UK news

Judge: Brighton anti-Israel raider should get medal

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

The judge in the trial of seven activists acquitted of damaging an arms factory suggested that their leader should be awarded the George Cross for his campaign.

The seven were cleared after they successfully claimed they had acted to prevent Israeli "war crimes" when the broke into the Brighton factory on January 17, 2009.

Hailed a great victory by pro-Palestinian activists, the seven from "Smash EDO" were acquitted of causing £180,000 worth of damage to the EDO MBM factory in Brighton - which denied ever having supplied Israel with arms equipment.

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Ministers "will change" war crimes arrest law

July 8, 2010

Senior ministers and government officials are moving towards changing the law to prevent the arrest of visiting Israelis.

Jeremy Newmark, Jewish Leadership Council chief executive said: "We understand that cross-departmental meetings have recently taken place at ministerial and official level to discuss the best way of delivering a solution."

The issue resurfaced this week after a senior Israeli army commander, Colonel Udi Ben-Moha, pulled out of a move to study in Britain over fears he could be arrested for war crimes.

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Board of Deputies cuts links with Methodists

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The Board of Deputies has broken off all contact with the leadership of the Methodist Church following its endorsement of a report deeply critical of Israel.

A spokesperson for the Board said: "There cannot be any engagement with the leadership of the Methodist Church until such a time that we see signs of a change in their stance."

But both sides vowed to continue interfaith work at a local level, encouraging members of Methodist and Jewish communities to maintain regular dialogue.

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Church of England reviews stake in Israeli rail

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

The Church of England is reviewing its investment in a company building Jerusalem's light railway amid concern that the tramline "will help to cement Israel's hold on occupied east Jerusalem".

But the Church has stopped short of endorsing a campaign urged by Palestinian churches to boycott "everything produced" by Israel's West
Bank occupation.

The boycott call was made in a document known as 'Kairos Palestine', issued by Palestinian Christians last December. It denounces "Israeli occupation of Palestinian land" as "a sin against God and humanity".

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Young leader Marc Weinberg mourned

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has paid tribute to Marc Weinberg, the former executive director of Bnei Akiva and co-founder of the London School of Jewish Studies, who died last Thursday in Israel of leukaemia, aged 35.

Lord Sacks described him as "one of the outstanding leaders of his generation" whose "vision, faith, passion and compassion drew people to him, and he drew the best from them. In a short life he wrote a long chapter in the story of our people in our time. He will be deeply mourned and long remembered."

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Veterans attack comments on Jewish war record

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women reacted angrily this week to comments by an Irish newspaper columnist on the war record of British Jews.

Kevin Myers, claiming in the Irish Independent that Hitler had had no intention of invading Britain, remarked: "Jews - before the creation of Israel - were a very non-martial people. During the war, more British Cohens died as civilians than as soldiers."

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Abu Hamza extradition halted

By Robyn Rosen, July 8, 2010

The European Court of Human Rights has halted the extradition of hate preacher Abu Hamza to the US.

The radical Islamist was jailed in 2004 and the British courts approved his extradition in 2007, which he appealed.

While he was on trial, he accused Jews of being “blasphemous, traitors and dirty” and said this is why Hitler was sent into the world.

Today, the European Court of Human Rights ordered a halt to his extradition after he and three other British men complained about the length of sentence they could face in the US.

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Amazon to sell kosher groceries

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Online retailer Amazon has entered the kosher food market.

The website, which started by selling books and has since expanded into homeware and other entertainment products, has launched a new service delivering groceries directly to customers.

Among the 22,000 items on sale at the Amazon Grocery Store is a wide selection of kosher products.

Customers can also buy vegan and gluten free foods made by brands including Kraft and Walkers.

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Muslim suing Jew 'joked about religion'

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

A Muslim woman suing her former boss for race discrimination had allegedly emailed him Jewish jokes.

Secretary Jasmine Akhtar told a central London employment tribunal that partners at London firm Goodge Law racially abused her and called her a “Paki”.

She is seeking damages for derogatory remarks which she said got worse when she announced her pregnancy.

But Richard Samuel, defending the firm, said partner Michael Greenstein and Ms Akhtar had exchanged “friendly banter” about Mr Greenstein's Jewish background.

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Tributes to 7/7 bomb victims

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Relatives of the July 7 London bombing victims are marking the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks.

John Falding, whose Israeli partner Anat Rosenberg was killed on the Number 30 bus, plans to make a now-annual strip to Tavistock Square with a dozen white lilies to pay tribute to her.

Mr Falding said that his life has been on hold since the former charity worker’s death at 39.

He said: “This is my job now, to look after Anat’s memory.”

Ms Rosenberg, who is buried in Jerusalem, was one of a number of Jewish people injured or killed in the bombings.

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