UK news

Venezuelan Embassy criticised for Intifada celebration

By Jennifer Lipman, November 5, 2010

Anti-extremism campaigners have called for police to intervene in an event organised by the Venezuelan Embassy in London marking the 10th anniversary of the start of the second intifada.

The event, to be staged on Saturday at Bolivar Hall in central London, has been titled “The Outbreak of the Intifada: Turning Back the Empire.”

It is described as part of “a series of events which commemorates 10 years since the eruption of the defining struggle of our generation.

“It is also a salute to that struggle…against the Zionist-apartheid state.”


Student rage at union chief’s views

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2010

The Union of Jewish Students has called for a student union president to resign after making apparently antisemitic remarks.

Clare Solomon, a religion student at the School of Oriental and African Studies, claimed that the persecution of Jews had been fabricated to justify attacks on Palestinians.

She was elected as president of the University of London student union earlier this year.


Christian Zionists expelled for Israel support

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

A Zionist Christian group says it will take legal action to fight eviction from its premises because it supports Israel.

Father's House, a small church group of 40 people based in the Welsh village of Gwernymynydd, near Mold, says this is the first case of a Christian church being evicted from a public village building because of its beliefs.


Analysis: Islamist threats: this time, the real thing

By Martin Bright, November 4, 2010

It should be the conspiracy theorist's dream scenario. Just as the coalition is being held to its promises to dismantle the Labour government's security state, a parcel bomb is found on board a cargo plane at a British airport. There was a time, before the attacks of July 7 2005, when some of us still gave credence to the idea that the British state was overhyping the terror threat in order to scare us into accepting infringements of civil liberties. How interesting that no one is suggesting that the Yemeni parcel bombs are anything other than very real.


Israel's Meridor feared UK arrrest

By Marcus Dysch, November 4, 2010

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor cancelled an appearance at a London fundraising dinner this week over fears he could be arrested under universal jurisdiction legislation.

The Israeli Justice Ministry warned Mr Meridor that a warrant for his arrest might be issued if he entered Britain.

He had been due to speak at the Bicom dinner on Monday evening, to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who cancelled last week citing the delicate state of the peace negotiations.


Harry Potter star and the 'Israeli Holocaust'

By Leon Symons, November 4, 2010

Actress Miriam Margolyes was accused this week of "ignorance and moral imbalance" for remarks she made on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

Ms Margolyes, who appears in the Harry Potter films, was asked to speak about her recent visit to West Bank refugee camps with the Action Aid charity. The programme ran a short film clip, supplied by Action Aid, showing her visiting the ramshackle home of a Palestinian family.


Gove wins plaudits for defence of Israel

By Martin Bright, November 4, 2010

Education Secretary Michael Gove told British supporters of Israel this week that human rights activists and politicians were wrong to use the word "disproportionate" when talking about Israel's military response to threats to its security.

His comments will raise eyebrows among his colleagues, not least Foreign Secretary William Hague, who described Israel's assault on Lebanon in 2006 in precisely those terms.

Advocacy organisations in Britain, including Conservative Friends of Israel, have subsequently worked hard to persuade Tory politicians not to use such incendiary language.


The new Jewish leaders

November 4, 2010

The Jewish Leadership Council has elected new trustees this week, including several fresh faces at its top table.

Taking their seats are Bicom chairman Poju Zabludowicz, Masorti co-chair Bill Benjamin - whose organisation only joined
the JLC recently - and Stephen Lewis and James Libson, who jointly represent the New Leadership Network,
a group fostered by the JLC to groom leaders for British Jewry.


Cruise company: choose Haifa or Tripoli

By Leon Symons, November 4, 2010

The online description is mouthwatering: "…an enticing mix of architectural and cultural wonders, this 14-night cruise on board Adonia takes in the magnificent cities of Haifa and Cairo, as well as a fascinating collection of other destinations…"

The only problem is any passenger who visits Haifa - despite forking out anything from £1,600 to more than £6,000 per head - will be "confined to ship" at another port: Tripoli, the capital of Libya.


Even with shrapnel, Israeli kids are freer

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

Israeli schoolchildren, even those on the war-blighted Lebanese border, have greater freedom to learn through exploration and play than their "over risk-assessed" British counterparts, according to a Jewish primary school headteacher.

Leeds Brodetsky Primary School head Jeremy Dunford, returning from his first visit to Israel, said he had found that Israeli pupils were able to use school equipment with far less adult supervision, and greater success, while British children were less likely to learn how to cope with risk as a result of strict UK health and safety laws.