UK news

Anti-Israel lobby wins arms ban from UK government

By Bernard Josephs and Anshel Pfeffer, July 16, 2009

The Foreign Office this week denied imposing a partial arms embargo on Israel, despite its decision to ban spare parts for Israeli naval vessels used during its winter operation in Gaza, Operation Cast Lead.

The news broke as 26 Israeli soldiers claimed that the IDF had committed war crimes during the Gaza operation.

On Monday, the government, in response to a sustained campaign from pro-Palestinian groups and parliamentarians, announced the cancellation of five export licences for equipment to upgrade weaponry on 4.5 Saar Corvettes.

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Web racists to appeal 'unsafe' sentence

By James Brewster, July 15, 2009

Two race hate criminals who, in a bid to win political asylum in the USA, fled the country after being convicted, have both won the first round of a legal battle to clear their names.

Simon Sheppard, 52, and Stephen Whittle, 43, were the first Britons to be convicted of inciting racial hatred online.

They were found guilty last year, but fled to the US before they could be sentenced and attempted to use America's free speech laws to stay there.

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Israel Tourism Ministry slammed over 'misleading' ad

By Jessica Elgot, July 14, 2009

An Israeli tourism poster displayed in London tube stations has been rapped in a ruling by the Advertising Standards Agency because a map showed the Occupied Territories merged into Israel.

The poster, which drew complaints from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, was part of a £40,000 Israeli Government Tourist Office “Think Israel” campaign.

In its ruling the ASA concluded that the poster was misleading, as it implied that the West Bank and Gaza and the Golan Heights were part of Israel.

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University apologises to ZF for cancelled event...

By Jessica Elgot, July 14, 2009

University College London has apologised to the Zionist Federation for cancelling an Israeli Independence Day celebration at the Bloomsbury theatre because the poster featured members of the IDF in uniform.

The Bloomsbury Theatre, owned by UCL, cancelled one of the ZF's two Israel independence day events in April this year because publicity pictures included performers from the IDF entertainment troupe in uniform.

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Chief Rabbi given life peerage

By James Martin and Jessica Elgot, July 13, 2009

Tributes have flowed in from all sections of the community at the elevation of the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, to the peerage.

The House of Lords Appointments Commission announced that he is to be a life peer and will sit as a cross-bencher.

Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of Deputies, said: “I send warm congratulations to the Chief Rabbi on this richly deserved honour.

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Internet racists are jailed

By Leon Symons, July 10, 2009

Two racists have become the first in Britain to be jailed for inciting racial hatred on the internet.

Simon Sheppard, 51, from Selby in north Yorkshire, was sent to prison at Leeds Crown Court for four years and 10 months, while 42-year-old Stephen Whittle, of Preston was sentenced to two years and four months.

The pair fled to America and sought political asylum last year while the jury were returning verdicts during a trial at Leeds Crown Court. But their plea was thrown out by a judge in California and they were sent back to Britain last month.

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JFS boy must be 'reconsidered'

By Simon Rocker, July 10, 2009

JFS has been told it must reconsider admitting the boy at the centre of the recent court case.

The Court of Appeal ordered the school to think again about offering a place to the boy, known as M, who was originally refused entry two years because his mother was a non-Orthodox convert.

Two weeks ago the court ruled that the school’s entry policy as unlawful, because allowing entry on the basis of whether a parent is Jewish contravenes the Race Relations Act.

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Your cause is fabulous too

By Jessica Elgot, July 9, 2009

Israel's envoy to the UK, Ron Prosor, with actress Joanna Lumley.

Mr Prosor decided to present the Gurkha Welfare Trust, for which Ms Lumley has long been a campaigner, with £300 rejected by the Edinburgh Film Festival after it refused to accpet money from Israel.

Gurkhas, said Mr Prosor, were another worthy cause.

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JFS: Your views - Rights and wrongs of 'racist' ruling

July 9, 2009

Test of birth is a religious, not racist, one

The Lords Justices are right to point out that race is a product of birth and that any discrimination on that basis falls within the definition of the Race Relations Act. But it does not follow that every selection which is based on birth is necessarily racial. Nationality, royalty and religion also use birth as their entry point and classification so that, for example, a child born to a British or American parent obtains British or American nationality.

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Read it and weep

By James Brewster, July 9, 2009

A sex attacker who claims he could be killed by red onions in the Irish prison diet if extradited from the UK to serve his sentence in Dublin has been sent packing by top judges.

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