UK news

Special interests of Charedi cops

By Leon Symons, September 24, 2009

Patrolling the Golders Green streets, Nochum Dewhurst and David Baddiel look like any other policemen on the beat.

But the helmets of the young special constables cover black kipot — they are the area’s first Charedi law officers.

SPC Dewhurst, 21, a product of Menorah Grammar School, has been a special for two years while SPC Baddiel, 27, is a recent recruit. Educated at Pardes House, he is related to his TV personality namesake.

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Leaders query extra checks on volunteers

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Rabbis have criticised new government requirements for additional background checks on people working with children and the elderly.

Synagogues and charities fear the Independent Safeguarding Authority regulations, which come into effect in October, will deter volunteers and infringe on privacy.

The requirements extend to parents who regularly bring other children to cheder or youth club activities at the request of the organisations, or volunteers giving lifts to the elderly.

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Is this London’s nosiest street?

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Jewish residents of a small north London cul-de-sac are less than pleased to see it branded London’s nosiest street.

Statistics released by property price comparison website Zoopla show that residents in Monkville Avenue, NW11, are the most likely in the capital to log on to find out how much their neighbours’ houses are worth — and they’ll discover that a three-bedroom house costs £600,000.

But residents in the road, where 40 per cent of the houses have mezuzot on the doors, were shocked.

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Anger at Irish comedian who joked 6 million Jews? I'd have killed 10 million

By Leon Symons, September 24, 2009

Award-winning Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan has apologised for a foul-mouthed rant about the Holocaust during the Irish equivalent of Glastonbury.

Tiernan was taking part in a question-and-answer session before an audience of over 400 at the Electric Picnic music and arts festival in County Laios. Asked if he had ever been accused of antisemitism, he responded: “F------ six million? I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that... F------ two at a time, they would have gone. Hold hands, get in there. Leave us your teeth and your glasses.”

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Anti-racist strategy wins admirers

September 24, 2009

The British parliamentary model of fighting antisemitism is being adopted elsewhere.

Germany, Italy and Canada have started their own versions of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism, which is led by Bassetlaw Labour MP John Mann.

Talks are also ongoing between the London-based Inter-Parliamentary Coalition Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) and parliamentarians in Austria and South Africa.

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TUC boycott vote prompts anger

By Leon Symons, September 24, 2009

The decision of the Trades Union Congress to support a “targeted, consumer-led” boycott of goods from Israeli settlements in occupied areas has been described as a warning shot.

Communal leaders fear that unions which are avowedly anti-Israel will attempt to implement a much wider boycott next year. They also believe that not enough was done ahead of congress to avert the outcome.

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Board: Muslim Council of Britain must be boycotted until reform

By Simon Rocker, September 24, 2009

The government should lay down conditions for dealing with organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain, a parliamentary inquiry has been told by the Board of Deputies.

In a joint submission with the Community Security Trust to the Commons’ Communities and Local Government Committee, the Board wrote: “Any future engagement with umbrella groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain must be contingent on them representing a greater range of views than those of the Islamists, and firmly rejecting violence in all circumstances, including in overseas conflicts.”

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Analysis: Denham reveals how government's Islamist stance unresolved

By Martin Bright, September 24, 2009

Our interview with Communities Secretary John Denham illustrates that the British government’s stance on engagement with home-grown Islamism remains unresolved.

Mr Denham has made it clear that the Muslim Council of Britain will remain out in the cold while its deputy secretary general remains a signatory to the Istanbul declaration calling for attacks on Israel and the Royal Navy.

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John Denham interview: let's talk to the Muslim Council but not yet

By Martin Bright, September 24, 2009

Few politicians are as well-mannered and gracious as Communities Secretary John Denham. He is popular with the Labour Party faithful because he is has no airs and is prepared to discuss his ideas openly. In the past decade he has navigated the Blair-Brown sectarian divide with great skill and made an astonishing comeback after resigning from the government over Iraq. But he is not without enemies.

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Holocaust survivor to thank Pope for priest who saved him

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

A Holocaust survivor whose life was saved by a Catholic priest during the war will visit the Vatican next month to thank the Pope.

Joseph Szlezinger was hidden in a Belgian convent and his mother Gita lived for 18 months in a basement after the priest, Father Clement, agreed to protect them from the Nazis.

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