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Backing Palestine? Ask Alexei

07 December, 2017 — By John Gulliver

Alexei Sayle

I NEVER expected to meet two Jewish comedians and an elderly Jewish violinist at a colourful festival about the lives of the Palestinians in conflict with the Israelis. But their jokes caused waves of laughter in the Somers Town community centre.

I liked the one Alexei Sayle told, of a friend who met him and said his mother just “loved” him. “I just love Alexei Sayle,” she said, “and all that shite of his!”

Of course, you have to hear the word shite in Alexei Sayle’s Scouse dialect to enjoy the humour.

But then Ivor Dembina, who I had first met when he ran a stand-up club in Belsize Park more than 10 years ago, was equally funny. Ivor, by the way, now runs a successful Comedy Club in The Head pub in Camden Town.

According to some Labour Party members, unhappy with Corbyn, anti-Semitism is rife among comrades.

“It’s never been so bad,” they moan. There must have been a lot of Lefties in the audience that day, but not an anti-Semitic word was uttered. Plenty of self-deprecating Jewish humour – but that’s not the same thing.


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