UK government

Government lifts ban on contact with Muslim Council of Britain

By Stephen Pollard, January 15, 2010

The government has announced that it is lifting its ban on official contact with the Muslim Council of Britain, imposed after the group’s Deputy Secretary General, Daud Abdullah, was revealed to have been a signatory to the Istanbul Declaration, which called for violence against Israel and was widely interpreted as condoning attacks on British troops.

There is speculation that the lifting of the ban is a quid pro quo for next week’s announcement that legislation will be introduced on universal jurisdiction for war crimes.

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Leader: An Open Letter To Jack Straw

January 8, 2010

Dear Jack Straw,

This week, a deeply embarrassed Lady Scotland was obliged to stonewall her Israeli hosts and admit that nothing had yet been done to close the loophole in British law allowing arrest warrants to be issued at the instigation of private individuals.

The question, Mr Straw, is why nothing has yet been done.

You yourself, when Foreign Secretary in 2005, actually apologised to your Israeli counterpart when General Doron Almog stayed on his plane at Heathrow rather than get off and risk prosecution.

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Baroness Scotland: UK working on arrest law

By Jessica Elgot, January 5, 2010

The Attorney-General, Baroness Scotland, who is currently visiting Israel, has refused to comment on individual arrest warrants issued against Israeli leaders in Britain.

IDF officers have been forced to cancel a trip to Britain after the British government failed to guarantee that arrest warrants would not be issued against them, it emerged today.

This followed an attempt to arrest Tzipi Livni, leader of Israel’s Kadima party, who cancelled a trip to the UK after a warrant was issued.

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IDF cancel UK trip after arrest fears

By Jessica Elgot, January 5, 2010

IDF officers have been forced to cancel a trip to Britain after the British government failed to guarantee that arrest warrants would not be issued against them.

Israel's Defence Ministry halted the IDF visit to the UK, where four IDF chiefs were invited to speak to the British army, the Jerusalem Post reported.

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The New Year's Honours - what they say

By Robyn Rosen, December 31, 2009

A theatre director, mental health campaigner and strictly-Orthodox headteacher are among those to receive honours in the New Years Honours List.

National Theatre director, Nicholas Hytner, 53, has received a knighthood for services to drama.

Sir Nicholas was a Manchester Reform congregant in his youth and went on to direct Miss Saigon, His Dark Materials and both the film and theatre version of The History Boys.

He said: “I’m delighted and flattered.”

Sir Ralph Kohn received a knighthood for his services to science, music and charity.

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Jews on the New Years Honours List

December 31, 2009

The current roll call of New Year's Honours List from the Jewish community.

Knights

Nicholas Hytner
Director of the National Theatre

Erich Reich
Fundraiser, chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees' Kindertransport Committee and the Kindertransport Group

Dr Ralph Kohn
Retired pharmacologist, musician, and head of the Ralph Kohn Foundation

Jonathan Cunliffe
Second Permanent Secretary and Head of International Economic Affairs, Europe and G8 Sherpa, Prime Minister's Office

CBE

David Goldstone

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Four knights top Honours List

By Robyn Rosen and Dina Rickman, December 31, 2009

Community leaders have dominated the New Year Honours List with four knighthoods and almost 20 CBEs, OBEs and MBEs.

National Theatre director, Nicholas Hytner and pharmacologist and philanthropist Dr Ralph Kohn have been awarded knighthoods in this year’s honours.

The honour also went to Erich Reich, chairman of the Kindertransport Group and Association of Jewish Refugees' Kindertransport Committee and to Second Permanent Secretary and the head of International Economic Affairs for the Prime Minister's Office, Jonathan Cunliffe.

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Former Lord Mayor's knighthood 'dropped'

By Robyn Rosen, December 30, 2009

Ian Luder, the former Lord Mayor, has reportedly had his impending knighthood dropped after defending bankers’ bonuses.

Mr Luder, the 681st Lord Mayor was allegedly due to receive a knighthood in tomorrow’s New Year Honours List but will be the first Alderman to be denied it in more than 50 years.

In June Sir Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Secretary, head of the Home Civil Service and chairman of the main Honours Committee said that Lord Mayors could no longer expect to automatically receive a knighthood.

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Israel doubts UK will overturn 'Livni law'

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2009

The Israeli government has little faith that Britain will, in the near future, change the laws that allow arrest warrants to be obtained for Israeli officials on the suspicion of war crimes. The government is now pinning its hopes on an international initiative to amend the laws of war.

Israel officially maintains that it is the responsibility of the British government to amend legislation that has put London out of bounds for many Israeli officers and politicians.

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Full legal opinion sent to government by the JLC

By Lord Pannick QC, Blackstone Chambers, December 17, 2009

1. I am asked to advise the Jewish Leadership Council concerning possible changes to the law to prevent a warrant for arrest alleging war crimes being issued by a Magistrate against Israeli politicians and senior military officials who visit this country.

The background

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