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August 2008

I’m not much of a marcher. Last time I was out there it was 1977 against the National Front in Lewisham, and I had a waist measurement that was only marginally bigger than my neck is now. Add to this the fact that it has been two years or more since I was tempted from my seaside lair up to the Smoke, and that my gout has given me a limp that makes Richard III look like Fred Astaire.

So the prospect of spending the hottest part of a day in blazing June hobbling for two hours to Trafalgar Square didn’t, on paper, seem like my ideal way to spend a Sunday.

But it was this country’s first ever Salute to Israel parade (there was another in Manchester) and I had been invited to march with the Zionist Federation. So I was extremely excited by the time I got off the train at Victoria.

We had been asked to wear blue and white, the colours of the Israeli flag, and just beyond the ticket barrier I could see my best friend, co-author and fellow philo-Semite Chas Newkey-Burden, in a fetching blue Israeli football shirt.

“It’s only 10.30 and the march doesn’t start till 12. You know we’ll have to stand around for more than an hour, don’t you, just looking at them …” he said, hugging me.

“I know!” I squealed, and we ran off to get a taxi, there being not a moment to lose.

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Dan Wright
August 19th, 2008
4:08 PM
That's soem fetishisation you've got going on there, Julie. Jews: They look hot and they're brave and wonderful. All of 'em. "I saw the genius that is Howard Jacobson on the pavement, watching the ­parade with his sexy wife, and scooted over waving my huge Israeli flag. “Mr Jacobson – look, look!” "He gave me the most wonderful look, ­happy and sad and young and old all at the same time. “You’re a good girl, Julie – a good, good girl …” Ughhh, pass the sick bucket.

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