UK news

Sacks 'dismayed' by Cameron's Gaza comments

August 12, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has attacked David Cameron's description of Gaza as a "prison camp".

Lord Sacks said many in the Jewish community felt "dismay" about the Prime Minister's remarks and urged him to show more "balance" when discussing the conflict in the Middle East.

He made the comments when he addressed the congregation in St John's Wood Synagogue last Shabbat.

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UCL to host radical Islamic preachers

By Robyn Rosen, August 12, 2010

A series of radical Islamic preachers will speak at University College London at a conference which will give "every Muslim in the UK a special chance to realise the satanic traps around them".

The University College London Union (UCLU) Islamic Society is holding its 2010 National Ramadan Conference, entitled the Dunya Deception, later this month.

Speakers include Jalal Ibn Sa'eed, Zahir Mahmoud and Uthman Lateef, who have all made controversial comments about Israel and martyrdom.

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Tel Aviv suicide bomb victim's brother leaves UK

August 12, 2010

The brother of Glasgow-born teenager Yoni Jesner, who was killed in a Tel Aviv suicide bombing, has made aliyah.

Jared Jesner, 30, said his brother's death eight years ago had influenced their decision to move. He said: "Yoni's death taught me life is short, and if you have an opportunity, you should just go for it, because you might not get another chance. You have to be bold, and not hang around. I think he would be proud of us coming here."

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Massive Attack target Israel at Big Chill festival

August 12, 2010

A music fan has described how a festival performance was used to attack Israel and promote the cause of Palestinian refugees.

Massive Attack performed at last weekend's Big Chill concert before a crowd of thousands in Malvern, Worcestershire.

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Jewish man becomes Royal Navy admiral

August 12, 2010

Lord Sterling of Plaistow has been appointed a two-star admiral in the Royal Navy.

The highly-decorated 75-year-old is a former executive chairman of P&O and founder of the Motability charity which provides cars for disabled people.

It is thought Lord Sterling is the highest-ranking Jewish officer in the armed forces' history.

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O2 sorry for sending parcel to 'Jew Face'

By Marcus Dysch, August 12, 2010

Mobile phone company O2 has apologised after a woman received a parcel addressed to "Ms Jew Face".

Joan Jennings, who is not Jewish, was shocked when the package containing a free Sim card and letter arrived with the offensive comment.

The letter, received on Monday, was addressed: "Hi Jew".

The following day Mrs Jennings contacted BBC Three Counties radio and the incident was discussed on air.

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Harrow halal plan raises Jewish shechitah fears

By Jessica Elgot, August 12, 2010

Shechita UK have expressed concerns over a backlash against kosher meat after parents and animal rights groups protested against the new halal school dinners offered by Harrow Council.

Newspaper reports claimed that residents were worried about "the methods used to slaughter animals in this way".

Parent Sheila Murphy told the Harrow Observer: "The Farm Animal Welfare Council has lobbied the government to get kosher and halal slaughter banned. The method is deemed cruel by some animal-lovers."

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I went from YouTube to Vegas… via Tom Jones

August 12, 2010

Singer Sophie Hiller's career hit the big time this week, as she performed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as Sir Tom Jones's warm-up act.

The 20-year-old, from East Barnet, north London, was invited to audition for the job after a producer of the Welsh singer's show saw a clip of her on YouTube.

She describes her style as "jazzy, souly and funky with a modern twist".

But Sophie's two-week stint in the entertainment capital is not all hard work.

On Monday she wrote on Twitter: "Just laying by the pool bronzing myself. All in a day's work, eh?"

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Tributes pour in after death of Tony Judt

By Jessica Elgot, August 12, 2010

Tributes have been paid to the British historian Tony Judt who has died aged 62.

The academic and outspoken critic of Israel suffered from motor neurone disease, which left him paralysed from the neck down.

Rabbi David Goldberg, former Rabbi of the Liberal Jewish synagogue, said: "Tony was a charming man, he could seduce with words. We had many disagreements, but he had a brilliant mind. He had so much more to give."

Guardian and JC columnist Jonathan Freedland wrote: "He was a formidable intellect and shrewd observer. His severe illness did not dim his warmth or generosity."

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Bid to ban Gaza kids tour from schools

By Leon Symons, August 12, 2010

Community leaders are battling to stop an exhibition of paintings by children from Gaza being shown in schools in the North of England.

Campaigners say they have no objection to the paintings, but have reacted with anger at a series of talks given to accompany them.

Property developer Rod Cox, 62, masterminded the exhibition after visiting Gaza where children gave him paintings depicting their view of life there. Some show scenes of devastation.

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