UK news

Lubavitch aids stranded air passengers

By Simon Rocker, April 16, 2010

Hendon’s Chabad House is expecting more than 100 guests at tonight’s Shabbat meal - most of them passengers grounded because of the volcanic dust cloud preventing flights taking off from London.

“We’ve had a lot of people calling up wanting a place to eat, a place to sleep,” said Chabad’s Rabbi Dovid Katz. “We have a massive pot of chicken soup ready.”

Having recently run a Seder for 300 people, mostly Israelis, in Golders Green, Rabbi Katz said: “It makes me feel like Pesach is happening again!”

More..

ASA responds to protests over Western Wall ad ban

By Simon Rocker, April 16, 2010

The Advertising Standards Authority has responded to protests over its decision to ban an advertisement from the Israel Government Tourist Office in the UK which showed a picture of the Western Wall.

It posted a message on its web site to say that it had received “lots of feedback” to uphold an objection to the ad from a single anonymous complainant.

“We do appreciate that some people strongly disagree with our decision,” the ASA said.

More..

Griffin's Question Time inquisitor takes on party leaders

By Leon Symons, April 16, 2010

The Jewish teenager who questioned BNP leader Nick Griffin on the Holocaust during an edition of the BBC’s Question Time last year took centre stage again during the first party leaders’ televised debate.

Joel Weiner, the 17-year-old son of Masorti Rabbi Chaim Weiner and a pupil at JFS, asked the leaders a question about what prime minister Gordon Brown, Tory leader David Cameron and Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg would do about improving education.

The teenager said pupils were being over-examined, not enough money was being spent on schools and that in turn led to bigger class sizes.

More..

Think tank chief attacks UJS

April 16, 2010

An anti-extremism campaigner has attacked the Union of Jewish Students and claimed the organisation bowed to pressure from Islamic students by withdrawing an invitation to him to appear in a panel debate.

Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, was expected to speak at the National Union of Students conference in Gateshead on Thursday night.

But he claims UJS dropped him after the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) refused to share a platform with him.

More..

Karen Buck: the full interview

By Martin Bright, April 15, 2010

Westminster is a very diverse community. Is it not divisive to concentrate on the interests of one group?

Westminster is indeed a very diverse part of London and contains many communities. The vast majority of my correspondence with constituents has been, as one would rightly expect, in English but I feel it is important to try to reach out to people within each of the different communities in Westminster by whatever means is most appropriate.

More..

The Arabs, the Jew and the quiet eco-project

By Robyn Rosen, April 15, 2010

It is the great unreported story of the Middle East: that, despite the conflict in the region, an Israeli, a Palestinian, and a Jordanian have been quietly working together for nearly 20 years to protect their shared environment.

And in London this week, the three co-directors of the Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) spoke about their "shared vision" at a fundraising event held by the New Israel Fund.

More..

UK football leagues lose Israel case

By Robyn Rosen, April 15, 2010

The English and Scottish Football Leagues have lost a case against an Israeli football pools company after accusing it of copyright infringement.

The Israel Sports Betting Board (ISBB) runs Toto, the weekly Israel football pools and Winner, which bets on individual matches.

There are not enough matches played locally through the year for the ISBB to rely on local fixtures so they select fixtures from the English and Scottish leagues.

More..

Sheriff throws out concert protest case

By Stephanie Brickman, April 15, 2010

A Scottish sheriff has thrown out a case against five Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign protesters who disrupted a concert by an Israeli classical ensemble.

Five people, Michael (Mick) Napier, Neil Forbes, Sophia McLeod, Kevin Conner and Vanessa Fuertes, were arrested after disrupting a performance by the Jerusalem Quartet at the Edinburgh Festival in August, 2008. They shouted: "These are Israeli army musicians. Genocide in Gaza. End the siege of Gaza."

More..

Party firms deny exploiting charities

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The directors of two promotions companies have defended themselves against allegations that they short-changed a Jewish charity and misled it over the share of the profit it would receive from a club night.

Danny Macabi, of Nana Life Events, and Darren Bloom, of Electric Parties, promote parties which have become the highlight of the social calendar for young Jewish professionals, often attracting up to 600 revellers to each event.

More..

Orthodox delight as sex education plan binned

By Simon Rocker, April 15, 2010

A strictly Orthodox schools spokesman has welcomed the shelving of new proposals on sex education.

The government was forced to drop them because there was insufficient time to get the measures through Parliament before the general election.

Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag, convener of the National Association of Orthodox Schools, said: "I'm delighted they have been thrown out. It would have been impossible for strictly Orthodox schools to have complied with them. It was a collision course and it would not have been responsible to go down such a route."

More..