UK news

Spielberg's ET tops film poll

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

A Steven Spielberg film has been named the greatest in history in a new poll.

The director’s 1982 children’s classic, ET The Extra-Terrestrial, beat The Wizard Of Oz and Mary Poppins to the top spot of the Radio Times survey. More than 2,500 people voted in the poll.

The Oscar-winning film tells the story a friendly alien on a mission to return home. It was a critical and financial success and has been rereleased twice.

Actress Drew Barrymore shot to fame for her role as one of the children ET befriended.


Israel advert ban appeal denied

By Robyn Rosen, August 3, 2010

An appeal against a ban on a holiday advert which described the Western Wall as part of Israel has been unsuccessful.

The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) appealed after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint in April that the Kotel was actually in the Occupied Territories.

An image on the advert for holidays in Israel showed a picture of the wall, with the gold Dome of the Rock in the background, captioned “Jerusalem”.


Ofcom raps Press TV

By Marcus Dysch, August 2, 2010

Ofcom, the broadcasting standards body, has ruled that Iranian-backed Press TV’s coverage of the Gaza flotilla incident breached guidelines on impartiality.

The regulator said the station had not shown due impartiality during a broadcast on June 5 which dealt exclusively with the events surrounding the interception by Israeli commandos of the pro-Palestinian convoy off the coast of Gaza.

During an episode of current affairs show Remembering Palestine, presenter Lauren Booth discussed the flotilla with studio guests and participants of the convoy.


Shimon Peres: UK not antisemitic

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2010

Shimon Peres has said that an interview in which he was seen to accuse British people of antisemitism was misunderstood.

The Israeli president has defended his comments and said that he believed that “relations between Britain and Israel are of the greatest importance.”

The normally doveish Nobel Peace Prize recipient, 87, was quoted in an interview as saying: “in England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment".


Man charged in Stamford Hill death case

By Robyn Rosen, July 30, 2010

A man has been charged with the manslaughter
of an 83-year-old strictly Orthodox woman from Stamford

Police found Evelyn Kelmenson
with her legs bound by duct tape in the top-floor bedroom of her three-storey
house on Leweston Place on January 1 2009, after her niece   had
 raised the alarm.

A year later, police offered a £20,000 reward
for information.

Kuba Dlugosz, 32, a Polish national of no
fixed abode, appeared in custody at Havering Magistrates Court on Wednesday. He
is also charged with burglary.


'Combatants For Peace' Palestinians call for Hamas to make peace

By Leon Symons, July 30, 2010

Two Palestinians have called for Hamas to end
its attacks against Israel and make

Mahmoud Hamdan told an audience in London: “I want to convey a
message to Hamas: stop the violence and stop the blame cycle. We want to live in

His colleague Malaka Samara said: “During the
second intifada, they said 'we are an Islamic group ' and that 
Islam was the representative religion of Palestine. I don’t think
this is right. I don’t trust them.


Hate attacks on rise in Manchester

By Robyn Rosen, July 30, 2010

A rise in antisemitic incidents in Manchester is down to a "shifting, and increasingly visible" Jewish community in north Manchester, according to a new report.

Antisemitic incidents are more than 50 per cent higher in the first six months of this year in Greater Manchester than in the same period in 2008 - and make up almost a third of antisemitic incidents in the UK.

There were 89 antisemitic incidents in Greater Manchester recorded by the Community Security Trust in the first six months of 2010.


Row over Jacob and Sons church paintings

By Simon Rocker, July 30, 2010

An MP is lobbying the Church of England to prevent the sale of historic paintings linked to the emancipation of Jews in Britain.

For more than 250 years, pictures of Jacob and his Twelve Sons, by the Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbaran, have hung at Auckland Castle, the official residence of the Bishop of Durham.

But Helen Goodman, the Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, is worried about their long-term future.


Separated at birth: Jewish twins seek mum

By Jessica Elgot, July 30, 2010

A pair of identical 64-year-old twins, born in Leeds, separated at birth and raised by Catholic families, are now seeking their birth mother - Leah Cohen.

With the help of genealogist Martin Cahn, whom they met on JewishGen, Mary Holmes, from Kirkby in Ashfield, and Elaine Allin from Chesterfield, are seeking their Jewish relations.


Scottish Jews oppose double-decker burials

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2010

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities has said it "strongly objects" to proposals to allow the re-use of graves.

The Scottish Government is expected to back the deepening of burial sites, effectively giving the go-ahead to "double-deck" graves.

It is due to announce its plans next month following a lengthy consultation into solving the increasing difficulty of securing burial space.