UK news

Cameron criticised for Europe nationalist links

By Martin Bright, April 15, 2010

Conservative leader David Cameron has come under fire from a senior European politician over his alliance with "exotic" ultra-nationalist parties in the European Parliament.

The Spanish secretary-general of the European People's Party (EPP), Antonio López-Istúriz, has predicted that the European Conservative and Reformists (ERC), the recently-formed Eurosceptic group, could collapse, allowing Tory MEPs to rejoin the mainstream EPP.

More..

Racing driver still winning... aged 75

By Danny Caro, April 15, 2010

He beat the legendary Sir Jackie Stewart - and now veteran driver Philip Barak is gearing up for his 54th year on the circuit.

An unlikely 75 years old, Mr Barak is believed to be the oldest competitive racing driver in the country.

Born in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, Mr Barak can be identified by the star of David he wears on his helmet and began an early love affair with engines.

Wryly, he recalls: "I was not a typical Jewish boy. I used to race motorcycles. My father [who made machines for amusement arcades] was very concerned."

More..

Ad watchdog bars Western Wall photo

By Simon Rocker, April 15, 2010

Britain's advertising watchdog has provoked a furious reaction after ruling that Israel cannot use a photograph of Judaism's holiest shrine, the Western Wall, in a travel advert.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint against a press ad produced by the Israel Government Tourist Office because it suggested that the Wall, the only relic of the Second Temple, was part of Israel.

Rabbi Barry Marcus, who holds the Israel portfolio in the Chief Rabbi's cabinet, denounced the decision as "ludicrous, shocking and offensive".

More..

Violent teen accuses Jews of controlling government

By Leon Symons, April 15, 2010

A teenager had been planning violent attacks on the government because he claimed it had been taken over by Jews, a court has heard.

Nicky Davison, a 19-year-old milkman, was accused at Newcastle Crown Court of being a co-founder, with his father Ian, of a group called Aryan Strike Force, an on-line far right extremist group which wanted to topple the government because they believed it was dominated by Zionists and Jews.

More..

Green candidate compares Hamas to French resistance

By Jessica Elgot, April 15, 2010
Israel was accused of building “concentration camps” at a meeting attended by a Labour MP and parliamentary candidates for Hammersmith and Fulham.

The event, a debate for Hammersmith and Fulham parliamentary candidates, was attended by Labour MP Andy Slaughter alongside Green candidate Rollo Miles and Lib Dem Merlene Emerson.

Green candidate Mr Miles accused Israel of running a “concentration camp” and compared Hamas terrorists to French resistance members fighting the Nazis.

More..

Gerald Ronson: 'Social unrest in a two-tier Britain'

By Jessica Elgot, April 14, 2010

Jewish businessman Gerald Ronson has warned of “social unrest” if the problems of a “two tier Britain” are not tackled.

The Chief Executive of Heron International also called on the next government not to target entrepreneurs with heavy taxation and constraints which could drive them out of the country.

Speaking at the “topping out” ceremony for the Heron Tower, a skyscraper his company has developed, Mr Ronson spoke of his concern about the growing divide between the city and the rest of the country.

More..

Labour peer Lord Bernstein dies

By Jessica Elgot, April 13, 2010

Labour peer and former chairman of Granada Television, Lord Bernstein, has died aged 74.

Lord Bernstein, the former Alexander Bernstein, was spearheading a video documentation project of Anglo Jewry alongside the Jerusalem Foundation.

His father and uncle founded the Granada television company, of which he later became managing director and chairman.

A former pupil of Stowe School, Lord Bernstein studied at St John’s College, Cambridge.

More..

David Cameron pledge to tackle antisemitism

By Jessica Elgot, April 13, 2010

David Cameron was the first to respond to Reform Judaism head Rabbi Tony Bayfield’s request for the three party leaders to address the community.

Telling Rabbi Bayfield that he had “many friends on the mailing list” of the newsletter where his response was published, Mr Cameron joked that “this might be the last they hear from me for a few weeks!”

Mr Cameron, who launched the Conservative manifesto at Battersea Power Station in London today, spoke of his delight when he learnt about his Jewish ancestors, the Levitas.

More..

Martin Linton: Listen to his 'tentacles' speech

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

Martin Linton, MP for Battersea and chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, has apologised for describing the "long tentacles of Israel" reaching into British politics.

The Battersea MP said he was sorry for any offence but maintained he was not aware of the antisemitic precedents for the image of a Jewish octopus stretching around the world.

You can listen to the extract of Mr Linton's speech here.

More..

Mira Awad: I won't perform on Israel Independence Day

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad, who pulled out of a performance at the Zionist Federation’s Israel Independence Day concert, has insisted death threats were not behind her decision to cancel.

In a message on her Facebook page, the singer, who jointly represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest, maintained she had pulled out after she realised the significance of the date of the performance.

Ms Awad was due to perform with her Eurovision partner Achinoam Nini, known as Noa, with whom she sings to sell-out audiences internationally, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.

More..