UK government

Baroness: let schools deal with hate speech

By Robyn Rosen, March 11, 2011

Communities minister Baroness Hanham has said the government expects schools and universities to tackle hate speech themselves — and that she believed that an adequate framework was already in place.

She answered questions on antisemitism on campus, online and at school during a session in the House of Lords yesterday.


Glenda Jackson: calling Israelis Nazis is not hate speech - it's free speech

By Jessica Elgot, February 25, 2011

You can call Israelis Nazis and compare Gaza to a concentration camp - but that is not preaching hatred, according to Labour MP Glenda Jackson.

Ms Jackson, who won her Hampstead and Kilburn seat with a majority of just 42 votes in the general election, submitted herself to a grilling by Jewish constituents at London's Belsize Square Synagogue this week.


Jews? Many are just prejudiced

By Jessica Elgot, February 24, 2011

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Phillips of Sudbury has said that "many" Jews are "deeply prejudiced" although "not lacking in intelligence."


Islamists get a key role in parliament

By Martin Bright and Simon Rocker, February 17, 2011

Jewish organisations and politicians have expressed outrage at the decision by the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia to retain the controversial Islamist organisation iEngage as its secretariat.

Described by the CST as having "a troubling attitude to antisemitism", concerns about its Islamist politics had earlier led to the resignation of the group's Conservative chair Kris Hopkins MP, and one of its vice-chairs, Jewish Labour peer Greville Janner.


Hague to Israel 'no time for belligerence'

By Jennifer Lipman, February 9, 2011

William Hague has warned Israel that for the sake of the Middle East peace process “this should not be a time for belligerent language.”

The Foreign Secretary, currently on a three day tour of North Africa and the Middle East, called instead for “bold leadership” from the United States and “equally bold steps by Israelis and Palestinians”.

He made the remarks in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments about being willing to "reinforce the might of the state of Israel" should it prove necessary.


Liam Fox addresses the Herzliya Conference

By Jennifer Lipman, February 8, 2011
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Defence Secretary Liam Fox speaks in Israel on Middle East peace and Iran


Government to keep funding Holocaust Memorial Day

By Jessica Elgot, January 28, 2011

The government will fund at least two more years of the Holocaust Memorial Day with a grant of £1.5m.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced the funding will continue at the national HMD event last night.

He said: “Antisemitism and other forms of bigotry have sadly not yet been relegated to the history books. It’s the responsibility of every one of us to challenge divisive views and discrimination whenever we see them.


Shift in mood

By Martin Bright, January 20, 2011

Alistair Burt's strong criticisms of Israel this week mark an interesting shift in the mood music on the Middle East. Mr Burt is a trusted supporter of Israel, and his criticism of settlement building did not stray from established UK policy.

But it is no accident that the Foreign Office chose to publicise his comments. Still more significant is his decision to back the Arab community's concerns about the Knesset's commission of inquiry into the activities of human rights organisations.


Alistair Burt: Building 'not helpful'

By Martin Bright, January 20, 2011

Middle East minister Alistair Burt used a visit to Israel this week to condemn new settlement building in East Jerusalem. He said the construction of 1400 new apartments in Gilo would damage future prospects of peace.

"We have always been clear that settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace. Pushing ahead with this plan would be a deeply unhelpful move and hinder efforts to resume talks between the two parties leading to a two-state solution to this conflict, with Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two states living side by side in peace and security."


Alistair Burt visits Israel's Carmel Forest

By Jennifer Lipman, January 18, 2011
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The British foreign office minister for the Middle East is in Israel this week for the first time since his appointment. On his first day Alistair Burt visited northern Israel to see the area damaged by a devestating forest fire at the end of last year.