UK news

Bishop fined for Holocaust denial in Germany

October 29, 2009

A British bishop has been fined €12,000 after a German court found him guilty of denying the Holocaust.

In an interview on Swedish TV last year, Bishop Richard Williamson claimed that only about 200,000 Jews had died in Nazi death camps.

The cleric, who had his excommunication for his right-wing views repealed by the Pope, will appeal.

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Ayalon: I didn't know about Kaminski row until I read it in the JC

By Miriam Shaviv, October 29, 2009

The Israeli politician who hosted the controversial MEP at the heart of the row over David Cameron’s alliance in Europe has admitted he was not aware of the MEP’s controversial comments about Jews — until he read them in the JC this week.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who met Polish MEP Michal Kaminski in Israel this summer, said:“I knew him as a staunch supporter of Israel who upholds democratic values and believes in a strong response to terrorism. This was our basis for the meeting.”

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Opinion: You're kidding no-one, Mr Griffin

October 29, 2009

Anglo-Jewry should form alliances with other ethnic minorities targeted by the racist BNP, but the community is generally well-armed to deal with any rise in its status or membership.

These are the views of a number of communal leaders asked two specific questions by the JC in the wake of last week’s appearance on the BBC’s Question Time by the far-right party’s chairman Nick Griffin.

We asked:

● How damaging to the Jewish community do you think the BNP’s appearance on Question Time was?

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Police: We'll defend you against far-right extremists

By Leon Symons, October 29, 2009

Police forces across the country are strengthening their links to ethnic minority communities in the wake of the recent rise in the activities of far-right groups.

The National Communities Tension Team, part of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was “aware of heightened tensions and concerns within Jewish communities in relation to the ongoing English and Welsh Defence League demonstrations, as well as the ongoing focus on extreme right-wing issues”.

However, it was not aware of any increase in reported antisemitic incidents.

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Israeli films win prizes at London Film Festival

By Jessica Elgot, October 29, 2009

Two Israeli films have won top prizes at the London film festival

Israeli director Yoav Shamir has won the Grierson prize for documentary for his film Defamation, which looks at antisemitism around the world.

The Sutherland award for the best first feature film went to Ajami, a film set in Jaffa in a mixed Jewish and Arab neighbourhood. It was directed by Palestinian Scandar Copti and Israeli Yaron Shani.

The film has also been placed on the short list of nominees for the 2010 Academy Awards.

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Jenny Tonge lashed over fascist link

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2009

An anti-fascist group has demanded that Baroness Tonge withdraws from a pro-Palestinian conference in December which is also due to be addressed by a far-right Hungarian Euro-MP.

The ‘Nothing British About the BNP’ group challenged the Liberal Democrat peer over the planned participation of Kristina Morvai, leader of the nationalist Jobbik party in the European Parliament.

But Nasim Ahmed, researcher for the Palestinian Return Centre, denied that Mrs Morvai was “among invited guests” and said it deplored her “extremist” party.

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Poll: BNP leader Nick Griffin 'lied' over Holocaust

By Barry Toberman, October 29, 2009

More than two in three Britons believe Nick Griffin is a Holocaust denier despite the BNP leader’s claim to the contrary during his controversial Question Time appearance.

In a poll conducted exclusively for the JC by YouGov this week, 1,409 adults were asked if they were convinced by Griffin’s belated acceptance of the Holocaust. Sixty-nine per cent responded that “Griffin is still at heart a Holocaust denier and only pretends to have changed his views to make the BNP appear more moderate”.

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Machete gang who targeted Jews rearrested

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 28, 2009

Convicted members of a machete gang which violently targeted a Jewish family and business in a string of robberies in Manchester have been re-arrested after being released early from prison.

Greater Manchester Police admitted to losing track of two gang members, both men and aged 20 and 21, on Tuesday after then pair breached their release terms. They were arrested only hours later for attempted burglary in Wigan after being spotting acting suspiciously outside a house. They had served only six months of their two year jail sentences before being released.

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New legal right for Nazi-looted art heirs

By Jessica Elgot, October 28, 2009

A new law has been approved to allow art looted by the Nazis and found in British museums to be returned to the heirs of the original owners.

Labour’s Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon, sponsored the Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Act, which has been approved by the House of Lords.

It will now be given royal assent before becoming law.

Before the law was passed, the spoliation panel would recommend pieces to be returned to their owners, but museums had no legal powers to carry out the recommendations.

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JFS: refusal was ‘religion not race’

October 28, 2009

Britain's leading Jewish school has told the Supreme Court that it had discriminated against a boy of 12 on religious rather than racial grounds when it denied him a place.

A crowded court heard Lord Pannick QC, claim that the boy was refused because the chief rabbi deemed his mother's conversion to Judaism invalid.

JFS had double the number of applicants to places, so children whose mothers were recognised as Jewish were given priority. The boy, known as M, was refused entry because he did not fall into this category, said Lord Pannick, who is representing JFS.

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