UK news

Antisemitic hate emails sent to MPs

June 3, 2010

The Labour MP, John Mann, has called for a police investigation after an antisemitic email was sent to every MP in Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Mann, chair of the All-Party Group Against Antisemitism, condemned as "outrageous and disgusting" an email entitled "the Jews=blood sucker.

The email asked for condemnation of Israel's "piracy," and then appended an antisemitic article attributed to a "Jayne Gardener."

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Call for UCU chief to quit over boycott

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

The Stop the Boycott campaign has called for the general secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, to resign from her TUC position after the UCU passed a string of anti-Israel resolutions at its Manchester conference last weekend.

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EDL step up their Jewish recruitment

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

The English Defence League, the extreme right-wing anti-Islamic-fundamentalism group, has launched a "Jewish division", encouraging members of the community to "lead the counter-Jihad fight in England".

It has signed up hundreds of followers on Facebook since the launch last week. Supporters include an ex-Community Security Trust volunteer who claims "a lot of Jewish guys want to get stuck in".

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Flotilla girl tells of flying bullets

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

One of the first Gaza flotilla activists to return to Britain has said she “can’t remember what happened first” when Israeli commandos boarded her boat, but described “hearing bullets flying”.

Sarah Colborne, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s director of campaigns, described the scenes as Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara ship which was leading the flotilla.

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Israel advocates get media training amid international criticism

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

Hopeful Israel advocates took part in a media training course with a renowned communications expert — as the Gaza flotilla deaths brought an avalanche of criticism against the Jewish state.

Linda Lovitch, who counts leading Israel spokesman Mark Regev among her former students, led the two-day exercise in London on behalf of the Zionist Federation.

After learning on Sunday the importance of being polite, knowing your audience and having facts at your fingertips, the 14 participants, including students and businessmen, were faced just 24 hours later with a real-time case study.

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British Army expert: "Blame flotilla for deaths"

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

The former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has said Israeli troops should not be blamed for the deaths of activists on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Speaking on behalf of the Israel Project, an international non-profit education organisation, Colonel Richard Kemp said: “We should not forget that none of these deaths would have occurred if the people on the ships had not attacked the Israelis.

“It’s wrong to blame the Israeli soldiers for the deaths. The flotilla must shoulder the blame for this.”

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Hundreds demonstrate for Israel in London

By Jessica Elgot, June 3, 2010

More than 700 pro-Israel supporters were outside the Israeli embassy on Wednesday night, waving flags, singing and denouncing Israel’s treatment by politicians and by the media.

One supporter who broke through the police barriers was taken away by police. He is thought to have been carrying a paint bomb, but police did not confirm why he had been arrested.

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Hague calls for investigation into flotilla raid

By Robyn Rosen, June 2, 2010

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he is “seriously concerned” about Israel’s actions and called for a full investigation.

Mr Hague gave a statement to the House of Commons today and said the government had expressed its “disappointment” to the Israeli government about its lack of access to the 37 British nationals who were on board the flotilla, of whom it has been in contact with twenty-eight.

He said: “We have demanded urgent information about and access to all UK nationals involved. Their welfare is our top priority at this time.

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Cameron criticises Israel’s “unacceptable” behaviour

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron has described the events in Gaza this week as “completely unacceptable” but stressed that he remains a “friend of Israel”.

He made the comments in his first session of Prime Minister’s Questions in response to a question from Harriet Harman.

The acting Labour Party leader had asked the Prime Minister what was the status of the British nationals who had been caught up in the Gaza flotilla operation.

She added: “I’m sure he agrees this is a tragic loss of life which has angered Palestinians and dismayed friends of Israel too.

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Pro-Palestinians protest at Israeli embassy

By Jessica Elgot, June 2, 2010

Around 250 protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy last night with anti-Israeli banners and waving Palestinian flags.

The Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK organised the protest, which took place across the road from the embassy amid heavy police presence.

Although the protest was mostly peaceful, protesters chanted “Khyber al-Yahud” – an Islamic battle cry which celebrates the death and defeat of Jews in the battle of Khyber. The also chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – a chant which calls for the destruction of Israel.

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