GALA’S MIXED RE­VIEWS

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT & ANALYSIS -

I be­lieve the choice of Jackie Ma­son at the Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion’s Gala Show was im­mensely mis­guided ( JC, May 2). I un­der­stand that com­edy is about “push­ing bound­aries” but does any­one find ho­mo­pho­bic, racist and stereo­typ­i­cal ma­te­rial funny to­day? I was es­pe­cially em­bar­rassed that the po­lice and arena staff heard the derog­a­tive word sch­warzer ut­tered sev­eral times. Let us not for­get that this was a show­case event or­gan­ised and spon­sored by the es­tab­lish­ment of Bri­tish Jewry. We’re quick to com­plain about com­ments such as those by Ken Liv­ing­stone and against Avram Grant, but as a com­mu­nity shouldn’t we at least prac­tice what we preach? Jonathan May Fri­ern Mount Drive, Lon­don N20

I at­tended Is­rael’s 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion at Wem­b­ley, with 7,500 oth­ers. The evening started al­most an hour late. We were then “en­ter­tained” by Jackie Ma­son, whose com­ments on blacks and ho­mo­sex­u­als were wor­thy of the late Bernard Man­ning. Fol­low­ing some am­a­teur­ish film pre­sen­ta­tions (the film was blurred and the voices dis­torted), the com­peres in­formed us of the re­ally out­stand­ing Is­raeli achieve­ment in her 60 years ex­is­tence — her record in the Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test. De­light­ful though it was to be re­minded of the qual­ity of the songs, some of us felt this was not Is­rael’s supreme achieve­ment.

The sec­ond half’s vo­cal per­for­mance by Sarit Hadad was su­perb, but is pop mu­sic Is­rael’s only as­set?

Where was the in­spi­ra­tion and the true sense of his­tory? The only mo­ment in the whole evening that did any­thing for me was to join in with 7,500 peo­ple singing Hatikva. Ian Kay Wem­b­ley Park Drive, Wem­b­ley HA9

I would like to con­grat­u­late the ZF for its ex­cel­lent cel­e­bra­tion of Is­rael’s 60th an­niver­sary at Wem­b­ley Arena. While skat­ing dan­ger­ously close to be­ing po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect, the comic Jackie Ma­son was ex­tremely funny, at the last mo­ment com­pli­ment­ing rather than in­sult­ing the groups he was talk­ing about. The cli­max of the show was Sarit Hadad, whose won­der­ful singing to­gether with the ex­cit­ing rhythms of her band soon had the au­di­ence danc­ing in the aisles.

The whole event was very well or­gan­ised, and the po­lice and the CST ex­celled. Nomi Benari Sev­ing­ton Road, Lon­don NW4

The ticket puller no doubt was Jackie Ma­son. I haven’t seen him for years. In my opin­ion he is like Peter Pan and doesn’t look any older, and he is so funny, we loved him. Naomi Fenton South Wood­ford, Lon­don E18

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