UK news

Progressives up battle against JFS law reversal

By Simon Rocker, June 3, 2010

Non-Orthodox leaders this week upped the pressure on the Board of Deputies to justify a campaign to reverse last year's Supreme Court ruling on JFS.

In a joint statement reacting sharply to recent comments by Board president Vivian Wineman, the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements warned it was "premature" to talk of legal change.

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'Banned Nazis' spotted at WW2 rally

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

Angry complaints have been made about men in Nazi uniforms with swastikas seen drinking at bars in Bury.

People taking part in East Lancashire Railway's re-enactment of wartime scenes on Sunday were photographed with Nazi insignia, despite the event's organisers banning the practice.

Whitefield Councillor Michelle Wiseman complained to fellow Bury councillors after receiving a text message from an angry man, who wrote: "At East Lancs Railway in Bury. Full of men dressed as Nazis, disgraceful."

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Antisemitic hate emails sent to MPs

June 3, 2010

The Labour MP, John Mann, has called for a police investigation after an antisemitic email was sent to every MP in Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Mann, chair of the All-Party Group Against Antisemitism, condemned as "outrageous and disgusting" an email entitled "the Jews=blood sucker.

The email asked for condemnation of Israel's "piracy," and then appended an antisemitic article attributed to a "Jayne Gardener."

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Call for UCU chief to quit over boycott

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

The Stop the Boycott campaign has called for the general secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, to resign from her TUC position after the UCU passed a string of anti-Israel resolutions at its Manchester conference last weekend.

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EDL step up their Jewish recruitment

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

The English Defence League, the extreme right-wing anti-Islamic-fundamentalism group, has launched a "Jewish division", encouraging members of the community to "lead the counter-Jihad fight in England".

It has signed up hundreds of followers on Facebook since the launch last week. Supporters include an ex-Community Security Trust volunteer who claims "a lot of Jewish guys want to get stuck in".

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Flotilla girl tells of flying bullets

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

One of the first Gaza flotilla activists to return to Britain has said she “can’t remember what happened first” when Israeli commandos boarded her boat, but described “hearing bullets flying”.

Sarah Colborne, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s director of campaigns, described the scenes as Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara ship which was leading the flotilla.

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Israel advocates get media training amid international criticism

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

Hopeful Israel advocates took part in a media training course with a renowned communications expert — as the Gaza flotilla deaths brought an avalanche of criticism against the Jewish state.

Linda Lovitch, who counts leading Israel spokesman Mark Regev among her former students, led the two-day exercise in London on behalf of the Zionist Federation.

After learning on Sunday the importance of being polite, knowing your audience and having facts at your fingertips, the 14 participants, including students and businessmen, were faced just 24 hours later with a real-time case study.

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British Army expert: "Blame flotilla for deaths"

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

The former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has said Israeli troops should not be blamed for the deaths of activists on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Speaking on behalf of the Israel Project, an international non-profit education organisation, Colonel Richard Kemp said: “We should not forget that none of these deaths would have occurred if the people on the ships had not attacked the Israelis.

“It’s wrong to blame the Israeli soldiers for the deaths. The flotilla must shoulder the blame for this.”

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Hundreds demonstrate for Israel in London

By Jessica Elgot, June 3, 2010

More than 700 pro-Israel supporters were outside the Israeli embassy on Wednesday night, waving flags, singing and denouncing Israel’s treatment by politicians and by the media.

One supporter who broke through the police barriers was taken away by police. He is thought to have been carrying a paint bomb, but police did not confirm why he had been arrested.

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Hague calls for investigation into flotilla raid

By Robyn Rosen, June 2, 2010

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he is “seriously concerned” about Israel’s actions and called for a full investigation.

Mr Hague gave a statement to the House of Commons today and said the government had expressed its “disappointment” to the Israeli government about its lack of access to the 37 British nationals who were on board the flotilla, of whom it has been in contact with twenty-eight.

He said: “We have demanded urgent information about and access to all UK nationals involved. Their welfare is our top priority at this time.

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