be rescheduled for next year and said the move was being made to avoid disrupting preparations for the day of strike action which unions are planning for November 30.
- Orlando Radice
Oct 19, 2011
Once you have got over the surreality of it all, one’s first thought on the release of Gilad Shalit might be: so if Israel and the Palestinians can knit a deal like this together – which took years of proposals, planning and attempts at indirect talks – why can’t they get down to the bigger business of peace talks?
It is a valid question. However, the answer lies in exactly the same place that the question emerges from: the very reason Israel can countenance exchanging over 1,000 hardened murderers for a single soldier and engage in talks with one of its deadliest enemies is that Israelis’ hearts are welded together more powerfully and defensively than any other national community. The life of Gilad was the life of every youngster who heads into the army. He was indeed the child of the nation.
Now, this is not normal collective thinking. But Israel is not normal. For 63 years it has been worrying over its very existence. Wars and intifadas produced the Shalit deal as much as they wiped out the trust that would underpin a peace settlement.
- Jennifer Lipman
Oct 18, 2011
When Gilad Shalit was captured, most of us didn't have Facebook. There was no Twitter, no iPhone and certainly no iPad.
Barack Obama was still a relatively unknown freshman senator from Illinois and Tony Blair was running this country. The economy hadn't collapsed just yet, Osama bin Laden was nowhere to be found. Newspaper websites were free to browse. The West Wing was still on air in Britain.
While Gilad was in captivity - with almost no word from Hamas about his welfare - his peers were moving on with their lives. They were finishing their army service, going off to see the world. They were starting their studies, falling in love, perhaps even having children.
- Jenni Frazer
Oct 12, 2011
Within hours of the news breaking that a deal has been done to secure the release of Gilad Shalit, the debate about whether it is proper to exchange hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for the sake of one Israeli soldier has re-erupted.
Israel has always held to the tenet that it will do anything and pay a very high price for its citizens, something it has demonstrated over and over again. Those who have suffered at the hands of terrorists are, understandably, unhappy about the swap: a former rabbi in the IDF has warned today that those who are being released will slide back into their old haunts and habits immediately, the better to wreak further havoc on Israel.
I was very struck by the comment on one website in which someone wrote that he did not know how the Shalit family would live with themselves when the next inevitable act of terrorism was committed by someone who had been released so that their son could be free. But who can judge the Shalit family in that way? Who can imagine the pain and suffering undergone by the family in the last five years? And who among us can comprehend the lonely, frightening situation of Gilad himself, never knowing if the next knock on the door was someone coming to kill him?
- Simon Rocker
Oct 3, 2011
I have a seasonal confession to make: I don’t like honey.
From early years, I have avoided spreading it on my challah or dipping my apple in it.
As a child, I used to sprinkle sugar on them instead.
- Jan Shure
Oct 1, 2011
Was I the only (Jewish) person on Planet Fashion who wondered whether there was a spot of divine intervention going on in Paris during Fashion Week when not one but three benches – and front row benches at that – collapsed during the Balenciaga show, which took place on the first day Rosh Hashanah.
I do, of course, sympathise with the fashion capitals – London, Milan and New York as well as Paris – whose organisers all try desperately to fit in all four spring/summer fashion weeks, which take place annually in September, without clashing with Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. Some years it’s easier, when the High Holydays fall late, as the four fashion weeks can usually be crammed in. But often rows erupt between organisers and buyers and journalists when one or other city tries to schedule major shows on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.
Two years ago it was London that offended, scheduling shows on the Yom Kippur and provoking the wrath of some senior fashion editors and ensuring that many top US buyers would be absent.
- Jan Shure
Oct 1, 2011
There’s been weird stuff going on between The Times fashion pages and The JC fashion pages… cue X Files music.
Last Saturday, September 24, the Times carried a fashion story about impossibly high shoes, and how the fashion pack refused to give them up. Under the headline “The fashion pack is really not over heels” new fashion editor Laura Craik wrote about “taxi shoes”, how the fashion editors and top fashion bloggers were clinging on to their impossibly high heels and how this was fine if you had a car waiting to transport you between runway shows, but not so great if you were a real person having to occasionally walk or run…
Observant readers (and I am not talking religiously observant here) may have spotted that the most recent edition of the JC, September 30, which came out on Wednesday – two days early because of Rosh Hashanah – also contained a story about shoes, how the fashion pack were wearing “taxi shoes” with impossibly high heels, and how this worked if you “had a limo purring” at the kerb, but not so much if you were a real woman who needed to walk, etc.
- James Masters
Sep 28, 2011
It has been a tough week in the sports department at the JC office with a certain Mr Caro still reeling from North London Raiders dismal start to the season.
It probably doesn’t help when you’re subjected to chants of ‘Danny Dire’ or ‘Caro out’ each time you walk in and out although it’s certainly entertaining to watch.
Three defeats and a draw in their opening four games has seen twitter inundated with accusations that Danny may just be the MSFL’s very own version of Steve McClaren and he’s even been spotted taking a very long and hard look at himself in the mirror.
- Simon Rocker
Sep 21, 2011
Earlier this year I ran an article about an enigmatic collection of lead books which, it was being argued, were ancient Jewish mystical texts.
Immediately, rival theories began to appear all over the media here and abroad that these were early Christian codices.
But the claims of antiquity began to be debunked on the blogs.
- Marcus Dysch
Sep 16, 2011
The Union of Jewish Students announced plans this week to launch a "radical, progressive" campaign, encouraging students to speak up for the rights and "liberation" of both Israelis and Palestinians.
It includes proposals to ask Jewish students arriving at universities in the coming weeks to support "two states for two peoples" and hand out Israeli and Palestinian flags.
The campaign has already led to online debate between students over how they want to be represented by UJS and what effect the proposals could have.