UK news

Peer praises Chief Rabbi for 'beautiful' Pope reception

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Lord Patten, the co-ordinator of the Pope's visit, said that one of its most moving moments were the Chief Rabbi's words at Friday's interfaith meeting.

Lord Patten, assessing the visit, singled out the "the most beautifully expressed statement about the relationship between faiths" made by Lord Sacks.

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New push to confront Israel hate

By Leon Symons, September 21, 2010

A leading Anglo-Israeli educational organisation is preparing new strategies to confront campaigns aimed at increasing ill-will towards Israel.

John Levy, director of the Friends of Israel Educational Foundation (FoI), said that he anticipated "a very difficult year ahead for us all. We now confront intense new campaigns against Israel which are beginning to corrode 'goodwill' towards the state."

He said FoI would focus on four main areas: secondary schools in the 16-19 age group; university academics; the Church and creative arts.

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Hague will be guest at UJIA

By Marcus Dysch, September 21, 2010

Foreign Secretary William Hague has been confirmed as the guest speaker at UJIA's annual fundraising dinner.

Mr Hague will join around 700 people at dinner at the London Hilton hotel in Park Lane, central London, on November 8.

He is also expected to visit Israel that month on his delayed first official visit to the region as Foreign Secretary.

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Small shuls rely on good police rapport

By Leon Symons, September 21, 2010

The sight of men and women standing outside synagogues on security duty on High Holy Days and festivals has become commonplace in London, Manchester, Glasgow and other major centres.

But what happens in the dozens of small communities scattered around the country?

Gabriel Lancaster at Chatham Memorial Synagogue in Kent said the 40 member synagogue, founded in 1750, has a very good rapport with its local police.

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Minister hints at security funding cut

By Leon Symons, September 21, 2010

Funding for new security measures in community schools may be cut under the government's wide-ranging review to reduce the national debt.

Cohesion minister Andrew Stunell hinted at the possibility after touring the headquarters of the Community Security Trust in north London.

Mr Stunell, Liberal Democrat MP for the Hazel Grove constituency in Stockport, said: "That issue is one I am aware of. However, we have a major financial review of everything coming up so I cannot comment specifically on that."

The CST declined to comment.

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Operation Embarrass? You bet: Britain's secret war on the Jews

By Marcus Dysch, September 21, 2010

British spies staged covert operations to sabotage Holocaust survivors' attempts to reach Palestine between 1946 and early 1948.

Among the tactics used by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) in Operation Embarrass were the bombing of five ships used by potential immigrants, intimidation and the creation of a fake Palestinian defence group.

The British government gave the go-ahead to the campaign to slow illegal immigration into Palestine, provided there was "no risk of casualties being incurred" and no link could be traced back to the government.

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Wanted: mosque to host Shoah play by Muslim

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

A Muslim director has spoken about his failed attempts to perform at mosques a Holocaust play, which he claims "will unite communities to stand up to hate and extremism".

Nic Careem, a self-declared "Zionist-Muslim", spoke about his plans as he announced a special performance of James Still's award-winning play, And Then They Came For Me - Remembering The World Of Anne Frank, in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee's (DEC) Pakistan flood victims appeal.

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A new chapter in interfaith?

By Ed Kessler, September 21, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, proclaimed a "friendship across faiths" as he introduced Pope Benedict XVI to a select group of 100 representatives of Britain's religious communities in London.

It was the Vatican's Nostra Aetate declaration of 1965 that "brought about the single greatest transformation in interfaith relations in recent history," the Chief Rabbi said, "and we recognise your visit today as a new chapter in that story and a vital one".

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British left plans own Israel lobby

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

The face of Israel advocacy in the UK could be changed by a group of young activists who plan to start a new campaign organisation inspired by the liberal American lobby group, J Street.

The key figure in the initiative is Hannah Weisfeld (right), who recently left her job as social action co-ordinator of the Jewish Community Centre for London in order to pursue it.

Others involved include Guardian and JC columnist Jonathan Freedland.

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TUC votes to keep up West Bank boycott

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2010

The Trades Union Congress has voted to continue its boycott of Israeli goods from West Bank settlements and strengthen its links with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

A motion passed at the TUC congress in Manchester on Tuesday stopped short of agreeing to a full boycott of Israel.

The TUC had been expected to extend its boycotts policy and encourage further disinvestment.

The Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies said the rejection of a boycott of all Israeli goods represented a "serious setback for the pro-boycott movement".

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