UK news

It's not over until she sings

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

A Jewish director's short film has been picked to play the opening night of a London film festival, but a twist of fate meant the film was almost never made.

Glasgow-born Nadaav Soudry, 32, made The Opera Singer for less than £200 in January. It is a comedy about a singer who sells out and records her voice for a mobile phone ring-tone.

But the day before the shoot, the recording studio and sound technician pulled out and Mr Soudry rang his actors to cancel.

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Muslim Aid 'cleared' of terror link

December 22, 2010

The Charity Commission has dismissed claims that Muslim Aid has "terrorist links," despite an investigation which found it gave money to a charity with Palestinian links.

It investigated after the Daily Telegraph published concerns that the relief charity had made payments to eight organisations allegedly linked to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The charity denied this.

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YouTube reopens hate expose account after speeches mix-up

By Robyn Rosen, December 22, 2010

The pro-Israel Palestinian Media Watch, has had its YouTube account reopened after the video-sharing website closed it for four days for allegedly propagating hate speech.

The account, which posts videos of hate preachers and anti-Israel terrorists to expose them, was closed last Thursday for "violating terms of use".

YouTube specified the posting of six videos, including those of Hamas
suicide terrorists.

Itamar Marcus, director of PMW, said: "The material we post on YouTube is to expose the hatred in Palestinian and Hamas media.

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Terror think tank in funding crisis

By Martin Bright, December 22, 2010

The anti-extremist think tank Quilliam has issued an emergency appeal for donations following the slashing of its Home Office grant.

The organisation was founded in 2008 by two former members of the radical Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Maajid Nawaz and Ed Husain. It has forged a reputation as a high-profile counter-balance to established organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain. Quilliam's original funding from the Middle East was withdrawn after the leadership criticised fatwas backing suicide bombings in Israel.

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Abduction father gets jail sentence

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

An "arrogant" Jewish father who abducted his daughter and fled to Israel has been sentenced to four months in prison for refusing to return her to England.

A warrant will now be issued for the arrest of the man, who still lives in Israel, although his daughter has been returned to the UK.

The man and his wife divorced in 1996, when their daughter was seven, and have been in almost constant litigation over her future. The girl is now in her 20s, but lacks legal capacity to decide where she should live.

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Red Cross: Shalit case top priority

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

The head of international law at the British Red Cross, Michael Meyer, has said kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has received more media attention than any other prisoner during his 28 years at the organisation.

Mr Meyer suggested that visiting the 24-year-old soldier, who has been held by Hamas terrorists for more than four years, was complicated by the fact he was not being held by a sovereign state.

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BNP claims victory over constitution

By Robyn Rosen, December 22, 2010

Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party, has claimed a "David and Goliath victory" after the High Court threw out claims that he did not comply with a court order to remove "discriminatory" clauses in the party's constitution.

The decision appears to be the end of an 18-month battle between the BNP and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. In June 2009 the commission contacted the BNP claiming that its constitution, which restricted membership to a particular "ethnic group" and those whose skin colour was white, was against the1976 Race Relations Act.

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Galloway barred from USA

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

George Galloway was denied entry into America last week. The former Respect MP and notorious pro-Palestinian activist was due to speak in five US cities, but was barred from flying in from London by US authorities.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America, which organised the tour, said the ban was because of "visa problems".

Mr Galloway reportedly said that the decision to ban him was not political, but down to a "technical glitch at Heathrow Airport".

He added: "My office is now in touch with the embassy in London to fix it."

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BBC Nativity says 'no room at shul'

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

A leading rabbi has protested to the BBC that a scene in its dramatisation of The Nativity this week was an anti-Jewish libel.

Rabbi Jonathan Romain of Maidenhead Synagogue, a member of a panel that advises the BBC on religion, took issue with the third of the four-part series which was due to have been broadcast on BBC1 on Wednesday night. It was written by EastEnders scriptwriter Tony Jordan.

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Board urged to invite PA envoy to talk

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

A senior officer of the Board of Deputies has urged president Vivian Wineman to issue a "historic" invitation to the Palestinian Authority's UK Ambassador, Manuel Hassassian, to address British Jewry's main representative body.

Board treasurer Laurence Brass, in a letter to Mr Wineman, said it would be right to open dialogue with the Palestinian envoy even if it incurred criticism from right-wingers "who have tended to dominate" its Middle East agenda.

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