UK news

Denham’s new faith advisers

By Leon Symons and Martin Bright, January 7, 2010

Communities secretary John Denham has turned to two leading members of the Jewish interfaith community to help improve the relationship between government and faith communities.

Ros Preston, currently chair of Nightingale House, the old people’s home in south London, and Mehri Niknam, founder and director of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, are among 13 new advisers who will act as a “sounding board” to give advice on how the government should engage effectively with faith communities.


EastEnders Ross Kemp's guide to the Middle East

By Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

Actor and TV presenter Ross Kemp has said he was anxious about the impact of his new programmes on the Israel/Gaza conflict, for fear they could give extremists a “publicity platform”.

Mr Kemp, best known for his work on EastEnders, spent a month in Israel and Gaza for a two-part series which concludes on Sunday (January 10) on Sky1.

The actor, who has also filmed in Afghanistan and Kenya, told Sky News that he made the programme to give access to the on-going and complicated conflict to those who would not usually be interested.


Limmud: How unions strike out at Israel

By Leon Symons, January 7, 2010

The influence that activists in London have on the policies of Palestinians was highlighted during a session at Limmud 2009 on the delegitimisation of Israel.

Calev Ben-Dor, an analyst at the Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute in Israel, told his audience that there were very few Palestinians in London and that “the London narrative was taking over the Palestinians”.


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.


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


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.”


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.


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.


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”.


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.