UK government

MP: Israel's tentacles will steal the election

By Martin Bright and Robyn Rosen, March 29, 2010

The election campaign took a distinctly unpleasant turn last week as pro-Palestinian MPs suggested the “Israel lobby” would play a behind-the-scenes role in key constituencies.

Martin Linton, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, told a meeting at the House of Commons held by the Palestine Solidarity

Campaign and Friends of al-Aqsa: “There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.

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MP's son sells deadly 'legal high'

By Jessica Elgot and Leon Symons, March 26, 2010

Jewish MP Louise Ellman’s son Sean sold the controversial “legal high” mephedrone – known as “meow meow” – in his chain of drug accessory stores.

Sean Ellman, 37, is the son of Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, and vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel.

Speaking from Liverpool, Mrs Ellman told the JC: "I am aware of the story. This is my son’s business and he is 37 years old. I have no connection with it. I disapprove of the activities reported in The Sun."

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Miliband: War crimes law failure is Tories' fault

By Simon Rocker, March 25, 2010

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, has blamed the Conservatives for preventing an early change in the law in order to make it more difficult to arrest visiting Israelis.

Although the government published its proposal to amend the law last week, there is no prospect of it being passed before the next election.

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New government fund for faith groups

By Leon Symons, March 18, 2010

Communities Secretary John Denham has announced a new fund to help faith groups which work with the government.

Speaking at a conference about faith and social action, Mr Denham said the groups would be able to bid for funds of £1.2 million to be made available after the general election.

There will be an additional £50,000 in prize money for the best innovative faith project.

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Analysis: You've betrayed the Jewish community, Jack Straw

By Martin Bright, March 11, 2010

The time has now come to tell the full story of how the government betrayed the Jewish community over "universal jurisdiction". In more than a decade of covering UK politics, I have never known a story quite like this.

It is now three months since David Miliband and Gordon Brown pledged to change the law that allowed an arrest warrant to be issued for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

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Police investigate MP Harry Cohen's expenses

By Jessica Elgot, March 11, 2010

Labour MP Harry Cohen is under investigation by Scotland Yard for allegedly receiving more than £70,000 in expenses for a second home in Colchester.

Mr Cohen, the MP for Leyton and Wanstead, was strongly criticised by a Commons committee for receiving money for his second home while he rented out the property he had previously claimed was his main home.

The Commons committee recommended that Mr Cohen, who is standing down as an MP at the forthcoming general election, should lose his £65,000 retirement payment.

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Ami Ayalon to visit UK, despite arrest threat

March 5, 2010

The former head of Israel’s secret service, Shin Bet, Ami Ayalon, has expressed his determination to take part in a debate next week at the London School of Economics.

Mr Ayalon, formerly a government minister and ex-head of the Israeli navy, is due to speak at LSE on Monday evening as part of a public discussion entitled “The Goldstone Report and the Peace Process”.

He is due to speak alongside Christine Chinkin and Desmond Travers, who were on the panel of the UN Goldstone Report, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, which found both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes.

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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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