UK news

Guardian pulls 'ghetto wall' letter

By Jessica Elgot, April 19, 2012

A letter which suggested Jewish identity was defined by "the ghetto wall" has been pulled from the Guardian's website after complaints.

The letter, written by Guardian reader Niels Engelsted, claimed that Israel was building the security barrier along the West Bank border as "protective wall building", creating conditions akin to living in a ghetto.

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Flytilla flyers' wings clipped

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 19, 2012

Pro-Palestinian activists have criticised UK airports and budget airline Jet2 for imposing the UK's "first Israeli checkpoints" after passengers attempting to take part in Sunday's "flytilla" protests were stopped from boarding flights to Israel.

A dozen or so passengers, led by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, were stopped by Jet2's Manchester check-in desk, which closed briefly du

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Soccer fan banned for Nazi salute

By Marcus Dysch, April 19, 2012

A football fan who gave a Nazi salute and promoted the English Defence League has been banned from football matches for three years.

Lincoln City supporter Peter Briggs was involved in incidents at matches between 2009 and February this year.

During a game against Stockport in January 2011, Briggs unfurled a flag carrying the words: "Lincoln City Youth, EDL, No Surrender".

Lincoln Magistr

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There are no words for it: a Scrabble champ passes out

By Jessica Elgot, April 19, 2012

A Jewish Scrabble champion keeled over in the middle of an attempt to break a world record, and was hospitalised for dehydration.

Wearing his red velvet kippah and with a lunch box packed with matzah, Raymond Tate, 55, was well on his way to beat the world record for the highest score in one day last weekend, raising money for his Rotary Club's charity campaign.

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Anglo-Jewry is confused

April 19, 2012

The debate over who is best-placed to defend Israel in Britain was exemplified by widespread confusion over what the response should be to the Global March to Jerusalem protests in London last month.

As around 800 anti-Israel demonstrators protested outside the Israeli Embassy - a number displaying images of the Israeli flag interwoven with a swastika - only 20 counter-protesters attended, main

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Israel's Habima play will come to Shakespeare's Globe - thanks to the JC

By Jessica Elgot, April 19, 2012

The Israeli theatre company targeted by boycotters for its forthcoming performance at the Globe Theatre next month is £10,000 short on funding for the visit.

But, after an intervention by the JC, the Israeli Foreign Ministry this week agreed to cover the shortfall.

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'You don't defend Israel properly'

By Marcus Dysch, April 19, 2012

A leading pro-Israel activist believes the mainstream Jewish community "cannot be trusted" to defend Israel and claims non-Jews are now leading the way in combating delegitimisation efforts.

Sam Westrop, a founder of the British Israel Coalition (BIC), said the community was often "paralysed" because it could not agree on positions to take on issues affecting Israel.

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Thrills but no frills as Ryanair eyes Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, April 19, 2012

As travellers welcomed this week's news that easyJet plans to extend its budget service to flights between Israel and Manchester, there were signs that a third low cost airline would be landing at Ben-Gurion in the near future.

Ha'aretz's financial supplement reported this week that a senior executive from Ryanair had visited Israel just before Pesach for a meeting with the director-general of

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Open Letter: Why some fans are just not laughing

By Dan Bloom, April 19, 2012

Dear Ricky and Karl,

Can you guys maybe start to leave Anne Frank out of your comedy routines? Okay, some of your fans are laughing, but I'm not: why did the Holocaust diarist become a subject for mirth?

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'The Office' star's Anne Frank 'jokes' appal TV viewers

April 19, 2012

Viewers have threatened to boycott shows by Ricky Gervais, after he joked that Anne Frank's family went into hiding from the Nazis because they did not want to pay rent.

The comedian has been harshly criticised in the UK and across the Atlantic for using Anne Frank as "comedic fodder" on The Daily Show in the US.

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