UK news

European rabbis attack American conversion group

By Simon Rocker, January 7, 2010

Members of the London Beth Din have attacked a controversial conversion organisation with which their former head, Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, is involved.

The LBD judges signed a statement from the Conference of European Rabbis, protesting at the American-based Eternal Jewish Family setting up in Europe and calling for the cancellation on its seminar in Munich this week.

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Chelsea chants denounced by Muslim leader

By Martin Bright, January 7, 2010

A leading Muslim politician campaigning against antisemitic chanting at Chelsea Football Club has been told that fans who shout “We hate Yids!” about Tottenham fans are not expressing hatred of Jews.

Chelsea has rejected the proposal of the Labour London Assembly member, Murad Qureshi, that the club should introduce an anti-racism programme for fans and stewards to show it is taking the problem seriously

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Panorama to screen Israel film

By Simon Rocker, January 7, 2010

The first edition of BBC1’s main current affairs programme, Panorama, in 2010, is to look at Israeli policy in Jerusalem.

Promoting next Monday night’s documentary, the programme’s website says: “The fight is on for the holiest city in the holy land. The Israelis say Jerusalem must never be divided; the Palestinians say the east of the city is theirs and must become the capital of a new state.”

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Ofcom upholds complaint against Asian radio

By Marcus Dysch, January 7, 2010

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has upheld a complaint against an Asian radio station.

A volunteer presenter on Nottingham’s Radio Faza read out a text message during the daily News Today show. He introduced it as a “joke”. It said: “Jewish kid next door just asked me for a water fight… thought I would text while the kettle is boiling.”

He then repeated it for listeners who “may not have understood the joke” the first time.

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JPR says Boyd is new chief

By Simon Rocker, January 7, 2010

Jonathan Boyd, the acting director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research since April, has been confirmed as its executive director.

Mr Boyd, who has previously worked with the UJIA and the Joint Distribution Committee’s International Centre for Community Development, joined the institute a year ago as a research fellow.

He will oversee the launch this week of the first national online survey of British Jews’ attitudes towards Israel. It is being conducted by Ipsos Mori.

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Islamic convert fabricated a Jewish hitlist over Israel support

By Marcus Dysch, January 7, 2010

A man who fabricated claims that Lord Sugar and other prominent British Jews were assassination targets for Islamic extremists is being investigated on suspicion of inciting religious hatred against Jews.

Glen Jenvey, 44, of Salisbury, faked comments on an online Muslim forum claiming a “hit list” was being prepared and warned of a “hate campaign”.

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Gaza questioned in Israel poll

By Simon Rocker, January 7, 2010

The most detailed survey of what British Jews think of Israel was launched today by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

Conducted by Ipsos Mori and commissioned by the Pears Foundation, it consists of a questionnaire that takes about 15 minutes to complete online.

Correspondents are asked, among other things, if they think Israel’s incursion into Gaza a year ago was an act of self-defence, whether West Bank settlements should be expanded and whether Israeli actions cause antisemitism in Britain.

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‘Miracle’ for kidney man

By Keren David, January 7, 2010

A man’s long wait for a kidney transplant ended on Christmas Day.

Barry Jacobs, 41 from Woodside Park, had suffered from polycystic kidney disease for 20 years, and had been on the list for a transplant for three. As both his kidneys had been removed, he required dialysis for 15 hours a week.

Barry and Susie Jacobs and their two children were enjoying a rare break in Watford to celebrate Susie’s 40th birthday — December 25.

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Q&A on JFS

By Simon Rocker, January 7, 2010

Why did the Board of Deputies want to amend the Equality Bill to overturn the Supreme Court judgement on Jewish school admissions?

The Supreme Court ruled that Jewish schools can no longer admit children simply on the basis of whether their parents are Jewish. This is because Jews are considered by law as an ethnic group (like Sikhs, but not Christians or Muslims) and to choose children according to parental descent is a matter of ethnic origin, therefore a case of racial discrimination.

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Alex Salmond urged to stop Scottish Israel trip

By Marcus Dysch, January 7, 2010

The Scottish Friends of Palestine group has urged the Scottish First Minister to cancel a trade group’s trip to Israel, denouncing it as a “pariah state”.

A delegation from Scottish Development International, which helps companies attract foreign investment, is due to arrive in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

During the five-day trip, organised with UK Trade and Investment, they are expected to meet scientists from Israeli companies specialising in stem cell research, drug development and medical devices.

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