UK news

Jewish flotilla plans to break Gaza blockade

By Marcus Dysch, June 10, 2010

Community representatives have reacted with outrage to the news that an all-Jewish flotilla of anti-Israel campaigners is planning to sail to Gaza next month, pledging to break the blockade.

The flotilla, to be captained by the British sailor, Glyn Secker of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, will sail under the auspices of European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP), an umbrella organisation of groups from 10 countries,

Mr Secker said it would show that "not all Jews support Israel" and would "say emphatically: not in our name".

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Jewish donor funds Cambridge digital library

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

Cambridge University has announced plans to digitise a collection of rare books including important ancient Jewish texts.

Thanks to a donation from British Jewish philanthropist Dr Leonard Polonsky, the university will be converting books from its faith collection into digital form.

Dr Polonsky, ranked at number 507 on the Sunday Times Rich List in 2009, has pledged £1.5 million for the project. The New York born businessman founded the Polonsky-Coexist Lectureship in Jewish Studies at Cambridge.

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Former ambassador named UK Holocaust envoy

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

The former UK Ambassador to Israel has been appointed Britain’s first envoy for post-Holocaust Issues.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has named Sir Andrew Burns to the role, which will involve resolving issues of property and art looted during the Second World War.

He will also be responsible for keeping Britain at the forefront of Holocaust education efforts and furthering the work of the International Tracing Service, a body aiming to document the fate of Nazi victims.

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Former Israel ambassador named Britain's envoy on post-Holocaust issues

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

The former UK Ambassador to Israel has been appointed Britain’s first envoy for post-Holocaust Issues.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has named Sir Andrew Burns to the role, which will involve resolving issues of property and art looted during the Second World War.

He will also be responsible for keeping Britain at the forefront of Holocaust education efforts and furthering the work of the International Tracing Service, a body aiming to document the fate of Nazi victims.

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Former Israel ambassador named Britain's envoy on post-Holocaust issues

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

The former UK Ambassador to Israel has been appointed Britain’s first envoy for post-Holocaust Issues.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has named Sir Andrew Burns to the role, which will involve resolving issues of property and art looted during the Second World War.

He will also be responsible for keeping Britain at the forefront of Holocaust education efforts and furthering the work of the International Tracing Service, a body aiming to document the fate of Nazi victims.

More..

Education charity cleared of Hizb-ut-Tahrir link

By Simon Rocker, June 8, 2010

An educational charity which was at the centre of controversy last year has been cleared by the Charity Commission of promoting a militant Islamic ideology.

The charity watchdog investigated the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation – which runs two independent primary schools in Haringey and Slough – following a Sunday Telegraph article in October.

According to the commission, the article raised concerns that the charity was being run by activists from the radical group Hizb-ut-Tahrir and teaching its beliefs in the schools.

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Britain gives Gaza £19m aid

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

The British government has pledged to give £19 million in aid to Gaza and called on Israel to end the blockade.

Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, said the money is to go towards services including education and healthcare.

The donation is part of a £100 million financial deal with the UN Relief and Works Agency, which the Labour government arranged in 2006.

The announcement follows a second attempt by pro-Palestinian activists to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has been in place since Hamas gained control of the area in 2007.

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Bafta for Jewish actress Rebecca Front

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

A Jewish actress has triumphed at the Bafta awards.

Rebecca Front won Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for her role in political satire "The Thick of It".

In the programme, which also won two other awards, she plays ambitious but inept government minister Nicola Murray.

She received cheers and applause when she confided that her parents still helped her learn her lines for the notoriously foul-mouthed comedy - particularly that her mother took the part of Malcolm Tucker, whose language is almost entirely blue.

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Thousands march against Israel

By Marcus Dysch, June 7, 2010

Thousands of anti-Israel demonstrators marched from Downing Street to the Israeli Embassy in west London on Saturday.

They were protesting against Israel’s action against the Gaza flotilla last week, when IDF commandos boarded the lead ship.

The “emergency national demonstration” was organised by groups including the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative, CND, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Viva Palestina and Palestinian Forum of Britain.

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Unite votes to boycott Israel

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 4, 2010

Britain's largest union, Unite, has unanimously passed a motion to boycott Israeli companies at its first policy conference in Manchester on Wednesday.

The motion, which passed unanimously, called the union "to vigorously promote a policy of divestment from Israeli companies", while a boycott of Israeli goods and services will be "similar to the boycott of South African goods during the era of apartheid".

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