UK news

Dismore 'traumatised' by losing Hendon

May 13, 2010

Former Hendon MP Andrew Dismore has rejected claims that an initiative by a Muslim organisation which campaigns against candidates who back Israel cost him his seat.

Mr Dismore, who had held the constituency for Labour since 1997, was defeated by Conservative candidate Matthew Offord by just 106 votes, the second narrowest margin in England.

On its website, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) claimed it had "defeated the top ranking Zionist MP Dismore!".

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Lady Jakobovits: The first lady of Anglo-Jewry

May 13, 2010

Lady Amelie Jakobovits was in my house five years ago watching the forced removal of the settlers in Gaza by the Israeli army.

She stared at the TV and cried. What she found so distressing was not the political situation that had led to Israel's decision to evacuate Gaza. It was that Jew was fighting Jew, relayed to her with graphic, brutal realism. As far as rights or political expediency were concerned, Amélie was prepared to be pragmatic. But this violence she could not bear.

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BNP and MPAC fail to sway electorate

By Leon Symons, May 13, 2010

Jewish and pro-Israel candidates performed well in the general election, despite a leafleting campaign by the Middle East Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) in some constituencies and the efforts of the BNP in others.

Arguably the biggest winner was in Harlow, Essex, where Robert Halfon, political director of the Conservative Friends of Israel, toppled former Armed Services Minister Bill Rammell, with a near-5,000 majority.

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Jewish old-age: It's in the genes

By Leon Symons, May 13, 2010

They smoke, drink, and are overweight. They are nearly 100 years old - and Jewish.

This week an Israeli-born academic revealed the secret: it's in their genes.

In London this week to speak to the Royal Academy, Professor Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute of Ageing in New York, discussed his pioneering 12-year study of 500 Ashkenazi Jews aged between 95 and an astonishing 112 years old.

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Israel to appeal against Western Wall ASA ban

By Jessica Elgot and Simon Rocker, May 13, 2010

The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) will appeal against a ban on a holiday advert which described the Western Wall as part of Israel — after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint that it was actually in the Occupied Territories.

An image on the advert for holidays in Israel showed a picture of the Kotel, with the gold Dome of the Rock in the background, captioned “Jerusalem”’.

The ASA received a complaint that the picture showed disputed east Jerusalem, and was misleadingly portraying it as part of Israel.

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Amnesty steps up action against Israel

By Simon Rocker, May 13, 2010

Amnesty International’s UK branch is continuing to highlight Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians with an exhibition planned in London for next month directed against its security barrier.

“Against the Wall” features art and graffiti on the wall in the West Bank “which cuts through Palestinian communities with devastating effect”, according to the publicity.

The event follows a meeting last night on Israeli policy in East Jerusalem entitled “Capital Murder: Inside the Israeli authorities’ regime of discrimination and control in Occupied East Jerusalem”.

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Jew and Muslim are Conservative co-chairs

By Martin Bright, May 13, 2010

A Jew and a Muslim have been appointed joint chairs of the Conservative Party in a bold attempt to establish David Cameron’s credentials as a modernising leader who can reach out across British society.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a 39-year-old lawyer from Dewsbury, who was shadow communities spokeswoman, will serve as Britain’s first Muslim Cabinet member.

She leapt to public prominence after her combative performance on Question Time alongside BNP leader Nick Griffin.

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Chief Rabbi's tribute to Lady Jakobovits

By Jessica Elgot, May 12, 2010

There are some individuals so vivid, so full of life, that we simply cannot imagine them not being there.

There are some lives that burn so bright, we cannot imagine them being extinguished. That surely defines the feelings of all of us at the loss of HaRabbanit Amélie Jakobovits, the person the whole of Anglo- Jewry knew and loved as Lady J.

First there was shock, then bewilderment, then a deep sense of bereavement and personal loss, for we have all lost a beloved friend.

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Cameron's Cabinet: Who are they?

By Jessica Elgot, May 12, 2010

Our run-down on how the new cabinet feel on key Jewish issues, including Israel, universal jurisdiction, faith schools and Islamic extremism.

David Cameron
Prime Minister, Conservatives

David Cameron talked warmly of finding his Jewish roots and said he had spoken about them to one of Britain’s leading rabbinical authorities.

Last July, Yaakov Wise of Manchester University’s Centre for Jewish Studies traced Mr Cameron’s family tree to 16th-century Jewish scholar Elijah Levit.

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NHS staff rate Hitler's 'coolness'

By Jessica Elgot, May 11, 2010

NHS staff have been asked to rate how “cool” Adolf Hitler was and to compare him to their chief executive, in a "disturbing" survey about leadership.

The survey, entitled ‘Making Leadership Cool’ is part of a £10,000 project of NHS West Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

It was sent to 3,300 staff at the West Midlands Ambulance service, who were asked to compare Hitler’s “coolness” with Richard Branson, Gordon Brown, Fabio Capello and Winston Churchill.

They were then asked to compare Hitler with their own chief executive Ian Cumming.

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