UK news

Ed Miliband is Labour's first Jewish leader

By Jennifer Lipman, September 26, 2010

Ed Miliband has become the first Jewish leader of the Labour party.

The 40-year-old former Energy Secretary, who is MP for Doncaster North, triumphed with just a 1.3 per cent lead over his elder brother David in the fourth round of the vote. 

More..

Oona 'united as Team Labour' with Ken

By Marcus Dysch, September 26, 2010

Former MP Oona King has backed Ken Livingstone to regain the London mayoralty after he beat her for the Labour candidacy to take on Boris Johnson.

Mr Livingstone, whose two previous terms as mayor saw him open a rift with the Jewish community, will take on the current Tory incumbent in 2012.

Ms King polled 31 per cent of the vote on her return to the political spotlight. She lost her Bethnal Green and Bow parliamentary seat to George Galloway following an acrimonious campaign in 2005.

More..

George Galloway may run in Tower Hamlets

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010

George Galloway is planning to run in an east London mayoral election following the deselection of a Labour candidate with alleged extremist connections.

The pro-Palestinian activist and former Respect MP is considering standing for the party in the vote for Tower Hamlets first directly-elected mayor next month.

Respect had said they would not field a candidate in the contest.

More..

Labour ousts Tower Hamlets mayoral candidate Lutfur Rahman

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

A Labour councillor alleged to have links with an Islamic fundamentalist group has been removed as the party’s candidate to become mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Labour’s National Executive Committee has suspended Lutfur Rahman and chosen another candidate to replace him.

Mr Rahman, who represents the borough’s Spitalfields and Banglatown ward, was nominated as Labour’s candidate earlier in the year despite opposition from local party members.

More..

'British Schindler' Holocaust hero honoured

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the British Schindler after he rescued 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia, has been honoured with the unveiling of a life-size statue of himself.

Sir Nicholas, who is 101, attended the unveiling of the bronze statue, created by sculptor Lydia Karpinska, on the Reading-bound platform at Maidenhead railway station at the weekend.

On the eve of the Second World War, Sir Nicholas began an operation, later known as the Czech Kindertransport, by helping the children escape German-occupied Czechoslovakia and arranging for their safe passage to Britain.

More..

Prayer for IDF Druze allowed

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Orthodox rabbis have been told that there is no problem with including the name of a Druze serviceman among prayers for Israel's missing soldiers.

Rabbi Julian Shindler, director of rabbinic liaison in the Office of the Chief Rabbi, emailed rabbis to say that they can mention Majdy Halabi, who disappeared five years ago.

More..

Shul is helped by JC readers

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

Surveillance equipment worth more than £1,500 has been donated to a Lithuanian synagogue vandalised in an antisemitic attack, following an appeal on the JC website.

An anonymous donor responded to the request to provide the Kaunas synagogue in central Lithuania with a set of second-hand CCTV cameras after extremists left a pig's head outside the building.

They had carved a star of David into the head and placed it underneath a black Chasidic hat with peyot (sidelocks) attached.

More..

Jewish flotilla aims to break blockade

By Jessica Elgot, September 21, 2010

The organisers of a Jewish-run ship which aims to break Israel's naval blockade claim the boat will sail by the end of this month.

The ship, which has been co-ordinated by the British Jews for Justice for Palestinians and European Jews for a Just Peace, will have four crew members and eight other Jewish passengers, including Israeli Holocaust survivor Reuven Moskovitz, and British JfJfP activist Alison Prager.

British sailor Glyn Secker of JfJfP will captain the ship. He said it would show that "not all Jews support Israel and say emphatically: not in our name".

More..

MDA launch new Shalit campaign

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

Magen David Adom UK has launched a campaign to demand Red Cross access to kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit.

The British branch of the Israeli ambulance charity, which is also part of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is urging supporters to sign a petition calling on Hamas, under the Third Geneva Convention, to allow the Red Cross to visit Sergeant Shalit.

Almost 11,000 have so far signed the petition, addressed to Tony Blair in his capacity as Quartet representative.

More..

Envoy's first move? Enter the Shalit tent

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

The new British Ambassador to Israel and his wife Celia have visited the parents of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit at their protest tent in Jerusalem.

Matthew Gould, who arrived in Israel just after Rosh Hashanah, said that Prime Minister David Cameron had asked him to go and see Noam and Aviva Shalit as soon as he arrived in Israel.

More..