UK government

Hate preacher banned from UK

By Leon Symons, June 18, 2010

Muslim preacher Zakir Naik has been banned by Home Secretary Theresa May from coming to Britain.

Mrs May said: “I have excluded Dr Naik from the UK. Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour.

“Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right, and I am not willing to allow those who might not be conducive to the public good to enter the UK. Exclusion powers are very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate on issues.”

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Britain gives Gaza £19m aid

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

The British government has pledged to give £19 million in aid to Gaza and called on Israel to end the blockade.

Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, said the money is to go towards services including education and healthcare.

The donation is part of a £100 million financial deal with the UN Relief and Works Agency, which the Labour government arranged in 2006.

The announcement follows a second attempt by pro-Palestinian activists to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has been in place since Hamas gained control of the area in 2007.

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MPs criticise Gaza blockade

By Robyn Rosen, June 3, 2010

More than 60 MPs, including Hampstead and Kilburn MP Glenda Jackson, have signed an early day motion, criticising Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

The EDM, tabled by Birmingham Northfield MP, Richard Burden, chair of the Britain Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group, demands a “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation” of the flotilla incident and claims that the blockade has “destroyed the economy of Gaza and deepened poverty”.

It also claims that Israel imposes “collective punishment” on the people of Gaza and states its actions are illegal.

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Antisemitic hate emails sent to MPs

June 3, 2010

The Labour MP, John Mann, has called for a police investigation after an antisemitic email was sent to every MP in Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Mann, chair of the All-Party Group Against Antisemitism, condemned as "outrageous and disgusting" an email entitled "the Jews=blood sucker.

The email asked for condemnation of Israel's "piracy," and then appended an antisemitic article attributed to a "Jayne Gardener."

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Finchley MP gets antisemitism committee role

By Jessica Elgot, May 28, 2010

Newly-elected MP Mike Freer is the new vice president of the Parliamentary Committee against Antisemitism.

Mr Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, will be the number two to MP John Mann, who has been re-elected to head the committee.

Mr Freer’s constituency has the highest number of Jewish voters in the country. He is a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel and was chair of the Barnet multi-faith forum

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Hague: We will change universal jurisdiction

By Jessica Elgot, May 28, 2010

Foreign Secretary William Hague says he is committed to changing the law on universal jurisdiction, and that the government was planning a timetable to be announced soon.

Mr Hague had pledged during the election campaign that his party would change the law, which allows arrest warrants to be granted against war criminals, even if they are not British.

The law has meant an arrest warrant was briefly issued against Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni when she came to speak at a JNF conference in London last December.

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1922 Committee success for Halfon

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2010

Robert Halfon, the new Tory MP for Harlow in Essex, has been elected to the executive of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs.

Mr Halfon, former political director of Conservative Friends of Israel, defeated former Labour minister Bill Rammell with a majority of 4,925.

Now, even though he has been in Parliament for only a couple of weeks, he has been elected by fellow MPs to the c ommittee, which acts as a conduit for backbenchers to formulate their views independently of the front bench. It also plays a key part in the election of a new party leader.

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Hague is no friend of Israel

By Stephen Pollard, May 27, 2010

There's a lazy theory among some in our community that - to be blunt - the Conservatives are good for the Jews, and Labour less so. Specifically, that Labour's backbench army of anti-Israel zealots stands in contrast with the more generally pro-Israel stance of the Tories.

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Optimism over Conservative faith school plan

May 21, 2010

The head of the Jewish Leadership Council's schools task force is hopeful that planned education reforms could help to relieve the pressure on places at Jewish schools.

One of the key pledges in the Conservative election manifesto was to make it easier for parents to open new schools with state funding.

This cannot come a moment too soon for parents in parts of Hertfordshire and north-west London, where there appears to be a growing shortage of Jewish primary school places.

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Jewish MPs take up top positions in new government

By Robyn Rosen, May 21, 2010

A former B'nai B'rith Youth Organisation leader and a director of a Middle East peace foundation are among the Jewish politicians appointed as part of the new coalition government.

Grant Shapps, a one-time BBYO youth leader, who is now Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield, has been appointed Housing Minister and will work under Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

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