UK news

EasyJet's kosher flight meal - bacon

By Robyn Rosen, February 17, 2011

Trainee Accountant Victor Kaufman couldn't believe his ears when he settled into his seat for a budget flight from Israel.

For shortly after take-off, the crew announced they were about to begin serving food - which included bacon baguettes and ham melts.

"It was a little insensitive," he said. "I think they need a lesson or two on cultural awareness if they expand their routes into the Middle East."

Mr Kaufman, 25, from East Finchley was on an easyJet flight from Tel Aviv to Luton last weekend.


Star no longer shines on the EDL

By Jessica Elgot and Jennifer Lipman, February 17, 2011

A tabloid newspaper has apparently switched direction after furious criticism of a front-page story widely held to have been a message of support for the English Defence League.

Last week the Daily Star, owned by the Jewish media tycoon Richard Desmond, ran a front-page story headlined "EDL to become political party." The story said: "In the Daily Star phone poll yesterday, 98 per cent of readers said they agreed with the EDL's policies."


Croc attack remand

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2011

A strictly Orthodox man convicted of clubbing his wife with a pink Croc sandal failed to appear in court for sentencing on Friday. He was arrested at the weekend and will now appear on March 1.

Solomon Glausiusz, 42, of Stamford Hill, who attacked his wife of 14 years, Yerusha, while he was holding their baby daughter, was convicted after a trial last year.

The unemployed father of six pleaded not guilty and said the attack, in June 2009, had been in self-defence. He was due in Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced for actual bodily harm.


Gay couples may be able to wed in synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, February 17, 2011

Gay couples may soon be able to marry legally in both Reform and Liberal synagogues under proposed changes to marriage laws.

Same-sex couples are expected to be given the right to hold legal civil
partnership ceremonies in places of worship.

The move would enable non-Orthodox communities to hold a wedding under a chuppah, and immediately follow it with a civil ceremony in a shul.

Liberal Judaism, Quakers and gay rights groups, led the pressure on the government to offer greater equality.


The love expert's Valentine message

By Jennifer Lipman, February 17, 2011

Israel's foremost authority on passion provoked a heated Valentine's Eve debate this week when he told a London crowd that monogamy was old-fashioned and highlighted the similarities between the lyrics of love songs and the comments of murderers.

Professor Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, president of Haifa University and one of the world's only academic experts in emotions, said that as with Communism, there were many victims of "romantic ideology".


LSE attacked for scrapping banker's talk

By Robyn Rosen, February 17, 2011

The London School of Economics has been accused of hypocrisy after it cancelled a lecture by a controversial German banker following threats from anti-fascist demonstrators.

Thilo Sarrazin, who has previously referred to the existence of a "Jewish gene", was due to speak in a debate organised by the university's German Society on Monday.

Just before the event was due to start, the university's management cancelled it, though it later took place off campus at a nearby hotel.


Gilad Shalit supporters get message out nationally

February 17, 2011

A campaign aimed at raising awareness of Gilad Shalit's plight has been launched around the country.

Advertising vans, emblazoned with Sergeant Shalit's photograph and story, will drive around prominent locations in London and Manchester for the next fortnight.

The Israeli Embassy, working with 10 Jewish community organisations, hopes that the initiative will inform the British public about the Israeli soldier's treatment at the hands of Hamas.


The day of the wunderrebbe

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 17, 2011

At a private house in Whitefield, north Manchester, on Sunday, people were spilling out of the front door, crowding onto the path, and queuing, in their hundreds, for more than four hours.

The attraction? A sweet-faced, bearded rabbi, Moshe Taub, who has electrified communities up and down the country.


Ron Prosor caught in UN crossfire fight

February 17, 2011

The identity of Israel's next ambassador to the United Kingdom has become the latest bone of contention in the growing political feud between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

The current ambassador, Ron Prosor, is poised to be appointed in the next few weeks as Israel's new ambassador to the United Nations.


Islamists get a key role in parliament

By Martin Bright and Simon Rocker, February 17, 2011

Jewish organisations and politicians have expressed outrage at the decision by the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia to retain the controversial Islamist organisation iEngage as its secretariat.

Described by the CST as having "a troubling attitude to antisemitism", concerns about its Islamist politics had earlier led to the resignation of the group's Conservative chair Kris Hopkins MP, and one of its vice-chairs, Jewish Labour peer Greville Janner.