UK government

In pictures: the new peers

By Jennifer Lipman, November 19, 2010

The Jewish faces soon to be seen in the House of Lords

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Oona King, Michael Grade, Stanley Fink to go to House of Lords

By Marcus Dysch and Jennifer Lipman, November 19, 2010

The chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI) and the former chief executive of the Chief Rabbi’s Office are among the more than 50 new members of the House of Lords.

Monroe Palmer, a Liberal Democrat councillor, will be joined as a peer by two Jewish former MPs, Susan Kramer and Oona King.

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Big Society? We invented it

By Robyn Rosen, November 11, 2010

The Government minister in charge of the Big Society initiative has praised the effect Mitzvah Day has on society.

Nick Hurd, the minister for civil society and MP for Northwood, Ruislip and Pinner, will join Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles and other representatives from Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, as well as from the local Hindu community, on November 21 to deliver toys and books to Jake's Place, the Children's Ward at nearby Northwick Park hospital. The project is among thousands to take place on the fifth annual day of social action.

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Labour MPs under fire as they meet Hamas

By Simon Rocker, November 11, 2010

Labour Friends of Israel has condemned a meeting held by two of the party's MPs, one a frontbench spokesman, with representatives of Hamas.

Andy Slaughter, who was recently appointed by leader Ed Miliband to his shadow team on justice, and Jeremy Corbyn met Palestinian Legislative Council members Muhammad Totah and Ahmad Atoun in Jerusalem at the weekend.

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Nick Clegg: we got it wrong on Israel

By Martin Bright, November 11, 2010

Deputy prime Minister Nick Clegg attempted to open a new chapter in the relationship between the Liberal Democrats and British Jews this week when he emphasised his party’s support for Israel and reiterated the coalition’s pledge to change the law on universal jurisdiction.

He told a lunch held by Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel that he was aware of past tensions, and was engaged in “an operation to clarify misunderstandings”.

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William Hague in Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 3, 2010

William Hague is in Israel on an official government visit. The foreign secretary had a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman, after which he signed a film deal between the two countries.

Mr Hague also visited the parents of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and called for his immediate and unconditional release.

Photos: Mati Milstein / British Embassy

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On this day: the Balfour Declaration

By Jennifer Lipman, November 2, 2010

Hailed as a “Jewish triumph” in that week’s JC, the Balfour Declaration is one of the most significant texts in the history of the Zionist movement.

Following a War cabinet meeting on the subject, it was a formal statement by the British government saying that they “View with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.

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Meridor cancels Bicom appearance over arrest fears

By Marcus Dysch, November 1, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor has cancelled an appearance at a London fundraising dinner over fears he could be arrested under universal jurisdiction legislation.

It is believed the Israeli Justice Ministry warned Mr Meridor that a warrant for his arrest may be issued if he entered Britain.

He was due to speak at the Bicom dinner tonight. He was a replacement for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who cancelled last week due to the delicate state of the peace negotiations.

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Fear over Islamist Tower Hamlets mayor

By Martin Bright and Simon Rocker, October 28, 2010

Senior Jewish figures have raised concerns over the election of a controversial Muslim politician as mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Lutfur Rahman was dropped as the Labour Party's official candidate after evidence was produced of irregularities in the nomination process and links to the radical Muslim group Islamic Forum Europe.

He then stood as an independent and last week trounced Labour rival Helal Abbas, although only a quarter of the electorate turned out to vote. He will now preside over the Olympic borough's £1 billion budget.

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Jewish free schools are on schedule

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

Both new Jewish free schools are on target to open in September 2011, despite fears that up to half of the 16 new free schools will not meet deadlines to open in September.

Peter Kessler, leader of the group of parents who are planning to set up Haringey Jewish Primary School, said the school was making faster progress than nearly all of the other approved schools and pupils would be able to start in September.

The school is preparing a business plan and a public consultation in time for the government’s deadline at the beginning of December.

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