UK news

Sweet New Year for the troops

By Marcus Dysch, September 27, 2011

Packs of kosher provisions have been distributed to Jewish troops serving in the British armed forces to help them celebrate Rosh Hashanah.

The parcels, including honey cake, dried fruits, powdered chicken soup and other treats, were dispatched to those serving in Afghanistan and other conflict zones. They are provided by the Jewish Committee for HM Forces.


Take the rabbis' word for it - it's hard work

By Simon Rocker and Anna Sheinman, September 27, 2011

It was just a week before Rosh Hashanah and Rabbi Cliff Cohen, minister to the small Thanet Reform community in Kent, had yet to put pen to paper.

Like most of his clerical colleagues, he was about to go into sermon overdrive, with five to deliver over the High Holy Days. But he was not about to hit the panic button. "I work best under pressure," he said.


We will applaud MidEast democracy

By Martin Bright, September 27, 2011

Alistair Burt has had a busy week. After making a speech at the International Atomic Energy Authority in Vienna warning of the continued nuclear threat of Iran, the Middle East minister flew to New York to join David Cameron and William Hague in discussions over the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.


Londoner tipped to head Sephardi Jewry

By Simon Rocker, September 27, 2011

If you think it is impractical to elect the next Chief Rabbi, consider this; the religious leader of Britain's oldest Orthodox community, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, has to be elected by its members.

Rabbi Abraham Levy, 72, who has been spiritual head of the congregation since 1980, is shortly to retire.


'Bid was right but Ed is wrong'

By Martin Bright, September 27, 2011

The Middle East peace process is riddled with contradictions and paradoxes.

It is always chastening to bear in mind, for example, that a two-state solution would result in a so-called "apartheid" Israel with a significant population of Arab citizens and a supposedly "free" Palestine without Jews.


Minister: 'Prepare to work with the Islamists'

By Martin Bright, September 27, 2011

We should prepare for Islamists in government and even Islamist governments in the wake of the Arab Spring, the minister responsible for the Middle East said this week.

Speaking before next week's Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Alistair Burt said there was a need to distinguish between Islamists who were prepared to support peace within the new democracies and those, such as Hamas


Israeli actors to join Globe Shakespeare festival

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2011

Israeli and Palestinian actors will be appearing on stage at London's Globe Theatre as part of an international William Shakespeare festival.

From April next year performers from 37 countries will be appearing in 37 of the Bard's plays in 37 different languages. It is a feat that has never yet been achieved.


Rally for 'forgotten' Jewish refugees from Arab lands

By Jessica Elgot, September 26, 2011

Protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square to highlight the plight of Jewish and other persecuted minorities driven out of the Middle East and North Africa.

Organised by Harif, which represents Jews from the Arab world, the British Israel Coalition and Stand With Us UK, around 100 demonstrators handed out leaflets to tourists and waved Israeli flags.


Jewish group Yachad backs Palestinian statehood bid

By Simon Rocker, September 23, 2011

Yachad, the alternative Israel campaign group, has come out in favour of United Nations recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Hannah Weisfeld, director of the organisation which launched in the UK earlier this year, said that it would prefer recognition of a Palestinian state to be "the end product of a negotiated settlement, rather than its starting point".


Cameron attacks Ahmadinejad for election failure

By Jennifer Lipman, September 23, 2011

The British Prime Minister used his debut speech at the United Nations to denounce Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

David Cameron, speaking just after diplomats from 30 countries left the hall in a mass protest against the Iranian leader's presence, gave a speech attacking Mr Ahmadinejad's record.