UK news

UJIA chief: More collaboration between Jews and Israel

By Simon Rocker, June 17, 2010

One of Israel's leading supporters has demanded a greater "collaboration" between Israel and diaspora Jews.

Writing in today's JC, Mick Davis, chairman of both the UJIA and the executive committee of the Jewish Leadership Council, says that "whereas an Israeli can at least influence events through the ballot box, we are a simple recipient of their impact".

He asserts that "we have a legitimate role as a partner with Israel in developing" its long term strategy.

Israel, he writes, is a "cornerstone" of the identity of most Jews in the diaspora and central to their future.

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Hague welcomes Israel's flotilla probe

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2010

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said Israel’s decision to conduct an independent inquiry into the flotilla clashes is an “important step forward”.

The UN has continued to call for an international inquiry, but Mr Hague praised Israel’s announcement of the probe and said he welcomed the appointment of Lord Trimble.

The former First Minister of Northern Ireland and Nobel Peace Prize winner is to be one of two foreign observers overseeing the commission.

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Early parole review for El Al bomber

June 14, 2010

High Court judges have said they will review whether a terrorist jailed for 45 years for trying to blow up an Israeli plane could be released early.

Nezar Hindawi was jailed in 1986 after he was convicted of attempting to blow up a Tel Aviv-bound El Al airliner, carrying almost 400 people. He was found to have planted a bomb in his pregnant fiancee's hand luggage as she was about to board the flight.

The conditions of his sentence meant that he has been eligible for early release on licence since 2001, but only if the courts assessed that he was not a danger to the public.

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Labour leader candidates debate Israel

By Jessica Elgot, June 14, 2010

The five candidates in the Labour leadership race have set out their views on Israel and Palestine in front of a packed audience at Stratford Town Hall.

Speaking at the Labour leadership hustings for young Labour Party members, the candidates responded to a question from the audience: “What is your stance on Israel?”

Former Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband called himself a “critical friend of Israel” and spoke of the need to be tough on the Israeli government, calling for an end to the Gaza blockade.

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Teacher loses antisemitism claim

By Leon Symons, June 14, 2010

A Christian teacher who sued his former school claiming he was forced out of his job for complaining that Muslim pupils were making antisemitic and anti-Christian remarks has lost his employment tribunal.

Nicholas Kafouris, 52, claimed that pupils had said in lessons that they “hated Jews and Christians”, had praised the 9/11 bombers as heroes and said they wanted to be suicide bombers when they grew up.

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Playwright knighted in Honours List

By Marcus Dysch, June 11, 2010

A playwright, an educational philanthropist and a nursery headteacher are among those recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

South African-born screenwriter Ronald Harwood is knighted for services to drama. In 2003, he won an Oscar for his work on the Holocaust-themed film, The Pianist. The 75-year-old, previously nominated for his play The Dresser, which was later filmed, was born in Cape Town and came to London in 1951 to pursue a career in theatre, changing his name from Horwitz to Harwood.

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'Aryan Strike Force' on trial

By Leon Symons, June 11, 2010

Two men whose avowed aim was to eradicate Jews from Britain have gone on trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Trevor Hannington, 58, from South Wales, and Michael Heaton, 42, from Manchester, have been accused of soliciting people to kill Jews through postings on a web site.

Hannington denied one count of soliciting to murder, while Heaton was on trial for four comments he made on a website run by an organisation called the Aryan Strike Force (ASF) between January and April, 2008.

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Dismore publishes report into Hendon election

By Jessica Elgot, June 11, 2010

Labour’s Andrew Dismore who lost his Hendon seat at the May General Election will not mount a legal challenge the result because of “astronomical” costs.

Hendon Labour Party has published a detailed investigation into the allegations that many postal votes in Hendon were not received and long queues outside polling stations meant people were unable to vote.

Mr Dismore lost his seat to Conservative Matthew Offord by 103 votes.

He said: “We have now received almost two hundred complaints about the way the election was conducted.

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Fashion grad takes inspiration from shtetl Jews

By Jessica Elgot, June 11, 2010

A Manchester fashion graduate took home the top prize at London 2010 Graduate Fashion Week Gala for her wardrobe inspired by paintings of Eastern European Jews.

Rebecca Thompson, 22, from the Manchester School of Art, said she was inspired by Roman Vishniac’s pictures of prewar shtetls.

The collection takes inspiration from the skilled tailoring that Ashkenazi Jews became renowned for, and features oversized bows, pleats and marl tracksuit bottoms.

Judges for the gala included Elle editor Lorraine Candy and designer Alberta Ferretti.

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Jewish girl's King David place goes to non-Jew

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 11, 2010

A Jewish girl has been denied a place at King David High School in Liverpool because her family could not meet the new admissions criteria to prove her level of religious practice. The place went to a non-Jewish girl.

The Orthodox school was forced to reject a place for Kayleigh Chapple this September, even though her mother, uncle and aunt were former pupils.

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