UK news

Searchlight takes on the Islamic extremists

By Martin Bright, November 18, 2010

The anti-fascist publication Searchlight, which was behind the "Hope Not Hate" campaign to stop the British National Party in east London, is to expand its operations to oppose the Islamophobic English Defence League and Islamic extremism itself.

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Ken Loach for boycott of Israeli company Bezeq

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2010

Film director Ken Loach has denounced BT for signing a partnership deal with Israel's major communications company, Bezeq International.

Activists say Bezeq should be boycotted as it provides communications to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

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Board tells Queen mazal tov during Castle visit

By Robyn Rosen, November 18, 2010

A board of Deputies delegation visited the Queen this week to wish her mazal tov on her grandson's engagement and discuss its 250th anniversary.

Board president, Vivian Wineman, senior vice president, Jonathan Arkush, treasurer, Laurence Brass, vice presidents Paul Edlin and Jerry Lewis and chief executive Jon Benjamin were accompanied by the president of the Elders of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, Alfred Magnus to a private audience with the Queen at
Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

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Now Blackpool koshers its rock

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

The world's first fully kosher Blackpool Rock factory has begun runs of confectionery and is to supply supermarkets within a week.

Coronation Rock, one of the oldest rock producers, which supplies confectionery to Harrods, the London Eye and Alton Towers, was granted a full factory kashrut licence by the Manchester Beth Din two weeks ago. The company can make up to 20,000 sticks of rock a day in over 2,000 flavours and has already begun supplying Jewish novelty lollies to kosher shops.

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UCU branded institutionally antisemitic

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

A leading scientist has resigned from the University and College Union after accusing the organisation of being "institutionally antisemitic".

Denis Noble, who is not Jewish, said he took the decision after almost 50 years as a member of the union because it had become "impossible" for him to continue, given the "punishment of Israeli colleagues for the actions of their government".

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When a chief rabbi spoke out on Israel

By Robyn Rosen, November 18, 2010

The last time an Anglo-Jewish leader spoke out against Israel in the press, a wave of criticism followed.

In an interview featured on the front page of the Evening Standard in May 1991, former Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovits described the plight of Palestinian refugees as a "stain on humanity".

Yitzhak Shamir was Prime Minister of Israel at the time and the article was headlined: "Chief Rabbi Shames Israel".

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Support does not give right to criticise

By Samuel Hayek, November 18, 2010

Diaspora Jews are in a difficult position. On the one hand, we want to see Israel thrive, and as such offer our support in whatever way we can. On the other hand, some obviously feel that such support gives us the right to criticise Israel. This is a fine tightrope to walk and an arrogant view to take.

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Mick Davis: full comments

November 18, 2010

On Jewish leadership:

If you try to characterise the leadership of the Jewish community…you would probably find most of them are left of centre in thinking about Israel, that they strongly support a two-state solution, they are worried about the rights of minorities.

I think you have a left of centre leadership with a genuine concern about minority issues, concerned about the moral dilemmas that we face, concerned about where Israel goes, but it's a leadership which has never, ever spoken up publicly about that.

Issues that cause moral dilemmas for leaders:

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Shock over senior UK Jewish leader's Bibi criticism

By Simon Rocker, November 18, 2010

One of British Jewry's most senior leaders this week shattered a longstanding taboo by publicly criticising Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the peace process, voicing moral reservations about some of Israel's policies, and calling for criticism of Israel to be voiced freely throughout thecommunity.

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X Factor wedding singer Katie Waissel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 18, 2010

Katie Waissel has had more experience singing in front of an audience than she has let on.

The X Factor star delighted guests at her older sister Natalie's wedding in 2006 to Glenn Davis, with a rendition of Fred Astaire’s “The way you look tonight”.

“It was her way of showing how much she cared as a sister,” said Mrs Davis, who at 27 is three years older than Katie.

The wedding was held at the New West End Synagogue in London, the community Katie’s grandmother still belongs to. Mrs Davis said her sister made sure that the day was special.

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