A new kind of address in Jo’burg. Good grief.

For the Jewish News December 10 2018 Hallo, gentle reader. Work with me on this, please, because a little bit of imagination is required here. Imagine, if you would, that, say, Westminster Council decides to do a little bit of road-name overhauling. Its councillors look at relatively innocuous thoroughfares such as Oxford Street — and […]

  • 10 December, 2018

Just answer the questions

Column for Jewish News November 2018 Thanks to what a friend of mine calls “the orange poltroon” in the White House, being a journalist has never felt tougher. The atmosphere is toxic in every country, from America to Russia, from Britain to — of course — Israel. And before readers say, aw, diddums, if you […]

  • 6 December, 2018

Words and weasels

When is an apology not an apology? And what do we want an apology to say, exactly? What qualifies as weasel words, and what is absolutely genuine? Sometimes an apology can be obviously heartfelt and thus will be accepted. I’m thinking of the apology given by the Labour MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah, after […]

  • 15 November, 2018

Israel takes two steps forward and 100 years back

Column JN Nov 2 2018 by Jenni Frazer It has been a roller-coaster week for Israel and the Jewish world. Leaving aside the horrors of the shooting in Pittsburgh — at a place the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, David Lau, could not bring himself to describe as a synagogue — we have had interactions […]

  • 2 November, 2018

All you need to know, on one foot

Column for JN issue Oct 19 2018 by Jenni Frazer I’m not, as a rule, a great quoter of Jewish sages, but I couldn’t help offering this from Hillel, as the most apposite comment on a couple of weeks of turbulent events. Hillel said: “That which is despicable to you, do not do to your […]

  • 15 October, 2018

Where were the big beasts?

Column for the Jewish News Sept 3 2018 Column JN Sept 6 2018 by Jenni Frazer I spent Sunday at the Jewish Labour Movement conference — which was a bit, as they say, like the curate’s egg — good in parts. (Is there such a thing as a rabbi’s egg, I wonder anxiously? Perhaps best […]

  • 3 September, 2018

Events, dear readers, events

Column for Jewish News August 24 2018 I’m not keen on over-dramatising situations, but sometimes it’s useful to look at words attributed to Harold Macmillan, when asked what was most likely to blow a government off course — “Events, dear boy, events.” Let’s consider some of the most recent events. Dame Margaret Hodge MP gave […]

  • 21 August, 2018

Let’s hear it for the lawyers…

Column JN August 10 2018 by Jenni Frazer It is more than tempting, considering the week we have just had, to focus only on the lunacy afflicting the Labour Party. Every day — no, make that every hour — there is some new manifestation of antisemitic racism, primarily emanating from Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters, though not […]

  • 8 August, 2018

The circus moves on

Column Jewish News August 3 2018 The trouble with the lunacies in the Jewish world is that the whirligig effect is so strong. No sooner has one absorbed the most recent evidence of derangement than the circus has moved on, providing the greedy commentariat with fresh grist to its already over-stuffed mill. We are, I […]

  • 31 July, 2018

Bigotgate, and other examples

Column JN July 15 2018 Remember Bigotgate? Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown undoubtedly does, as his unguarded comments after meeting Rochdale widow Gillian Duffy in the 2010 general election arguably cost him the entire election. As it happens Mrs Duffy was commenting unfavourably — to Brown’s ears, at any rate — about Labour’s policy on […]

  • 19 July, 2018