It's about how Simon Cowell has given a huge donation to the IDF. Now, I'm sorry if I've spoiled the story for you - actually, who cares, it really isn't much of a story - but the point is that Cowell says that his dad was Jewish and that giving to Jewish causes is 'in his blood'.
As I said, who cares, except it puts me in mind of two scenes from my past:
The first is around June 4th 1967. I, and my best friend Danny (both aged seventeen) are at the Albert Hall in London. It's just hours before the outbreak of the Six-Day War and we ordinary Jews have been well whipped up to believe we're facing a second Holocaust. (BTW, I can't entirely rule out the possibility of a bloodbath if Israel's victims did get the upper hand. Well, what would you do if you'd been treated like that?)
Anyway, there we were in the Albert Hall and we've had the speeches and now black plastic bags are being passed round the packed hall and, I tell you, men were stuffing in wads of banknotes and women were tearing the rings off their fingers.
Now fast forward thirty years to September 1998 to the boardroom of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) in London's fashionable Knightsbridge area, I'm there with Dan McGowan, founder of Deir Yassin Remembered. I'd met Dan for the first time a couple of hours ago and had asked him for an interview. Now, it's about nine in the evening and we've come to the end of the interview during which Dan has spoken eloquently for an hour into my microphone. He's spoken about Deir Yassin, about its history and meaning and about the organisation he's founded. Now, I'm no joiner but there's something about this that makes me want in so.....
.....but hey, I don't need to reminisce, here's the transcript from the tape I made that night.
"OK Dan, now, tell me what can I do? How can I help?”
“Well, you can support us in a couple of ways the most important is to join us….
“Well, I’ll certainly do that and I’d like to make a contribution. I notice on your leaflet that there are various grades of support: Supporter; Contributor; Patron; Friend…Well if I give you this, I know it’s not quite enough but can I be a Friend”?“You certainly can…”
"And can I give it to you in cash?”
“That would be great…I would appreciate that…”
“There you go…... (AND HERE I PEEL OFF TWO BEAUTIFUL PINK FIFTY POUND NOTES) Aren’t they great? I bet you haven’t got anything like that in the states.”“We most certainly don’t. Do they have the silver strip in them?”“Well they should do. I made them myself this morning.” (N.B:THAT WAS A JOKE)
“You know you told me already that you were Jewish and your attitude is somewhat indicative of your being Jewish…and I mean that in a very flattering sense, in that you put your money where your mouth is. This, I’ve noticed, is a very Jewish thing and that’s a lesson that I am in the process of trying to teach Palestinians.
Now, over to the horrible JC and even more horrible Simon Cowell.
IDF has the X Factor for Simon Cowell
X Factor's Simon Cowell
Music mogul Simon Cowell has boosted the Israeli Army with a sizeable donation at a gala dinner in Los Angeles.
The X Factor chief gave a sum thought to be in the region of £150,000 at the annual fundraising event hosted by the American Friends of the IDF.
The event was hosted by Power Rangers creator Haim Saban, who pledged to donate $1 million if Mr Cowell joined him to sing the show's theme song, "Go, Go Power Rangers".
Mr Cowell did break into song, but quickly said he would make a donation himself if Mr Saban allowed him to stop.
The event is understood to have raised around $20m in total for the IDF.
Lionel Richie also performed for the 1,200 guests. The audience included serving Israeli soldiers.
Mr Saban said Los Angeles' Jewish and Israeli communities "appreciate and embrace the soldiers of the IDF, and will continue to do everything in order to give thanks to them and strengthen them in whatever is needed".
Mr Cowell has previously spoken of his Jewish roots and work with communal charities in Britain. Last year he told a Norwood dinner: “My dad is Jewish. He never told me or my brother or his wife. It’s in my blood and drew me to the charity.”