UK news

Conservative MPs meet Sderot teenagers

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2011

A group of MPs visited Israel to learn more about security issues and British-Israeli trade links as part of a trip organised by Conservative Friends of Israel.

The six Conservative Party politicians, including government whip Chloe Smith, Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley and South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler, travelled around the country including to the southern town of Sderot.

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Memorial to Holocaust hero goes missing

By Jennifer Lipman, May 31, 2011

A plaque celebrating the heroism of an MI6 agent who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust has gone missing.

During the Second World War Major Frank Foley, who died in 1958, posed as a passport control officer at the British Embassy in Berlin.

Under this guise he was able to forge passports and acquire visas to help 10,000 German Jews escape the Nazis.

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UCU antisemitism motion passes

By Martin Bright, May 30, 2011

The Universities and Colleges Union has voted to distance itself from the European Union's working definition of antisemitism at its annual congress in Harrogate.

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Trevor Phillips: UCU should have contacted me first

May 27, 2011

Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, today said he was "surprised" at the failure of the UCU to introduce its motion on the definition of antisemitism "without consulting the EHRC" at all.

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Mazel Tov: Ed Miliband marks wedding by smashing glass

By Jennifer Lipman, May 27, 2011

Labour's first Jewish leader has paid tribute to his religion by smashing a glass at his wedding.

Ed Miliband married his longtime partner Justine Thornton earlier today at a small civil ceremony outside Nottingham. The couple tied the knot in the presence of Mr Miliband's brother David and their two sons.

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Concert pianist Marguerite Wolff mourned

By Jennifer Lipman, May 27, 2011

Concert pianist Marguerite Wolff has died at the age of 92

Ms Wolff had performed around the world during her lengthy career. Born in London, she made her debut at Wigmore Hall at the age of ten and began a lifelong collaboration with Hungarian pianist Louis Kentner in her late teens. In 1938 the JC described the young musician as "an accomplished pianist".

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Co-op rejects boycott

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2011

The Co-operative Group has thrown out a boycott motion calling for complete severance of trade with Israel.

A motion submitted by the group's South and West membership region on Saturday declared: "This annual general meeting resolves that our Society stops the sale of all Israeli goods."

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Liverpool first Arab film fest

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2011

Liverpool's first Arab film festival is to host three anti-Israel films and the French filmmaker Michel Kheifi, whose work was banned in France over concerns it whipped up antisemitism.

The July festival is a new addition to the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival which is in its ninth year and is sponsored by the National Lottery, the British Council and Liverpool City Council.

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London Citizens' statement on Junaid Ahmed

May 26, 2011

A statement from chair of trustees Paul O'Shea:

"London Citizens exists to strengthen civil society and public life in London. We offer politics and negotiation, as the best ways of creating change and encourage all our 250 member institutions to work together for the common good.

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Letter to UCU general secretary Sally Hunt

May 26, 2011

Dear Ms Hunt,

We write to you about troubling developments in UCU.

As you know, since UCU was formed in 2007 it has consistently passed policies promoting boycotts of Israeli academics, even after stating that a boycott was unlawful because it would contravene UCU's own equality and anti-discrimination policy as well as anti-discrimination law.

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