UK news

Sheriff throws out concert protest case

By Stephanie Brickman, April 15, 2010

A Scottish sheriff has thrown out a case against five Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign protesters who disrupted a concert by an Israeli classical ensemble.

Five people, Michael (Mick) Napier, Neil Forbes, Sophia McLeod, Kevin Conner and Vanessa Fuertes, were arrested after disrupting a performance by the Jerusalem Quartet at the Edinburgh Festival in August, 2008. They shouted: "These are Israeli army musicians. Genocide in Gaza. End the siege of Gaza."

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Party firms deny exploiting charities

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The directors of two promotions companies have defended themselves against allegations that they short-changed a Jewish charity and misled it over the share of the profit it would receive from a club night.

Danny Macabi, of Nana Life Events, and Darren Bloom, of Electric Parties, promote parties which have become the highlight of the social calendar for young Jewish professionals, often attracting up to 600 revellers to each event.

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Orthodox delight as sex education plan binned

By Simon Rocker, April 15, 2010

A strictly Orthodox schools spokesman has welcomed the shelving of new proposals on sex education.

The government was forced to drop them because there was insufficient time to get the measures through Parliament before the general election.

Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag, convener of the National Association of Orthodox Schools, said: "I'm delighted they have been thrown out. It would have been impossible for strictly Orthodox schools to have complied with them. It was a collision course and it would not have been responsible to go down such a route."

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Confusion over move for Yemeni Jews to UK

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

A small number of Yemeni Jews may "imminently" move to Britain, although there is confusion over the government's role in their possible resettlement here.

There have been plans for more than a year to help Jews from Yemen escape persecution by moving to join family members already living in Stamford Hill's strictly Orthodox community.

The Independent newspaper claimed this week that the Foreign Office is on the verge of agreeing a secret deal with Yemeni authorities.

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Northampton synagogue discovered under kebab shop

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The remains of a 13th century synagogue have been uncovered in the most unlikely of places - underneath a Northampton halal kebab shop.

Archaeologists discovered what they believe to be a staircase and walls 12ft below the cellar of the Kebabish takeaway, and a neighbouring pub.

The find came after painstaking radar surveys and non-intrusive investigations carried out using 3D imagery technology.

Marcus Roberts, director of JTrails, the National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail, located the site after spending more than 20 years researching Northampton's Jewish history.

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£50k cash boost for the CST

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The Community Security Trust is to receive £48,869 of government funding to help the fight against antisemitism.

The grant awarded to CST is the largest single sum given to an organisation as part of the Home Office's Hate Crime Action plan which tackles disability, race, religion, sexuality and transgender hate crimes.

CST was one of only eight organisations to receive funds. More than 40 others were rejected.

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Amnesty slammed for Israel 'apartheid' event

By Simon Rocker, April 15, 2010

Amnesty International has defended its decision to hold a meeting on Israel's policy in east Jerusalem under the title of "Capital Murder", featuring the author of a book on Israeli "apartheid".

Journalist Ben White, who published Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide, last year, is due to speak alongside an East Jerusalem activist at the headquarters of the organisation's UK's branch in London next month.

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Mohel training body may close due to lack of cash

By Simon Rocker, April 15, 2010

The organisation responsible for regulating Orthodox circumcision in the UK is facing closure because of lack of funds.

Representatives of the Initiation Society, which was founded in 1745, have been called to a meeting in London on Sunday to discuss its plight.

Dr Lionel Kopelowitz, who represents the United Synagogue on the society's general committee, said that one of the options would be to wind it up. "All I can say that it is essential to retain the society as there must be a body in the community to train mohelim and regulate their practice," he said.

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Welsh protests fail to disrupt Israel envoy's visit

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The Israeli ambassador faced an angry reception from protesters on Wednesday as he marked the appointment of Israel's first honorary consul for Wales.

Ron Prosor visited Cardiff to attend a ceremony at the Welsh Assembly, welcoming Philip Kaye to the role.

But the ambassador was later heckled as he arrived to give a lecture at Cardiff University Debating Society.

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Ilford South: Election 2010

By Bernard Josephs, April 15, 2010

A bitter face-off between a Labour election candidate defending a majority of over 9,000, and anti-Israel extremists determined to unseat him, has broken out in east London.

Leaflets distributed all over Ilford South described Mike Gapes as a "pro-war, pro-Israel and Islamophobic MP."

Mr Gapes, who was chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, hit back at the personal attack by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), describing it as "poisonous."

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