UK news

Regulator considers War on Want complaint

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

The Charity Commission has confirmed it is considering a complaint from the World Jewish Congress about the actions of anti-poverty charity War on Want.

WJC president Ronald Lauder wrote to the Commission last month after WoW called for a worldwide boycott of Israel.

A Commission spokeswoman said it was “considering the contents” of the letter. However, the representative could not say when the matter would be resolved or what action could be taken.

More..

Shul suspends its rabbi ‘for usury protest’

By Simon Rocker, August 6, 2009

The rabbi of Britain’s oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks in the East End of London, has been suspended over his participation in a protest against banks charging high interest rates.

Rabbi Natan Asmoucha, who arrived from Zimbabwe just a year and a half ago, faced allegations of gross misconduct at a disciplinary hearing on Monday convened by the mahamad (executive) of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation.

But angry congregants have attacked the executive’s action, claiming it was merely a pretext to carry out a previous proposal to make the rabbi redundant.

More..

Shivah-conman film could make Oscars

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

A critically acclaimed short film starring Sir Derek Jacobi as a trickster targeting shivah houses could be nominated for an Oscar after winning a prestigious award in Hollywood.

Sidney Turtlebaum won best foreign film at the annual LA Shorts Fest — the world’s largest short film festival — last week and is now automatically eligible for Academy Award consideration.

The 10-minute comedy was first screened at last year’s UK Jewish film festival.

More..

Hate Shiekh’s British tour sparks outrage

By Leon Symons, August 6, 2009

The Board of Deputies has sent an angry protest to the Home Office about the UK visit of a leading Saudi Arabian cleric who has made numerous antisemitic speeches.

Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais has been on a lecture tour to mosques and shared a platform with Tony Baldry, Tory MP for Banbury, in the town last week.

More..

Rachel Stevens' wedding: the Jews talked...

By Jan Shure, August 6, 2009

OK! Magazine may have made every guest attending the wedding of singer Rachel Stevens and Alex Bourne sign a confidentiality agreement — but you can’t gag the Jews.

Even though guests’ mobile phones and cameras were banned, the JC can report — four full days ahead of OK!’s “exclusive” pictures and reports of Rachel’s nuptials — that the Strictly Come Dancing star was an hour late for her chuppah at top London hotel, Claridge’s.

More..

Sacks sets ‘inclusive’ new school entry tests

By Simon Rocker, August 6, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks this week issued admission guidelines to Jewish schools in the wake of the JFS court ruling.

New entry rules, based on Jewish practice, should be “as inclusive as possible”, he said, following the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling that it was unlawful to pick pupils according to whether or not their parents were Jewish.

But the advice could prove academic, because the House of Lords — in one of its final legal decisions before the new Supreme Court takes over — agreed last Friday to hear an appeal from JFS against the Appeal Court ruling.

More..

Jeremy Clarkson's WW2 spoof backfires

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2009
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is not known for his tact.

But now the presenter, who has insulted most European countries, has added another, Poland, to his list after making a spoof car advert about Germany's invasion of Poland, which led to World War Two.

Ofcom has confirmed it received 47 complaints about the advert, shown during this season’s Top Gear finale on BBC 2.

The tag in the joke advert is “Volkswagen Scirocco TDI. Berlin to Warsaw in one tank”, referring to the car economical use of fuel.

More..

Israeli man in Heathrow cocaine arrest

August 5, 2009

An Israeli man has appeared in court on suspicion of smuggling cocaine after being arrested at Heathrow Airport.

Arie Zilberman, 27, appeared at Uxbridge magistrates’ court in west London last week charged with suspicion of smuggling six kilos of cocaine, with a street value of £240,000, into Britain.

He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody until September 1.

More..

Lords will hear JFS case

By Simon Rocker, August 3, 2009

The House of Lords has agreed to hear an appeal from JFS against the Court of Appeal ruling that its admissions policy is unlawful.

When the case is heard, it will come before the new Supreme Court which is replacing the Lords.

Appeal judges ruled at the end of June that Jewish schools cannot admit children on the basis of parental Jewish descent since that contravened the Race Relations. As a result, Jewish schools are having to revise entry policies for next year by basing them on the family’s religious observance.

More..

Press TV anti-Israel bias slammed by Ofcom

By Jessica Elgot, August 3, 2009

Press TV, the English-language Iranian broadcaster, has breached the Communications Act 2003 because of the anti-Israeli bias present in two programmes presented by the MP George Galloway, Ofcom has announced.

Ofcom has investigated four programmes broadcast during the Gaza offensive in January, Comment and The Real Deal both presented by the British Respect MP Mr Galloway.

More..