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Archive for October, 2012

A lovely bundle of mail arrived today.

Firstly, there were finished copies of the forthcoming American edition of my Adele biography. Although several of my books are already on sale in America, this is the first time an American publisher has bought the rights to one of my books. I am just as thrilled as I was when my Justin Bieber biography was published in Israel, (see the launch video for that here).

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Good luck to NYC and beyond – the people and the pets. G-d bless America.

Speaking of the people of New York, one of them writes a blog I have been really enjoying over recent weeks. Elad Nehorai describes his Pop Chassid blog thusly: ‘Judaism. Torah. Pop culture. Somehow, they mix.’

Somehow they do, and the result is wondrous: a beautifully written and presented blog that covers topics as diverse as Michael Scott from The Office, the advantages of never having met the Chabad Rebbe, and the man wearing a skirt on the NYC subway who convinced Elad to be a proud Jew.

It’s such a thoughtful blog. Go and take a look.

The rockets that terrorists from Gaza fire into Israel have killed and maimed many Israelis.

For instance, between 2006 and 2011, 44 Israelis were killed and 1,687 injured by Gaza rockets. These figures include many children, as terrorists often fire rockets when Israeli children are walking to school. More than one million Israelis live in range of rocket attack from Gaza.

What do Israel’s critics have to say about this?

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Ahava, the beautiful Israeli cosmetics company that has been targeted by ugly boycotters, has announced it is expanding into seven new countries, and expects a 10 percent growth in sales in the coming year.

Gosh, how embarrassing for the BDS movement! You can find out more about Ahava’s products here. Why not buy some? Their eye cream is miraculous!

Autumn, why do I love you so? You’re by far my favourite of the four seasons.

I think I love autumn because it never lets me down. The British summer frequently disappoints, particularly this rainy year. Even the hot days can be annoying, especially when they prompt the people of England to attempt that most ghastly and overrated of things: the barbeque.

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I co-wrote a book with Julie Burchill a few years ago. It’s called Not In My Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy, and we had fine old time writing it. Read my chapter about Israel here, and find out more about the book here.

Now Julie is going to write a new book. Like me, she’s a gentile who loves Israel, and she’s going to write a memoir based on this theme, entitled Unchosen: Memoirs of a Philosemite. Given her deep and longstanding love of Israel and the Jewish people, together with her outrageous sense of humour and unrivalled literary dexterity, it won’t be anything less than a fascinating read.

She has chosen to publish it through Unbound, which is a new form of publishing whereby authors pitch their idea direct to the public, who can decide whether they want to support the idea or not.  We need more pro-Israel books, so pop over to the Unbound website and back Julie’s book!

The nuclear threat has terrified me since, at the age of 11, I watched the horrific BBC film Threads, which depicts a nuclear attack on Sheffield of all places. It was so grim. But if the ‘cold war’ was scary, then the nuclear scene of the 21st century is potentially terrifying.

Here is a reflection on the nuclear threat that offers a positive perspective. It was written by my hero, the Chabad Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson:

Even from the most horrible things we can learn great lessons. From the threat of nuclear destruction we can learn several things about how to rearrange the world for the good:

You don’t need great armies – it can take a single act.

You don’t have to understand how it works – just what button to press.

It doesn’t matter who does it – as long as he presses the right button.

From the smallest things come the biggest changes.

Tremendous power has always been there – it needs only be revealed.

…and since all this has been discovered in our generation, it must be of particular relevance to us.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I’ll be giving another speech at Eton College on Sunday. I’m looking forward to that.

Update: here’s a photo of me at Eton this morning.

I ran the Windsor Half Marathon yesterday. I really enjoyed every moment of it. It was the first official event I’ve taken part in since I ran two full marathons in 2005 and 2006.

I chose to raise funds for The Amy Winehouse Foundation. This charity supports charitable activities that provide help, support or care for young people, especially those who are in need by reason of ill health, disability, financial disadvantage or addiction. I wrote more about Amy and the charity here, and if you wish to, you can still sponsor me here. Thank you to those who already have sponsored me.

As some of you have noticed, OyVaGoy has been offline for the last week or so, due to technical problems. In case of any repeats, you may like to follow me on Twitter. It would also be great if you could help spread the word that the blog is back online.

Meanwhile, here’s a photograph of me doing ‘The Bolt’ at the end of yesterday’s half marathon.

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