UK news

Abu Hamza's son jailed for riot

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

The son of hate preacher Abu Hamza has been jailed for his role in rioting outside the Israeli Embassy in London.

Yasser Kamel, 20, wielded a stolen police riot shield and threw sticks at officers while demonstrating against Israel’s Cast Lead operation in Gaza last year.

He was sentenced to 12 months in youth detention after admitting one count of violent disorder at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday.

Kamel, of Shepherd’s Bush, west London, had arrived at the protest at around 4.45pm on January 10, 2009, and was caught on camera confronting officers with the riot shield.

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Fury as Methodists vote to boycott Israel

By Marcus Dysch and Simon Rocker, July 1, 2010

The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said the Methodists’ annual conference should “hang its head in shame” for passing a policy which calls for a boycott of goods from “illegal” Israeli West Bank settlements and blames Israeli occupation as the “key hindrance” to Middle East peace.

Lord Sacks said the implications of the decision would “reverberate across the hitherto harmonious relationship between the faith communities in the UK”.

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Ambassador criticises judge in arms factory case

By Jessica Elgot, July 1, 2010

Israel's ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, has strongly criticised Judge George Bathurst-Norman over the direction he gave to a jury who acquitted five pro-Palestinian activists who broke into an arms factory in Brighton and caused £180,000 worth of damage. The five said they were seeking to prevent war crimes in Gaza.

The activists, Robert Nicholls, 52, Tom Woodhead, 25, Harvey Tadman, 44, Ornella Saibene, 50, all from Bristol, and Simon Levin, 35, from Brighton, argued that they were legally justified breaking into the factory, owned by EDO MBM.

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Government rebuffs Islamic group

By Simon Rocker, June 29, 2010

The Department of Education has rejected objections from an Islamic campaign group to the teaching of Zionism in state-aided Jewish schools.

Ghulam Abbas, of the department’s community cohesion unit, replied to the group, Engage: “We have no evidence to suggest the schools you highlight in your letter are teaching inappropriately or indoctrinating pupils.”

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Global trade union rebuffs Israel boycott

By Jennifer Lipman, June 28, 2010

An organisation representing trade unions in more than 150 countries and 176 million workers worldwide has rejected calls to boycott Israel and pledged its “universal recognition” of the country’s right to exist.

At its world congress in Vancouver, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) stated its rejection of “the extremist policies of Hamas”.

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Jason Isaacs film wins festival award

By Jennifer Lipman, June 28, 2010

A black comedy starring Jewish actor Jason Isaacs has won a top prize at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Skeletons, a film about two exorcists whose work starts to hit a little close to home, received the Michael Powell award for best new British feature film.

The jury said the film, released on July 2, won because of its "original vision and dark humour".

Mr Isaacs, perhaps best known for playing the evil Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, stars with Ed Gaughan and Andrew Buckley in the film.

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Plane protesters breached peace

By Robyn Rosen, June 28, 2010

Three Jewish protesters have been found guilty of a breach of the peace after staging a protest which forced the closure of Aberdeen airport.

Dan Glass, 26, Mark Andrews, 26, and Tilly Gifford, 24, all from north London, and six others from the climate action group, Plane Stupid, stood trial in Aberdeen High Court.

The group were originally charged with vandalism, a charge which was later dropped, after they took part in an anti-aviation protest last March causing the airport to shut for two and a half hours, delaying 10 flights.

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Neo-nazis sentenced for race-hate postings

By Jessica Elgot, June 25, 2010

A pair of neo-Nazis who posted abusive messages on the internet about Jews have been jailed for inciting racial hatred.

Michael Heaton, 42, was jailed for two years and six months and Trevor Hannington, 58, was jailed for two years. The two men, members of the so-called Aryan Strike Force, left comments on its website.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Heaton said of Jews: "...They will always be scum, destroy 'em with whatever it takes" and "I would encourage any religion or race that wants to destroy the Jews, I hate them with a passion."

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Muslim hate preacher to appeal UK ban

By Robyn Rosen, June 24, 2010

Zakir Naik, the Muslim preacher who has been banned to enter the UK by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, plans to challenge the order.

Ms May announced last week that Dr Naik, who was to start a speaking tour of Britain, was “not conducive to the public good”.

Some of his remarks have led to him being called a “hatemonger” by Monmouth Tory MP David Davies.

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Irish song will plead for Gilad Shalit

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

The leader of a Northern Ireland Messianic congregation has written a song to mark today's fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

Jim Clint said he composed Song for Gilad (Take a Little Time) to remind the captured Israeli soldier's family that he has not been forgotten, and to also hit back at "media bias against Israel".

It includes the lyrics: "Let us stand together with our voices as one/ Crying out for freedom for this special son/ We cannot be silent nor turn away/ So take a little time to pray... for Gilad."

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