UK news

London protests for Gaza bombings anniversary

By Robyn Rosen, December 29, 2009

More than 600 protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy to mark the year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead.

Representatives from 25 organisations, including Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the Green Party and Neturei Karta demonstrated in High Street Kensington on Sunday.

Politicians, Jeremy Corbyn, Martin Linton and Baroness Jenny Tonge were joined by Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Territories' diplomatic representative to the UK.

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Galloway compares Israel to Nazi doctor Mengele

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2009

The MP George Galloway has compared Israel to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele who experimented on prisoners and with body parts of concentration camp victims.

In an article in the Scottish Daily Record entitled “Dark Echoes of the Holocaust”, the outspoken Respect MP criticised the lack of press attention given to Israel’s admission of taking unauthorised organs from both Israelis and Palestinians.

He said Israel was “playing mini-Mengele on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.”

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Mosque defends Saudi invitations

By Simon Rocker, December 24, 2009

Birmingham’s Green Lane Mosque has defended its invitations to two Saudi-based invitations condemned as “antisemitic and anti-sectarian” by another Muslim organisation.

British Muslims for Secular Democracy had called on the mosque to cancel scheduled appearances this weekend by Faisal al-Jassim and Abdul Aziz Al-Sadhan.

The anti-extremist think-tank had also denounced the invitations to the two preachers, publishing extracts from their sermons.

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Conservative MP blasts Channel 4

By Robyn Rosen, December 24, 2009

Daniel Kawczynski MP, the chair of the Conservative Arab Network, has complained to Ofcom about Channel 4’s Dispatches programme on the “Israel lobby”, calling it “antisemitic” and “disgraceful”.

The programme, aired last month, caused outrage after it claimed to expose an “Israel lobby” working to buy influence with UK politicians and journalists.

Mr Kawczynski called the programme a “witch hunt” and said it “failed to demonstrate any evidence or facts of substance, relying instead on implication, association and prejudice”.

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Amy Winehouse held after panto incident

By Robyn Rosen, December 23, 2009

Amy Winehouse has been arrested in connection with an assault following an incident at a pantomime at Milton Keynes Theatre on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Rehab singer was charged today under the name Amy Civil – her ex-husband’s name – with a Section 5 public order offence and common assault.

She attended Milton Keynes police station voluntarily with her legal advisor at 1.15pm this afternoon.

She was formally arrested by officers from Thames Valley Police on suspicion of assault and public order.

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Thalidomide victims win cash payout

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2009

Two Jewish Thalidomide victims have welcomed the success of a long-running campaign which will see the government paying sufferers £20 million in compensation.

Guy Tweedy and Nick Dobrick had called for greater recognition for sufferers for seven years.

The Department of Health has now agreed to spread the payment to the Thalidomide Trust over a three-year period. The charity will share the money between Britain’s 463 surviving Thalidomide victims.

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BBC monitor: Bowen is 'biased'

By Leon Symons, December 23, 2009

A press monitoring group has claimed in a new report that much of BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen’s reporting during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza was biased against Israel.

BBC Watch, which produced the report, has made an official complaint to the BBC on the back of its findings.

Run by Jerusalem-based lawyer Trevor Asserson, BBC Watch monitored the corporation’s output on the operation from December 28 last year, one day after it started, until January 30, three days after the ceasefire.

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Ofcom raps radio station for antisemitic 'joke'

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2009

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has upheld a complaint against an Asian community radio station which broadcast an antisemitic joke sent in by a listener.

A volunteer presenter on Radio Faza, a Nottingham-based channel aimed at women in the city’s south Asian community, read out the text message on September 25, during the daily News Today show.

He introduced the message as a “joke”, and said: “Jewish kid next door just asked me for a water fight…thought I would text while the kettle is boiling.”

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Miliband attacked by Muslim leaders over Livni

By Leon Symons, December 23, 2009

The Muslim Council of Britain has attacked Foreign Secretary David Miliband for saying he would change the law of universal jurisdiction in the wake of the Tzipi Livni arrest warrant row.

In a long letter to Mr Miliband, MCB general secretary Mohammad Abdul Bari said: “We regret to have to say that the process that the government appears to have chosen to follow on this issue is fundamentally flawed.”

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Convert challenge to Chief after JFS

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2009

The Board of Deputies faces an uphill battle to secure non-Orthodox support for a change in the law in order to override last week’s Supreme Court judgment on Jewish school admissions.

The Liberal, Masorti and Reform movements have all indicated that their support for any change to the Equality Bill, currently going through Parliament, will be conditional on their converts being accepted into mainstream Orthodox schools.

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