UK news

Jewish juror denied Old Testament to swear on

By Robyn Rosen, June 10, 2010

A civil servant has spoken of her "shock" after finding one of the largest courts in the country did not provide a copy of the Old Testament on which she could swear an oath.

Jo Gattenberg, 41, from Archway, North London, had to make an affirmation, the non-religious option, after her request for the Old Testament was declined at Southwark Crown Court last week.

The oath is taken by members of the jury and anyone taking the stand in a British court.

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Hackney's swastika art attack

By Jessica Elgot, June 10, 2010

A former Vogue photographer and artist has caused a stir in Hackney with plans to display his latest work - swastikas made out of Catholic communion wafers.

The artwork, by photographer Colin Hampden-White, is intended as an attack on Pope Pius XII, who did not speak out against the Holocaust.

The swastikas occupy two squares of the annual 100sqft art exhibition. The idea is that any artist can buy space on a grid of 30cm squares, to show his or her work.

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Press win for the JC

June 10, 2010

For a second time the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has ruled in favour of the Jewish Chronicle in relation to complaints made against the paper by Londoner Edward Saleh.

Mr Saleh complained about the JC's coverage of his refusal to give his wife, Miriam, a get, or religious divorce.

He complained to the PCC, which found against him.

He then complained again, this time about the JC's coverage of the PCC's ruling.

This week the PCC declared that there had been no breach of the Press Code by the Jewish Chronicle.

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JNF faces charity challenge

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2010

The JNF came under renewed attack this week from anti-Zionists calling for the removal of its charitable status.

Veteran activist Uri Davis - author of Israel: An Apartheid State - addressed a "Stop the JNF" meeting organised by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (Ijan) at London's School of Oriental and African Studies on Tuesday.

Michael Kalmanovitz, an Ijan UK co-ordinator, said the event was "part of a campaign to expose the role of JNF and to protest at its fundraising activities".

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Jewish flotilla plans to break Gaza blockade

By Marcus Dysch, June 10, 2010

Community representatives have reacted with outrage to the news that an all-Jewish flotilla of anti-Israel campaigners is planning to sail to Gaza next month, pledging to break the blockade.

The flotilla, to be captained by the British sailor, Glyn Secker of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, will sail under the auspices of European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP), an umbrella organisation of groups from 10 countries,

Mr Secker said it would show that "not all Jews support Israel" and would "say emphatically: not in our name".

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Jewish donor funds Cambridge digital library

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

Cambridge University has announced plans to digitise a collection of rare books including important ancient Jewish texts.

Thanks to a donation from British Jewish philanthropist Dr Leonard Polonsky, the university will be converting books from its faith collection into digital form.

Dr Polonsky, ranked at number 507 on the Sunday Times Rich List in 2009, has pledged £1.5 million for the project. The New York born businessman founded the Polonsky-Coexist Lectureship in Jewish Studies at Cambridge.

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Former Israel ambassador named Britain's envoy on post-Holocaust issues

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

The former UK Ambassador to Israel has been appointed Britain’s first envoy for post-Holocaust Issues.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has named Sir Andrew Burns to the role, which will involve resolving issues of property and art looted during the Second World War.

He will also be responsible for keeping Britain at the forefront of Holocaust education efforts and furthering the work of the International Tracing Service, a body aiming to document the fate of Nazi victims.

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Former ambassador named UK Holocaust envoy

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

The former UK Ambassador to Israel has been appointed Britain’s first envoy for post-Holocaust Issues.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has named Sir Andrew Burns to the role, which will involve resolving issues of property and art looted during the Second World War.

He will also be responsible for keeping Britain at the forefront of Holocaust education efforts and furthering the work of the International Tracing Service, a body aiming to document the fate of Nazi victims.

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Former Israel ambassador named Britain's envoy on post-Holocaust issues

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

The former UK Ambassador to Israel has been appointed Britain’s first envoy for post-Holocaust Issues.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has named Sir Andrew Burns to the role, which will involve resolving issues of property and art looted during the Second World War.

He will also be responsible for keeping Britain at the forefront of Holocaust education efforts and furthering the work of the International Tracing Service, a body aiming to document the fate of Nazi victims.

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Education charity cleared of Hizb-ut-Tahrir link

By Simon Rocker, June 8, 2010

An educational charity which was at the centre of controversy last year has been cleared by the Charity Commission of promoting a militant Islamic ideology.

The charity watchdog investigated the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation – which runs two independent primary schools in Haringey and Slough – following a Sunday Telegraph article in October.

According to the commission, the article raised concerns that the charity was being run by activists from the radical group Hizb-ut-Tahrir and teaching its beliefs in the schools.

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