UK news

Oona backs Ken for mayor to regain our trust

September 28, 2010

Former MP Oona King has pledged her support for Ken Livingstone in his fight to win back the London mayoralty after he soundly beat her for the Labour candidacy to take on Boris Johnson.

Mr Livingstone, whose two previous terms as mayor saw him open a rift with the Jewish community, will challenge the Tory incumbent in 2012.

Ms King lost her Bethnal Green and Bow parliamentary seat to George Galloway, following an acrimonious campaign in 2005.

Since then she had worked as a Downing Street adviser to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

More..

Desmond Tutu urges boycott of Ben-Gurion University

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged Johannesburg University to end its partnership agreement with Israel's Ben-Gurion University.

On Friday, more than 200 of South Africa's leading academics and writers published a statement supporting the termination on the grounds of BGU's "direct collaboration and involvement with the Israeli military and occupation".

More..

Graham Norton, Al Murray and the Jewish joke

By Jenni Frazer, September 28, 2010

Al Murray is telling a Jewish joke. And Davina McCall and Brian Ferry are joining in. And, oh, look, there's actor Miranda Hart. And Boy George.

And writer Sanjeev Bhaskar (whose shrug goes right up past his ears). And that burlesque dancer, the fabulously named Immodesty Blaize. And comedians Shazia Mirza and Phil Cornwell. And tv presenter Jamie Theakston. And isn't that Graham Norton?

More..

Analysis: Does Ed Miliband have any foreign policy?

By Martin Bright, September 28, 2010

So we have Britain's first Jewish leader of the Labour Party, and yet Ed Miliband's position on a key series of issues for the Jewish community remains something of a mystery. On Israel, the wider Middle East, radical Islam, the security of the Jewish community in Britain, his views are at best opaque, if not quite a closed book.

I spoke to two former Labour foreign ministers at party conference this week and they both said they had no idea what Ed Miliband thought about foreign affairs, and had never heard him talk about Israel or the peace process.

More..

Cilla Black honours 'fifth Beatle'

By Barry Toberman, September 28, 2010

The cultural contribution of Brian Epstein has been saluted in central London with the unveiling of a heritage plaque by Cilla Black outside the former management office of “the fifth Beatle”.

In 1963, Epstein moved his NEMS administrative operation from Liverpool to 13 Monmouth Street, in the Seven Dials area between Covent Garden and Leicester Square and worked from there until the following year.

More..

Pink Floyd star in 'antisemitism' row

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

An American Jewish organisation has become embroiled in a row with the lead singer of British rock band Pink Floyd.

The Anti Defamation League (ADL) has criticised Roger Waters for “crossing a line into antisemitism” after it emerged that he will use a planned concert to juxtapose a Jewish symbol with the dollar sign.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Mr Waters revealed that during his forthcoming tour he will be performing in front of a projection showing Israel dropping bombs in the shape of stars of David, followed by the dollar symbol.

More..

Lord Sugar's kosher Apprentice hopefuls

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

A former kosher food manager for Tesco and a woman who once lived in Israel are two of the contestants vying to become this year’s Apprentice.

The sixth series of Lord Alan Sugar’s reality TV series begins on October 6, with the lineup including Londoner Melissa Cohen.

Ms Cohen, a onetime hairdresser who prides herself on having “single-handedly increased Tesco’s share of the kosher food market to 75 per cent”, cites Richard Branson as one of her idols.

More..

Galloway backs Rahman's Tower Hamlets bid

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2010

A councillor with alleged links to an Islamic extremist group, who was deselected by Labour, is to stand as an independent in the Tower Hamlets mayoral race.

Lutfur Rahman has been given the backing of George Galloway’s Respect party in the vote for the borough’s first directly elected mayor.

Mr Rahman, who represents the borough’s Spitalfields and Banglatown ward, is a controversial figure in the area due to allegations of his connection with the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), which operates out of the East London Mosque.

More..

Tributes to Manchester crash victim

By Robyn Rosen, September 27, 2010

A Manchester hospital manager has died in a crash in India while “living his dream” during a round-the-world trip.

Jeremy Paul, 30, was at the end of his six-month sabbatical from Wythenshawe Hospital, when he was killed in a collision in Rajasthan last week.

Cousin Robert Morris said: “He was a genuinely nice person who never got into trouble.

“He was liked by everyone that ever met him and the world will be a poorer place without him.

More..

Web worship at Glasgow synagogue

By Jennifer Lipman, September 26, 2010

A Scottish synagogue has pioneered a new kind of festival service – virtual prayer.

Rosh Hashanah services at Glasgow Reform Synagogue were streamed live over the internet to listeners around the globe.

Steven Anson, membership secretary, said the synagogue began broadcasting services online in 2009 to support those in the community who could not physically be there.

He said that on Yom Kippur, several hundred people from around the world logged on to the site.

More..