UK news

UJS vote Daniel Grabiner as new president

By Jennifer Lipman, December 2, 2010

Daniel Grabiner has been elected as the new president of the Union of Jewish Students.

The 21-year-old, who ran on the slogan “Grabiner - Making UJS current”, won by 258 votes to 90. Students from more than 30 campuses took part in a nationwide election roadshow.

The Leeds University Economics and Politics student will take over from current president Alex Dwek in July.

Mr Grabiner said he was “elated and still in shock” at his win.

“I’ve been thinking about this for so long – I can’t believe it’s actually happening.”

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Ed Miliband: Happy Chanucah from one Jew to another

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

The first Jewish leader of the Labour party has wished British Jewry a Happy Chanucah “from my family to yours”.

Ed Miliband said that Chanucah was a special time and an opportunity to celebrate the values of Judaism “dedication, justice, compassion and humility”.

He added: “The festival of lights is a chance to gather with friends and family, in homes and in synagogues, around the candles of the menorah.

“It is a time to reflect on the potential for hope and resilience to triumph over fear.”

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Government announce universal jurisdiction law change

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

The government has at long last announced a change to Britain’s universal jurisdiction legislation.

A year after Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancelled a London speech for fear of arrest the Home Office published details of alterations to the law on magistrates issuing arrest warrants for foreign politicians.

The new Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill includes “a requirement for the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions to be given before an arrest warrant can be issued in a private prosecution for offences of universal jurisdiction.”

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David Cameron sends his Chanucah greetings

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

David Cameron has wished the Jewish community “a happy and peaceful Chanucah.”

The Prime Minister said: "I want to pass on my very best wishes to the Jewish community here and around the world.

"I wish you and your families a Chanucah sameach.”

He called the story of Chanucah “an inspiring message of the power of hope to sustain people through the toughest of times” and said it was a reminder of “the strength that we can find when we come together and focus on building a brighter future.”

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Katie Waissel voted off X Factor

By Jessica Elgot, November 28, 2010

After spending four weeks in the bottom two of X Factor, Katie Waissel was sent home this week, receiving the least number of public votes.

Ms Waissel, from Pinner, sang the Kings of Leon song ‘Sex on Fire’ and REM’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ for the ‘Rock Week’ theme on Saturday night.

But it wasn’t enough to save her from the double eviction which also saw Brazilian singer Wagner sent home by the judges over Mary Byrne.

Ms Waissel told host Dermot O’Leary: “I am just grateful to have gotten this far.

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Hague: Our Israel policy will not change

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2010

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has denied claims that British foreign policy will change to reflect Arab concerns over the Middle East.

The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that Whitehall officials had said that Mr Hague decided to “take on board” Arab foreign policy goals in an effort to secure better diplomatic and trade ties.

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Martin Amis: 'UK is a little antisemitic'

By Jessica Elgot, November 26, 2010

Novelist Martin Amis has called the UK and the West “a little antisemitic” which expects “higher moral standards from Israel than its neighbours.”

In an interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the London Fields author said: “If you bring up Israel in a public meeting in England, the whole atmosphere changes. The standard left-wing person never feels more comfortable than when attacking Israel. Because they are the only foreigners you can attack.

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UK to try Israeli technology for Alzheimer's

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2010

A computer program developed by Israeli therapists to "stabilise and slow down" Alzheimer's has been introduced to UK Jewish charities.

The program, called Savion, was designed by occupational therapists at Melabev, a day-care facility for Alzheimer's patients in Israel.

Motti Zelikovitch, director general of Melabev, met UK care providers, including Jewish Care and Nightingale, in south London last week.

Mr Zelikovitch said: "Savion came from 10 years of working with patients. It was born out of therapies, not from academic research."

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Hackney families 'forced out' by extension restrictions

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2010

The Mayor of Hackney has been accused of "social cleansing" by preventing large Charedi families from extending their houses.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors are speaking out against Jules Pipe following new restrictions on extensions published earlier this year which, they claim, does not accommodate large families.

They say families are being forced to move to neighbouring borough Haringey, where in April the council approved guidelines for home extensions in an effort to address the problem of over-crowding in strictly Orthodox households in south Tottenham.

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School texts say 'God curses Jews'

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

Education Secretary Michael Gove is exploring how to regulate weekend religious schools as evidence emerged this week that antisemitic material is being taught in Saudi-linked classes in the UK.

Children are being asked to list the "reprehensible qualities" of Jews in a network of more than 40 supplementary schools, according to an edition of BBC1's Panorama broadcast on Monday.

They learn that Jews are "cursed by God" and look like "monkeys and pigs" from textbooks published by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Education.

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