Jenni Frazer



Work, work, work

By Jenni Frazer, March 26, 2010

Some of us were remembering our lives before the JC, and reminiscing, as you do, about some of the truly terrible jobs we once had.
One of us worked on the check-out at Safeways, sporting a badge with "My name is xxxx. Happy to help." Another worked as a waitress serving Jonathan Ross, Emma Bunton, Dennis Bergkamp (apparently a big tipper.) Another colleague got fired from a fish and chippie for accidentally defrauding the till (mainly because she couldn't add up).

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Interview: Nir Barkat

By Jenni Frazer, March 25, 2010

This time next year, if the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, is to be believed, the first railway line connecting the north and south of the city will open. Next year, too, a Jerusalem marathon will be in place, reflecting the mayor's own love of running. Thousands more tourists will flood in, there will be more cultural events ("last year we broke all records") and more job opportunities.

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My hat

By Jenni Frazer, March 19, 2010

There was the Knesset, all set to pass the most stringent anti-fur legislation in the world, complete with an exemption clause so that Charedim could continue to buy and wear shtreimels, and applauded by Sir Paul McCartney for its humane approach and far-sightedness.
And now what? It's all off.

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And another thing

By Jenni Frazer, March 16, 2010

"In many ways," muses the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, "he's very human." Now, who could we possibly be talking about? A gorilla at London Zoo? A goat? Certainly, some member of the animal kingdom for whom she has a soft spot.
No.
Ms Duffy, of whom I thought better, was referring to footballer David Beckham, to whose ankle, and its torn Achilles tendon, she HAS WRITTEN A POEM.
Give me strength.

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David Kimche

By Jenni Frazer, March 10, 2010

I am getting increasingly fed up at the rise in personal abuse against those who give or gave service in public life. Today, on the Jerusalem Post website, there is a rather nice tribute to the late David Kimche, one-time Mossad leader, diplomat and journalist. Since making aliyah in 1948 from London, David Kimche did everything he possibly could to serve the Jewish nation-state, sometimes in the most secret of ways.

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At last, a solution to the Middle East conflict

By Jenni Frazer, March 10, 2010

Today's political conundrum is brought to you by US Congressman Eric Massa, who asks, plaintively, "Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?"
The congressman, allegedly, was confronted in a White House men's changing room by a furious Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff, who was berating Massa for not voting for President Obama's budget. Mr Massa insists that he was intimidated by Mr Emanuel, not because he was furious, but because he was naked — a claim that the White House has dismissed as rubbish.

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Moddershall Oaks

By Jenni Frazer, March 4, 2010

My dentist thinks this spa is no good for my teeth. He is right: an over-abundance of brown in the interior decoration, and an insistence on dreadful Muzak - sometimes played at earbleed volume - certainly led to an unhealthy level of molar-gnashing on my part.

On the other hand, Moddershall Oaks - just off the M6 between Stafford and Stoke - could just be the fun place for you to get an enjoyable couple of days' worth of rest and relaxation.

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A life well lived

By Jenni Frazer, March 4, 2010

In one of those rare moments of serendipity this morning, I was actually stuck in traffic at the corner of the Vale of Health, in Hampstead, where Michael Foot used to live, while Radio 4 was broadcasting another tribute to the late great Labour leader.
Michael Foot died yesterday, aged 96. Among the many memories of him, revived today and yesterday, was, of course, the fact that while kind, courteous and exquisitely polite, he was also a militant atheist. Michael Foot despised organised religion, his or anyone else's. His religion was socialism.

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How fascinating

By Jenni Frazer, March 2, 2010

According to reports today, the bounding abilities of the Dubai police chief get ever wider and more far-reaching. In a press conference, apparently, "the police chief also said that travellers suspected of being Israeli will not be allowed into the United Arab Emirates even if they arrive with alternative passports.
"He did not explain what procedures would be used to identify the Israeli visitors, except that the police would 'develop skills' to recognise Israelis by 'physical features and the way they speak.'"

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Yuli Edelstein: the man to save Israel's PR crisis?

By Jenni Frazer, February 25, 2010

Israel is suffering its biggest public relations crisis for 20 years, according to its information and diaspora minister.

Yuli Edelstein told 400 guests at the Zionist Federation dinner in London this week: "We are facing the 3Ds- deligitimisation, demonisation, and double standards, pretending to be legitimate criticism of Israeli policies."

While it had become "absolutely disgusting not to talk nicely about Jews," such a taboo no longer applied to Israel or its soldiers.

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Colonel Richard Kemp blasts media's Israel coverage

By Jenni Frazer, February 25, 2010

A leading defence figure has warned of "dark forces" exploiting the international media, including the BBC, and insisted that some criticism of Israel "is based on antisemitism".
Retired Colonel Richard Kemp told a 400-strong audience at the Zionist Federation's 110th anniversary dinner it had been a "privilege" to work alongside members of the Israel Defence Forces during his 30-year career.

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Local hero

By Jenni Frazer, February 22, 2010

Like everyone else in the media world, the BBC PM programme sent a reporter to stand outside Macclesfield train station last week to interview returning commuters about the comments of their local MP, Sir Nicholas Winterton.
For those who don't know, Winterton caused some enjoyable frissons by complaining bitterly that there was no proper funding for MPs only to travel first class, not least because the people in Standard Class - that's you and me - were "different". I.e. noisy and with the temerity to have children who might interrupt Winterton.

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Don't it warm the cockles?

By Jenni Frazer, February 10, 2010

So Bricup, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, is urging, yet again, that a rock star should not play Israel. This time the target is that well-known highly politicised singer (I jest), Sir Elton John, who has announced that he will give a concert in Tel Aviv this June.
I was immensely amused by Bricup's tactic in which it sought to persuade Elton not to go, and to convince him of Israel's innate unsuitability as a venue. He was recommended to read the Goldstone Report.

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As night follows day

By Jenni Frazer, February 8, 2010

How long did it take before Cambridge's Jewish students found out the hard way about throwing the baby out with the bathwater? A whole weekend.
Last week, you may recall, Cambridge's Israel Society withdrew its invitation to Israeli historian Benny Morris, who was due to speak on Thursday night, on the grounds that it did not want "to give racism a platform." Professor Morris had been described by complainants from the university's Islamic and Pakistani societies as "an Islamophobic hate speaker."

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Horn of plenty

By Jenni Frazer, February 5, 2010

According to Ha'aretz, which is unlikely to have got this wrong, the Jerusalem Post editor, David Horovitz, has emailed Professor Naomi Chazan, the president of the New Israel Fund, and told her that her column is no longer required in his paper.

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Criminal behaviour therapy

By Jenni Frazer, January 21, 2010

Frank Tallis’s sixth adventure for his Viennese psychoanalyst, Deadly Communion, (Century, £12.99) is heavy on the psych and not much cop, frankly, on the analysis — I had the murderer pegged halfway through.

Not only that, but Tallis’s eagerness to pin the crime on the, er, donkey, requires a stunt so wildly improbable that it would be bizarre even if carried out in the present day, let alone in the more staid, 19th-century Vienna.

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Holy, holy, holy...

By Jenni Frazer, January 18, 2010

Back from a fast few days in Israel in which, as usual, I saw almost more people in half a week than I do in six months.
Vastly amused at the demographics of the Easyjet flight from Luton: we boarded in a snowstorm where the only people who looked appropriate were those dressed for 19th century Polish winters.

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Heartbreak

By Jenni Frazer, January 11, 2010

Tony Judt is a man whose name became a trigger for insta-hate in the revisionist nests of right-on Israel supporters. A British-born historian who had led a generally unremarked and probably blameless life in his New York University, Judt set the dovecotes aflutter in 2003 with a trenchantly argued article in the New York Review of Books which called for a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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Medical matters

By Jenni Frazer, January 8, 2010

So there you are, nursing a sore ankle at Limmud, and a man with what may be the worst chat-up line in history offers to massage your back instead.
What do you do?
Apparently you don't reject him out of hand as an opportunist sleazeball.
No, you take a classified ad in the JC - with your phone number - and ask him to call you.
Good luck, girlfriend - in filtering out the loonies.

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Cripplingly funny? Just crippling

By Jenni Frazer, January 7, 2010

Maybe you just have to be in the mood for it. Maybe it is not a good idea to discover a whimsical series four books down the line. Maybe I felt a bit short-changed that I did not find Ian Sansom’s writing “cripplingly funny” as did, evidently, a previous reviewer from the Independent.

Basically, I read through the 358 pages of cock-eyed Irish charm that comprise The Bad Book Affair (Fourth Estate, £7.99) desperately searching for a story.

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