UK news

WJR’s plan for more medics for Haiti

By Leon Symons, February 18, 2010

The success of its Haiti earthquake fundraising appeal has spurred international aid charity World Jewish Relief to step up the help it is providing to the stricken island.

Chief executive Paul Anticoni has launched an appeal for medical and health experts to form teams to run four mobile clinics.

The teams - a doctor and two primary health care nurses - will visit displacement camps housing thousands of refugees whose homes were destroyed.

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Brick Lane 'hijab' gates to have Jewish Heritage centre close by

By Robyn Rosen, February 18, 2010

A row over proposals to install giant Islamic "headscarf" arches in Brick Lane, the heart of the old Jewish East End, has resulted in plans to create a Jewish East End Heritage Centre.

The arches are part of a £1.85million "culture trail" proposed by Tower Hamlets Council to "reflect the many cultural backgrounds that have occupied and sought refuge" in and around Brick Lane. Also planned is a 30ft minaret outside a mosque.

But the proposals have met opposition from local Jews as well as Muslims, heritage organisations and artist Tracey Emin, who lives near Brick Lane.

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Zionist Federation may sue David Bellamy over talk pull-out

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) has claimed its campaign led TV botanist David Bellamy to pull out of a Zionist Federation science event.

Prof Bellamy was scheduled to be guest speaker at the Israel Blue White and Green event last week, but withdrew offering no explanation for his absence.

The JC understands that the ZF is now considering taking legal action against Prof Bellamy for breach of contract.

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MPs urge Israel to work with Palestinian Authority

By Leon Symons, February 18, 2010

Israel's best chance for peace is to work with the current leaders of the Palestinian Authority, according to the leader of a group of MPs which has just visited the region.

Mike Gapes, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, led nine of its 14 MPs from all parties on the four-day trip.

He said on their return: "I believe Israel should recognise that Salam Fayyad and Abu Mazen are the best hope they've got for peace. They are committed to a two-state solution and Israel should respond positively."

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Israelis warned of terror attacks abroad

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 18, 2010

Israelis have been warned that there is currently a heightened possibility of a terror attack on an Israeli or Jewish target abroad.

The Counter-terrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister's Office has issued a general travel warning, not connected to a specific country, which tells Israelis planning to spend time overseas that the probability of an attack will rise around the second anniversary of the killing of Hizbollah operations chief, Imad Mughniyeh, mid-February.

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Israeli ambassador 'grilled' on Dubai murder

By Jessica Elgot, February 18, 2010

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has confirmed British passports used by assassins who killed a Hamas leader in Dubai were old passports which did not contain microchip technology.

Mr Miliband said they were taking allegations of misuse of British passports very seriously.

He said: “The Permanent Secretary made clear how seriously we take any suggestion of fraudulent use of British passports, he also explained the concern that we have for British passport holders in Israel whose concerns have been well expressed by them, and we’re offering them consular support.

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Deputy Israeli ambassador cancels uni talk

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2010

Deputy Israeli ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher has cancelled a talk at Manchester University within the last hour amid rising security “threats” from protesters.

Ms Lador-Fresher was due to speak at 3pm to the politics society of Manchester University Students Union. But after 300 protesters were expected to turn out, organised by another student society Action Palestine, the embassy cancelled her visit.

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Israeli Embassy tweets 'We scored hit in Dubai'

By Jessica Elgot, February 18, 2010

A Twitter message from the Israeli embassy in London claiming that Israel scored ‘a hit in Dubai’ caused much consternation in Jerusalem.

The message, which linked to a news report of Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer’s victory in the quarter finals in the Dubai championships, was posted on the Embassy’s official Twitter feed as ambassador Ron Prosor went to a meeting at the Foreign Office.

The tweet read: “You heard it here first: Israeli tennis player carries out hit on Dubai target."

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Seven jailed for Gaza protest violence

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2010

Seven men, two of whom hold Palestinian nationality, have been jailed for offences during the January 2009 violent protest in London against Israel’s operation in Gaza.

At Isleworth Crown Court, one of the protesters was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders’ institution (YOI) and three people were imprisoned for 18 months, one in a YOI.

Two more protesters were sentenced for two years, one in a YOI and another has been jailed for two and a half years. Six of the men pleaded guilty to violent disorder at the protest and one to handling stolen goods.

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Teen to website users: Pledge you aren't Jewish

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2010

A teenager who set up a racist website, which asked people to pledge they had never followed Judaism, is believed to be the youngest person prosecuted for inciting racial hatred.

The 17-year-old from north Norfolk set up his own website where visitors had to pledge they “have never been a follower of the Jewish religion”.

He also asked visitors to affirm they were white and they “believe in the segregation of the races and have never engaged in an inter-racial relationship.”

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