UK government

Straw: No arrest law change until after election

By Jessica Elgot, March 5, 2010

The Justice Secretary Jack Straw has postponed immediate legislation to stop Israeli ministers being threatened with “politically motivated” arrest warrants when they visit Britain, until after the general election.

The justice secretary’s remarks contravene the promise made by Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday.

Mr Brown proposed that the Crown Prosecution Service should take the responsibility for prosecuting for war crimes, after reading a leader comment in the JC showing him the strength of feeling over the issue within the Jewish community.

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Michael Foot: 'I owe a great debt to Jews'

By Jessica Elgot, March 3, 2010

The former Labour Party leader Michael Foot, who has died aged 96, had a turbulent relationship with British Jews and with Zionism.

Mr Foot told the JC in 1997 that he was “introduced to true Socialism by a wonderful old Jewish landlady in Liverpool.

"She could not quite teach me Yiddish," he confided, "but I learned a great many other things. I owe a great debt to the Jewish people.”

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Israeli ambassador called to Foreign Office over Dubai murder

By Jessica Elgot, February 18, 2010

Israel’s ambassador Ron Prosor has been invited to a meeting at the Foreign Office to discuss the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai, where the British passports of Israeli immigrants were used to conceal the identity of some of the killers.

Both the Foreign Office and the Israeli embassy are expected to release statements later today.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the meeting was because of the “links to Israel of a number the British nationals affected.”

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Seven jailed for Gaza protest violence

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2010

Seven men, two of whom hold Palestinian nationality, have been jailed for offences during the January 2009 violent protest in London against Israel’s operation in Gaza.

At Isleworth Crown Court, one of the protesters was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders’ institution (YOI) and three people were imprisoned for 18 months, one in a YOI.

Two more protesters were sentenced for two years, one in a YOI and another has been jailed for two and a half years. Six of the men pleaded guilty to violent disorder at the protest and one to handling stolen goods.

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Jenny Tonge: Pressure from Zionist lobby

By Jessica Elgot, February 15, 2010

Baroness Tonge, who was sacked from her post as Liberal Democrat health spokesperson for the House of Lords, has criticised the Israeli lobby in British politics in a Press TV interview.

She also wrote an email to pro-Palestinian activist Deborah Fink, blaming the JC for spreading the organ-stealing allegations.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg sacked Baroness Tonge after she told the JC she believed there should be an independent inquiry into allegations of organ trafficking by the IDF while they helped the earthquake victims in Haiti.

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Jenny Tonge stripped of Lords role

By Martin Bright, February 12, 2010

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has sacked controversial peer Jenny Tonge as the party’s health spokesperson in the Lords over her demands for an investigation into allegations of body parts harvesting by the Israeli Defence force in Haiti.

Her remarks followed an article making the accusations in the online journal Palestine Telegraph, of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.

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Jack Straw: No deal over war crimes law

By Jessica Elgot, February 12, 2010

The Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has denied that pressure from Muslim leaders is to blame for his lack of action on war crimes legislation.

Mr Straw has faced allegations that legislation needed to prevent magistrates issuing arrest warrants for Israeli politicians travelling to Britain, has been delayed because of pressure from the Muslim Council of Britain and from the sizeable Muslim population of Mr Straw’s Blackburn constituency.

A spokesman for Mr Straw said: "Suggestions have been made in media reports that Jack has been lobbied on this issue by Muslim leaders.

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Tonge: Investigate IDF stealing organs in Haiti

By Simon Rocker and Martin Bright, February 11, 2010

Baroness Tonge, the Liberal peer, said this week that Israel should set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants.

Her call has been sharply criticised by fellow LibDems, but party leader Nick Clegg has refused to act against her.

The organ theft claims were published last week in the Palestine Telegraph, an online journal based in Gaza of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.

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Conservative Future row over Nazi election slogan

By Jessica Elgot, February 8, 2010

The chairman of West Yorkshire Conservative Future has been suspended after calling his election campaign after a Nazi squadron who led Jews into the gas chambers.

Student David Bolt, 20, the area chairman of the Conservative youth wing wrote to members, likening their election campaign to the Nazi Sonderkommando, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported.

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Brown meets Palestinian leader Abbas

By Jessica Elgot, January 29, 2010

Gordon Brown has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Downing Street to discuss the peace process in the Middle East.

The two met for an hour in Downing Street where their discussion included the Arab Peace Initiative and the Palestinian economy.

A spokesman for Number 10 said: "They focused their discussions on the need to renew efforts towards a lasting peace agreement.

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