So I fly to Israel next week and I am very excited to be returning for my third visit to my favourite country.
I’ve got lots planned including a visit to Jerusalem with my good friend Tal where we will say hi to a few readers of this blog. I will spend a couple of days in Tel Aviv where I will be hanging out with the extended Beyond Beseder crew, some of who I met in London last summer. I am also meeting up again with a few of the friends I made out there while researching my Six Day Phwoar feature in 2006.
I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it. I will tell you all about how it went right here.
When I wrote a slightly bitchy profile of Prince William for The Big Issue in 2005 I got months of hassle from his suprisingly rousable fanbase. Not just months and months of letters, faxes and phone-calls but umbrella-brandishing old women turning up on the doorstep to remonstrate with me.
Someone very close to his old man put the boot in with my boss, too. It was made known that offence had been taken at a comparison I had made between William and Kenyan antelopes, and that my observation about his thinning hair was the part that had gone down particularly badly.
So I am amused by the way the homeless/magazine/baldness themes have coincided again for Wills with today’s hair-gate scandal. I’m sure the photo is entirely authentic and natural. I don’t believe for a moment that the future king of England has been touched-up by a homeless man…
As I wrote in January, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg promised to deal with any new outbursts by Baroness Tonge along the lines of her track record of antisemitic remarks and sympathy with antisemitic terrorism. Since he made this promise he has had two opportunities to act but refused – indignantly - to keep his word.
I concluded, “If Nick Clegg doesn’t even have the balls or the decency to deal with antisemitism and support for terrorism within his own party, why on earth should we believe he is in any way ready to be a leader of the country?”
This week Tonge has called for an inquiry into the ludicrous blood libel allegations that the IDF was harvesting organs during its admirable humanitarian work in Haiti. So, Mr Clegg, will you keep your promise this time and act immediately?
Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon spoke at the Oxford Union last night. As was – sadly – to be expected, there were angry protests. How revealing they were. Outside the talk, protestors chanted ‘Free Palestine – from the river to the sea’. This is an explicit, unambiguous call for the destruction of Israel in its entirety.
Meanwhile inside one protestor shouted that Mr Ayalon should be tried for his ‘war crimes’ during Operation Cast Lead. Mr Ayalon was not in government during Cast Lead, but why let the facts get in the way of accusing an Israeli of war crimes? Then a student stormed out, but not before shouting ‘Itbah Al-Yahud’ at Ayalon. This means ‘Kill The Jews’ in Arabic.
What a shower. The ‘Edge Of Where’ blog (by no means a slavish supporter of Israeli policy and no fan of Ayalon) has a first-hand report here.