UK news

Fury over Palestinian activists Israel Nazi jibe

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

Two Jews who are senior members of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in Manchester have been criticised for making "monstrous" parallels between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Nazi atrocities.

Last week, Manchester PSC chair Linda Clair, who is Jewish, wrote to the left-leaning Morning Star newspaper claiming Israel would eventually conduct a holocaust. She wrote: "The Israelis have massacred many thousands of Palestinians since 1947 and continue to do so.

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Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks fails to speak out in Lords

By Robyn Rosen, November 18, 2010

The Chief Rabbi has not made a single speech in the House of Lords since he became a peer more than a year ago, apart from his maiden speech.

Lord Sacks, one of the most eloquent religious leaders in the English-speaking world, was made a life peer on October 27 last year but, according to the politics website They Work For You, he has not spoken in the House since his uncontroversial maiden speech a month later.

In this time, there have been several debates on controversial topics, including Israel, the labelling of kosher meat and universal jurisdiction.

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New Irish abattoirs to stop kosher crisis

By Leon Symons, November 18, 2010

Kosher meat supplies will continue to flow into Britain from Ireland despite a major abattoir having closed its kosher facility last month.

At least two other abattoirs have been employed to make sure that kosher butchers, primarily in the London area, will be fully stocked.

Slaney Foods in County Wexford announced without warning that it was closing its kosher production plant. The company, which also supplies meat to the McDonald's chain, said the decision to close had been made after news reports that halal meat was being used in some McDonald's restaurants.

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British ambassador's unfond farewell to Israel

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

The Foreign Office has refused to release a valedictory despatch written by a British ambassador to Israel almost 30 years ago over fears that it could damage current relations between the two countries.

The document was sent to London by John Robinson as he left Tel Aviv in 1981, just a year after he had arrived.

Mr Robinson died in 1998, but the Foreign Office has declined to release his despatch after a JC Freedom of Information request, saying it is still too sensitive to disclose because it "would be likely to prejudice relations" between the UK and Israel.

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MoD plan kosher food for Army to march on

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

A new range of kosher ration packs for Jewish troops serving in the armed forces will be part of a multi-million pound deal sealed by the Ministry of Defence.

The rations will include kosher meat meals and will be available to those serving in all three branches of the military in Afghanistan and other locations worldwide.

Many of the products are specially designed to make them easier to carry and boost energy levels while troops are on patrol.

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How the Canadians of Harrogate are remembered every year

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2010

A Leeds man who says kaddish at the graves of seven Jewish Canadian airmen killed during the war has begun a meticulous search to find their relatives.

Alan Caplan, 76, from Alwoodley, visits, with 30 members of his local AJEX branch, the graves of the seven men at Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate every year to place poppies etched with magen Davids on the graves.

He said: "They were stationed in the north of England during the war - and they gave their lives to save this
country.

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Searchlight takes on the Islamic extremists

By Martin Bright, November 18, 2010

The anti-fascist publication Searchlight, which was behind the "Hope Not Hate" campaign to stop the British National Party in east London, is to expand its operations to oppose the Islamophobic English Defence League and Islamic extremism itself.

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Ken Loach for boycott of Israeli company Bezeq

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2010

Film director Ken Loach has denounced BT for signing a partnership deal with Israel's major communications company, Bezeq International.

Activists say Bezeq should be boycotted as it provides communications to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

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Board tells Queen mazal tov during Castle visit

By Robyn Rosen, November 18, 2010

A board of Deputies delegation visited the Queen this week to wish her mazal tov on her grandson's engagement and discuss its 250th anniversary.

Board president, Vivian Wineman, senior vice president, Jonathan Arkush, treasurer, Laurence Brass, vice presidents Paul Edlin and Jerry Lewis and chief executive Jon Benjamin were accompanied by the president of the Elders of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, Alfred Magnus to a private audience with the Queen at
Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

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Now Blackpool koshers its rock

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

The world's first fully kosher Blackpool Rock factory has begun runs of confectionery and is to supply supermarkets within a week.

Coronation Rock, one of the oldest rock producers, which supplies confectionery to Harrods, the London Eye and Alton Towers, was granted a full factory kashrut licence by the Manchester Beth Din two weeks ago. The company can make up to 20,000 sticks of rock a day in over 2,000 flavours and has already begun supplying Jewish novelty lollies to kosher shops.

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