UK news

Olympics countdown: UK envoy tells Knesset door is open

By Jessica Elgot, July 28, 2011

With one year to go before the London 2012 Olympics, British ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould has extended an open invitation to Britain to Israeli athletes, students, sports fans and business people, calling the UK "a natural partner for Israel".

During a speech at the Knesset on Wednesday, Mr Gould said that Israelis would be welcome in the UK, both for the Olympic Games and after.

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Spin doctors get a surgery

By Robyn Rosen, July 28, 2011

Campaigners are being given lessons in combating anti-Israel rhetoric in the media.

Around 30 people took part in the Zionist Federation's Writing Course for Israel Advocates in London on Sunday where they learnt about writing letters to the editor, effective blogging and how to respond on forums, Facebook and Twitter.

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Volunteers join forces to stand behind Israel

By Marcus Dysch, July 28, 2011

Grassroots supporters of Israel are rallying to defend the country from the "assault on its legitimacy" in Britain, according to the man tasked with co-ordinating a new advocacy project.

Steven Jaffe said community groups were now increasingly running their own letter-writing campaigns, sharing successful ideas, and co-ordinating media appearances.

After May's We Believe in Israel conference

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Lush: Saudia Arabia gets under our skin

By Jessica Elgot, July 28, 2011

Skincare company Lush says concerns about the lack of a "mixed" workforce would prevent it opening a store in Israel - but it operates stores in Saudi Arabia.

And this week the company, which has just opened a new store in Brent Cross, north-west London, defended its decision to promote a pro-Palestinian song on its website.

Customers have been challenging staff in the Lush store in Brent Cr

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Mayor's hi-tech hopes

By Robyn Rosen, July 28, 2011

The Lord Mayor of London has said that the capital is a "natural home for Israeli companies" after returning from leading a business delegation to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Michael Bear, a member of New North London Synagogue, visited Israel earlier this month to promote UK-based financial and professional services and to explore opportunities in the OPT.

He met Israel

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Gap year applicants almost halved in 2011

By Simon Rocker, July 28, 2011

The number of British participants on gap year schemes in Israel has dramatically dived as 18-year-olds try to beat the rise in university tuition fees.

According to the UJIA, just 57 people have signed up to go out to Israel on gap programmes this autumn, compared with 162 last year.

The number going to yeshivah or seminary in Israel also looks set to drop, currently standing at an estimate

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NUS fails to reverse its anti-Israel policy

By Marcus Dysch, July 28, 2011

The new president of the National Union of Students has rejected the opportunity to repeal the union's new anti-Israel policy, despite previously indicating he would act on Jewish students' concerns.

Liam Burns, who took over the presidency this month, had offered assurances that the measures would be diluted or overturned at the first national executive council meeting under his leadership.

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Amy Winehouse: To others she was known as Mummy

By Chas Newkey-Burden, July 28, 2011

Amy Winehouse was called many things during her short, eventful life: a genius, a junkie, a diva, even a hooligan.

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Amy Winehouse: a frail little girl on course of self destruction

By Robyn Rosen, July 28, 2011

The rabbi who conducted Amy Winehouse's funeral service spoke for the first time this week of the trauma for her parents who lost their singer-sognwriter daughter.

Former Finchley Progressive Synagogue minister Rabbi Frank Hellner was asked to conduct the funeral service after a friend of Amy's father, who works with the rabbi's wife at Hendon Reform Synagogue, suggested him.

"I was quite s

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MPs meet Hamas in Gaza City

By Marcus Dysch, July 28, 2011

The leaders of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parliamentary parties have met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah during a visit to Gaza.

Parliamentary Labour Party chair Tony Lloyd MP and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party chair Lorely Burt MP met Hamas officials on Sunday.

The pair were part of a delegation of 12 British parliamentarians, including one Green Party MEP and a number of Scottish MP

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