UK news

Wheelchair protester Jody McIntyre on 'schizophrenic lunatic' Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, December 17, 2010

The political campaigner who accused police of pulling him from a wheelchair during last week’s student protests in London has a long history of anti-Israel and anti-western activism and has described Israel as a lunatic and racist state.

In August, on his personal blog Jody McIntyre, London-born but whose great-grandparents came from Lebanon, wrote of “the system of apartheid that Israel is imposing on the Palestinians”.


Barred from US, Galloway vows 'nothing will stop me'

By Jennifer Lipman, December 17, 2010

George Galloway has been denied entry into America.

The former Respect MP, and notorious pro-Palestinian activist was due to speak in five US cities but was barred by US authorities. The Muslim Legal Fund of America, which organised the tour, said the ban was because of “visa problems”.

Mr Galloway, who last month was disciplined by broadcasting standards monitor Ofcom for breaching the rules on impartiality during his Press TV show, instead used Skype to address crowds via webcam.


Jamie Lester: I had no Apprentice game plan

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2010

Property developer Jamie Lester was the last Jewish candidate to be fired from The Apprentice, after a gruelling round of interviews this week.

He left in the semi-final of the BBC show, along with Stuart Baggs and Joanna Riley.

Mr Lester made it clear that the job with Lord Sugar, and its six-figure salary, had been his priority from the beginning and that he was not interested in TV stardom.


We can't rely on Europe, warns Israel ambassador

By Bernard Josephs, December 16, 2010

A stark warning that Israel cannot rely on the support of European leaders in the battle against the deligitimisation and demonisation of the Jewish state was issued this week by Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor.

At a packed meeting at London's New West End Synagogue, the envoy warned: "When push comes to shove, no-one in Israel really thinks that Europe will come to its aid."

He lambasted politicians who felt they were taking a sufficiently principled stand by simply stating that Israel had "a right to exist."


EDL has 'left BNP a mere sideshow'

By Martin Bright, December 16, 2010

The head of Britain's leading anti-fascist organisation has said the English Defence League has replaced the British National Party as the major force on the far right of British politics.

Nick Lowles of Searchlight said the BNP had become a "sideshow" since the crushing defeat of its leader Nick Griffin in Barking at this year's general election.


Full extent of LSE Atwan fury is finally revealed on video

By Robyn Rosen, December 16, 2010

The journalist Abdel Bari Atwan has been accused of "cowardly, bullying tactics" and breaching policy on antisemitism after a recording of his speech to students at the London School of Economics was made public.

The lecture, held by the student union's Palestine Society at LSE last week, descended into chaos after 30 Jewish students walked out in protest.

The visual and audio quality of the recording, taken by the Palestine Society, is poor and repeatedly skips sections. It was only made publicly available on Sunday, six days after the lecture.


Universities show signs of taking issue seriously

By Marcus Dysch, December 16, 2010

Campaigners believe there is "light at the end of the tunnel" in the ongoing effort to restrict hate speakers' appearances on university campuses.

Jewish community representatives working with vice-chancellors say that despite an initially "slow and poor response", higher education bodies have now accepted action must be taken against campus extremism.

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron said: "We have not done enough to deal with the promotion of extremist Islamism in our country… to deradicalise our universities we have to take a range of further steps."


Holocaust game is cancelled

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2010

An Israeli who devised a video game based on a Jewish uprising at Auschwitz has cancelled its launch, saying he is distraught by the negative reaction.

Sonderkommando Revolt, developed by Maxim Genis, is loosely based on the Jewish uprising against the camp guards in October 1944. Its protagonist is a concentration camp prisoner who takes revenge on the guards.

The aim was for the character to assassinate a high-ranking Nazi official who would have supervised the building of a new crematorium.


Glee trousers: the next step

By Katie Taylor, December 16, 2010

One of Britain's leading spinal injury units is poised to buy an Israeli device designed to help paraplegics .

The ReWalk - essentially motorised trousers - was created by Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer, who became paralysed after a car crash in 1997.

Mr Goffer, who has a PhD in electrical and computer engineering, decided to build his own device and later set up a company, Argo Medical Technologies in Yokneam, to sell them.


Foreign Office says no to MIA report

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 16, 2010

The British government is refusing to release documents which could shed light on the fate of three Israeli soldiers missing since 1982 because it says sensitive information could harm diplomatic relations with Syria.

On June 11 1982, three Israeli soldiers went missing after a battle with Syrian and Palestinian forces near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub in the last moments of the Lebanon war. Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman, all in their 20s at the time, are still officially MIA - missing in action.