“If I sign up for email updates using the box on the right, keeping me up to date with this fabulous blog, for how long will that last?”
Quoth the raven: “Evermore.”
I can’t help wondering whether the JNF is engaging in systematic negging of the Bedouin. Negev-ing, even. There really is no other explanation for their bizarre combination of outright hostility and feigned caring.
The latest hare-brained scheme dreamt up by their UK branch is this month’s Bedouin Night do for the trendy Jew near you. Someone clearly thought to themselves, “Now is the time to get Jewish young professionals interested in ethnically-motivated land-grabs!”
Bedouin Night is being hosted by a central London hotel – so much classier than a bedo-’n’-breakfast – and costs £15, for two cocktails and a shisha pipe. It doesn’t specify whether desert is included.
The event would be fairly tasteless cultural appropriation as is, based entirely on the JNF’s limited, stereotyped understanding of ‘what it is to be Bedouin’: ‘exciting mysterious people who wear swishy clothes and smoke stuff’.
And just imagine how outraged people would be if the Palestine Solidarity Campaign held an evening with the following advert:
But given the JNF’s relentless focus on eliminating the Bedouin way of life, the whole thing moves on from being tasteless and becomes utterly outrageous.
A JNF trustee, David Berens, has clarified that the ‘take the piss out of the Bedouin while contributing funds to their destruction’ event is, in fact, “the exact opposite of racist”:
(@davidberens) November 10, 2015
So my mistake. My apologies. Egg on my face.
A string to Jeremy Corbyn’s bow
Dear Gaby Weby,
I have a terrible dilemma. I’m trying to decide which party leader I should support. On the one hand, there’s David Cameron, who’s cut soldiers’ benefits and couldn’t be bothered to wear an actual poppy for a photograph.
But on the other hand, there’s Jeremy Corbyn, who’s consistently opposed the pointless risking of military lives in futile foreign wars, who’s spent time with veterans and current soldiers, who attended the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday wearing a real poppy and carrying a handwritten note, but who, when he bowed, rotated his upper body to less than 45 degrees.
I just don’t know which of these two people is best. Can you help?
Yes, this is the scandalous news that Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn showed horrendous disrespect to the dear departed by not behaving in precisely the way that The Sun thought he should of. He was accused of bowing “half-heartedly” – and complain as much as you like about Cameron’s Photoshopped poppy, when he bows he really puts his heart and soul into it.
The Telegraph asked etiquette expert William Hanson for his take. Hanson said:
Protocol dictates that it should have gone down around 45 degrees from the waist. He barely did anything.
But then conceded quite sensibly:
It is his right not to bow and the people he was there to remember fought for our rights to do, or not to do, anything.
Death with intervals
I went to see Bad Jews at Richmond Theatre last week (highly recommended, especially the line, “Do not Holocaust me!” – if only I didn’t get to use it 10 times a week…)
But excellent as the play was, that wasn’t the highlight for me.
No, the highlight was their new Interval App. Because you know, so often, you’re at the theatre, you’ve been sitting still for over an hour, then it’s the interval, you really want a snack but can’t face the extreme effort of standing up and walking two rows forward to the salesperson.
Well, no more! In Richmond, snacks come to you! Thanks to the marvels of technology, audience members can now have drinks and nibbles delivered directly to their seat, totally eliminating that 12-second walk to obtain full-fat dairy ice cream.
Another wonderful innovation
The human mind really is remarkable. What other species could come up with creative solutions to serious problems the way that we do?
This week’s featured invention will improve the quality of life of millions of parents around the world, by eliminating the discomfort caused when they step on their children’s toy bricks left scattered on the Wilton carpet.
Lego has just started marketing a sort of indoor shoe, a piece of light footwear designed to be worn around the house, keeping the wearer safe from sharp objects left on the floor.
Don’t delay: pre-order yours now before they all sell out.
It’s not brain Sturgery
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon appeared on Scottish Island Discs on Sunday, telling the listening public what items she’ll take with her when the electorate, disillusioned with another four years of domination by the English, finally banishes her to the lonely isle of Barra.
Her choices were as follows:
Music: Crazy Beaten by edinBlur, plus the spiritualist hymn glasGo Tell it on the Mountain
Book: Ms Sturgeon opted not to have a book as she’s “more than satisfied with the most beautiful line of Shakespeare, ‘tartan is such sweet sorrow'”
Bloody polls, coming over here, taking our jobs
A poll of British Jews by professional, independent pollsters Ipsos-Mori and City University London found, not altogether surprisingly, that people’s opinions are less obnoxiously right-wing and racist than our community’s loudest, most obnoxious and racist right-wing voices would seem to suggest.
In fact, over half of British Jews consider Israel to be an “occupier” in the West Bank, and 75% believe that settlement expansion is a barrier to peace. More than two thirds experience “a feeling of despair” whenever more settlements are approved.
The report also found that those British Jews holding hawkish (right-wing) views “substantially overestimate the percentage of people who agree with them”.
Some of these hawkish Jews aren’t too happy about a group of qualified pollsters exposing them as the minority. Arguments raised to criticise the methodological rigour of the poll have included:
- @NorthWestFOI: “The findings can’t be correct because we have 3,500 members.”
- @RoslynPine: “It’s all lies.”
- @SadCJP: “It’s not a proper poll because nobody asked me.”
- @MikeSG: “Are you seriously saying that polling just 1,131 people out of 300,000 can possibly be representative?”
- @SimonCobbs1: “Yachad just asked its mates.”
- @SJake62: “You’ve been rumbled!” [no further detail provided]
- @MRankoff: “It’s all because British Jews listen to idiots like you.” (Surely this is actually a veiled compliment? -Ed.)
- @Netanyahu: “I resign.” (Stop being wishful. -Ed.)
Also interesting, though, is a comparison between the professional poll Yachad commissioned from qualified academics, fiercely attacked as “biased” and “rigged” by Sussex Friends of Israel; and this poll which appeared on the Sussex Friends of Israel Facebook page earlier this year:
Swing low, sweet sharia
The tragic events in Paris have, obviously, caused an Islamophobic backlash. The backlashers seem to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that their reaction is exactly what the terrorists wanted.
In particular, social media became incensed about the subversive ‘Muslimisation’ of Europe. Here’s the rational, lucid concern one Twitter user had:
MUSLIMS WANT TO IMPOSE SHARIA LAW? I DON'T THINK SO! OUR WOMEN MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS! https://t.co/RNxJkHN4B7 I GOT SOME LAW FOR EM.—
Phx Ken (@PhxKen) November 14, 2015
So it might surprise him to know that the very earliest, first ever reference to sharia law creeping into the British legal system had precisely the opposite worry: the speaker in question thought that in Islam women had too much freedom.
Five of the best
- Time: Muslims around the world speak out against terrorist attacks in Paris – this.
- The Independent: There’s only one way to find out if Corbyn is fit to be Prime Minister: did he kneel in front of Her Majesty? – another excellent from Mark Steel.
- Ha’aretz: British Jews are pro-Israel but critical of its government – Anshel Pfeffer has some insights into what the poll means.
- The Guardian: Diaspora Jews offer a rare chance for hope in the Middle East – so does Jonathan Freedland.
- The Guardian: Jewish court names and shames man for denying wife religious divorce – our own sharia law hits the headlines.