UK news

Board urges less aggresive approach from zionists

By Simon Rocker, June 3, 2010

The president of the Board of Deputies, Vivian Wineman, has called on Jewish groups to lower the temperature of arguments over Israel and avoid abusive language.

He suggests that they follow the example of the Stanmore Accords, the 1998 agreement between Orthodox and non-Orthodox synagogue movements to refrain from slanging matches in public.

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Unison refuses friends of Israel conference stall

By Robyn Rosen, June 3, 2010

The trade union Unison has refused the Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI) a stall at its annual conference next month, despite assurances last year's ban would be lifted.

TUFI, which aims to improve trade union relationships between Israel and Palestine, has run a stall at the conference previously but last year was refused due to a "security threat" following the Gaza conflict.

Stephen Scott, director of TUFI, said: "We are disappointed that we have not been allowed to exhibit for the second year running.

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Muslims say Israel is key to dialogue

June 3, 2010

Jews and Muslims involved in interfaith work have differing ideas about discussing Israel in their dialogue groups.

In Manchester, Lucille Cohen, the new president of the Manchester Jewish Representative Council, has said that on the whole she believes that "if it's appropriate, leave Israel on the side".

Mrs Cohen, the former president of the Zionist Central Council, is also involved with the Altrincham Interfaith Group.

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Plastic gun robber stays in jail

June 3, 2010

A dangerous robber jailed for a minimum of six years after wielding a plastic gun at his victims during two separate attacks has failed to win a cut in his sentence on appeal.

Last August at St Albans Crown Court, Paul John Wakenshaw, 38, of Watford, admitted two counts of robbery and two of having an imitation firearm with intent to commit
robbery.

He struck at Sophia Jewellers, on The Broadway in Stanmore, in December 2008, pressing a gun against a shop assistant's chest while demanding that she opened the safe.

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Christian Aid in false sex abuse claims

June 3, 2010

Christian Aid was expected to be reported to the Charity Commission this week after it claimed Israeli settlers had sexually abused Palestinian children in Hebron.

The charity issued an unreserved apology following the false claims, made after social worker Miranda Pinch travelled to the West Bank.

She had worked to "monitor human rights abuses" as part of an accompaniment programme part-funded by the charity.

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'Yellow River' singer's World Cup bid

By Simon Rocker, June 3, 2010

A top songwriter hopes to spur on England's footballers by adapting a version of his classic 70s hit as a World Cup anthem.

Jeff Christie's Yellow River topped the charts in 26 countries, including three weeks in the UK.

Now it is being re-released under the title Hat Trick of Lions on Monday, refreshed with a ska beat, a rap and a new chorus: "Come on England".

There may be no official English theme song, but Christie hopes the team will remain in the tournament long enough for the song to catch on.

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Progressives up battle against JFS law reversal

By Simon Rocker, June 3, 2010

Non-Orthodox leaders this week upped the pressure on the Board of Deputies to justify a campaign to reverse last year's Supreme Court ruling on JFS.

In a joint statement reacting sharply to recent comments by Board president Vivian Wineman, the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements warned it was "premature" to talk of legal change.

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'Banned Nazis' spotted at WW2 rally

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

Angry complaints have been made about men in Nazi uniforms with swastikas seen drinking at bars in Bury.

People taking part in East Lancashire Railway's re-enactment of wartime scenes on Sunday were photographed with Nazi insignia, despite the event's organisers banning the practice.

Whitefield Councillor Michelle Wiseman complained to fellow Bury councillors after receiving a text message from an angry man, who wrote: "At East Lancs Railway in Bury. Full of men dressed as Nazis, disgraceful."

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Antisemitic hate emails sent to MPs

June 3, 2010

The Labour MP, John Mann, has called for a police investigation after an antisemitic email was sent to every MP in Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Mann, chair of the All-Party Group Against Antisemitism, condemned as "outrageous and disgusting" an email entitled "the Jews=blood sucker.

The email asked for condemnation of Israel's "piracy," and then appended an antisemitic article attributed to a "Jayne Gardener."

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Call for UCU chief to quit over boycott

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

The Stop the Boycott campaign has called for the general secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, to resign from her TUC position after the UCU passed a string of anti-Israel resolutions at its Manchester conference last weekend.

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