UK news

BNP targets Jews with anti-Muslim leaflet

By Jessica Elgot, April 30, 2010

A BNP candidate sent Jewish voters in Essex leaflets which showed Muslims holding up antisemitic slogans.

BNP candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, Julian Leppert, caused an outcry in August when the numberplate of his black Ford Focus appeared to spell “Nazi”.

His election literature showed Muslims holding up signs saying “God Bless Hitler” and “Be prepared for the real Holocaust”.

Mr Leppert said that the images were “to remind people of a few home truths”.

Jewish leaders have condemned the leaflets as causing divisions in the community.

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BBC sorry over Frankie Boyle IDF joke

By Robyn Rosen, April 29, 2010

The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee has apologised after Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle made an "antisemitic" joke about the Israeli army.

Mr Boyle made the comment on Radio 4's Political Animal programme in June 2008 and said: "I'm quite interested in the Middle East, I'm actually studying Israeli army martial arts. And I know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back.

"I've got an analogy which explains the whole thing quite well: if you imagine that Palestine is a cake – well, that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew."

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'No service' at oldest shul for Board 250th

By Simon Rocker, April 29, 2010

Delicate negotations are continuing over the Board of Deputies' 250th anniversary in order to find a way to mark it to satisfy both Orthodox and non-Orthodox requirements.

Originally, the celebrations had been expected to begin with a commemorative service, on Sunday June 20, at Bevis Marks, the country's oldest synagogue, where the Board was founded in 1760.

Instead, in order to sidestep religious differences, the opening event will not be a service, but a special plenary session of the Board addressed by the lay leaders of different movements.

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7/7 victim's family waited four days for death confirmation

April 29, 2010

The family of Miriam Hyman, who died in the 7/7 terror attack, was forced to wait four days to be officially told of her death, even though identification documents were found on her body.

In the High Court this week, lawyers acting for the Hyman family and that of Israeli Anat Rosenberg, who was also killed by the Tavistock Square bus bomb in July 2005, urged the coroner to resume the inquests and investigate whether the security services failed to act upon information known about the bombers before the attack.

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Pop group prove Israel's got talent

By Jessica Elgot, April 29, 2010

An Israeli group took London by storm on Tuesday night as they joined finalists in a world-wide popcompetition.

Umlala, a five-piece from Jerusalem, finished fifth out of 20 acts in the Global Battle of the Bands contest, which attracted entries from around the world, including Japan, Nepal,
Germany and the Ukraine.

They played the final set of the competition, which was held at Scala nightclub in London's King's Cross on Tuesday night, and were greeted by rapturous applause.

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'Zionist myth' book on prize shortlist

By Simon Rocker, April 29, 2010

A controversial book which argues that the idea of a Jewish people descended from the ancient Israelites is a Zionist myth, has been shortlisted for British Jewry's main literary award.

The Invention of the Jewish People by Tel Aviv University Professor Shlomo Sand is one of four books up for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize.

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BBC rejects review by US lobby group

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

The BBC presents Israel in a negative light and undermines the Jewish state's image, according to a new study published by Honest Reporting.

The American-based monitoring group analysed articles on the BBC website between January and March and found that while 51 stories reflected negatively on Israel, only two portrayed the Palestinians negatively during the same period.

It said 18 stories on the conflict expressed a Palestinian viewpoint without an equal Israeli response.

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Cambridge students host Azam Tamimi

April 29, 2010

Think tank director Douglas Murray was due to speak to Jewish students at Cambridge University last night, a fortnight after an Islamic group convinced the Union of Jewish Students to drop him from a panel debate.

Mr Murray was expected to discuss ways to improve Jewish students' responses to hate-speakers on campus.

But on the same night, the university's Palestine Society was set to host a panel expected to include inflammatory speakers Azzam Tamimi and Daud Abdullah as part of an Israeli Apartheid Week event.

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Anti-Israel demos at technology show

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

Anti-Israel demonstrations took place outside the Scottish Parliament for three days this week as an exhibition promoting the Jewish state's technological achievements prompted mass opposition.

The small exhibit, Israel's contribution to medicine, science and technology, was organised by the Scottish Friends of Israel group and sponsored by MSP Ken MacIntosh.

It opened on Tuesday at Holyrood. Protesters from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Scottish Friends of Palestine groups gathered outside the parliament building.

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Website launched to challenge Holocaust denial

By Leon Symons, April 29, 2010

A groundbreaking Second World War website launched to counter Holocaust denial will be launched next week.

The site is the brainchild of the historian and documentary filmmaker Laurence Rees, former creative director of BBC Television History.

Mr Rees has also written seven history books about different aspects of the war, including one to accompany his acclaimed television series Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution.

Since that book and programme appeared, Mr Rees says he had been "plagued by Holocaust deniers".

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