UK news

X Factor judges save Katie Waissel

By Katie Taylor, October 11, 2010

Jewish X Factor hopeful Katie Waissel has survived another week of the competition.

It was a near miss for the 24-year-old from Pinner, after she was placed in the bottom three during the first live show of the series. The singer failed to attract voters with her version of Queen’s We are the Champions.

The theme of this week’s competition was number one chart hits.

Dressed in a Lady Gaga style outfit, with a colourful warrior helmet X Factor judge Louis Walsh told her: “You are all style and no substance.”

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Shadow cabinet role for Jewish Labour MP

By Jennifer Lipman, October 8, 2010

The former vice-chairman of Labour Friends of Israel has been elected as the shadow minister for Culture Media and Sport.

Bury South MP Ivan Lewis received 104 votes, making him one of the 19 Labour MPs selected.

The Jewish politician, who in May was re-elected with a 3,292 majority, was a Foreign Office minister under Gordon Brown.

First elected in 1997, Mr Lewis has served as the chief executive of the Manchester Jewish Federation and is a trustee of the Holocaust Education Trust.

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Activists arrested at Israeli cosmetics store

By Robyn Rosen, October 7, 2010

Two people have been arrested after allegedly chaining themselves inside the London branch of an Israeli cosmetics store.

Gwendolen Wilkinson, 20, from Newport and Matthew Richardson, 24, from Sheffield have been charged with aggravated trespass at Ahava in Monmouth Street, Covent Garden.

They will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court later this month.

Protesters demonstrate outside Ahava every other weekend, claiming it mislabels its products “Made in Israel” when they are made in Mitzpe Shalem, an Israeli settlement on the West Bank.

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Oscar-winning director's royal commission

By Jenni Frazer, October 7, 2010

As Arnold Schwartzman acknowledges, it has taken more than half a century for his career to come full circle.

Appointed OBE in 2002 in recognition of his design and film work, Mr Schwartzman, 73, an Oscar-winning documentary film director, has now achieved the ultimate royal commission.

He has designed two enormous murals for the new ocean liner, Queen Elizabeth, which will be officially named by the Queen on October 11.

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Pink Floyd's Waters insists critics misread symbols

By Jennifer Lipman, October 7, 2010

British rock singer Roger Waters has dismissed the claim by American Jewry's main defence organisation that parts of his current concert tour "cross the line into antisemitism".

The former Pink Floyd bass player and vocalist was attacked by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for using a projection which shows Israel dropping bombs in the shape of stars of David, followed by the dollar symbol.

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Holocaust denial in decline, says historian

October 7, 2010

Holocaust denial is slowly becoming a thing of the past, according to a leading authority who claims there are only three or four "pure denial experts".

Dr Nicholas Terry, founder of the anti-denial blog Holocaust Controversies, told a Leicester University conference that denial these days has "great brand recognition, but almost zero customers".

Dr Terry, a historian at Exeter University, said: "My assessment is that there have been around 100 authors since the 1940s who have written what can be considered pure denial books or pamphlets.

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Church is sued over Israel boycott

October 7, 2010

A Methodist preacher is planning to sue his own church over its decision to boycott Israeli goods.

Birmingham-based David Hallam has accused the Methodist Church of being "discriminatory" after its conference passed a report in July calling for a boycott of products from "illegal" West Bank settlements.

Mr Hallam, a former Labour MEP, said: "I tried to handle this internally and wrote to the Church to say I'm not certain we have the power to use donations from the collection to run a discriminatory campaign against Israeli Jews.

"I object to the one-sided and bigoted approach.

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Amazon user claims 'Jewish lobby'

By Robyn Rosen, October 7, 2010

Amazon is continuing to allow posts by a reviewer who has claimed that the "Jewish lobby has a stranglehold over the mass media".

The reviewer, who goes under the name "Ian Millard", has had almost 700 reviews published on Amazon.co.uk since November 2001 and is among Amazon's Top 500 Reviewers.

Most of his contributions remain despite the removal of a number of his reviews following complaints from a reader and inquiries by the JC.

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Gaza activists fly home - on El Al

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

The British captain of a boat carrying Jewish pro-Palestinian activists who planned to break the blockade of Gaza has described how Israeli naval forces intercepted and boarded the vessel.

Glyn Secker, 66, a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), said that the voyage had "succeeded beyond expectations" despite failing to reach Gaza and the crew members' immediate deportation from Israel.

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Board slams West Bank mosque arson

October 7, 2010

The Board of Deputies has deplored an arson attack on a West Bank mosque which is thought to have been the work of Jewish militants.

There could be "no excuse for this heinous act, which included the desecration of Islam's holiest text", a statement from the Board said.

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