UK news

Manchester reviews campus extremism rules

By Robyn Rosen, July 22, 2010

Manchester University has reviewed its code of practice following a series of appearances from hate preachers.

Jonathan Arkush, senior vice-president of the Board of Deputies, said he hoped the new code would be used as a "template" for other universities.

Earlier this year, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies' (FoSIS) Palestine Conference held talks at the university by Dr Azzam Tamimi, who has told students he "longs to be a martyr"; and Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide.

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Police intervene at Israeli shop demo

By Robyn Rosen, July 22, 2010

Monmouth street in the popular London shopping district of Covent Garden is experiencing its own micro-downturn - and it's nothing to do with the credit crunch.

Shop-owners have had to call in the police as demonstrations and counter-demonstrations outside the London branch of Israeli skincare shop Ahava - famous for its Dead Sea products - have driven away customers.

One shopkeeper said that protesters were "running down the road chasing people with flyers", and a shop opposite Ahava, Miss Lala's Boudoir, has closed down because of the disruption caused by the protests.

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Holocaust educators honoured

By Marcus Dysch, July 22, 2010

The work of three family members who set up Britain's first Holocaust memorial centre has been recognised with a rare triple award.

Marina Smith and her sons James and Stephen received honorary doctorates from Nottingham Trent University this week.

The trio founded the Holocaust Centre, in Laxton, Leicestershire, in 1995, and have since welcomed thousands of visitors to learn about the Shoah.

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UK Jews more tied to Israel than American Jews

By Simon Rocker, July 22, 2010

Jews in the UK feel more attached to Israel than those in the United States, according to one of the leading academic experts on diaspora Jewry.

"UK Jewry is far more connected to Israel than American Jewry," said Professor Steven Cohen, research professor of Jewish social policy at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.

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Liverpool synagogue hit by floods

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

Flood waters seriously damaged parts of Liverpool's Childwall Synagogue this week after torrential downpours left large parts of the city under water and many main roads closed.

The shul's Harris Polak and Aida Shifrin halls were filled with two inches of water as Tuesday's rains led to the collapse of a ceiling over one of the rooms.

Overflow from drains, which struggled to cope, brought more water into the Childwall building, which sits 20ft below street level.

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Protests over Dawkins faith school film

By Robyn Rosen, July 22, 2010

The Board of Deputies and a Jewish primary school have pulled out of a film about faith schools by controversial atheist Richard Dawkins, after parents protested.

Barnes Hassid Productions approached the Board in June about the documentary, due to air in August on More 4 and Channel 4.

Jonathan Arkush, senior vice-president of the Board, agreed to be interviewed, together with education representatives from the Church of England and the Association of Muslim Schools.

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BNP's Nick Griffin barred from Palace

By Jennifer Lipman, July 22, 2010

The BNP leader has been refused entry to this afternoon’s garden party at Buckingham Palace after officials decided his attendance would present too much of a danger to the other guests.

As a member of the European Parliament, Nick Griffin was due to be among the 8000 guests at the Queen’s annual event. But in an eleventh hour reversal Buckingham Palace announced he was to be denied access for politicising his invitation.

A Palace spokesman said the about-turn came because Mr Griffin had “overtly used his personal invitation for party political purpose through the media.”

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Berkoff v Finkelstein: row over Jewish law

By Jennifer Lipman, July 22, 2010

Two high profile Jewish writers are engaged in a public dispute over the purpose of religious law.

Actor Steven Berkoff has accused Daniel Finkelstein of making “a sad reduction” of Jewish ritual and suggested his comments would make sense only to someone who “came from another planet.”

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Official: war crimes law to be changed

July 22, 2010

The Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, announced today that the coalition government will act “at the first opportunity” to change the law on universal jurisdiction for war crimes.

It will table a legislative amendment which will require the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions before an arrest warrant can be issued, in response to any private prosecution for war crimes.

It is expected that the amendment will be introduced in September, when Parliament returns from its summer recess.

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Clarke: action soon on universal jurisdiction

By Marcus Dysch, July 21, 2010

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has promised that the government will address a law allowing private prosecutors to issue arrest warrants for visiting Israelis “in the very near future”.

Responding to a question on altering universal jurisdiction law by Hendon MP Matthew Offord, Mr Clarke described the current situation as “unsatisfactory”.

He said: “We are urgently considering how to proceed and expect to make an announcement shortly.

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