UK news

Gaza questioned in Israel poll

By Simon Rocker, January 7, 2010

The most detailed survey of what British Jews think of Israel was launched today by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

Conducted by Ipsos Mori and commissioned by the Pears Foundation, it consists of a questionnaire that takes about 15 minutes to complete online.

Correspondents are asked, among other things, if they think Israel’s incursion into Gaza a year ago was an act of self-defence, whether West Bank settlements should be expanded and whether Israeli actions cause antisemitism in Britain.

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‘Miracle’ for kidney man

By Keren David, January 7, 2010

A man’s long wait for a kidney transplant ended on Christmas Day.

Barry Jacobs, 41 from Woodside Park, had suffered from polycystic kidney disease for 20 years, and had been on the list for a transplant for three. As both his kidneys had been removed, he required dialysis for 15 hours a week.

Barry and Susie Jacobs and their two children were enjoying a rare break in Watford to celebrate Susie’s 40th birthday — December 25.

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Q&A on JFS

By Simon Rocker, January 7, 2010

Why did the Board of Deputies want to amend the Equality Bill to overturn the Supreme Court judgement on Jewish school admissions?

The Supreme Court ruled that Jewish schools can no longer admit children simply on the basis of whether their parents are Jewish. This is because Jews are considered by law as an ethnic group (like Sikhs, but not Christians or Muslims) and to choose children according to parental descent is a matter of ethnic origin, therefore a case of racial discrimination.

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Alex Salmond urged to stop Scottish Israel trip

By Marcus Dysch, January 7, 2010

The Scottish Friends of Palestine group has urged the Scottish First Minister to cancel a trade group’s trip to Israel, denouncing it as a “pariah state”.

A delegation from Scottish Development International, which helps companies attract foreign investment, is due to arrive in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

During the five-day trip, organised with UK Trade and Investment, they are expected to meet scientists from Israeli companies specialising in stem cell research, drug development and medical devices.

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JFS fight collapses as Board retreats

By Simon Rocker, January 7, 2010

Jewish leaders this week dramatically dropped plans to press for a change in the law to overturn the recent Supreme Court decision on Jewish school admissions.

On Tuesday the Board of Deputies called off a meeting planned for the next day with synagogue leaders, which was to have discussed introducing an amendment to the government’s Equality Bill.

Vivian Wineman, president of the Board, said that there was widespread agreement that it was better not to go immediately for legislative change in case it produced “unintended consequences”.

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Chamberlain's Hitler plane ticket discovered

By Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

The plane ticket used by Neville Chamberlain to fly to Munich to meet Adolf Hitler in 1938 is being auctioned for an estimated £7,000.

A faded ticket, dated September 29 1938, has been discovered among the possessions of the late George William Denny, one of the founders of British Airways, and reveals that Chamberlain flew to Munich at 8.30am on ticket 18249 on private airline company, British Airways Ltd.

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Jack Straw 'is blocking change in arrest law'

By Martin Bright, Joshua Rozenberg and Anshel Pfeffer, January 7, 2010

An announcement on reform of the law that allows magistrates to grant arrest warrants for visiting Israeli military figures and politicians is imminent and could come within weeks.

Senior figures in the Jewish community now believe that responsibility is likely to be passed to the Attorney General following intense UK government embarrassment over the arrest warrant that was granted for the former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

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Rachel Weisz: the woman most men want to marry

By Jessica Elgot, January 6, 2010

Rachel Weisz has been voted the woman that men would most like to marry, according to a magazine poll.

The Mummy star, 39, beat Keira Knightly and Kate Winslet into second and third place in the poll, run by Esquire magazine.

Unfortunately for voters, the actress is already engaged to film director Darren Aronofsky, with whom she has a one-year-old son, Henry.

Ms Weisz said she was delighted and surprised by the accolade. She said: “I'm not married! I was getting worried that the men didn't like me any more, but this puts my mind at rest."

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Palestine aid convoy clash with Egypt on Gaza border

By Jessica Elgot, January 6, 2010

Protestors from the Viva Palestina convoy, supported by MP George Galloway have clashed with Egyptian security forces on the Gaza border.

Several police officers and protestors were injured and seven activists were arrested but later released.

Alexandra Lort-Phillips, 37, who was part of the convoy, said: "I have 42 people in my team.
"Out of those three Britons have been injured. There are head injuries, cuts.

"We started getting pelted with stones by people in plain clothes, then the police started moving in, using tear gas and batons. People were quite severely beaten."

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Baroness Scotland: UK working on arrest law

By Jessica Elgot, January 5, 2010

The Attorney-General, Baroness Scotland, who is currently visiting Israel, has refused to comment on individual arrest warrants issued against Israeli leaders in Britain.

IDF officers have been forced to cancel a trip to Britain after the British government failed to guarantee that arrest warrants would not be issued against them, it emerged today.

This followed an attempt to arrest Tzipi Livni, leader of Israel’s Kadima party, who cancelled a trip to the UK after a warrant was issued.

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