UK news

Even with shrapnel, Israeli kids are freer

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

Israeli schoolchildren, even those on the war-blighted Lebanese border, have greater freedom to learn through exploration and play than their "over risk-assessed" British counterparts, according to a Jewish primary school headteacher.

Leeds Brodetsky Primary School head Jeremy Dunford, returning from his first visit to Israel, said he had found that Israeli pupils were able to use school equipment with far less adult supervision, and greater success, while British children were less likely to learn how to cope with risk as a result of strict UK health and safety laws.


Ed Miliband: my door is open

By Martin Bright, November 4, 2010

Ed Miliband has said his door is always open to the Jewish community and urged people not to see his critical comments about Gaza and the Turkish flotilla as hostile to Israel. The first Jewish leader of the Labour Party told the JC that he recognised he has some work to do to reassure some in the community: "There is a task for me to get to know the Jewish community better as the leader of the Labour Party... and there's a task for the community to get to know me."


Hague offers Israel hand of friendship

November 4, 2010

William Hague's first visit to Israel as Foreign Secretary was hailed this week by both Israeli and British officials as a resounding success.

In the run-up to the visit there had been trepidation on both sides that it would set back relations. But both Israeli and British officials said that they had worked hard over the past two months to make Mr Hague's visit warm and positive, an ambition mirrored in the full turnout of Israel's political elite to welcome him.


Cambridge debater barred

November 4, 2010

A Jewish Cambridge University student has been banned from its Union debating society after an encounter with Lauren Booth - the notorious presenter on Iranian Press TV and ardent pro-Palestinian campaigner.

Gabriel Latner, a second-year lawyer, joined her as a fellow proposer of the motion that Israel is a rogue state - which he subverted by tackling it from a pro-Israel point of view.

(Students who apply to speak in debates are randomly selected by the union organisers.)


Ed Miliband: Hamas, Ken Livingstone and Jewish values

By Martin Bright, November 4, 2010

Ed Miliband’s Jewish intellectual heritage could not be more impeccable. His father, Ralph Miliband remains a colossus of the British left, who lies buried in Highgate cemetery within sight of Karl Marx himself.

His mother Marion Kozak, is a feminist thinker and human rights activist of considerable renown. Both parents were Polish Jews who came to Britain as refugees from fascism.


Lord Sugar gives Apprentice's Alex Epstein 'another chance'

By Jennifer Lipman, November 3, 2010

Jewish Apprentice contestant Alex Epstein has lived to fight another day - just.

Despite disagreements with Apollo team leader Paloma, the former King David pupil escaped being fired by Lord Sugar.

In a task which involved selling designer clothing to shoppers in Manchester’s Trafford Centre, he was put in charge of choosing the location for a promotional area. He chose an area some distance from the shop, causing friction with the rest of his team.

Karren Brady told him: “Unfortunately it wasn’t the best location.”


EDL men charged with Israel demo offences

By Jessica Elgot, November 3, 2010

Three EDL members charged with affray and public order offences during a “Tea Party” rabbi’s speech at Speakers Corner have had their case sent to Crown Court.

Shortly after their demonstration on Sunday outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington, EDL supporters made their way to Hyde Park where Rabbi Nachum Shifren, the so-called "surfing rabbi" from California, gave a short speech.

The rabbi had earlier called Muslims “dogs” and told the EDL “We will never surrender to the sword of Islam."


Kaminski invited on Jewish tour of Britain

By Leon Symons, November 3, 2010

Controversial Polish right-wing politician Michal Kaminski has been invited to visit Britain to meet community leaders and talk to the Anglo-Jewish community.

Mr Kaminski has been invited to Mill Hill United Synagogue in north west London by its minister Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, and is likely to visit at least one other Orthodox synagogue. It is also likely that he will meet members of the Charedi community, some of whom were invited to visit Jewish historical sites by the Polish Foreign Ministry last month.


Hague to sign Israel-Britain film deal

By Jennifer Lipman, November 2, 2010

William Hague is to sign a groundbreaking agreement cementing ties between the British and Israeli film industries.

The Foreign Secretary, who is in Israel for a two-day trip, is expected to sign the co-production deal tomorrow.

It will give Israeli film-makers the chance to benefit from the facilities and reputation of the British film industry and open up new channels for both countries’ film industries.


Oxfam works in Israel to ‘alter the balance’

By Jessica Elgot, November 2, 2010

Oxfam is to launch a new strategy to improve its image with Israel and British Jews, after concerns about pro-Palestinian bias within the organisation.

The charity has never actively publicised its work with Jewish Israelis. During Operation Cast Lead Oxfam released a statement saying Palestinians had “fewer rights than convicts”.