UK news

Lecturer tells UCU: change or I'll sue

By Marcus Dysch, July 7, 2011

A leading Jewish academic has threatened the University and College Union with legal action as the backlash against its rejection of the widely-accepted definition of antisemitism reached new levels this week.

Lawyers acting for Ronnie Fraser, director of Academic Friends of Israel, have written to UCU general secretary Sally Hunt alleging the Union's stance breaches equality laws.

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Anti-Israel activist cleared of arms smash dies at 36

By Jessica Elgot, July 6, 2011

One of the defendants of the controversial Brighton Arms Factory case, acquitted by Judge Bathurst-Norman, has died aged 36.

Simon Levin, of Montpelier Street, Brighton, came from a Jewish family and had great grandparents who died in Auschwitz – which he said contributed towards his political activism.

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Curator named for Oxford Hebrew Centre

By Jennifer Lipman, July 6, 2011

The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies has announced the successor to its longtime curator Dr Piet van Boxel.

Dr Cesar Merchan Hamann will take over from Dr van Boxel in September as curator of the Bodleian Library's Hebrew and Judaica collections.

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Theresa May: 'Something went wrong' with Raed Salah at border

By Robyn Rosen, July 5, 2011

More details have emerged concerning the exclusion order against Islamic speaker Raed Salah, who is currently being detained after allegedly flouting a ban to enter the country.

Sheikh Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was arrested last month, a day before he was due to share a platform with MPs in the House of Commons.

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Labour Friends of Israel name new chair

By Marcus Dysch, July 5, 2011

Labour Friends of Israel has selected John Woodcock as its new chairman.

Mr Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, had been a vice-chair since September last year and takes on the role following the death of David Cairns in May.

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Scottish academics quit UCU for 'feeding' antisemitism

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2011

Four Scottish academics have quit the University and College Union in protest against its decision to reject the European Union's working definition of antisemitism.

Ephraim Borowski, the former president of the UCU-predecessor, the Glasgow Association of University Teachers, was joined by three other longtime members in leaving.

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Gaza flotilla Brits lobby David Cameron

By Jessica Elgot, July 4, 2011

Although no British ship has joined the ill-fated flotilla from Athens to Gaza, this week activists in the UK have been lobbying Prime Minister David Cameron and the Greek ambassador to "guarantee their safe passage".

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Raed Salah supporters plan Downing Street demo

By Jennifer Lipman, July 4, 2011

Supporters of banned speaker Sheikh Raed Salah are planning to protest against his detention at Downing Street later today.

The Palestinian Forum, which was due to host Mr Salah at events in Brent and Manchester over the weekend, said it wanted to express anger at "the British government's attempt to silence" him.

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Orthodox Jews save Somali boy from fire

By Robyn Rosen, July 1, 2011

Two strictly Orthodox men and a medic from Hatzola, the Charedi ambulance service, have saved a young London Somali boy from a fire.

Josh Berkovitz ran into a blazing building in Tottenham, north London, after he heard a mother screaming that her son was trapped in the building yesterday afternoon.

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Academic suing University and College Union over antisemitism vote

By Jennifer Lipman, July 1, 2011

A British academic has announced that he is taking legal action against the Universities and Colleges Union after it made the "indecent" decision to distance itself from the European Union's working definition of antisemitism.

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