UK news

Good times over as JNF seeks cash from Iceland

By Simon Rocker, November 5, 2009

The UK’s third biggest fundraising Jewish charity retains hopes of eventually recovering £375,000 that was caught up in the Icelandic banking crisis.

JNF UK deposited the money with a UK subsidiary of Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank, Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander, which went into administration last year.

Samuel Hayek, JNF chairman, said: “We have had confirmation from the administrators that at least 60-75 per cent will be recovered. But we are hopeful that all the money will be recovered.”

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JNF to plant 25,000 trees in Chief Rabbi's honour

November 5, 2009

British JNF will mark the Chief Rabbi’s peerage by planting a forest of 25,000 trees in Jerusalem in Lord Sacks’s name, it announced this week.

Members of the Jewish community in Britain and the Commonwealth can participate either by buying a single tree for £10 or as many trees as they wish, in order to pay tribute to the Chief Rabbi.

The name of every donor will be inscribed in a specially designed hand-written megillah, a copy of which will be presented to the Chief Rabbi at a dedication ceremony in Israel next February.

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Cherie Blair launches £200k Galilee school project

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Cherie Blair visited Israel this week and opened a study course for women in Galilee.

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women has donated £200,000 to support an economics and management programme for Jewish and Arab students at the Western Galilee College, in Acre.

The course is being taken by 22 students from Jewish, Muslim, Druze and Christian backgrounds.It offers computer workshops and internships in Israeli and international companies.

The former Prime Minister’s wife visited the college, which is also supported by the UJIA, on Wednesday.

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Analysis: On Goldstone, UN plays semantics

By Martin Bright, November 5, 2009

So in the end it all hinged on semantics. As the 192-nation UN General Assembly met on Wednesday to debate the Goldstone Report on the Gaza war, the central issue for the UK government was whether the resolution under discussion was to be “welcomed”, “endorsed” or “noted”.

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BNP praises Israel minister on foreigners

By Martin Bright and Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2009

The British National Party has leapt on comments by Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, to suggest that the extreme-right party shares a common immigration policy with Israel.

Mr Yishai claimed that foreign workers brought diseases into Israel and that their presence threatened the Jewish and Zionist identity of the state.

He also attacked cabinet colleagues who were in favour of allowing the children of illegal foreign workers to remain in Israel.

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'Hardcore' Islamist gets top anti-terror post at Home Office

By Martin Bright, November 5, 2009

A “hardcore” Islamist has been given a key Home Office job to tackle terrorism and divert fellow Muslims from the path of violence.

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BBC says: we must give voice to Hamas

By Leon Symons, November 5, 2009

The BBC Trust has said that the terror organisation Hamas “should be treated fairly and a right of reply conferred where appropriate”.

The response was revealed after the Trust rejected a complaint from solicitor Andrew White, who runs a pro-Israeli website, beyondimages.info.

He had complained originally that a website article about a BBC Panorama programme on Gaza gave a “very skewed” view of Hamas, airbrushing out much of its violent actions against Israel and Palestinians in Gaza.

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Jewish community attacks government on Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, November 5, 2009

The UK Jewish community has explicitly criticised Britain’s position on the Goldstone Report, in an unprecedented move.

In a joint statement issued by the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies, British Jews expressed their dismay over the lack of action by the British government regarding the report, which is being debated at the UN General Assembly today.

Their statement demanded nothing less than a ‘No’ vote by Britain at the UN, calling the report “a sustained political attack upon Israel”.

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Peep Show's David Mitchell in Anne Frank row

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

Peep Show star David Mitchell has drawn complaints to the BBC after a joke he made about Anne Frank.

Mr Mitchell told a joke on his new Radio 4 show, The Unbelievable Truth, where he said: “There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that the last line in Anne Frank’s diary reads: ‘Today is my birthday and my dad bought me a drum kit.’”

Almost 50 complaints were received by the BBC about the “insensitive” nature of the joke.

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Alan Sugar: Small business are 'moaners'

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

Alan Sugar has faced calls for his resignation as government enterprise 'tsar' over derogatory comments he made at a conference about small businesses, callling them "moaners".

Lord Sugar, who is the star of the BBC's The Apprentice, came under fire from the Federation of Small Businesses Liberal Democrats after the comments, made at a conference in Manchester for small to medium businesses.

He allegedly told the delegates: "I can honestly say a lot of problems you hear from people who are moaning [about the recession] are from companies I wouldn't lend a penny to.

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