UK news

Raising Israel's profile – by design

By Simon Rocker, September 22, 2011

A British-born social entrepreneur has been in Britain this week raising investment for her initiative to improve Israel's image.

But Joanna Landau does not deal in traditional hasbarah, which has largely focused on explaining the Israeli side of the Middle East conflict.

Her organisation, Kinetis, wants to introduce people to an Israel of entrepreneurial flair and cultural diversity.

In

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Just Journalism forced to close

By Simon Rocker, September 22, 2011

Just Journalism, the organisation founded to encourage more balanced media coverage of Israel, is closing this week because of lack of funds.

Founder Dana Brass said that despite its "extremely modest" budget of £130,000 a year, "it became increasingly difficult to sustain financially the operation in the current economic environment".

She added: "We're extremely proud of all the work we ha

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Clegg celebrates 'inspiring' Jewish community

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2011

The deputy Prime Minister has praised the Jewish value of "tikkun olam" or healing the world in a message wishing the community a happy New Year.

Nick Clegg, referring to British Jewry's "rich cultural history and religious traditions spanning back hundreds of years", said there was "so much we can learn from the Jewish community here".

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Banned sheikh's fate mulled

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

A High Court judge is to rule on whether Islamic political activist Raed Salah was detained unlawfully in Britain.

Following a two-day hearing Judge Nicol reserved judgment on whether Home Secretary Theresa May's order to arrest Sheikh Salah was legal.

The 52-year-old father-of-eight was initially detained in London in June after allegedly flouting a ban on entering Britain imposed by the Ho

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Chief Rabbi to have a papal audience

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2011

After welcoming him on behalf of the British interfaith community last year, the Chief Rabbi is to take part in a private meeting with the Pope in Vatican City.

Lord Sacks has been invited to meet Pope Benedict XVI for the second time in December, when he visits Rome for two days to give a lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

He will address students on the subject of interfaith r

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Glyndebourne apology

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

The executive chairman of the Glyndebourne festival has apologised for the production of a children's opera based on the writings of a pro-Palestinian activist.

Gus Christie said he could "understand and sympathise" with concerns raised over When I Am Old, written using the recollections of Rachel Corrie who was killed in Gaza in 2003.

Performed three times last month by members of the Glynd

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Students' great shul crawl

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

Two Oxford University students have set out on an ambitious project to review every synagogue in Britain.

Danny Kessler and Joshua Felberg plan light-hearted assessments of nearly 400 communities, based on the standard of the kiddush, the rabbi's sermon, decorum, and "peculiar customs".

The friends served as co-presidents of Oxford Jewish Society last year and came up with the idea after see

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Muslim pupils look to Israel for pen pals

By Jessica Elgot, September 22, 2011

Many children have pen pals with whom they swap notes on family life, pets, hobbies and school work.

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Uproar at invitations to Gaza-twinning ceremony

By Jessica Elgot, September 22, 2011

The chairman of Northern Ireland's smallest district council has drawn national criticism for apparently inviting the Mayor of Gaza and members of Gaza City Council to take part in a "twinning ceremony" without consulting fellow councillors.

Padraig McShane, an Independent councillor and chairman of Moyle District Council in Country Antrim has spearheaded the plan to twin Moyle with Gaza and in

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The fifth Beatle

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 22, 2011

A film about the Jewish, gay and drug-addicted manager of the world's most famous music band is to be made in Liverpool.

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