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Archive for September, 2009

Is it just me, or is Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley starting to look like Menachem Begin? (I’m not saying this is a bad thing.)

What a week Bibi had. It’s a privilege to live in the time of such a great leader. Here, in an interview after his UN speech this week, he tells of a meeting he had in 1984 with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. (Incidentally, I recently read a book called The Rebbe’s Army, which was fascinating. I recommend it.)

The winner of this week’s competition is Caroline Dalzell.She wins a signed copy of the brilliant Don’t Tread On Me by Carol Gould. I’ll be in touch, Caroline, to get your address and find out what you want on the dedication.

Thanks for entering everyone, I’ll run a new competition very soon. In the meantime I wish everybody a lovely weekend. I wish my Jewish readers Shabbat Shalom and G’mar chatimah tovah. I wish you well over the fast.

The brilliant Matisyahu will be here next month, playing at the Islington Academy. ‘Citing! He really is my favourite American Hasidic Jewish reggae singer.

Well said, Bibi.

Update: Part one of the interview can be seen here and part two here. With thanks to commenter ‘GV’.

I had a lovely time with the Schoggers during Rosh Hashanah. The aforementioned Ilan was perfection himself as always, as was their daughter Michal. She’s pretty much my favourite person ever. And I got to do the whole Shabbos Goy thing again.

That was only the start of the fun! Aside from the food and the opportunity to gaze longingly across the table at the increasingly lovely Lauren, other highlights included: visiting Borehamwood & Elstree Synagogue on such a holy day, Ilan calling me “Mr Bibi” and Damian’s mother saying that looking at me, she’d think I was in my 20s. The stuff dreams are made of! Thank you, Schoggers!

As I traveled home full of food, joy and pre-X Factor tension, I read a feature in the Daily Mail about this Thursday’s return of Question Time. Various panelists offered a memory of their time on the show, including George Galloway. He said: “The first time I went on I was punched very hard in the stomach by Robert Maxwell. He gave no reason for the attack, other than to say, ‘Ah, Mr Galloway, the man who supports the PLO.’”

Oh well, Cap’n Bob wasn’t all bad then!

Many thanks everyone for entering the Winehouse v Cowell competition. I’ve selected a winner in each camp. So congratulations to ‘Henry’ for winning the Winehouse book and ‘Beny’ for winning the Cowell one. I’ll be in touch to arrange delivery. There will be a new competition very soon.

I’m going to take a few days off from blogging, so I thought I’d leave you with a quick round-up of recent posts you might have missed:

Firstly, have a read about Boycott Israel Campaign’s ugly protest. Am I right to be suspicious of the timing?

Also, what is the maddest thing anyone has ever said to you about Israel? Do share!

On a happier note, this is what I’ll be doing during Rosh Hashanah.

Speaking of which, I wish all my Jewish readers Shana Tova.

I’ll be back…

So, Chris has written his first blog post about Israel. A very powerful read it is, too.

Please go and have a look – and leave him a comment letting him know what you think.

I’ve written before about some of the loons – antisemitic and otherwise – who sometimes leave peculiar comments on my blog.

Yesterday I received the funniest remark in response to my blog that I’ve had for a long time. Someone told me that he doesn’t understand the Israel/Palestine issue..but that I’m wrong. Wow, that’s some superpower!

To be fair, he’s far from alone. There are plenty of people who don’t understand the issue, don’t live in the region, but have the lazy arrogance to believe they are better than the people who understand, deal with and are affected by the issue on a daily basis. They are the modern-day equivalent of the colonial Brit of old, with his cultural, intellectual superiority complex.

Because he was one of the ‘there are two sides to it, it’s all very complicated’ types. It’s so hopelessly inane. Yes, there are ‘two sides’ to the argument, as there are to every issue. There were ‘two sides’ as to whether the Nazis should murder millions of Jews in Europe. There are ‘two sides’ as to whether women should be executed for being unfaithful to their husbands in the Middle East. People on both sides of those issues believe strongly their position is right. So what? So the right thing to do is sit on the fence, fold our arms and look down our noses at them all? The existence of two sides to an argument does not make the absurdity of one of those sides any more valid.

It reminds me for some reason of another cranky commenter: the person who said to me that he didn’t mind the Jews having a state – so big of him! – only it should be not in the land of Israel but “a contiguous region taking in parts of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine”. This begged too many questions to bother with at the time: Which part of Poland did he have in mind – Auschwitz? How would displaced Poles be any better off than displaced Palestinians? Why would it be better to establish a Jewish state anywhere other than on Jewish land?

His other quibble was that he believes Israelis should should speak Yiddish, not Hebrew. Thanks for that. Let’s just say there are two sides to that argument and leave it there! ;)

Anyway, I am curious about your experiences. What is the crankiest thing anyone has ever said to you about your support for Israel?

Congratulations to Carol, who won the first ever Oy Va Goy competition! I’ll be in touch to arrange the delivery of the prize.

Thanks everyone who entered. I’ll try and run another soon!

© Copyright Chas Newkey-Burden. All Rights Reserved. Thanks to Chris Morris.