A new parliamentary group set up to tackle Islamophobia has been forced to end its partnership with a controversial Muslim organisation which has campaigned against “Zionist” teachings at Jewish schools. It has also defended radical Islamist preachers and targeted moderate Muslim groups which raised concerns about the rise of Islamist politics in Britain.
Known for his vociferously anti-capitalist and anti-western views, as well as for his poster adorning the walls of many a university room, philosopher and academic Noam Chomsky has made no secret of his views on Israel.
MPs will have the chance to quiz ministers on the coalition government’s policies to tackle antisemitism next January, thanks to the efforts of two backbench MPs from opposing parties.
The debate, to take place in parliament on January 20, is the first one focused on antisemitism to be set up by backbench MPs.
John Mann and Mike Freer, respectively the chair and vice-president of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Against Antisemitism, instigated the debate to give MPs the opportunity to discuss ways to tackle antisemitism.
A by-election will be held in the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency after Labour’s former immigration minister Phil Woolas lost a legal challenge to keep his parliamentary seat.
The High Court today rejected Mr Woolas’ attempt to overturn a ruling which found him guilty of lying about a rival and voided the result of the May election which returned him as the constituency’s MP.
The initial result was challenged by the Liberal Democrat candidate Elwyn Watkins, who lost by just 103 votes.
The former manager of Great Britain’s Maccabiah Team is expected to be named as a Labour peer later today.
Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of the endowment fund for science and technology (NESTA), has been tipped to be included on a list of as many as 50 new working peers to be announced by Downing Street.
Jewish academic Dr Maurice Glasman and former Labour MP Oona King are also expected to be given peerages, as are Andrew Feldman, the joint chairman of the Conservative party, and the party’s treasurer Stanley Fink.
A Ugandan Jew who grew up under the Idi Amin regime is hoping to become the first rabbi serving in a national parliament outside of Israel or Europe.
If Gershom Sizomu is elected he will also be the first Ugandan Jew elected to national office.
The African country goes to the polls in February 2011 and this week Rabbi Sizomu will find out if his application to stand for the parliamentary seat of Bungonkho North, in the city of Mbale, has been accepted by the electoral commission.