UK news

Sorry sir, the dog ate my kippah

October 29, 2009

London vet Joshua Rusnak has had to remove many foreign objects from many different animals, but this week was a first: Spike, an eight-year-old Doberman, had swallowed his owner’s kippah.

Owner Caroline Shemie of Golders Green is resignedly used to Spike’s ways. The “gentle giant” once ate four of her husband Danny’s shoes while the couple were out. “He gets very worried when we’re out, and he eats things when he gets worried.”

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French comic Dieudonné's London show axed for antisemitic joke

By Marcus Dysch, October 29, 2009

A theatre has cancelled a planned performance by an anti-Zionist French stand-up comedian after he was fined by a court for making antisemitic jokes.

Dieudonné M’bala M’bala had been due to appear in a one-man show about domestic violence at the Leicester Square Theatre, central London, in March next year.

But theatre director Martin Witts called off the show on Wednesday after learning of the increasing controversy surrounding Dieudonné, which has seen him described as “the French Jim Davidson”.

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Board plots 'buycott' to beat the boycott

By Leon Symons, October 29, 2009

It is the buycott versus the boycott — and it starts a week today.

The “buycott” is a call to Jews all over the country to buy as many Israeli products as they can.

The initiative has come from the Board of Deputies and the anti-boycott Fair Play Campaign to thwart a planned anti-Israel boycott against two major supermarket chains by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

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Ofsted report analyses faith teaching

By Marcus Dysch, October 29, 2009

Independent faith schools must work harder to ensure textbooks used to teach about other faiths are accurate and unbiased, according to an Ofsted report.

Inspectors visited 51 private faith schools and found that some teaching materials had incorrect information about other religions.

The Board of Deputies welcomed the report, saying it gave a “strong endorsement” of the general work of faith schools and the “real and positive efforts to address issues of citizenship and cohesion”.

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Bishop fined for Holocaust denial in Germany

October 29, 2009

A British bishop has been fined €12,000 after a German court found him guilty of denying the Holocaust.

In an interview on Swedish TV last year, Bishop Richard Williamson claimed that only about 200,000 Jews had died in Nazi death camps.

The cleric, who had his excommunication for his right-wing views repealed by the Pope, will appeal.

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Ayalon: I didn't know about Kaminski row until I read it in the JC

By Miriam Shaviv, October 29, 2009

The Israeli politician who hosted the controversial MEP at the heart of the row over David Cameron’s alliance in Europe has admitted he was not aware of the MEP’s controversial comments about Jews — until he read them in the JC this week.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who met Polish MEP Michal Kaminski in Israel this summer, said:“I knew him as a staunch supporter of Israel who upholds democratic values and believes in a strong response to terrorism. This was our basis for the meeting.”

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Opinion: You're kidding no-one, Mr Griffin

October 29, 2009

Anglo-Jewry should form alliances with other ethnic minorities targeted by the racist BNP, but the community is generally well-armed to deal with any rise in its status or membership.

These are the views of a number of communal leaders asked two specific questions by the JC in the wake of last week’s appearance on the BBC’s Question Time by the far-right party’s chairman Nick Griffin.

We asked:

● How damaging to the Jewish community do you think the BNP’s appearance on Question Time was?

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Police: We'll defend you against far-right extremists

By Leon Symons, October 29, 2009

Police forces across the country are strengthening their links to ethnic minority communities in the wake of the recent rise in the activities of far-right groups.

The National Communities Tension Team, part of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was “aware of heightened tensions and concerns within Jewish communities in relation to the ongoing English and Welsh Defence League demonstrations, as well as the ongoing focus on extreme right-wing issues”.

However, it was not aware of any increase in reported antisemitic incidents.

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Israeli films win prizes at London Film Festival

By Jessica Elgot, October 29, 2009

Two Israeli films have won top prizes at the London film festival

Israeli director Yoav Shamir has won the Grierson prize for documentary for his film Defamation, which looks at antisemitism around the world.

The Sutherland award for the best first feature film went to Ajami, a film set in Jaffa in a mixed Jewish and Arab neighbourhood. It was directed by Palestinian Scandar Copti and Israeli Yaron Shani.

The film has also been placed on the short list of nominees for the 2010 Academy Awards.

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Jenny Tonge lashed over fascist link

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2009

An anti-fascist group has demanded that Baroness Tonge withdraws from a pro-Palestinian conference in December which is also due to be addressed by a far-right Hungarian Euro-MP.

The ‘Nothing British About the BNP’ group challenged the Liberal Democrat peer over the planned participation of Kristina Morvai, leader of the nationalist Jobbik party in the European Parliament.

But Nasim Ahmed, researcher for the Palestinian Return Centre, denied that Mrs Morvai was “among invited guests” and said it deplored her “extremist” party.

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