UK news

Ahava shop demo lead to arrest

By Robyn Rosen, December 29, 2010

An anti-Israel protester was arrested following a demonstration outside the London branch of Israeli cosmetics shop, Ahava.

The 51-year-old man was arrested for allegedly blocking pro-Israel campaigner Richard Millett from filming, but was released without charge.

Mr Millett had been using a hand-held camera to film a Palestine Solidarity Campaign protest outside the Covent Garden shop last Wednesday evening.


Calls for Solomon to quit

By Marcus Dysch, December 29, 2010

A university society has called for a student union president to resign over apparently antisemitic remarks.

The Model United Nations Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies said Clare Solomon, president of the University of London Union, had "clearly lost the authority to represent all students equally".

Last month Ms Solomon claimed in a Facebook post that the persecution of Jews had been fabricated to justify attacks on Palestinians. The 37-year-old mature student said her comment had been "badly-worded" and apologised for any "misunderstandings".


Board say no to Hassassian address

By Simon Rocker, December 29, 2010

Vivian Wineman, the president of the Board of Deputies, has rejected a proposal to invite the Palestinian Authority's UK envoy, Manuel Hassassian, to address the organisation.

Board treasurer Laurence Brass had urged Mr Wineman to "grasp the nettle" and extend an invitation to Professor Hassassian. But Mr Wineman said: "We will not be inviting him. I am opposed and I believe the overwhelming majority of the executive are opposed as well." He said it would be "doubly inappropriate at this stage in the peace process with talks stalled for the Board to be hosting him".


'Claims' criticism rejected

By Simon Rocker, December 29, 2010

The Board of Deputies has dismissed complaints about a critical report into the Claims Conference, the international body which distributes compensation to Holocaust survivors.

Julius Berman, the conference's chairman, said the Board had not given them a chance to comment on the report before publishing.

But Jon Benjamin, the Board's chief executive, said the main findings had been sent to the New York-based conference in summer, and a copy of the final document was given a week before publication earlier this month.


Charedim applaud visa rule change

By Simon Rocker, December 29, 2010

The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations has welcomed a court ruling which may force the government to ease restrictions on marriage visas.

Two years ago, new rules were introduced to refuse entry for spouses from outside the European Union if they or their British spouse were under 21.

But the change hit the Charedi community, where people marry young and often choose partners from Israel or the USA.

The Court of Appeal has now called into question the whole policy - which was designed to combat forced marriages - after upholding appeals on behalf of two non-Jewish couples.


Rabbis targeted by 'bomb plot terror suspects'

By Marcus Dysch, December 29, 2010

Two rabbis were said to be among a group of potential targets for a gang of nine terror suspects, a court has heard.

Other possible targets for the alleged bomb plot included the London Stock Exchange, the US Embassy, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.

Details of who the two rabbis are, and their synagogues, cannot be reported for legal reasons.

The gang appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday and were remanded in custody. They
will appear at the Old Bailey on January 14.


Britain leads in Israeli denial efforts

By Martin Bright, December 29, 2010

An Israeli academic who spent five years in London studying the "red-green alliance" between the hard left and international Islamist groups has produced a comprehensive survey of the anti-Israel movement in the UK.


Aliyah figures from UK drop

By Robyn Rosen, December 28, 2010

The number of people moving to Israel from Britain has gone down by 11 per cent.

A total of 756 people made aliyah this year, 11 per cent less than 2009, when 853 people moved from Britain.

A spokesman from the Jewish Agency, which released the figures today, said: "One has to look at the bigger picture. You cannot base a trend on one year. It's still a very large number compared with before the 21st century. I wouldn't read into it."

All together, 19,129 people around the world are estimated to move to Israel in 2010, 16 per cent higher than the previous year.


MP Luciana Berger's gifts from suspected stalker

By Marcus Dysch, December 24, 2010

Britain’s youngest Jewish MP has complained to the Commons authorities about a suspected serial stalker.

Luciana Berger, 29, received a pair of diamond earrings and inappropriate cards from the man, who has also pestered other female politicians.

Ms Berger, a former director of Labour Friends of Israel, was elected as the party’s MP for Liverpool Wavertree in May.

The man, thought to be American, is also believed to have sent a bracelet to a second female MP, as well as sending other cards with “odd messages”.


Board president against invite to Palestinian envoy

By Simon Rocker, December 24, 2010

Vivian Wineman, the president of the Board of Deputies, is opposed to issuing an invitation to Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority’s UK envoy, to speak to the Board.

Mr Wineman had been urged to invite Professor Hassassian by the Board’s treasurer Laurence Brass, after the idea was suggest ed by another deputy at recent Board meetings.

But Mr Wineman, speaking from Israel on Friday, said that although the suggestion was still to be discussed by the executive, he was opposed to it.