UK news

Peer attacks 'moral relativism' of debate surrounding Israel

By Faga Speker, June 17, 2010

One of Britain's newest peers is set to question the "moral relativism" relating to discussion of Israel when he reaches the House of Lords.

Leading Newcastle lawyer Sir Jeremy Beecham, 65, was made a life peer by the outgoing government in the Dissolution Honours, and is likely to take his seat as Baron Beecham of Benwell. He has represented Benwell ward on Newcastle City Council for 43 years.

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Uproar over Methodist Israel report

By Simon Rocker, June 17, 2010

Jewish leaders have condemned a "skewed" report on Israel prepared by the Methodist Church, warning it could set back interfaith relations for years.

The report, which is to be debated at the church's national conference later this month, calls for a boycott of goods from "illegal" West Bank settlements, and political lobbying to end Israel's occupation and the "siege of Gaza".

Over the past few days, Jewish organisations in London and Manchester have protested about its contents in meetings with Methodist representatives.

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Chabad triumph at mikveh victory

June 17, 2010

A long-running battle to open Cambridge's first mikveh has moved closer to resolution after the local Lubavitch centre won its appeal this week to build it.

Rabbi Reuven Leigh, director of Chabad House, said that he was "ecstatic" at the news, after more than two years of "stress and aggravation".

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BBC's new man in Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

The BBC's North America correspondent, Kevin Connolly, is to succeed Tim Franks as the corporation's reporter in Jerusalem.

Mr Connolly has had a long career as a foreign correspondent, but has never previously worked in the Middle East.

An Oxford graduate, he worked in print journalism before joining the BBC in 1984.

In 1987, he was posted to Dublin to be the BBC's Irish correspondent, but moved to Warsaw only a year later. He then spent four years as Moscow correspondent, during which he covered the collapse of the Soviet Union and conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Chechnya.

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Internet duo: We're proud to be neo-Nazis

By Leon Symons, June 17, 2010

Two men whose avowed aim was to eradicate Jews from Britain have gone on trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Trevor Hannington, 58, from South Wales, and Michael Heaton, 42, from Manchester, have been accused of soliciting people to kill Jews through postings on a website.

Hannington denied one count of soliciting to murder, while Heaton is on trial for four comments he made on a website run by an organisation called the Aryan Strike Force (ASF) between January and April, 2008.

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New play to probe Nazi 'humanity'

By James Lewis and John Fisher, June 17, 2010

A controversial play about the Holocaust is set to open next week at Leeds Town Hall.

Playwright Jayson Bartlett, 49, who is not Jewish, spent five years researching and interviewing survivors in Eastern Europe for his play, The Interview, which has already been staged in Dewsbury, Yorkshire.

But he has taken an unusual approach. His heroine is an 85-year-old survivor whose life story is revealed in an interview with a reporter whose grandfather was a camp guard.

Mr Bartlett said he felt it was "unfair" only to think of the guards as inhumane.

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BNP's Griffin invite to Palace party

By Jessica Elgot and Marcus Dysch, June 17, 2010

An invitation to BNP leader Nick Griffin to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party has been met with outrage.

As an MEP, Mr Griffin is entitled to tickets to one of the Queen's summer receptions.

He told supporters he expects to attend a garden party on July 22 with his wife and two daughters.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who defeated Mr Griffin at the general election, said: "It sickens me that Nick Griffin has used his position as an elected representative to secure an invitation to Buckingham Palace.

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ASBO for Jewish housing resident, 71

June 17, 2010

A 71-year-old sheltered accommodation resident has been given an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) and ordered to pay more than £6,000 in legal fees after allegedly "threatening violence" towards staff.

The Jewish Community Housing Association obtained the order against one of its tenants, John Godfrey, who claims he was just "retaliating to provocation".

The retired senior Merchant Navy officer has complained to his MP, Matthew Offord, and made an application to Barnet Court to have the order set aside.

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Orthodox girls suspended for emailing

June 17, 2010

GIRLS at a strictly Orthodox high school in Manchester have been disciplined for breaking a pledge not to use the internet.

Beis Yaakov High School is understood to have taken action against pupils and to have excluded a number of girls. The voluntary-aided school, previously known as Jewish High, says it regards the internet "with great fear and suspicion".

A small number of Beis Yaakov girls are understood to have been subject to fixed-term exclusions in recent weeks after the school learned they had been exchanging emails.

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King David mother fights on for school place

June 17, 2010

Community leaders have expressed sadness and outrage over the first case of a Jewish child being barred from a Jewish school under new admissions rules, following the Supreme Court ruling on JFS last summer.

Last week the JC exclusively reported that, after losing an appeal, 10-year-old Kayleigh Chapple was refused a place at Liverpool's King David High School because she could not pass the religious practice test set out in the school's new admissions policy. Her place went to a non-Jewish pupil.

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