UK news

Arab MKs blast 'apartheid' Jewish state

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2010

Israeli Arab Knesset members have launched a blistering attack on the Jewish state and its Parliament, declaring Israel "racist, fascist and worse than apartheid South Africa".

Speaking to supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at the House of Commons on Wednesday, MK Haneen Zoubi said: "Israel is much worse than the apartheid regime in South Africa. There were no ethnic cleansing policies there, but there are those policies in Israel."

Demand for entrance to the event was so great that supporters filled two committee rooms.

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Anger over Cameron Gaza comments

By Rob Lyons, July 29, 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron's description of Gaza as a "prison camp" prompted anger this week from all quarters.

Mr Cameron, addressing Turkish businessmen in Ankara on Tuesday, declared: "The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable." And in reference to the Israeli blockade, he added: "Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp."

The remarks led to consternation that the PM should apparently use criticism of Israel as a vehicle by which to promote closer relations with Turkey.

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Jewish Gaza flotilla funding delay

July 29, 2010

An all-Jewish flotilla of anti-Israel campaigners which had pledged to sail to Gaza and break the blockade has been delayed due to an £18,000 shortfall in funding.

Captained by British sailor Glyn Secker, of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, the flotilla was announced in the wake of the incident in June in which nine people were killed when Israeli commandos boarded a convoy of ships travelling to Gaza.

The all-Jewish boat is supported by European Jews for a Just Peace, an umbrella organisation of groups from 10 countries.

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Doubts over universal jurisdiction 'solution'

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2010

Arguments over alterations to the universal jurisdiction legislation have continued this week, despite the government’s announcement of a proposal to change the law.
J
ustice Secretary Ken Clarke said the coalition would table a legislative amendment which will ensure the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is required before an arrest warrant can be issued, in response to a private prosecution for war crimes.

This would close the loophole which saw lawyers representing Palestinians secure such a warrant for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni last December.

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Howard Jacobson up for Man Booker prize

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson has been placed on the longlist for one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards.

Mr Jacobson has been nominated for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his upcoming novel The Finkler Question.

The book, Mr Jacobson’s 15th, tells the story of three friends as they look back on their lives.

It is the third time the author, known for writing about Jewish characters, has been longlisted for the £50,000 prize, although he has never made the shortlist.

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Cameron says Gaza a "prison camp"

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

David Cameron has harshly criticised the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The Prime Minister, speaking during a visit to Turkey, said: "Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp."

Last month Israel substantially relaxed restrictions on what could be brought into the area.

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Teens gear up for charity cycle

July 26, 2010

Two Jewish teenagers from London have set off on a sponsored cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for impoverished Ukrainian children.

The JFS pupils, deputy head boy Jake Freedman, 17, and former head boy Danny Feuer, 18 will cover more than 1,000 miles during the course of the trip.

The pair, both from Borehamwood, are hoping to raise funds for the Tikvah children’s home in Odessa.

They will be riding up to 95 miles a day, staying in youth hostels along the way.

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Thousands sign Shalit petition

By Jennifer Lipman, July 23, 2010

A petition condemning the continued captivity of Gilad Shalit and calling for government action to secure his return has attracted nearly 6000 signatures.

Conservative MP Lee Scott will take the petition, organised by youth movement FZY, to the House of Commons on Thursday.

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Finkelstein: no 'war of words' with Berkoff

By Jennifer Lipman, July 22, 2010

A dispute involving two high-profile Jewish writers has been cleared up by The Times writer Daniel Finkelstein, who has offered his surrender.

Actor Steven Berkoff had criticised The Times executive editor for comments he complained would make sense only to someone who “came from another planet.”

Mr Finkelstein said he was sorry his column, in which he described many Jewish laws as “inconvenient and hard to explain to outsiders”, had caused upset.

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Methodists: Zionism is legitimate

By Simon Rocker, July 22, 2010

The head of the Methodist Church has held out an olive branch to the Jewish community after its controversial vote on Israel, saying it does not seek to rule Zionism as illegitimate.

The Reverend Alison Tomlin was replying to a sharply-worded letter from Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of the Deputies, who condemned the Church's recently passed policy as "unqualified Israel bashing".

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