UK news

HRW suspends 'Nazi collector' analyst

By Miriam Shaviv, September 15, 2009

Human Rights watch has suspended its senior military analyst after it was revealed that he is a collector of Nazi memorabilia.

The organisation initially stood by Marc Garlasco, saying he “has never held or expressed Nazi or antisemitic views.”

His work, according to Carroll Bogert, the New York-based group’s associate director, had been “extensively reviewed, lawyered, scrutinized, pulverised by our programme and legal staff, and we have not in six years ever had cause to question his professional judgment.”

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Ben Uri gallery loses bid for new London home

September 11, 2009

The Ben Uri art gallery, Anglo-Jewry’s leading art house, has lost out in a bid to move to a new home in the heart of London’s theatreland.

Chairman David Glasser said that while there was “enormous disappointment” that its bid to move the former premises of the Theatre Museum in Russell Street in Covent Garden had failed, an alternative plan would be put into action straightaway that would achieve the same aim.

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Chief Rabbi to become Lord Sacks of Aldgate

By Simon Rocker, September 11, 2009

The Chief Rabbi will officially become a peer on October 27 when he enters the House of Lords as Lords Sacks of Aldgate.

He will be sponsored by Lord Winston and the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.

Explaining why he had chosen to nominate the East End of London district, he said; “My late father sold cloth in Commercial Road and my grandmother ran Frumkins wine shop. I wanted not to forget my roots. That’s where I used to help out help when I was a child and where my earliest memories are.”

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Jewish Community Centre gets go-ahead

By Jenni Frazer, September 11, 2009

The long-awaited Jewish Community Centre for London (JCC) has received unanimous planning permission from Camden Council to build its new home in Swiss Cottage, north west London.

The former Mercedes showroom on Finchley Road will be razed and rebuilt as a multi-purpose cultural and social building, expected to open in 2013.

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Three charged in safety deposit centre raid

By Leon Symons, September 10, 2009

Three people have been charged in connection with Operation Rize, a series of raids on safety deposit centres carried out by the Metropolitan Police in June last year.

Milton Woolf, 53, of West Heath Drive, Golders Green, a director of Safe Deposit Centres Limited, the company that controlled Hampstead Safe Depository, Edgware Safe Depository, and Park Lane Safe Depository, has been charged with 24 offences.

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Imprisoned by MI5 for writing a letter home to mum

By Leon Symons, September 10, 2009

Henry Wuga was just 15 when he was interned early in the Second World War for writing a letter to his parents in Germany.

Almost 70 years later, Mr Wuga confirmed his long-held suspicion that it was only a declaration of his innocence by MI5 that got him released from prison.

Mr Wuga, now 85, with two married daughters and four grandsons, told his story as part of the BBC’s The Week We Went to War series, shown this week to commemorate the outbreak of the Second World War.

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Pro-Israel MP's new official is Palestinian activist

By Leon Symons, September 10, 2009

One of Israel’s staunchest supporters in Parliament is at the centre of a row over his appointment of a campaigns and communications manager who appears to be strongly anti-Israel.

Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North in north-west London and a former vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, has appointed Joseph Brown, who declared his “continued dedication to the Palestinian cause” after being pictured at an anti-Israeli demonstration in January.

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Government anti-terror funding 'is going to radicals'

By Simon Rocker, September 10, 2009

A key government programme to counter Islamist extremism has given money to groups that have promoted radical ideas, according to a new report.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance, a ginger group monitoring public spending, says that the government should consider scrapping “Preventing Violent Extremism”, known as Prevent, a £50 million-plus scheme which is part of its anti-terrorism strategy.

The TPA, analysing more than £12 million spent on Prevent so far, accused the government of leaving it up to ill-equipped local councils to allocate the money.

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Jewish aid to Pakistan breaks down barriers

By Simon Rocker, September 10, 2009

A charity’s aid work in Pakistan helped to create a more positive image of Judaism, according to a report published this week.

It cites World Jewish Relief as an example of what religious organisations can achieve in providing help overseas.

Authors Edward Kessler and Miriam Arkush, who produced Keeping Faith in Development for the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths in Cambridge, recommend that faith-based organisations should do more to collaborate over international development to foster inter-religious understanding.

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BNP must accept non-whites after legal battle

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

The British National Party is poised to accept non-white members and candidates of different ethnicities following a legal challenge which accused it of racial discrimination.

BNP leader Nick Griffin indicated that the party will make changes to its constitution after the Equality and Human Rights Commission sought an injunction, claiming the party’s membership rules breach the Race Relations Act.

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