UK news

Comment is free to challenge

April 14, 2011

A news aggregate and commentary website which declares itself the "equal and opposite" to the Guardian's Comment is Free was launched last week.

The Commentator aims to provide news and commentary from analysts, journalists and politicians in Britain, the United States and Europe, including Emmanuelle Ottelenghi, Tom Gross and Harry Cole.


We can learn from Ulster, says Israel's Prosor

By Marcus Dysch, April 14, 2011

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor tackled university chiefs during a two-day visit to Northern Ireland in which he also met councillors who support anti-Israel activity.

He met Queen's University vice-chancellor Peter Gregson and other academics in Belfast on Wednesday to discuss how lessons from the Irish peace process could benefit the Middle East.


Britain's J-Street unveils as Yachad

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

An alternative Israel advocacy organisation, inspired by the American J Street, has finally launched.

Known as Yachad, the Hebrew for "together", it aspires to be a grassroots movement supportive of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and of Israel's future as a Jewish, democratic state.


Students elect two who back Caliphate

By Marcus Dysch, April 14, 2011

The Union of Jewish Students has said it is "unacceptable" that two students linked to extreme Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir have been elected to lead a student union.

Tarik Mahri and Jamal Achchi were elected by the University of Westminster Students' Union despite the NUS's no-platform policy for the radical group. UWSU does not implement the NUS ban on Hizb ut-Tahrir.


Forgotten Algeria revived

April 14, 2011

Dramatic images of a forgotten Jewish society in the war-torn history of Algeria form part of a new photographic exhibition which has opened in Manchester.

French-Jewish photojournalist Sophie Elbaz is one of 10 artists depicting conflict and change since Algeria's independence from France in 1962.


Pesach produce for Jewish troops

By Marcus Dysch, April 14, 2011

Packs of kosher-for-Pesach provisions have been sent around the world to Jewish troops serving in the British armed forces.

Pesach foods including matzah, powdered chicken soup, cake, biscuits, charoset and grape juice have been dispatched to at least 20 people, including servicemen and women in Afghanistan and other Jewish staff in Germany and the Falklands.


The man with Swarovski crystals on his head

By Robyn Rosen, April 14, 2011

An entrepreneur has baldly gone where no other man has gone before - and become the first professional head artist.

Philip Levine, 29, will host his first exhibition of artwork next month, featuring images of his head in a variety of designs. He has even coated it in 1,000 Swarovski crystals.


New questions on Exeter's Middle East funding

By Martin Bright, April 14, 2011

An MP campaigning on the funding by the Arab world of British universities has demanded an explanation from Exeter University over a donation from the Middle East broadcaster Al-Jazeera.


Methodist minister silenced on Israel

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 14, 2011

A senior Methodist clergyman has alleged that the church was negating its Christian responsibilities and theology by pushing an anti-Israel position.

The Rev John Peters, of the Watchorn Methodist Church near Derby and a minister for 39 years, was cut short in a lone pro-Israel stand at Methodism's most important annual regional meeting last weekend.


Shechitah under fire in EU

By Robyn Rosen and Esther Voet, April 14, 2011

The Conservative MEP accused of discrimination after he made new attempts to label kosher meat has withdrawn the plan.

Struan Stevenson, who represents Scotland in the European Parliament, has pulled an amendment to the food information bill calling for kosher meat to be labelled "this product comes from an animal slaughtered by the shechitah method", and the equivalent for halal.