UK news

London: Mourners gather to support Tel Aviv's gay community

By Leon Symons, August 6, 2009

They started by lighting a candle. They sang songs and recited memorial prayers and made speeches of hope.

But above all they remembered Nir Katz and Liz Troubishi, who were murdered on Saturday in an act that has reverberated far beyond the shores of Israel.

The idea of a UK memorial service started with Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles, assistant rabbi of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue.

“We needed to come together to share our pain and hopes for the future and because of the sort of society we want to create,” he said.

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Give back Golan Heights, says minister

By Leon Symons, August 6, 2009

British Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis has called for Israel to give back the Golan Heights as part of a peace settlement with Syria.

Mr Lewis, on his first visit to the Middle East, made the call during a press conference in the Syrian capital Damascus after talks with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and his deputy.

Mr Lewis, who is Jewish and the MP for Bury South, said: “We think that there is now a very important opportunity for one of the world’s great conflicts to begin to come to an end.”

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Brain disease sufferer may yet star in TV ad

By Keren David, August 6, 2009

A controversial advertisement which centres on the plight of a Jewish woman suffering from motor neurone disease may be approved to be shown on television, overturning a ban imposed because the advert was considered too shocking to be shown.

Broadcasting watchdog body Clearcast has asked for changes in the advert before it can be shown on TV. Now the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which made the film, is considering whether changes can be made without losing too much impact.

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UK seeking millions from Israeli fraudster

By Leon Symons, August 6, 2009

A jailed Israeli lawyer has failed in his attempt to prevent the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) from trying to seize millions of pounds in assets he held in several London bank accounts.

Mr Justice Foskett, sitting in the High Court in London, ruled last week that even though the money belonged to someone outside Britain, SOCA had the authority to ask the lawyer, Israel Perry, how he and his family had amassed more than £14 million.

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Family of ‘starved’ child to seek refuge in Britain

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

The family of the three-year-old boy allegedly starved by his mother in Jerusalem plan to move to London and be supported by British taxpayers “as soon as possible”, according to the toddler’s grandmother.

The woman said her son and pregnant daughter-in-law would “run to Stamford Hill” with their five children as soon as legal proceedings against the mother are concluded.

Once in Britain, the grandmother said the couple, both in their 30s, would seek housing benefits and the help of the Charedi community in Stamford Hill, where she and other family members already live.

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So who is Bar’s new golden boy?

By Simon Griver, August 6, 2009

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli is expected to spend more time in London now that she is dating Israeli tycoon Teddy Sagi.

The Tel Aviv-born businessman is the controlling shareholder of gaming software development company Playtech, which he listed on London’s AIM in 2006.

According to the Israeli financial newspaper Globes, Mr Sagi, who divides his time between Britain, Cyprus and Israel, is one of the ten most wealthy Israelis, with a net worth of nearly £900 million.

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Guardian under fire over Gaza war reports

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

The Guardian has clashed with a leading media monitoring group over its investigation into reports of war crime allegations during the conflicts in Gaza and Sri Lanka.

Just Journalism analysed five broadsheet newspapers’ reports of fighting between the IDF and Hamas, and between Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil Tiger separatists.

It found that the issue of whether war crimes had been committed was raised against Israel at “an emphatically higher rate” than against Sri Lanka.

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Deputies in row over how to treat hate

By Simon Rocker, August 6, 2009

Vivian Wineman, the president of the Board of Deputies, this week rounded on critics who accuse him of underplaying the threat of anti-Zionism and antisemitism.

Six deputies posted an online statement to dissociate themselves from an opinion piece written by Mr Wineman for the Jerusalem Post last week.

But writing in today’s JC, the Board president, who was elected two months ago, hit back, rejecting claims that the leadership had “its head in the sand”.

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Father: School failed daughter over racist bullying

By Leon Symons, August 6, 2009

The father of a four-year-old girl subjected to antisemitic abuse from pupils at her infants’ school has accused the school and its education authority of trying to sweep the matter under the carpet.

The girl’s father, Nick Johnstone, claimed that Hallfield Infants and the local council, Westminster in central London, had failed to hold a proper investigation into the incidents that forced him to withdraw his daughter near the end of last term.

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Aliyah-bid couple to get help from shul

By Simon Rocker, August 6, 2009

A South London synagogue has rallied to the support of a family of black converts who have waited two years for approval to make aliyah.

Carl and Maleka Levy were recently told by Israel’s Ministry of Interior that they must fly out to Israel to attend an official hearing to prove their Jewish credentials.

Now Bromley Synagogue, which the Levys and their five daughters attend, has agreed to underwrite the cost of the couple’s trip to Israel in order to state their case.

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