UK news

Screaming protesters disrupt JNF meeting

By Marcus Dysch, December 17, 2009

Anti-Israel protestors caused severe disruption at a major JNF conference on Sunday, with two Jewish demonstrators carried out of the hall after screaming insults at Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor.

The one-day conference, held at the Hendon Hall Hotel in north west London, considered solutions to overcrowding in Israeli cities and how the Jewish state deals with the severe water crisis in the Negev.

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Full legal opinion sent to government by the JLC

By Lord Pannick QC, Blackstone Chambers, December 17, 2009

1. I am asked to advise the Jewish Leadership Council concerning possible changes to the law to prevent a warrant for arrest alleging war crimes being issued by a Magistrate against Israeli politicians and senior military officials who visit this country.

The background

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Livni crisis deepens as Israel bans UK visits

By Anshel Pfeffer, Marcus Dysch and Martin Bright, December 17, 2009

The Israeli government’s fury at the arrest warrant issued for the former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni has culminated in a threat to end all ministerial visits to Britain. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the UK government that this would apply even to those not at risk of arrest, until the UK government changes the law allowing private citizens to bring charges against senior Israelis for war crimes.

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JFS: ‘A Christian solution for a Jewish school’

By Joshua Rozenberg, December 17, 2009

Jewish schools have been operating an unlawful admissions policy for more than 30 years, the Supreme Court concluded this week.

In a 5-4 ruling, the UK’s most senior judges dismissed an appeal by JFS against a ruling that the leading Jewish school had broken the Race Relations Act when it refused to admit a boy whose mother’s conversion was not recognised by the Office of the Chief Rabbi.

The boy, known only by the initial M, was allowed to join the school after the earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal. He and his father are members of a Masorti synagogue in London.

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Cocaine rabbi escapes jail sentence

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 17, 2009

The rabbi convicted of cocaine possession has received an order to attend narcotics rehabilitation within the Jewish community, escaping a jail term.

At his trial in November, Rabbi Chalomish had pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of high-quality cocaine after falling into heavy addiction. The jury found him guilty of possessing 100g of cocaine, but unanimously cleared him on two counts of the more severe charge of intent to supply the drug.

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Health insurance firm owes families hundreds

By James Martin, December 17, 2009

Policy-holders owed hundreds of pounds in claims have not received payouts on their medical cash plans since January.

Simplyhealth, which has taken over the HSA medical insurance group, promised “to settle on valid claims as quickly as possible” in August after admitting that customers had been given “limited information” about the status of their claims since the HSA began its claims investigations in January.

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Police death motorist walks free

By Leon Symons, December 17, 2009

An Israeli has walked free from court after admitting causing the death by careless driving of an off-duty motorcycle police officer.

Liron Shnaider, 26, of Finchley Road, Golders Green, north west London, was given 20 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 100 hours’ community service when he appeared for sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and must sit tests before he can drive in Britain again.

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Anti-Islam demo in Harrow draws just 15 supporters

By Marcus Dysch, December 17, 2009

A demonstration on Sunday against the building of a new mosque in north west London passed off peacefully, with no arrests.

Leading Jewish organisations had called on members of the community not to attend the Harrow demo, with the Board of Deputies and Community Security Trust among those warning against joining the Islamophobic protest.

Only 15 members of Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), the organisation behind the demo, turned up at the rally, near Harrow Central Mosque.

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Michael Howard pays to restore Swansea cemetary

By Robyn Rosen, December 17, 2009

Michael Howard has helped to pay for the restoration of a vandalised Jewish cemetery in Swansea, where his father was buried.

The United Synagogue’s burial team was asked to restore Townhill Cemetery, which is now closed, by Mr Howard and the local Jewish community.

Mr Howard, the former Conservative leader, offered to pay for some of the team’s expenses and asked for his father, who was buried there in 1966, to be moved to Bushey cemetery to join his late mother.

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Man jailed for belt bomb plot against Jews

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 17, 2009

A 30-year-old Albanian Muslim who wanted to see Jews killed has been convicted of terror offences after Hizbollah instruction manuals on making missiles and suicide bomb belts were found in his home.

Krena Lusha, from Derby, was jailed for seven years on Tuesday at Preston Crown Court for five counts of possessing items connected with terrorism. These included petrol, Hizbollah military instruction manuals on how to make detonators, explosives, a missile and a suicide bomber belt, and a video entitled Mobile Detonators.

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