UK news

Michael Wolkind: I defended the BNP

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2010

This week’s Torah portion is clear: if a thief breaks into your house at night, you are entitled to take his life — though not in daylight.

How much force householders can use against intruders is once again under debate in Britain, following the case of Munir Hussain, the Buckinghamshire businessman jailed, then freed on appeal last month, after clubbing a burglar.

Despite calls for change, Michael Wolkind QC, the barrister who represented him, believes that the law should stand as it is.

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Body armour maker held after FBI sting

By Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

A Manchester businessman has been arrested in Las Vegas after an undercover FBI sting operation over the alleged bribery of foreign government officials.

Michael Sacks, 66, was among five Britons, four Israelis and 13 others accused of attempting to bribe foreign defence officials in exchange for business contracts.

Mr Sacks, along with Israel Weisler, 63, also known as Wayne, an Israeli who was also arrested, are owners of an armour production manufacturer based in Kentucky.

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Beth Din rejects rabbis' call for end to conversion

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2010

The London Beth Din has rejected a call from a senior rabbi for a worldwide halt to conversions.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet of Mill Hill Synagogue, chairman of the US Rabbinical Council, proposed the suspension in a JC article last week because of continuing controversy over converts in Israel.

But the Beth Din said it took “exception” to his comments which did not reflect its “principles, policies or intended plans”.

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David Bellamy pulls out of Zionist Federation talk

February 11, 2010

TV Botanist David Bellamy pulled out of an appearance at the Zionist Federation’s annual environment seminar, days after an anti-Israel group said he should be “outraged” by the event.

Prof Bellamy was scheduled to be guest speaker at the Israel Blue White and Green events on Tuesday, but withdrew offering no explanation for his absence.

At the event, almost 1,000 sixth form pupils and university students were briefed by leading Israeli scientists.

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Man who refused wife a get loses action against JC

By Leon Symons, February 11, 2010

A man who complained about the JC’s coverage of his refusal to give his wife a get has lost his action against the paper.

Edward Saleh’s wife Miriam divorced him three years ago. But he left her an agunah — a chained woman — unless she agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of a Beth Din that would seek to re-open the issues settled in her civil action.

Ms Saleh refused and, even now, is still unable to remarry according to Jewish law.

This week the newspaper watchdog, the Press Complaints Commission, rejected Mr Saleh’s claim that the JC’s report was inaccurate.

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Calls for the destruction of Israel in SOAS lecture

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has advocated suicide bombing, has told students he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.

Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, spoke to students at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) on Tuesday.

On Monday, he addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society and is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.

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MP slams ‘Zionist conspiracy’ attack on Labour candidate

By Martin Bright, February 11, 2010

A senior Jewish Labour MP in Liverpool has called on activists in the party to end an anti-Zionist campaign of vilification against Luciana Berger, who was selected as the party’s candidate in the Wavertree constituency of the city last month.

Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Select Committee, accused veteran MP Peter Kilfoyle of indulging in a “conspiracy theory” by making an issue of Ms Berger’s job as director of Labour Friends of Israel.

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JLC pushes Straw on warrants

By Martin Bright and Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

The Jewish Leadership Council has written the second letter in as many weeks requesting an urgent meeting with Justice Secretary Jack Straw to discuss the delay in introducing legislation to prevent magistrates from issuing arrest warrants for alleged war criminals.

The JLC first wrote to the Ministry of Justice on January 28 to request urgent talks to discuss why the government had failed to announce the reform.

A new letter, written jointly with the Board of Deputies, was sent on Tuesday, but at the time of going to press, there was no response from Mr Straw.

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Oxford student: 'I didn't mean 'Kill the Jews'

By Jessica Elgot, February 11, 2010

The student who appeared to shout “Slaughter the Jews” at Israeli minister Danny Ayalon has claimed the Deputy Foreign minister misunderstood his Arabic.

The Oxford Student newspaper has named the protester as second year St Edmund’s Hall student Noor Rashid.

Several eyewitnesses said they heard Mr Rashid shout: “Itbah Al-Yahud”, an Arabic phrase meaning “Slaughter the Jews”. Mr Ayalon translated the phrase with this meaning.

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Tonge: Investigate IDF stealing organs in Haiti

By Simon Rocker and Martin Bright, February 11, 2010

Baroness Tonge, the Liberal peer, said this week that Israel should set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants.

Her call has been sharply criticised by fellow LibDems, but party leader Nick Clegg has refused to act against her.

The organ theft claims were published last week in the Palestine Telegraph, an online journal based in Gaza of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.

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