UK news

Holocaust denial in decline, says historian

October 7, 2010

Holocaust denial is slowly becoming a thing of the past, according to a leading authority who claims there are only three or four "pure denial experts".

Dr Nicholas Terry, founder of the anti-denial blog Holocaust Controversies, told a Leicester University conference that denial these days has "great brand recognition, but almost zero customers".

Dr Terry, a historian at Exeter University, said: "My assessment is that there have been around 100 authors since the 1940s who have written what can be considered pure denial books or pamphlets.


Church is sued over Israel boycott

October 7, 2010

A Methodist preacher is planning to sue his own church over its decision to boycott Israeli goods.

Birmingham-based David Hallam has accused the Methodist Church of being "discriminatory" after its conference passed a report in July calling for a boycott of products from "illegal" West Bank settlements.

Mr Hallam, a former Labour MEP, said: "I tried to handle this internally and wrote to the Church to say I'm not certain we have the power to use donations from the collection to run a discriminatory campaign against Israeli Jews.

"I object to the one-sided and bigoted approach.


Amazon user claims 'Jewish lobby'

By Robyn Rosen, October 7, 2010

Amazon is continuing to allow posts by a reviewer who has claimed that the "Jewish lobby has a stranglehold over the mass media".

The reviewer, who goes under the name "Ian Millard", has had almost 700 reviews published on since November 2001 and is among Amazon's Top 500 Reviewers.

Most of his contributions remain despite the removal of a number of his reviews following complaints from a reader and inquiries by the JC.


Gaza activists fly home - on El Al

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

The British captain of a boat carrying Jewish pro-Palestinian activists who planned to break the blockade of Gaza has described how Israeli naval forces intercepted and boarded the vessel.

Glyn Secker, 66, a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), said that the voyage had "succeeded beyond expectations" despite failing to reach Gaza and the crew members' immediate deportation from Israel.


Board slams West Bank mosque arson

October 7, 2010

The Board of Deputies has deplored an arson attack on a West Bank mosque which is thought to have been the work of Jewish militants.

There could be "no excuse for this heinous act, which included the desecration of Islam's holiest text", a statement from the Board said.


JFS pulls the plug on school barmitzvahs

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2010

JFS has called a halt to its popular bar- and batmitzvah ceremonies, saying the decision was taken because of pressure from local communities to hold the celebrations in synagogue.

But a senior United Synagogue rabbi has cast doubt on the explanation, suggesting that the move resulted from new entry rules that prevent schools from knowing whether pupils are halachically Jewish.

JFS headmaster Jonathan Miller said that members of the local community had "voiced concern that pupils were having their bar- and batmitzvahs at JFS, and not within the community.


Church leader links Israel to apartheid

By Leon Symons, October 7, 2010

The head of the Anglican Church in Wales has received a barrage of criticism after comparing the situation between Israel and the Palestinians to apartheid in South Africa.

Dr Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, was accused of damaging interfaith relations after an address to the governing body of the Church in Wales last week in which he described the situation in "Israel-Palestine" as appalling.


Police raid drug dens next to school

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 7, 2010

The largest co-ordinated drug raids ever conducted by Greater Manchester Police have targeted dealers across the Jewish neighbourhoods of Crumpsall, Prestwich, Whitefield and Broughton Park.

The operation, carried out last Tuesday and involving nearly 500 officers in 29 synchronised dawn raids, was designed to crush street dealing in the Cheetham Hill area.

No Jewish people are known to be among the 25 arrested, although part of the operation was designed to protect Manchester King David pupils - among other schoolchildren - from a drug market run a short distance from the school.


Young mum's shock death

October 7, 2010

A young mother of six who was a leading Lubavitch emissary in Manchester died on Sunday just five weeks after giving birth to a baby boy.

More than 400 people attended the funeral on Tuesday of Esther Aidel Cohen, 33, whose husband heads Broughton Park's Chabad Beis Menachem Synagogue and Lubavitch Boys Primary School.

Mrs Cohen, of Broughton Park, died at North Manchester General Hospital, where she had been in intensive care following the birth of her child, named Avraham Tzvi. Her death was thought to be unconnected to the pregnancy.


Britain dismisses Israel tourism boycott claim

October 7, 2010

Britain has denied that it is boycotting an international tourism conference in Jerusalem, despite Israeli claims to the contrary.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development will host two events in the city later this month - a two-day seminar on sustainable tourism, followed by a conference on data and privacy protection.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected apparent OECD requests to move the event to Tel Aviv, but highlighted the fact Britain and Spain would not be sending delegates.