It's been quite a year - need a reminder?

By Simon Round , September 3, 2013
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Support for Israel in London

Support for Israel in London

September 2012

Drugsline, the only charity working with drug and alcohol addicts within the community, collapses amid acute financial difficulties. Drugsline director Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin says: “I am devastated. The volunteers are calling in, bereft.” It later relaunches in a partnership with Norwood.

Thousands gather at Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road ground. However this is not for a League One game but a conference attended by 4,600 strictly Orthodox men to discuss the best way of steering young religious Jews away from online dangers.

The owner of a clothing shop in Ahmedabad, India, which is named after Adolf Hitler agrees to rename it after a visit from a group of Jews from a nearby community. “There has been too much political pressure,” he tells journalists.

Anti-Israel activists launch an attack against an Israeli-owned shop in Brighton, EcoStream. Police are called to restore order when the activists clash with members of the public and passers-by.

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks describes the opening of atheist evolutionist Richard Dawkins’s book The God Delusion as “antisemitic and profoundly misrepresenting Judaism”. The accusation is made during a filmed debate between the two.

An Estonian newspaper sparks outrage with its spoof advertisement for weight loss pills featuring photographs of emaciated Buchenwald inmates. The caption on the photo reads: “One, two, three, Dr Mengele’s diet pills will work miracles on you. There were no fatties in Buchenwald.”

ER and Dr Who actress Alex Kingston embraces her inner Jew after tracing her family’s Jewish heritage in the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? programme. She discovered that her Jewish great-great grandmother had run a brothel.

Britons reject the idea of an Israel boycott. In a poll, three quarters either actively support the idea of British artists visiting Israel to perform or have no view on the matter.

October

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says he is “not embarrassed” by a student-era picture of him wearing a Nazi uniform. He says: “Of course I’m not embarrassed by it. If I had the choice again would I do it? No.”

Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm dies of pneumonia in London, aged 95. A committed anti-Zionist , he called himself, “a non-Jewish Jew”.

JNF suffers a massive drop in contributions. The charity announces that its voluntary income has dropped by half from £5.1 million to £2.4 million.

Newly appointed Conservative chairman Grant Shapps says: “I am a Brit who happens to be Jewish rather than a Jew who happens to be British. Most of what happens in the country isn’t to do with any particular religion.”

Former Channel 4 boss Michael Grade attacks the network’s Jewish Mum of the Year series. “I don’t know what it was meant to be. They seemed to cram in every cliché in the book.”

Israeli singer Yasmin Levy admits she finds no romance in the Hebrew language. Levy, who sings in Spanish and Ladino, says: “Hebrew is the language in which I buy milk and bread.”

Harvard academic Alvin Roth is announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for economics along with Lloyd Shapley of the University of Califronia.

Latke lovers lament the loss of of their favourite snacks after Rakusen’s ends production of its Mister Rak’s range. Comsumers , shocked to discover supermarket freezers bereft of their beloved latkes, take to Twitter to bemoan the loss using hashtags including #latkeloss and #potatopanic. However, it later transpires that the disappearance of the latkes is only temporary.

November

A team of Israeli scientists reveals plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon. The SpaceIL project is part of an attempt to collect a £12.5 million prize offered in the Google Lunar X competition.

A bust of Winston Churchill is unveiled in Jerusalem in a ceremony commemorating his contribution to the founding of the State of Israel

Times food critic Giles Coren entertains 180 Wizo wmen at a literary lunch in London. He comments: “I’m the kind of kosher where you can eat pork.”

Israeli novelist Amos Oz says that he boycotts products produced by West Bank settlers. “I boycott them because they are on occupied land. They live where they shouldn’t be living. But a blanket boycott of the whole of Israel is both a moral and a tactical mistake.”

Israel launches Operation Pillar of Cloud with strikes on Gaza, one of which kills Hamas chief of staff Ahmed Jabari. Hamas responds with missiles which target Israeli cities including Tel Aviv. As the ceasefire is announced a week later, defence minister Ehud Barak says that “the objectives have been fully realised”.

The Guardian’s Steve Bell defends a cartoon depicting Benjamin Netanyahu controlling puppets of Tony Balir and William Hague. He says: “I refute any charge of antisemitism. However, Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust criticises Mr Bell for “applying the antisemitic trope of Jews as puppeteers, controlling the politicians of ostensibly more powerful nations”.

Rupert Murdoch apologises for a Gaza tweet. He had posted a message on Twitter saying: “Why is Jewish-owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis.”

Italian Jews express shock and outrage after hooligans attack Spurs fans in Rome the night before their Europa League tie with Lazio

December

Didier Drogba denies backing a call to strip Israel of the European Under-21 Football Championships. The former Chelsea striker’s name appears on a petition calling on Uefa to reconsider. But Drogba says: “I did not sign this petition or give my support to this initiative. I have never got involved in any conflicts.”

The 2011 census reveals that there are 263,346 people identifying as Jewish in England and Wales, a slight increase on the 2001 figures.

Rapper Matisyahu claims the Chasidic way of life is still a “big part” of who he is, despite his change of look. He says: “While I may no longer live in Crown Heights, or have the look, or practice all the customs and rules, it is still something that inspires me and is part of my soul.”

In a speech, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, Khaled Mashaal, announces: “Our principles and policy are that Palestine is from the sea to the river, from north to south… Palestine is ours and not the Zionists.”

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis is chosen as the successor to Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks. He says he will use his office to act as a “catalyst for deepening commitment to Jewish identity, values and learning”.

An entire town mourns at the funeral of Noah Pozner, the youngest child killed at the Sandy Hook School shooting in Connecticut.

January

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt warns Israel of the damage being done to its international reputation as a result of its decision to build 5,500 homes beyond the Green Line. He says the building “undermines trust and makes peace harder to achieve”.

Sir Irvine Patnick, the former Conservative MP who was at the centre of controversy for his role in the false claims made about the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, dies, aged 83.

A new Israeli law bans the use of skinny models in adverts. Models with a body mass index of less than 18.5 can no longer be used.

Oldham midfielder Dean Furman discovers that he has been selected for South Africa for the African Cup of Nations.

A Saudi man is arrested after police discover documents revealing his determination to find a Jewish bride. Police suggest the 49-year-old may have a “mental condition”.

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi describes Zionists as bloodsuckers descended from “apes and pigs” in an interview transcribed by the Middle East Research Institute.

Yair Lapid’s party Yesh Atid makes dramatic gains in the Israeli general election with 19 seats, but Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party remains the dominant force.

Francesca Segal’s novel The Innocents, a Jewish re-working of Edith Wharton’s classic The Age of Innocence set in north-west London, wins the Costa Book Award for new fiction and the American National Book Award for fiction.

February

Israel Air Force jets attack targets in Syria as the Israelis attempt to disable Hizbollah fighters supporting the Assad regime.

Bradford East MP David Ward is summoned to a meeting with the Lib Dem chief whip after comparing the Holocaust to the actions of “the Jews” over the treatment of Palestinians.

Israeli scientists announce the results of the first clinical trials on a cancer vaccine, which could “change the paradigm” of cancer treatment, according to the CEO of pharmaceutical company Vaxil. Seven patients suffering from multiple myeloma were treated. All have gone into complete remission.

The signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya sparks racist abuse among Beitar Jerusalem fans. The Israeli FA and public opinion come down heavily against the racists.

The horsemeat scandal sparks a surge in sales of kosher food. The head of the Manchester Beth Din, Rabbi Yehuda Brodie, says the the Food Standards Agency and meat companies could “learn a lot” from kosher producers.

The number of French Jews crossing the channel to settle in the UK surges as antisemitic incidents in France increase by 58 per cent.

Congregants in a synagogue in Siberia are hurt as a meteorite shower hits the Federation shul in the town of Chelyabinsk. The meteorite broke up in the sky above the Ural mountains causing a sonic boom and sending fragments to earth.

March

Documentary maker Simon Chinn wins an Oscar for his film Searching for Sugar Man. It is Mr Chinn’s second Oscar. In 2008 he won best documentary feature for his film, Man on Wire.

Adolf Hitler runs for election in India. A 54-year-old father of three named Adolf Lu Hitler is on the ballot paper for the assembly elections in the north eastern state of Meghalaya.

The JC moves to its new offices in Golders Green after more than 70 years in Furnival Street, central London.

Irish TV presenter Vincent Browne describes Israel as a “the cancer in foreign affairs”. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upholds a complaint against him.

The UN Relief and Works Agency cancels the Gaza Marathon after Hamas refuses to allow women to join the race.

Forty two per cent of respondents in an Austrian poll claim that life under Hitler was “not all bad”.

Barack Obama arrives in Israel for a presidential visit. He speaks of the “unbreakable bonds between our nations”. l Labour peer Lord Ahmed is suspended by the party after apparently claiming that a Jewish conspiracy was responsible for his imprisonment for causing a fatal car crash.

Almost half the UK population support a ban on religious slaughter and nearly a third want a ban on circumcision according to the results of a YouGov poll commissioned by the JC.

April

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks pays tribute to Lady Thatcher following her death. He describes her as “a giant who had a transformative impact”.

French Jews are shocked after the country’s Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim admits to plagiarism in his book, Forty Jewish Meditations — and to deception about his academic credentials.

Eighty per cent of Jews in the UK believe the BBC is biased against Israel, according to a report, as Jewish former Times editor James Harding is announced as the corporation’s new director of current affairs and news.

Barnet’s manager Edgar Davids, the Jewish former Dutch international, talks about his hopes of keeping the team in the Football League. “Although I don’t go to synagogue I will say a little prayer before the game [against Wycombe Wanderers] as this is an important period in the club’s history.” His prayers go unanswered as Barnet are relegated.

Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen makes the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of £68 million. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich drops to third place in the list with a fortune of £9.3 billion — down £200 million on the previous year.

Paul Freedman, aged 88. is the oldest competitor to complete the 2013 Virgin London Marathon.

May

Hundreds of mixed-race Peruvian Jews win the right to emigrate to Israel under the Law of Return. The 284 Peruvians — known as the Jews of the Amazon — are descendants of Moroccan Jews who arrived in the Amazon basin in the 19th century.

Acclaimed physicist and author Stephen Hawking joins the academic boycott of Israel by turning down the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the fifth President’s conference, hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres. He tells Peres that his non-attendance is “based on knowledge of Palestine”.

Strictly Orthodox rabbis in London set up a hotline to report breaches of modesty in an attempt to safeguard the morals of the Stamford Hill community.

Lancome Cosmetics is sued by an Orthodox Jewish woman who claims that their 24-hour make-up faded before the end of Shabbat.. New York-based Rorie Weisberg is accusing the company of falsely advertising its face foundation.

The Church of Scotland agrees to rewrite a controversial report about Israel which suggests that Jewish claims to the land of Israel could be invalidated by the treatment of the Palestinians.

Harrods, which was purchased from the Al Fayed brothers by the Qatari royal family in 2010, announces that it is now advertising kosher weddings. The store has gained kosher certification from the Sephardi Kashrut Authority.

Maidenhead Synagogue rejects a Heston Blumenthal recipe for its fundraising cookbook. The celebrity chef’s recipe for beef tagliata had included parmesan shavings. Blumenthal replaced the recipe with one for mushroom risotto.

June

Impressionist Francine Lewis makes the final of Britain’s Got Talent but fails to win, gaining only two per cent of the vote.

At the Uefa Under-21 championships held in Israel, the host team beats England 1-0 but fail to make the quarter finals.

Eric Garcetti, the first Jewish mayor of Los Angeles, describes himself as “a kosher burrito” — a reference to his Mexican heritage.

Israel celebrates its 65th birthday with a party in London’s Trafalgar Square, with representation from more than 50 groups and a turnout of up to 7,000.

Despite vociferous anti-Israel campaigning, trade between Britain and Israel rises by 21.9 per cent between the first quarter of 2012 and 2013.

Parents, teachers and children mourn Yavneh College headteacher Dena Coleman, who dies suddenly from meningitis at the age of 60.

Labour shadow minister Luciana Berger says she has been targeted for antisemitic abuse since entering parliament in 2010. She says: “As a politican, people will always find a reason to hate you. People ‘hate me’ because I am Jewish in the same way they might ‘hate’ one of my colleagues because he’s gay or a Muslim.”

The Prince of Wales describes Lord Sacks as a “light unto this nation” at the chief rabbi’s farewell dinner at a London hotel.

July

Shipping magnate Eyal Ofer, one of Israel’s richest men, announces that he is to give £10 million to the Tate Modern. The money will help fund a 60 per cent expansion in the exhibition space.

Leonard Cohen decides to change the date of a London concert so that it no longer clashes with Yom Kippur. The move follows a JC story which highlighted the clash of dates.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter warns that Israel could be suspended from world football if government interference in the sport continues.

August

Israeli –born actress Natalie Portman announces that she is to direct her first film, based on A Tale of Love and Darkness, a memoir by Amos Oz.

Media giant the Bauer group comes under fire after it emerges that it is publishing a magazine, Der Landser, which glorifies perpetrators of the Holocaust. Bauer said it would continue to publish the magazine.

Figures from the 2011 census reveal that a larger proportion of Jews are in professional and higher managerial jobs than any other religious group.

Footballing icon Lionel Messi prays at the Western Wall as his Barcelona team embark on a “peace tour” of Israel and the West Bank.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd moves the country’s election day back a week to avoid a clash with Yom Kippur, saying the original September 14 date would be a “massive inconvenience” for the nation’s 100,000 Jews.

The BBC announces that anti-Israel statements made by virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy will be cut from a BBC Proms broadcast. During a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Kennedy likened the country to apartheid South Africa.

    Last updated: 12:24pm, September 3 2013