UK news

ASA urged to reverse ban on Western Wall adverts

By Simon Rocker, April 22, 2010

The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) is being urged to appeal against a ban on a holiday advert which described Judaism's holiest monument, the Western Wall, as part of Israel - after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complainant's claim that it was actually in the Occupied Territories.

The Board of Deputies said it was strongly pressing IGTO to contest last week's decision by the ASA.


Luciana Berger gets poll boost in Liverpool

April 22, 2010

Liverpool Wavertree Labour candidate Luciana Berger has won new support. The parents of once-jailed football fan Michael Shields have urged people to vote for her after a Lib Dem leaflet carrying their son's picture was distributed - they claimed - without permission.

Michael Shields, a Liverpool football fan, was tried and jailed for 15 years in Bulgaria in 2006 over an assault which he denied. His parents launched a successful campaign to free him, supported by local MP Louise Ellman and city councillor Joe Anderson.


Board of Deputies release election pack

April 22, 2010

The Board of Deputies has issued an election pack for deputies to quiz candidates.

It contains 18 sample questions on five areas: Israel, antisemitism, and racism, education, community cohesion and kosher food.

Devised by Board joint vice-president Jerry Lewis, it asks whether candidates are opposed to boycotts of Israel and to the recognition of Hamas and Hizbollah and if they favour a change in the law to prevent the arrest of visiting Israeli politicians.


Michael Gove: Security funding for Jewish schools

April 22, 2010

Jewish schools will have security funded by the government if the Tories win the election, Michael Gove promised this week.

Speaking at Moriah Jewish Day School in Pinner, Middlesex, Mr Gove, currently the Shadow Education Minister, said: "I visit lots of faith schools, and they have a wonderful ethos, and produce children with great values. But Church of England and Roman Catholic schools are different. They do not need the security Jewish schools need.


Finchley and Golders Green: Election 2010

By Marcus Dysch, April 22, 2010

When the bookies have you listed at odds as short as 1/20 it must be difficult to keep your mind on the job of attempting to enter the Commons.

But Mike Freer, the Tory former Barnet Council leader turned woud-be MP, is fully focused on securing the constituency with the highest proportion of Jewish voters in the country - Finchley and Golders Green.

Departing Labour MP Rudi Vis leaves Labour's new candidate, Alison Moore, with a majority of just 741 to defend.


Cheadle: Election 2010

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010

A Liberal Democrat MP has been criticised by Jewish constituents for courting Muslim voters by means of an anti-Israel letter which he sent to constituents who had Asian-sounding names.

Mark Hunter (right), who holds the seat in Cheadle, south Manchester, was confronted over the issue on Saturday in front of 300 Yeshurun Synagogue congregants, at hustings as part of the shul's Yom Ha'atzmaut Shabbaton. In the letter Mr Hunter had called for "an end to the blood-letting in Gaza", the end of UK arms sales to Israel, and an EU trading agreement boycott.


East Renfrewshire: Election 2010

By Stephanie Brickman, April 22, 2010

The BNP's Gary Raikes has pulled out of the running for Renfrewshire East. According to a BNP spokesperson they have decided instead to concentrate on several seats in Aberdeenshire, Raikes's home turf.

The news was welcomed by community leaders such as Glasgow Jewish Representative Council President Philip Mendelsohn, who said: "I'm glad to hear that the BNP have withdrawn their candidate from the seat as it was clearly targeted at a constituency which has both a high Jewish and Muslim component. It was designed to be divisive in what is a very cohesive community."


Blackley and Broughton: Election 2010

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010

Salford's Orthodox Jewish community, the most concentrated outside London, is facing serious inroads from the BNP.

The new cross-border constituency of Blackley and Broughton takes in the strongly Jewish areas of Higher Crumpsall and Broughton Park, the latter a wealthy pocket of large houses. Nearby, however, cramped council estates in Kersal and the UK's once most deprived area of Harpurhey are fostering far-right support.


Leader's debate Jewish boy puts more questions to leaders

April 22, 2010

To Mike Freer (Conservative):
Given your Euro-sceptic stance, how will you ensure Britain maintains good relations with her European counterparts whilst affiliating with, in some cases, extremist anti-European parties in the EU Parliament?

The question starts from a false premise. The Conservative Party withdrew from the EPP, as that grouping supported a federal state of Europe. Our partners support the European ideal of partners working together to improve our economies and co-operating on common issues.


Epping Forest: Election 2010

By Bernard Josephs, April 22, 2010

The far right British National Party has appointed its first ever Jewish parliamentary candidate.

But Patricia Feldman Richardson, leader of the four strong BNP group on Epping Forest Council, insists that the party is neither antisemitic nor racist. She describes the mainstream Jewish community's hostility towards it as "blinkered" and accuses it of "demonising" BNP policies.

Her campaign has been largely aimed against what her party claims is the growing number of Muslims in the leafy Essex constituency of Epping Forest, including Loughton, Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill.