UK news

Britain dismisses Israel tourism boycott claim

October 7, 2010

Britain has denied that it is boycotting an international tourism conference in Jerusalem, despite Israeli claims to the contrary.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development will host two events in the city later this month - a two-day seminar on sustainable tourism, followed by a conference on data and privacy protection.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected apparent OECD requests to move the event to Tel Aviv, but highlighted the fact Britain and Spain would not be sending delegates.

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Analysis: Tories mend fences as Labour digs holes

By Martin Bright, October 7, 2010

Change is always unsettling and this season of political conferences has ushered in all the uncertainty that inevitably follows a general election. Fringe meetings at the Conservative Party conference were infused with an atmosphere of near- panic as desperate lobbyists scrambled for the ear of ministers, while trying to second-guess the coalition plans in advance of the comprehensive spending review.

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Food firm Osem fined over waste

By Robyn Rosen, October 7, 2010

Kosher food firm Osem has been told to pay around £27,000 after failing to recycle waste for nearly 10 years.

Osem UK Ltd - whose products include instant soups, dips, cakes and frozen meats - pleaded guilty at Basildon Magistrates' Court on Monday to failing to register with the Environment Agency as a producer of packaging waste and failing to meet its requirements to recover and recycle packaging waste between 1998 and 2007.

The company, based in Essex, was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £2,819 in costs and £8,372 in compensation to the Environment Agency.

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Tony Blair warns on Islamic extremism

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

Tony Blair has claimed violent Islamic extremism has "outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised" the West.

He said too many people had accepted extremists' claims that military action was taken against Muslim countries following the 9/11 attacks because the West supported Israel and Jews rather than Palestinians and Muslims.

Speaking in New York, the former Prime Minister warned that extremism could not be defeated "without defeating the narrative that nurtures it". He said moderate Muslims were being undermined by the West's unwillingness to tackle extremists' arguments.

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Benefit cuts could hit Orthodox families

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

Labour MP Diane Abbott has warned that the government's proposals to cut child benefits could hit Charedi families harder than others.

Ms Abbott, who represents the Hackney constituency which includes Stamford Hill, said plans to remove the benefit from families where one parent earns more than £44,000 a year were likely to have a "devastating impact".

Chancellor George Osborne announced at the Conservative Party annual conference in Birmingham that cuts would apply to higher-rate taxpayers from 2013.

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Food poisoning wedding probe leads to... sprouts

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 7, 2010

A freak nationwide outbreak of salmonella in bean sprouts is being investigated as the possible cause of the death of an 82-year-old Jewish woman who died after a wedding in Manchester.

Rene Kwartz, from Crumpsall, was one of 10 guests at the wedding, held in Prestwich in August, who contracted a rare form of salmonella called S Bareilly. She was the bride's great-aunt and, according to the coroner, died from pneumonia, contributed to by salmonella enteritis.

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Cruise passenger complains, then expelled

By Leon Symons, October 7, 2010

An 82-year-old woman was thrown off a luxury cruise for disruptive behaviour after protesting that she had been the victim of antisemitism.

Broadway producer Gloria Sher Evans was expelled from Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 only days into a month-long trip to Britain and the Mediterranean.

Her husband, 91-year-old former Royal Navy medical man Frederick Evans, said: "It was the second night of the cruise. We were in one of the dining rooms at a table with other people. This man was talking and he told Gloria to shut up.

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'Serious concerns' about Ed Miliband

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

The election of new Labour leader Ed Miliband has caused serious consternation among leading members of the Jewish community and supporters of Israel.

They fear his comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his main conference address and fringe event appearances presage a "new reality" in Labour's relations with the Jewish state.

Mr Miliband has rejected the chance to allay those concerns, with a party spokesman this week saying the new leader would not answer questions about his comments on Israel, his approach to foreign policy, or his plans to meet community leaders.

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Anti-Israel activist acquittal judge reprimanded

By Robyn Rosen, October 7, 2010

The judge who suggested that one of the anti-Israel activists who was acquitted of damaging an arms factory should be awarded the George Cross has been reprimanded for his “personal views”.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman made the comments in his 87-page summing up of the July trial of seven activists who broke into the Brighton EDO MBM factory last year.

The “Smash EDO” group were acquitted of causing £180,000 worth of damage to the building, which they believed supplied Israel with arms equipment.

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Jewish Apprentice hopefuls impress Lord Sugar

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010

All three Jewish candidates hoping to become Lord Sugar's next Apprentice have reached the second week of the competition.

Sausages, rather than kosher chickens, were the focus of the first task of the series as the teams battled to sell at markets in London.

Former King David pupil Alex Epstein had a narrow escape as he was brought back into the boardroom by his project manager. His team, Synergy, made a profit of £305.90 - £15 less than their opponents.

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