UK news

Gerald Ronson: 'Social unrest in a two-tier Britain'

By Jessica Elgot, April 14, 2010

Jewish businessman Gerald Ronson has warned of “social unrest” if the problems of a “two tier Britain” are not tackled.

The Chief Executive of Heron International also called on the next government not to target entrepreneurs with heavy taxation and constraints which could drive them out of the country.

Speaking at the “topping out” ceremony for the Heron Tower, a skyscraper his company has developed, Mr Ronson spoke of his concern about the growing divide between the city and the rest of the country.

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Labour peer Lord Bernstein dies

By Jessica Elgot, April 13, 2010

Labour peer and former chairman of Granada Television, Lord Bernstein, has died aged 74.

Lord Bernstein, the former Alexander Bernstein, was spearheading a video documentation project of Anglo Jewry alongside the Jerusalem Foundation.

His father and uncle founded the Granada television company, of which he later became managing director and chairman.

A former pupil of Stowe School, Lord Bernstein studied at St John’s College, Cambridge.

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David Cameron pledge to tackle antisemitism

By Jessica Elgot, April 13, 2010

David Cameron was the first to respond to Reform Judaism head Rabbi Tony Bayfield’s request for the three party leaders to address the community.

Telling Rabbi Bayfield that he had “many friends on the mailing list” of the newsletter where his response was published, Mr Cameron joked that “this might be the last they hear from me for a few weeks!”

Mr Cameron, who launched the Conservative manifesto at Battersea Power Station in London today, spoke of his delight when he learnt about his Jewish ancestors, the Levitas.

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Martin Linton: Listen to his 'tentacles' speech

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

Martin Linton, MP for Battersea and chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, has apologised for describing the "long tentacles of Israel" reaching into British politics.

The Battersea MP said he was sorry for any offence but maintained he was not aware of the antisemitic precedents for the image of a Jewish octopus stretching around the world.

You can listen to the extract of Mr Linton's speech here.

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Mira Awad: I won't perform on Israel Independence Day

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad, who pulled out of a performance at the Zionist Federation’s Israel Independence Day concert, has insisted death threats were not behind her decision to cancel.

In a message on her Facebook page, the singer, who jointly represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest, maintained she had pulled out after she realised the significance of the date of the performance.

Ms Awad was due to perform with her Eurovision partner Achinoam Nini, known as Noa, with whom she sings to sell-out audiences internationally, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.

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Protesters acquitted of Jerusalem Quartet 'abuse'

By Stephanie Brickman, April 12, 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 Napier, Neil Forbes, Sophia McLeod, Kevin Conner and Vanessa Fuertes, had been arrested after disrupting a performance by the Jerusalem Quartet during the Edinburgh Festival in August, 2008.

They shouted: “These are Israeli army musicians. Genocide in Gaza. End the siege of Gaza. End genocide in Gaza.”

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Death threats silence Independence Day singer

April 9, 2010

The woman who sang for Israel at the last Eurovision Song Contest, has pulled out of the ZF Israel Independence Day Concert in London following death threats.

Mira Awad, is an Arab-Israeli and one half of a duo with Achinoam Nini, otherwise known as NOA, with whom she performs to sell-out internationally audiences, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.

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Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren dies

April 9, 2010

Jewish punk pioneer Malcolm McLaren has died in a Swiss hospital where he was being treated for cancer.

McLaren, 64, who launched the Sex Pistols in the late seventies, was born to Scottish-Jewish parents but raised by his maternal grandmother, Rose Isaacs, a diamond dealer's daughter, in Stoke Newington's Sephardi community. He once told the JC one of his fondest memories was reading the paper at her home on Friday nights.

His mother remarried and later, she and her new husband Martin Levi, ran a shmatte factory in London's East End called Eve Edwards London Limited.

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Alex Salmond calls for Israel trade rethink

By Robyn Rosen, April 8, 2010

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has called for legal action and a review of trading relationships with Israel after David Miliband announced that Britain formally blamed the country for cloning UK passports during the Dubai operation.

Mr Salmond replied to a question on BBC's Question Time last week, about the decision by the Foreign Secretary to expel an Israeli diplomat. The expulsion followed an investigation into the cloning of up to 15 British passports, in the operation leading to the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai in January.

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MPs urge Home Office to free embassy-protest mob

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

Supporters of pro-Palestinian demonstrators jailed after violent protests outside the Israeli embassy last year have stepped up their campaign against the sentences.

A small group of Stop the War Coalition members protested outside the Home Office last week, demanding that the remaining charges against defendants be dropped.

MPs George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, accompanied by representatives from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and British Muslim Initiative, delivered a 1,200-name petition.

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