Antisemitism

Foreign Office man wins appeal against race abuse claim

By Leon Symons, March 25, 2010

A senior Foreign Office diplomat has won his appeal against a conviction for racially aggravated harassment.

Rowan Laxton, 48, was exercising in a gymnasium last year when he saw a TV report about Israel’s action in Gaza.

Two men elsewhere in the gym claimed that they heard him shout “f------ Israelis, f------ Jews” at news of the death of a farmer.

They complained to staff and Mr Laxton, who was then head of the Foreign Office's South Asia desk, was arrested and then charged. He was also suspended from his post.

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SNP candidate attacks opponent's Hamas "support"

March 18, 2010

The Scottish Nationalist Party's candidate for the key seat of Glasgow Central in the General Election, Osama Saeed, has attacked his Labour opponent, Anas Sarwar, for his family's alleged connections with Hamas.

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Special Report: The decline of Scotland's Jews

By Martin Bright, March 18, 2010

The Scottish government has committed itself to investigating the steep decline in numbers within the Jewish community amid growing concerns about antisemitism north of the border.

Although there were 18,000 Jews in Scotland in the 1950s, there are now only around 10,000.

The move follows a meeting this month between the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) and the Scottish government's head of community safety, Richard Foggo.

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Hate war on campus to be "stamped out"

By Martin Bright, March 4, 2010

There is now a "virus of extremism" on Britain's university campuses that is at risk of turning into a pandemic, according to the Board of Deputies.

Growing parental concern at the safety of Jewish students at UK universities has led the community leadership to take the unprecedented step of developing an official strategy for combating extremism on campus.

The strategy draws on recent experience of campaigning against extremist Muslim speakers at Manchester and London universities who are known to hold views deeply hostile to Israel.

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Cologne refuses action against artist 'blood libel'

By Jessica Elgot, March 2, 2010

An anti-Israel display in Cologne, which features a cartoon of an Israeli eating a Palestinian child, does not incite racial hatred, the public prosecutor has ruled.

The image is part of a longstanding display put up in Cologne’s Cathedral Square by Walter Herrmann, named the “Wailing Wall”.

The display has now been removed from the square but Mr Herrmann has posted a sign that he plans to remount the “Wailing Wall” in June.

Many of the town’s councillors have appealed for the exhibition to be taken down.

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Colonel Richard Kemp blasts media's Israel coverage

By Jenni Frazer, February 25, 2010

A leading defence figure has warned of "dark forces" exploiting the international media, including the BBC, and insisted that some criticism of Israel "is based on antisemitism".
Retired Colonel Richard Kemp told a 400-strong audience at the Zionist Federation's 110th anniversary dinner it had been a "privilege" to work alongside members of the Israel Defence Forces during his 30-year career.

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Analysis: We must tackle student unions' silence on hate

February 25, 2010

Picture the scene: a young man charges at a government minister and is removed by security while kicking, screaming and spitting antisemitic abuse at the audience.

Earlier this month I witnessed this disturbing sight first-hand in the chamber of the supposedly genteel Oxford Union - the "last bastion of free speech".

Unfazed by the incident, many students in the braying crowd continued to scream at the speaker, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, and attempted to mob him on his way out. Make no mistake: the atmosphere was not one a nice Jewish boy would feel comfortable in.

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Teen to website users: Pledge you aren't Jewish

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2010

A teenager who set up a racist website, which asked people to pledge they had never followed Judaism, is believed to be the youngest person prosecuted for inciting racial hatred.

The 17-year-old from north Norfolk set up his own website where visitors had to pledge they “have never been a follower of the Jewish religion”.

He also asked visitors to affirm they were white and they “believe in the segregation of the races and have never engaged in an inter-racial relationship.”

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Jenny Tonge stripped of Lords role

By Martin Bright, February 12, 2010

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has sacked controversial peer Jenny Tonge as the party’s health spokesperson in the Lords over her demands for an investigation into allegations of body parts harvesting by the Israeli Defence force in Haiti.

Her remarks followed an article making the accusations in the online journal Palestine Telegraph, of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.

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Police to investigate Azzam Tamimi SOAS talk

By Robyn Rosen, February 12, 2010

Police are investigating after Palestinian academic Azzam Tamim told students at a lecture at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies that he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.

On Monday, Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society.

He is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.

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