UK news

Shipman bill could lead to burial delays

By Stephanie Brickman, December 21, 2010

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) has asked the Scottish Parliament to make adjustments to a bill that could lead to distressing delays to burials.

The Certification of Death Bill is intended to tighten up existing procedures to ensure that crimes like those of Harold Shipman, the GP who murdered 15 elderly patients, are spotted sooner.

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Julian Assange: I'm in the same position as the Jews

By Jennifer Lipman, December 21, 2010

The founder of WikiLeaks has compared his treatment by the Swedish authorities seeking his extradition over sexual assault allegations to the persecution of the Jewish people in the last century.

Julian Assange, the 39-year-old Australian behind the extraordinary leaks of US diplomatic cables and documents, told The Times that he believed the allegations and the publicity surrounding them were unfounded and motivated by “a mixture of revenge, money, and police pressure.”

He said: “All sorts of abusive statements were made against the Jewish people in the 1950s and before.

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Prince Harry meets Holocaust survivor in Germany

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

Prince Harry has visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin.

Only five years ago the then 21-year-old prince was forced to issue apologies after a furore when he dressed as a Nazi, complete with swastika armband, at a London fancy-dress party.

But this week, during a visit to Germany for a charity gala at which he was honoured for his humanitarian work, Prince Harry was able directly to pay his respects to victims of the Holocaust.

He spent time with a Holocaust survivor who works at the Berlin museum, and spent at least an hour viewing the exhibits.

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Wheelchair protester Jody McIntyre on 'schizophrenic lunatic' Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, December 17, 2010

The political campaigner who accused police of pulling him from a wheelchair during last week’s student protests in London has a long history of anti-Israel and anti-western activism and has described Israel as a lunatic and racist state.

In August, on his personal blog Jody McIntyre, London-born but whose great-grandparents came from Lebanon, wrote of “the system of apartheid that Israel is imposing on the Palestinians”.

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Barred from US, Galloway vows 'nothing will stop me'

By Jennifer Lipman, December 17, 2010

George Galloway has been denied entry into America.

The former Respect MP, and notorious pro-Palestinian activist was due to speak in five US cities but was barred by US authorities. The Muslim Legal Fund of America, which organised the tour, said the ban was because of “visa problems”.

Mr Galloway, who last month was disciplined by broadcasting standards monitor Ofcom for breaching the rules on impartiality during his Press TV show, instead used Skype to address crowds via webcam.

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Jamie Lester: I had no Apprentice game plan

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2010

Property developer Jamie Lester was the last Jewish candidate to be fired from The Apprentice, after a gruelling round of interviews this week.

He left in the semi-final of the BBC show, along with Stuart Baggs and Joanna Riley.

Mr Lester made it clear that the job with Lord Sugar, and its six-figure salary, had been his priority from the beginning and that he was not interested in TV stardom.

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We can't rely on Europe, warns Israel ambassador

By Bernard Josephs, December 16, 2010

A stark warning that Israel cannot rely on the support of European leaders in the battle against the deligitimisation and demonisation of the Jewish state was issued this week by Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor.

At a packed meeting at London's New West End Synagogue, the envoy warned: "When push comes to shove, no-one in Israel really thinks that Europe will come to its aid."

He lambasted politicians who felt they were taking a sufficiently principled stand by simply stating that Israel had "a right to exist."

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EDL has 'left BNP a mere sideshow'

By Martin Bright, December 16, 2010

The head of Britain's leading anti-fascist organisation has said the English Defence League has replaced the British National Party as the major force on the far right of British politics.

Nick Lowles of Searchlight said the BNP had become a "sideshow" since the crushing defeat of its leader Nick Griffin in Barking at this year's general election.

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Full extent of LSE Atwan fury is finally revealed on video

By Robyn Rosen, December 16, 2010

The journalist Abdel Bari Atwan has been accused of "cowardly, bullying tactics" and breaching policy on antisemitism after a recording of his speech to students at the London School of Economics was made public.

The lecture, held by the student union's Palestine Society at LSE last week, descended into chaos after 30 Jewish students walked out in protest.

The visual and audio quality of the recording, taken by the Palestine Society, is poor and repeatedly skips sections. It was only made publicly available on Sunday, six days after the lecture.

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Universities show signs of taking issue seriously

By Marcus Dysch, December 16, 2010

Campaigners believe there is "light at the end of the tunnel" in the ongoing effort to restrict hate speakers' appearances on university campuses.

Jewish community representatives working with vice-chancellors say that despite an initially "slow and poor response", higher education bodies have now accepted action must be taken against campus extremism.

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron said: "We have not done enough to deal with the promotion of extremist Islamism in our country… to deradicalise our universities we have to take a range of further steps."

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