UK news

Ed Balls: Holocaust education is best investment

By Robyn Rosen, October 1, 2009

Schools Secretary Ed Balls has said the money put into Holocaust education is the “best investment” his department has made.

Mr Balls and his wife Yvette Cooper, the Work and Pensions Secretary, were among the 300 guests at the Holocaust Educational Trust dinner in central London.

Stressing the enduring importance of Holocaust education, he said young Britons were learning about the Shoah in a “relevant and sophisticated” way.

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Heads upset as JFS rejects their pupils

By Simon Rocker, October 1, 2009

Jewish primary school heads have voiced dismay that their pupils are not been given priority at JFS.

Vivienne Orloff, head of the Michael Sobell Sinai School, a United Synagogue primary which lies next door to JFS in Kenton, said it was “ridiculous” that children from Jewish primaries did not get preference. “It’s heartbreaking when you have the school on your doorstep. We want all our children to continue their education and what’s important is that the parents want them to.”

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Defence chief in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

Chief of the UK Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, has made a three-day visit to Israel.

During the trip — which was not publicised by the British or Israeli defence ministries — Sir Jock met IDF Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and other senior officers. Issues discussed included missile defence, Iran’s nuclear programme and methods of defending ground troops from explosive devices. British forces in Afghanistan have a strategy based on Israel’s experience in dealing with suicide bombers and explosives.

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Miliband dismissed Barak ‘war crimes’ prosecution bid

By Leon Symons and Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has delivered a withering riposte to an attempt by Palestinian supporters to have Ehud Barak arrested in Britain as a war criminal.

Addressing the Labour Friends of Israel fringe meeting, Mr Miliband warned: “This will never become a country where ministers of Israel are unable to come and have proper dialogue with the government of the United Kingdom.”

Earlier in the day, lawyers acting for 16 Palestinian families applied unsuccessfully to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for the warrant.

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Barak offers Brown his backing

By Leon Symons, Brighton, October 1, 2009

Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak offered his support to embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a packed Labour Friends of Israel meeting at the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Tuesday night.

Mr Barak, who leads Israel’s Labour Party, praised the economic nous of Mr Brown, who was among the 500-plus MPs and conference delegates at the meeting.

He echoed the Prime Minister’s keynote speech earlier in the day by urging Labour supporters to “never give in and keep fighting to victory” in the next election.

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Chris Grayling: No more funding for extremists

By Martin Bright, October 1, 2009

Chris Grayling is a cool customer.

He has a reputation as a Tory attack dog, a ruthless opposition politician who can put the squeeze on any government minister unfortunate enough to cross his path.

He has already seen off one Home Secretary during his short time in the shadow post and is building a reputation as a worthy adversary to the current incumbent, Alan Johnson.

He has the demeanour of an establishment man — crisp pink shirt, Tory blue tie, House of Commons cufflinks — and speaks with the authority of someone heading for the Cabinet.

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Raptorex Kriegsteini: the first Jewish dinosaur

By Simon Rocker, October 1, 2009

Many may be happy to be memorialised on a park bench plaque or a piece of synagogue curtain but Cecile and Roman Kriegstein of Palm Beach, Florida enjoy a more exotic tribute.

Their name has been given to a newly discovered species of dinosaur.

The University of Chicago bestowed the honour after being presented with the fossil by their son Henry, an eye surgeon and keen natural historian, who bought the remains from a dealer. His parents, both in their 80s and supporters of Yad Vashem, came from Poland and met in Germany after the war.

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Tories will review Prevent policy on extremism

By Martin Bright, October 1, 2009

A conservative government would stop all funding to groups that promote radical Islamic ideology and target money at organisations with a record of bringing Britain’s diverse communities together.

In an interview with the JC, Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said Labour's policy risked creating ghettoes.

He revealed that the Tories were planning an immediate review of the Prevent anti-extremism strategy, which he accused of channelling money to radical organisations.

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Miliband denounces Barak arrest threat

By Leon Symons, September 30, 2009

Foreign secretary David Miliband made it clear that the government will not back attempts by Palestinian supporters to try to have Israeli politicians arrested as war criminals.

Speaking at the Labour Friends of Israel fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Mr Miliband said: “This will never become a country where ministers of Israel are unable to come and have proper dialogue with the government of the United Kingdom.”

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Barak arrest warrant is rejected by judge

By Jessica Elgot, September 30, 2009

A judge has rejected a Palestinian group’s application to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who is in the UK this week.

Deputy District Judge Daphne Wickham at Westminster Magistrates Court said: “I am satisfied that under customary international law, Mr Barak has immunity from prosecution as he would not be able to perform his functions efficiently if he were the subject of criminal proceedings in this jurisdiction.”

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