UK news

FA silent on football racism report

January 27, 2011

The Football Association has been accused of ignoring a report into antisemitism submitted by politicians and football experts 18 months ago.

At the House of Commons debate MP John Mann said he had been asked by the FA to chair a working group into antisemitism and Islamophobia in the sport, but had received no response to its final report.

He said: "I now politely ask the FA, which has a new chief executive, to respond. I hope that it does so productively and positively."

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Anti-Israel play runs in Lincoln

By Robyn Rosen, January 27, 2011

Lincoln University has been criticised for staging Caryl Churchill's controversial play, Seven Jewish Children.

The production will run in April at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre.

The 10-minute play was originally staged at the Royal Court in response to Israel's action in Gaza in January 2009.

John Nathan, reviewing it in the JC, wrote: "For the first time in my career as a critic, I am moved to say about a work at a major production house that this is an antisemitic play."

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Charedim voice school concerns

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2011

Charedi leaders have voiced concern about the government's plans to raise the school leaving age from 16 to 18 in a meeting with Schools Minister Nick Gibb.

A delegation from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations discussed the potential impact on Charedi youth, who generally leave school by their mid-teens to go to yeshivah or seminary.

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Science laureates' Israel talks

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2011

Two Nobel laureates were among a delegation of leading British scientists who arrived in Israel this week for the first meeting of the UK-Israel Life Sciences Council.

Professors Sir John Walker and Sir Aaron Klug, who both won the Nobel Prize for chemistry, and Baroness Greenfield, are among the 12 British scientists taking part.

The nine Israelis also include two Nobel winners, Professor Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute and Professor Aaron Ciechanover, of the Haifa Technion, who also won their prizes for chemistry.

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Israel and Palestinian groups clash at LSE

By Robyn Rosen, January 27, 2011

Tensions between the London School of Economics' Israel and Palestine societies have risen after a surge in anti-Israel activity on campus.

The two student union societies were praised earlier this month for a joint debate on an academic boycott of Israel but since then, the Palestine Society has launched a campaign to boycott the Eden Springs water company and invited self-styled rabbi, Ahron Cohen of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta group to speak to students.

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JLC lobbies on the Big Society

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 27, 2011

The Jewish Leadership Council has continued lobbying government ministers over concerns that the Big Society will put financial and bureaucratic pressures on Jewish charities and communal organisations.

JLC chief executive Jeremy Newmark and 10 Manchester Jewish leaders met Communities Minister Andrew Stunell on Monday while he visited North Cheshire Jewish Primary School.

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Leonard Cohen's musical legacy up for grabs

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

Rock music history is up for grabs after a lawyer decided to sell his collection of Leonard Cohen films.

Steven Machat is offering for sale 294 reels of film of the singer, a former client of his late father, music manager Marty Machat.

The material, which formed the basis of the iconic 1974 Tony Palmer film, Bird On A Wire, includes shots of Cohen as a child and at concerts in Jerusalem and Paris.

Marty Machat's partnership with Cohen ended badly, but not before he funded Bird on A Wire, recording Cohen on stage and behind the scenes of his 1972 European tour.

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Give terminally-ill right to die, says rabbi

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2011

People with terminal illnesses should be helped to die if they do not want to go on living, according to the chief executive of Liberal Judaism.

Rabbi Danny Rich made the case when he gave evidence last week to the independent Commission on Assisted Dying, chaired by the former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer.

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William Hague lays down the law to Avigdor Lieberman

By Martin Bright, January 27, 2011

Foreign Secretary William Hague outlined a hardening UK position on settlement building when he met his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman in London this week.

In talks which focused on the peace process, he stressed that the current impasse did not serve the interests of Israelis, Palestinians or the region.

A Foreign Office statement said: "The Foreign Secretary made clear again the government's view that the construction of settlements is illegal, an obstacle to peace, and should stop.

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William Hague will not go to Lebanon

By Martin Bright, January 27, 2011

Foreign Secretary William Hague was forced to cancel a planned trip to Lebanon this week after officials decided that the country remained in too much of a state of "flux".

The country's new Hizbollah-backed Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, was still in the process of forming his government as Mr Hague left for a visit to the Middle East on Wednesday. Sunnis opposed to Hezbollah's links to Shia Iran took to the streets this week to demonstrate against Mr Mikati's appointment.

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