UK news

JFS: Supreme Court grants legal aid

By Simon Rocker, October 2, 2009

In its first ever judgment, Britain’s new Supreme Court has said that legal aid must continue to be available in the dispute over entry to JFS.

Until now, the Legal Services Commission has funded the father of the boy whose rejection by the school two years ago prompted the legal action.

But the LSC did not want to be liable for paying the costs of JFS and its foundation body, the United Synagogue, in the event that the father lost when the case comes to the Supreme Court later this month.

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Court denies release of BBC Middle East report

By Simon Rocker, October 2, 2009

The High Court today dealt a significant blow to a five-year-old campaign to force the BBC to publish a report into its Middle East coverage.

London solicitor Steven Sugar has battled since January 2005 for the release of the so-called Balen report, compiled in 2004, under the Freedom of Information Act.

His efforts have led to several legal hearings, even reaching the House of Lords earlier this year.

But in a judgment released today, Mr Justice Irwin said that the Balen report was exempt from disclosure because it dealt with journalism.

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Blood and Honour: Johnson pressed to act

By Leon Symons, October 1, 2009

Shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones has called on home secretary Alan Johnson to proscribe the extreme right wing group Blood & Honour.

Only last week the group was reported to the police for distributing racially offensive CDs.

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'Abused' footballer attacks FA inaction

By Marcus Dysch, October 1, 2009

A Maccabi Premier Division footballer who claims he was called “a Paki” by an opponent in April is outraged that the London FA has yet to hold a hearing into the incident.

Virgil Levy, who is of South American origin, also alleges that he was called “Asian” and told that he “should not belong in the community or in the league” during the game between his team, Montana Boca, and Glenthorne in April.

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Yom Kippur crime on the increase

By Marcus Dysch, October 1, 2009

A man was arrested for shouting antisemitic abuse and police are investigating a number of other incidents which took place around synagogues over Shabbat and Yom Kippur.

After a peaceful Rosh Hashanah, the Community Security Trust reported a busier Yom Kippur period with reports of verbal abuse and egg-throwing in north-west London, Hertfordshire and Manchester.

On Saturday night, a 38-year-old man was arrested in Golders Green for causing racially aggravated harassment and distress. He has been bailed to return to a north-west London police station on October 27.

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Ed Balls: Holocaust education is best investment

By Robyn Rosen, October 1, 2009

Schools Secretary Ed Balls has said the money put into Holocaust education is the “best investment” his department has made.

Mr Balls and his wife Yvette Cooper, the Work and Pensions Secretary, were among the 300 guests at the Holocaust Educational Trust dinner in central London.

Stressing the enduring importance of Holocaust education, he said young Britons were learning about the Shoah in a “relevant and sophisticated” way.

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Heads upset as JFS rejects their pupils

By Simon Rocker, October 1, 2009

Jewish primary school heads have voiced dismay that their pupils are not been given priority at JFS.

Vivienne Orloff, head of the Michael Sobell Sinai School, a United Synagogue primary which lies next door to JFS in Kenton, said it was “ridiculous” that children from Jewish primaries did not get preference. “It’s heartbreaking when you have the school on your doorstep. We want all our children to continue their education and what’s important is that the parents want them to.”

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Defence chief in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

Chief of the UK Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, has made a three-day visit to Israel.

During the trip — which was not publicised by the British or Israeli defence ministries — Sir Jock met IDF Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and other senior officers. Issues discussed included missile defence, Iran’s nuclear programme and methods of defending ground troops from explosive devices. British forces in Afghanistan have a strategy based on Israel’s experience in dealing with suicide bombers and explosives.

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Miliband dismissed Barak ‘war crimes’ prosecution bid

By Leon Symons and Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has delivered a withering riposte to an attempt by Palestinian supporters to have Ehud Barak arrested in Britain as a war criminal.

Addressing the Labour Friends of Israel fringe meeting, Mr Miliband warned: “This will never become a country where ministers of Israel are unable to come and have proper dialogue with the government of the United Kingdom.”

Earlier in the day, lawyers acting for 16 Palestinian families applied unsuccessfully to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the warrant.

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Barak offers Brown his backing

By Leon Symons, Brighton, October 1, 2009

Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak offered his support to embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a packed Labour Friends of Israel meeting at the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Tuesday night.

Mr Barak, who leads Israel’s Labour Party, praised the economic nous of Mr Brown, who was among the 500-plus MPs and conference delegates at the meeting.

He echoed the Prime Minister’s keynote speech earlier in the day by urging Labour supporters to “never give in and keep fighting to victory” in the next election.

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