UK news

Board president against invite to Palestinian envoy

By Simon Rocker, December 24, 2010

Vivian Wineman, the president of the Board of Deputies, is opposed to issuing an invitation to Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority’s UK envoy, to speak to the Board.

Mr Wineman had been urged to invite Professor Hassassian by the Board’s treasurer Laurence Brass, after the idea was suggest ed by another deputy at recent Board meetings.

But Mr Wineman, speaking from Israel on Friday, said that although the suggestion was still to be discussed by the executive, he was opposed to it.

More..

How a street cleaner gave a family back its memories

By Jessica Elgot, December 23, 2010

Five family albums dumped in a rubbish bin in Western Scotland have been returned to a delighted family - who now live in Israel.

The photos, which include the wedding and barmitzvah pictures of the Shenkin family, were found in Ardrishaig, Argyllshire, around 90 miles from Glasgow, and traced back to relative, Yaron Soifer, whose mother is originally from Glasgow.

Tel Aviv businessman Mr Soifer hopes to receive the photos in time for his mother Lorna's 70th birthday on New Year's Eve - but snow may prevent the albums reaching Israel in time.

More..

Scotland: we must fight hate too

By Stephanie Brickman, December 23, 2010

Ken Macintosh, Labour MSP for Eastwood, a constituency in Glasgow with a sizeable Jewish community, has criticised the Scottish Parliament for taking a passive stance on antisemitism.

In particular, Mr Macintosh said he was concerned that there was no Scottish representation on the cross-government working group on antisemitism.

He said: "I would like to see us represented on the group, or at the very least to comment on its findings. It's a national initiative, so why don't we participate?"

More..

Board publishes Zionism for clergy

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

The Board of Deputies has responded to growing anti-Israel feeling among Christians by publishing a defence of Zionism from leading rabbis.

Five thousand copies have been published of a 30-page collection of essays, entitled Zionism: A Jewish Communal Response from the UK.

Its editor, Liberal Judaism chairman Lucian Hudson, , said it was "designed to make clear that Jews across the community are united in the belief that Zionism is central to Judaism. We hope it will be read by many ordinary church members."

More..

FOI papers 'lost', say

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 22, 2010

Civil servants lost a Freedom of Information appeal which could shed light on a missing Israeli soldier.

The Foreign Office said it did not know what had happened to papers requesting a 1982 ambassador's report, which may have contained references to Zachary Baumel. It only said they had been passed to the Information Commissioner's Office. But an official there said: "The FO are dealing with it. It's not an ongoing case with us."

Now lawyers acting for the soldier's family have been asked by the FO to make a fresh appeal. But they fear the mix-up could be a delaying tactic.

More..

It's not over until she sings

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

A Jewish director's short film has been picked to play the opening night of a London film festival, but a twist of fate meant the film was almost never made.

Glasgow-born Nadaav Soudry, 32, made The Opera Singer for less than £200 in January. It is a comedy about a singer who sells out and records her voice for a mobile phone ring-tone.

But the day before the shoot, the recording studio and sound technician pulled out and Mr Soudry rang his actors to cancel.

More..

Muslim Aid 'cleared' of terror link

December 22, 2010

The Charity Commission has dismissed claims that Muslim Aid has "terrorist links," despite an investigation which found it gave money to a charity with Palestinian links.

It investigated after the Daily Telegraph published concerns that the relief charity had made payments to eight organisations allegedly linked to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The charity denied this.

More..

YouTube reopens hate expose account after speeches mix-up

By Robyn Rosen, December 22, 2010

The pro-Israel Palestinian Media Watch, has had its YouTube account reopened after the video-sharing website closed it for four days for allegedly propagating hate speech.

The account, which posts videos of hate preachers and anti-Israel terrorists to expose them, was closed last Thursday for "violating terms of use".

YouTube specified the posting of six videos, including those of Hamas
suicide terrorists.

Itamar Marcus, director of PMW, said: "The material we post on YouTube is to expose the hatred in Palestinian and Hamas media.

More..

Terror think tank in funding crisis

By Martin Bright, December 22, 2010

The anti-extremist think tank Quilliam has issued an emergency appeal for donations following the slashing of its Home Office grant.

The organisation was founded in 2008 by two former members of the radical Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Maajid Nawaz and Ed Husain. It has forged a reputation as a high-profile counter-balance to established organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain. Quilliam's original funding from the Middle East was withdrawn after the leadership criticised fatwas backing suicide bombings in Israel.

More..

Abduction father gets jail sentence

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

An "arrogant" Jewish father who abducted his daughter and fled to Israel has been sentenced to four months in prison for refusing to return her to England.

A warrant will now be issued for the arrest of the man, who still lives in Israel, although his daughter has been returned to the UK.

The man and his wife divorced in 1996, when their daughter was seven, and have been in almost constant litigation over her future. The girl is now in her 20s, but lacks legal capacity to decide where she should live.

More..