UK news

Herzl's priest recognised after 80 years

By Simon Rocker, February 3, 2011

For 80 years the body of the Reverend William Henry Hechler lay in an unmarked grave at the edge of New Southgate Cemetery in north London.

But on Monday the Anglican priest, a supporter of Theodor Herzl's quest to found a Jewish state, finally received due recognition.

Israeli and Christian representatives witnessed the unveiling of a tombstone to mark a "lover of God… and His Ancient People" and "a tireless adversary against antisemitism".

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Antisemitic incidents still at record high

By Robyn Rosen, February 3, 2011

Antisemitic incidents have reached the second highest level since records began, according to annual figures released by the Community Security Trust.

The CST confirmed that 639 incidents were reported in 2010, a 31 per cent fall from 2009’s record high of 926, caused by antisemitic reactions to the Gaza conflict in January of that year.

Despite the drop, incidents were 17 per cent higher than the 2008 figure of 546 and 15 per cent higher than 2006, which previously held the highest number of incidents, caused by reactions to the second Lebanon war.

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Rabbi confirmed in West London post

By Simon Rocker, February 1, 2011

Rabbi Julia Neuberger said she was thrilled to become the next senior rabbi of West London Synagogue after a ballot of members confirmed her appointment.

Baroness Neuberger, who will join part-time in March with the aim of becoming full-time in September, said: “This is the leading Reform synagogue in the UK and it’s a huge privilege to be asked to lead it.”

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NUS president subjected to antisemitic abuse

By Marcus Dysch, January 31, 2011

The president of the National Union of Students (NUS) was the target of antisemitic abuse as he attempted to speak at a student fees protest.

Aaron Porter, who is not Jewish, was escorted away from the demonstration in Manchester last Saturday as protesters chanted “Tory Jew scum”.

The Union of Jewish Students has condemned the abuse, which is thought to have been started by a group of five to 10 protesters before others joined in.

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Guardian, Al-Jazeera 'misquoted' Palestine Papers

By Jennifer Lipman, January 31, 2011

There have been “prominent distortions” in the media coverage of the content of the leaked Palestine Papers, according to research by advocacy group Bicom.

The documents have sent shockwaves around the world since they were first released last week by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian newspaper.

But ‘The Palestine Papers: Analysis or Agenda?,’ produced with input from Palestinian and Israeli experts, shows that in places the facts of the documents “differ starkly from claims made about them”.

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Government to keep funding Holocaust Memorial Day

By Jessica Elgot, January 28, 2011

The government will fund at least two more years of the Holocaust Memorial Day with a grant of £1.5m.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced the funding will continue at the national HMD event last night.

He said: “Antisemitism and other forms of bigotry have sadly not yet been relegated to the history books. It’s the responsibility of every one of us to challenge divisive views and discrimination whenever we see them.

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Lord Levy: JLC grabs too much power

By Simon Rocker, January 28, 2011

The Jewish Leadership Council has been accused of trying to grab too much power by its former vice-president Lord Levy.

In an article in today's JC, he reveals that his recent resignation from the council was because of its failure to define "its role or purpose".

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Evil Eye? I'll get rid of it for 50 quid

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 28, 2011

Manchester rabbis have backed two services that claim to offer Jewish spiritual healing.

In recent weeks two Jewish papers have carried an advert by Israeli Rabbi Avraham Lebel in which he says he can remove the ayin hara (evil eye). He charges £50 for the service.

In another, the Chabad House in Whitefield advertises free "spiritual healing" by two men, Eric Sayers and Carl Montlake, described as "Jewish healers for the Jewish community".

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Israel activists raise concerns with MPs

By Marcus Dysch, January 27, 2011

More than 300 pro-Israel activists met their MPs to voice concerns during the Zionist Federation’s annual Parliamentary lobby day.

They expressed their fears over rising extremism on campuses and the existence of a Hamas-related centre in London during sessions with Parliamentarians on Wednesday.

A training session for lobbyists was led by ZF president Eric Moonman and Jacob Vince of Christian Friends of Israel.

Around 100 MPs, including Sir Alan Beith, Louise Ellman, Lee Scott, Theresa Villiers and Luciana Berger, later met constituents for private meetings.

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Rabbis outraged by 'inappropriate' Glenn Beck Holocaust slurs

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

A cross-communal group of rabbis have joined the voices calling for media mogul Rupert Murdoch to remove the controversial right wing pundit Glenn Beck from Fox News.

The rabbis have taken out a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal newspaper condemning Mr Beck’s repeated attacks on Holocaust survivor and financier George Soros.

In the advert the group criticised as “inappropriate” a programme broadcast on the channel last year called “Puppet Master”, in which Mr Beck accused Mr Soros of helping “to send the Jews to the death camps”.

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