UK news

US report into stilborn graves fails to focus the blame

By Jessica Elgot and Jonathan Kalmus, December 9, 2011

A report into missing graves of stillborn babies, buried in unmarked plots by the United Synagogue, has found no policy existed for dealing with infant deaths until the late 1980s.


Caterer 'not to blame' for grandmother's death

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 8, 2011

An 82-year-old “active” Jewish grandmother from Manchester died of natural causes, a jury ruled this week, and a kosher caterer at her great niece’s wedding was not to blame.

The inquest opened on Monday with an emotional plea from her son to question “sub-optimal” hospital treatment she allegedly received.


Stacey Jackson, the hip hop housewife

By Jennifer Lipman, December 8, 2011

It's not a location you'd expect to see as the backdrop for a raunchy hip-hop video featuring scantily-clad dancers.

But filming in a Reform synagogue in central London isn't the only unconventional aspect of Chelsea-based Jewish singer Stacey Jackson's bid for pop success.

Last year the 42-year-old mother-of-four swapped her life as a banker's wife in Chelsea to pursue her musical career.


Palestinian mission rapped over Israel map

By Simon Rocker, December 8, 2011

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against the Palestinians' diplomatic mission to the UK for displaying a map which included the whole of Israel as part of Palestine.

The map, decked in red, green and black, the colours of the Palestinian flag, appeared on a tourist section of the mission's website called "Discover Palestine".

Barrister Jonathan Turner, head of the Z


Douglas Alexander in Israel border town

By Nathan Jeffay, December 8, 2011

Britain's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, received a hard-hitting presentation on life in Israel's Gaza border communities on Tuesday.

"I decided not to be so nice and welcoming to visitors any more," said Zmira Ben-Yosef, headteacher of the Eshkol High School near Sderot, which he visited. "I asked teachers to come along to say what they see happening in the children.


Transsexual assaulter is jailed

By Marcus Dysch, December 8, 2011

A man has been jailed for six months for punching a Jewish woman in the face.

Ben Matthew Firth harassed and then assaulted transsexual Samantha Marks in a library in Hull.

Frith had initially targeted Ms Marks at the city's central library in July, shouting "hiya boy" and making other abusive remarks. When she left the library Frith chased her.


The 1929 Beach Boys - surfing from the East End

By Jessica Elgot, December 8, 2011

The East End is a long way from Bondi Beach, but it was Australian beach boys who 80 years ago inspired the UK's first surfers - four London Jewish boys.


What the Independent's Simon Kelner did next: fair reporting

By Simon Round, December 8, 2011

Former Independent editor Simon Kelner this week spoke of his new project to provide journalistic training to those involved in the Arab Spring – and took the opportunity to defend his own newspaper's Middle East coverage.

The Journalism Foundation, a charitable organisation backed by the Lebedev family, which owns the Independent and the Evening Standard, will be led by Mr Kelner, who steppe


'Dual loyalty' row MP is forced to say sorry

By Martin Bright, December 8, 2011

The Labour MP who questioned the loyalty of the UK's first Jewish ambassador to Israel has apologised for his remarks. At the same time, the Green Party issued an apology on behalf of its deputy leader in Wales for similar comments she made.


MP sorry for saying Jewish envoy 'disloyal' to UK

By Jennifer Lipman, December 7, 2011

The Labour MP Paul Flynn has apologised for questioning the loyalty of the British ambassador to Israel because he is Jewish.

Mr Flynn said: "Clumsily expressed remarks of mine have caused anger and upset.