Desmond's claims criticised

The Manchester Representative Council's president Lucille Cohen has criticised claims made by media mogul Richard Desmond that antisemitism was the result of ostentatious simchah celebrations.

Mr Desmond made the comments last week at the Manchester CST dinner. Mrs Cohen said she disagreed with him, saying "antisemitism is a phenomenon that has existed from time immemorial and raises its head in each and every generation, often exhibiting a changed complexion. It does not need catalysts, just pretexts."

Mrs Cohen also urged delegates to support the Father's House Christian community, which is facing eviction from its premises over its support of Israel. She pointed out that the Welsh church group had recently supported the Manchester Jewish community in its fight against an anti-Israel exhibition at a Methodist church.

Dealing with those close to death in accordance with Jewish medical ethics was the special subject at the Council's meeting on Sunday.

Orthodox Jewish charity Interlink and consultant Michael Finlay gave a presentation on training about end-of-life care. They explained to the 50 delegates that UK legislation and medical guidelines now mean doctors must be sensitive to the Jewish ethic of not causing despair to terminally ill patients. They also said that the halachic living will, a legal document which guides doctors on how Jewish patients want to die, has become more understood.

    Last updated: 9:50am, November 12 2010