UK news

Olympic gala bows to greater royal power

By Jessica Elgot, March 8, 2012

Plans for a gala Olympic fund-raising concert for the Israeli team at the Royal Albert Hall, attended by President Shimon Peres, have ground to a halt as the event clashed with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Instead, the UK flagship event to fundraise for the Israeli athletes will take the form of a Purim celebration this weekend at KoKo in Camden - with around 1,300 people expected to attend the

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Jailed Tesler could serve his sentence in the UK

By Jessica Elgot, March 8, 2012

Relatives of British solicitor Jeffrey Tesler, who was sentenced to almost two years in a US prison for bribing Nigerian officials for £4bn construction contracts, will lobby the Ministry of Justice to bring him home to serve his sentence here.

A close relation, who did not wish to be named, said they were investigating options for the Hendon solicitor, who has dual British-Israeli citizenship

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No more Board action on Arkush

March 8, 2012

The Board of Deputies is unlikely to take further action against its senior vice-president Jonathan Arkush over his outspoken attack on the Jewish Leadership Council.

Mr Arkush issued a public letter of apology for the outburst, which had been strongly criticised by Board president Vivian Wineman and his fellow-officers.

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Baroness still raising questions

By Marcus Dysch, March 8, 2012

When Baroness Tonge resumed her normal business this week, asking a Foreign Office minister about alleged Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians, observers could have been forgiven for wondering whether her query on "forced expulsion" was raised with a tinge of self-interest.

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Police drop inquiry into Marine's 'hate speech'

March 8, 2012

Police have dropped an investigation into comments made by controversial former US Marine Ken O'Keefe at an Israel Apartheid Week event.

Officers studied video footage of Mr O'Keefe telling an audience that Israel "must be destroyed" and comparing Jews to Nazis, but concluded that no criminal offence had been committed.

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Reform backs gay marriage

By Simon Rocker, March 8, 2012

The Reform movement has branded as "inflammatory" an attack on same-sex marriage by one of Britain's leading Catholic clerics.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, described plans to legalise gay marriage as "madness" and a "grotesque subvesion".

But Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, movement rabbi for Reform Judaism, said that the cardinal's comments were "inflamma

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MP's daughter to have Jewish wedding in Westminster

By Jennifer Lipman, March 8, 2012

Conservative MP Lee Scott is preparing to make a speech in parliament next year – but he will be doing so in his capacity as father of the bride.

Mr Scott, who has represented Ilford North since 2005, has been granted permission by Speaker John Bercow to host his daughter's wedding at Westminster in summer 2013.

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Interview: Mick Davis

By Simon Rocker, March 8, 2012

While Mick Davis has been trying to tie up a merger between his own company, mining giant Xstrata, and commodities conglomerate Glencore, he has had to face the latest volley of criticism directed at one of the charities he heads, the Jewish Leadership Council.

Probably no communal organisation has triggered so much contention as the JLC, which he joined as UJIA chairman just over six years ago

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Journalists 'linked with IDF'

By Jessica Elgot, March 8, 2012

Claims by Libyan militia linking two captive British journalists to the Israeli Defence Forces is "media manipulation", say human rights experts.

Faraj Swehli, commander of the Libyan militia, said the two Press TV journalists detained in Misrata were being held for "possible espionage" after IDF equipment was apparently found in the men's belonging.

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English Heritage turns down plaque honouring 19th century Jewish woman editor

By Jennifer Lipman, March 8, 2012

English Heritage has rejected a request to put up a blue plaque outside the Mayfair address of a Jewish woman who edited two major British newspapers in the 1890s.

Rachel Beer's contribution to British journalism as editor of both the Observer and the Sunday Times was largely overlooked, until last year when Israeli writers Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev published a book telling the story of The

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