Board of Deputies

Board slams West Bank mosque arson

October 7, 2010

The Board of Deputies has deplored an arson attack on a West Bank mosque which is thought to have been the work of Jewish militants.

There could be "no excuse for this heinous act, which included the desecration of Islam's holiest text", a statement from the Board said.

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Blair bonus for board

By Simon Rocker, September 7, 2010

The words "crowd-puller" and "Board of Deputies" do not normally go hand in hand. But last week's Institute of Jewish Studies' conference on the Board's 250th anniversary proved such an attraction that some people had to sit in the aisles. One grateful guest even handed Board treasurer Laurence Brass a £500 cheque.

He will be hoping for similar largesse at the Board's 250th celebration dinner in November – whose guest of honour I can reveal will be Tony Blair.

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Deputies at mosque exhibition

By Simon Rocker, August 12, 2010

A Board of Deputies delegation toured an exhibition on Islam's relations with other faiths at the Islamic Cultural Centre at the Regents Park Mosque in London.

Shahid Munir, director of research for Exhibition Islam, reported "a lot of enthusiasm from the Jewish community" for the display.

A particular highlight, he said, was a rare showing "of Torah scrolls which were written across the Islamic world where sofers [scribes] wrote in many exquisite styles".

Rabbis were also taken around the exhibition by Mehri Niknam, founder of interfaith charity the Joseph Foundation.

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Israel boycotters pitch up in Waitrose

By Robyn Rosen, August 5, 2010

Security guards were forced to remove protesters who pitched a tent in the aisle of a Waitrose store and spent an hour urging shoppers not to buy Israeli goods.

The protest was organised by Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity and its supporters included Simon Levin, one of the seven activists cleared last month of damaging an arms factory after successfully claiming they had acted to prevent Israeli "war crimes".

Staff called police after 10 protesters refused to move from the store in Western Road, Brighton.

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Israel ad ban appeal unsuccessful

By Robyn Rosen, August 5, 2010

An appeal against a ban on a holiday advert describing the Western Wall as part of Israel has been unsuccessful.

The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) appealed after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint in April that the Kotel was actually in the Occupied Territories.

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Israel boycotters pitch up in Waitrose

By Robyn Rosen, August 5, 2010

Vsecurity guards were forced to remove protesters who pitched a tent in the aisle of a Waitrose store and spent an hour urging shoppers not to buy Israeli goods.

The protest was organised by Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity and its supporters included Simon Levin, one of the seven activists cleared last month of damaging an arms factory after successfully claiming they had acted to prevent Israeli "war crimes".

Staff called police after 10 protesters refused to move from the store in Western Road, Brighton.

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Chaos over government counter-terrorism plans

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

The government is working to allay fears that its counter-extremism policy is floundering, three months after the coalition came to power.

Jewish leaders have expressed concern that not enough is being done to tackle the threat posed by extremists in Britain.

The Tories are thought to be ideologically split on the issue, with ministers also facing a backlash from civil servants opposed to Conservative policy.

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Methodist set up Friends of Israel group

By Robyn Rosen, July 29, 2010

A Methodist preacher has set up a Methodist Friends of Israel group as a response to her church's call to boycott Israel.

Earlier this month the Methodist conference passed a report calling for a boycott of goods from "illegal" West Bank settlements, and for political lobbying to end Israel's occupation and the "siege of Gaza".

The decision was widely criticised and the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council said the church should "hang its head in shame".

Pam Smith, a preacher in Monmouth, South Wales, created a website and Facebook group to gain support for Israel.

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Anger over Cameron Gaza comments

By Rob Lyons, July 29, 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron's description of Gaza as a "prison camp" prompted anger this week from all quarters.

Mr Cameron, addressing Turkish businessmen in Ankara on Tuesday, declared: "The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable." And in reference to the Israeli blockade, he added: "Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp."

The remarks led to consternation that the PM should apparently use criticism of Israel as a vehicle by which to promote closer relations with Turkey.

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Gove: free schools 'can still be totally Jewish'

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

Jewish parents hoping to set up new schools under the coalition government's flagship education proposals may have to take pupils of different faiths - at the expense of Jewish pupils.

Empowering parents to set up free schools was a key pledge in the Conservative election campaign, but those schools must take 50 per cent of pupils without reference to religion.

The 50 per cent ceiling on faith admissions for new academies was introduced under Labour, but the Coalition government has decided not to lift it, so it will apply to new free schools as well.

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