The Closing of the Old Café: A Dispatch From the Last Day at Café Tamar

When Tel Aviv’s famed Café Tamar announced in April that it was going to close, via the novelist Dudu Busi’s Facebook page, the seats were full the next day, as they almost always are on Friday afternoons; only now, the customers, most of them regulars, were filmed by TV crews: Participants were directed to talk as they normally would, as if such a thing were possible under the circumstances, then stopped and filmed from a different position, perhaps a more naturalistic angle.

Beyond the camera’s view, the café buzzed as usual: The parliaments—what Israelis call the large, boisterous conversations at cafés: largely male, typically older, invariably solving the world’s problems by fiat—roiled and rescinded on the same tide of insults, denunciations, and interruptions, balancing delicately between argument and jests. Customers played chess, discussed the news, smoked, drank; service was slow; there were still only two things on the menu. Busi said the family of the café’s matriarch, Sarah Stern, was upset that he broke the news.


The Ayatollah’s Plan for Israel and Palestine

Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon.

His position is based on “well-established Islamic principles”, he claims.

One such is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is control of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims. Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.

Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world, showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the infidel that must be recovered. These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of the Philippines and Thailand.


ISIS kidnaps Christians at church, storm town, take hundreds hostage

ISIS stormed a town in the central Syrian province of Homs and took at least 230 people hostage, including dozens of Christians who were attending church. Obama says, the Islamic State is not Islamic. The Islamic State says, “Know, oh Obama, that we will reach America. Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province.”


NHS cancer drug approval needs radical change

Just as decades of pioneering cancer research are bearing fruit, we are seeing drug after drug deemed too costly for NHS patients and rejected by Nice.

This week has seen two highly innovative drugs hit the headlines – Olaparib, which is under review by Nice for BRCA-mutant ovarian cancer, and nivolumab, which had been available to NHS patients with lung cancer via an early-access scheme but has now been withdrawn until Nice can assess it for cost-effectiveness.


Noel Edmonds and ‘electro smog’ — why Wi-Fi won’t kill you

Noel Edmonds, Deal or No Deal host and friend of Mr Blobby, believes an invisible cloud of “electro smog” is endangering humanity. The smog, Edmonds claims, is the result of electromagnetic fields created by Wi-Fi, mobile phone signals and electricity.

“The biggest problem we have is not Ebola, it’s not Aids, it’s electro smog,” Edmonds, 66, told the Daily Mirror. He blamed the smog for “destroying our own natural electro-magnetic fields.”