UK government

Livni fears UK-led push to boycott settlement goods

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2008

The Israeli and British governments have clashed over imports from West Bank settlements, with Jerusalem concerned this may be the first salvo in a British-led international campaign.

The issue has been personally pursued by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who, according to an internal document "has proposed a round-table involving UK government officials, NGOs, and retailers" to discuss it.


Outrage as Hizbollah man is allowed in

By Marcus Dysch, November 6, 2008

The Home Office has been attacked for allowing Hizbollah-linked journalist Ibrahim Mousawi to enter Britain, days after Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced plans to keep hate preachers out of the country.

Mr Mousawi edits the Al Intiqad journal in Lebanon and previously worked for the Shi'ite TV station, Al Manar.


Former MP dies at 91

August 22, 2008

Former MP and gay-rights champion Leo Abse has died at the age of 91.

The former Labour MP for Pontypool, and later Torfaen, died at Charing Cross Hospital in West London on Tuesday night after a short illness.

In 1967, Mr Abse guided a Private Member's Bill through Parliament making sex between men legal.

Cardiff-born Mr Abse, elder brother of writer Dannie Abse, was also credited with helping liberalise divorce laws with the 1969 Divorce Reform Act.


Hebron claims attacked UK envoys were on an ‘antisemitic’ mission

By Marcus Dysch, August 15, 2008

A fact-finding visit last week by British diplomats to Hebron, during which their car was attacked by settlers, was "antisemitic", according to a representative of the city's Jewish community.

The settlers blocked the route of the armoured vehicle before kicking and shaking it during the incident in the West Bank last Thursday.

The three middle-ranking diplomats were on a tour organised by human-rights group Breaking the Silence. Their guide, Mikhael Manekin, said the incident had proved "a bit nerve-wracking" for the unnamed officials.


MPs fly to Poland to learn legacy of hate

By Marcus Dysch, August 1, 2008

A group of nine MPs visited Poland last week to discuss combating antisemitism in the country.

The three-day trip was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism (PCAA).

It included a visit to the former Nazi death camp at Majdanek and meetings with government officials and Jewish residents.


Commons committees urge UK to talk to Hamas

By Bernard Josephs, August 1, 2008

The government is under pressure from two influential House of Commons select committees to drop the boycott of contacts with Hamas which it shares with members of the international Middle East Quartet.

The chairman of one of the committees, Labour MP Mike Gapes, last week held private talks on the issue with Tony Blair, Middle East envoy of the Quartet - the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.


MP criticises select committee

By Dana Gloger, July 24, 2008

In a highly  unusual move, an MP on a government select committee has spoken out against its report on development in the Palestinian territories.

Stephen Crabb, Conservative MP for Pembrokeshire is one of 11 members of the International Development Committee who published its report The Humanitarian and Development Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories on Thursday.

This week he said the report had "a narrative that Israel is the aggressor" and was "over the top".


MPs terrified by ‘close’ Sderot gunfire

By Dana Gloger, July 11, 2008

Conservative MPs have described their horror at experiencing a gunfire exchange in Sderot this week.

The politicians were close to the shoot-out between Israeli soldiers and snipers across the border when they visited the town on Wednesday as part of a five-day trip organised by Conservative Friends of Israel.

Peterborough MP and shadow communities and local government minister Stewart Jackson said: “We couldn’t see the gunfire, but could hear that it was close by. Not being able to see it actually made it more frightening.”


Minister vows strong Israel ties

July 11, 2008

Britain’s business minister has pledged to strengthen the ties between Israel and the UK.

John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, told the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner: “We must continue to actively encourage those people committed to the realisation of an Israel free from terror and at peace for generations to come, alongside a viable, independent and prosperous Palestinian state.


Ambition: to be an MP

By Candice Krieger, June 20, 2008

Political writer Neil Glass is to stand against the former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election and has promised to donate half his MP’s salary to charity should he get elected. The by-election, likely to take place on July 10, has been triggered by Mr Davis’s profound opposition to the government’s insistence that terror suspects should be detained for a minimum of 42 days.