UK news

Lib Dems fury over Friends of Palestine support claim

By Leon Symons, April 29, 2010

Liberal Democrats in Liverpool Wavertree have sought advice from one of the city's top lawyers, Rex Makin, about an email sent to members of the Jewish community, among others, apparently claiming that the LibDems backed Liverpool Friends of Palestine.

The email alleged that a LibDem leaflet had been inserted into one from Liverpool Friends of Palestine and then pushed through doors in the constituency. This, it was claimed, showed that the Wavertree LibDems had colluded with the organisation.


Election 2010: Have the leaders done enough?

April 29, 2010

It is a sign of how seriously the main parties take our community that all three leaders have, in recent weeks, answered a series of questions posed by the JC.
This week, Nick Clegg is joined in our pages by William Hague and Peter Mandelson.

They want our votes. But although it is debatable whether there is such a thing as the “Jewish vote”, there are certainly issues which are at the forefront of our minds; issues such as antisemitism, the organisation of faith schools, the Middle East peace process and the threat posed by radical Islam.


Israel deputy ambassador 'shocked' by Manchester attack

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

Israel’s deputy ambassador to Britain was forced to seek refuge in a security office after protesters attempted to attack her following a university lecture.

Talya Lador-Fresher said she feared she would be physically assaulted when demonstrators climbed on the bonnet of her car and attempted to smash the windscreen.

She had been speaking to members of Manchester University’s politics society when the incident occurred on Wednesday evening. Around 40 demonstrators had gathered at the venue.


William Hague: The full JC interview

By Martin Bright, April 29, 2010

Was the idea of the new alliance with new parties in the European Union yours?

We knew we would create a new group. Obviously, it wasn’t our intention to sit unaligned in the European parliament. The whole point of leaving it was to have a new group with a different outlook in some ways on Europe to the EPP, which is federalist grouping, which is why the Conservative Party has never been comfortable in it.

Nor have the Czech Party, the ODS. So we wanted to create a new grouping and that grew naturally from David Cameron’s pledge.


Jewish man stands for BNP in Brent

By Robyn Rosen, April 29, 2010

A Jewish man who claims to have “no interest” in politics is standing as the BNP candidate in a local election.

Richard Blackmore, from Kensal Rise, is standing for the Fryent ward in Brent, the first BNP candidate for the borough in 30 years.

Mr Blackmore, who is retired but would not state his age, described himself as of “Jewish extraction”.
His late mother’s maiden name was Gluckstein.

He said he joined the BNP because he was “disgusted” with New Labour and the BNP was an “alternative”.


Nick Clegg: The full JC interview

By Martin Bright, April 29, 2010

What would you do to kick-start talks in the Middle East in order to bring about a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

Clearly President Obama has the most leverage over the parties in the peace process. There is a limit to what we can do on our own, but I would like to see the UK and the EU supporting the initiatives being taken by the Americans.


Lib Dem warns of 'power of Jewish lobby'

By Marcus Dysch, April 28, 2010

A Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Yorkshire told a hustings meeting that “the power of the Jewish lobbies in Washington and Britain” are the reason a full arms embargo has not been imposed on Israel.

Madeleine Kirk, standing for the party in the new seat of York Outer, was speaking at the York University event on Wednesday afternoon.

A question was asked about whether the candidates believed arms sales to Israel should be banned.

Ms Kirk, a long-standing local city councillor, replied that an embargo should be in place, but was not, "because of the Jewish lobby”.


Alan Sillitoe, the 'non-Jewish Jew'

By Jessica Elgot, April 26, 2010

Alan Sillitoe, the novelist, who has died aged 82, often spoke of his love for Jewish culture and Israel.

Married to American Jewish poet Ruth Fainlight, Nottingham-born Mr Sillitoe was one of Britain’s best-known novelists and famous as one of the 1950s “Angry Young Men”, though it was a label he disliked.

Mr Sillitoe’s father was an often violent factory worker, and his mother, frequently attacked by his father, sometimes resorted to prostitution to feed the family.


Goldstone to attend grandson's barmitzvah

By Moira Schneider and Jessica Elgot, April 26, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone will attend his grandson’s barmitzvah after all, after previously agreeing not to attend the event in South Africa so as not to cause distress or disturbance.

He has agreed to a meeting with the South African Jewish community leaders where they could air their grievances.

Judge Goldstone authored the controversial UN report into Operation Cast Lead, finding both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes. He had agreed not to attend his grandson’s barmitzvah because of possible protests.


Rabbis call for action on Congo

By Simon Rocker, April 23, 2010

More than 50 rabbis including Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield and Liberal chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich have called on political leaders to make it an “absolute priority” for the next parliament to act to save war-ravaged Congo.

In a letter published in today’s Guardian, they say that the loss of life had reached nearly five and half million people by 2007 – with 45,000 still dying every month.

“What these shocking figures cannot convey is the scale of ongoing rape, torture and humiliation,” they write.