UK news

Protesters acquitted of Jerusalem Quartet 'abuse'

By Stephanie Brickman, April 12, 2010

A Scottish sheriff has thrown out a case against five Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign protesters who disrupted a concert by an Israeli classical ensemble.

Five people, Michael Napier, Neil Forbes, Sophia McLeod, Kevin Conner and Vanessa Fuertes, had been arrested after disrupting a performance by the Jerusalem Quartet during the Edinburgh Festival in August, 2008.

They shouted: “These are Israeli army musicians. Genocide in Gaza. End the siege of Gaza. End genocide in Gaza.”


Death threats silence Independence Day singer

April 9, 2010

The woman who sang for Israel at the last Eurovision Song Contest, has pulled out of the ZF Israel Independence Day Concert in London following death threats.

Mira Awad, is an Arab-Israeli and one half of a duo with Achinoam Nini, otherwise known as NOA, with whom she performs to sell-out internationally audiences, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.


Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren dies

April 9, 2010

Jewish punk pioneer Malcolm McLaren has died in a Swiss hospital where he was being treated for cancer.

McLaren, 64, who launched the Sex Pistols in the late seventies, was born to Scottish-Jewish parents but raised by his maternal grandmother, Rose Isaacs, a diamond dealer's daughter, in Stoke Newington's Sephardi community. He once told the JC one of his fondest memories was reading the paper at her home on Friday nights.

His mother remarried and later, she and her new husband Martin Levi, ran a shmatte factory in London's East End called Eve Edwards London Limited.


Alex Salmond calls for Israel trade rethink

By Robyn Rosen, April 8, 2010

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has called for legal action and a review of trading relationships with Israel after David Miliband announced that Britain formally blamed the country for cloning UK passports during the Dubai operation.

Mr Salmond replied to a question on BBC's Question Time last week, about the decision by the Foreign Secretary to expel an Israeli diplomat. The expulsion followed an investigation into the cloning of up to 15 British passports, in the operation leading to the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai in January.


MPs urge Home Office to free embassy-protest mob

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

Supporters of pro-Palestinian demonstrators jailed after violent protests outside the Israeli embassy last year have stepped up their campaign against the sentences.

A small group of Stop the War Coalition members protested outside the Home Office last week, demanding that the remaining charges against defendants be dropped.

MPs George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, accompanied by representatives from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and British Muslim Initiative, delivered a 1,200-name petition.


Azzam Tamimi hit by student backlash

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

A Christian group has withdrawn an invitation to Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi following complaints from the European Union of Jewish Students.

Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, had been due to speak at a World Student Christian Federation interfaith conference in Berlin next week.

But the federation withdrew its invitation after the EUJS highlighted his track record of inflammatory speeches to students.


Hendon: Election 2010

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

In recent weeks voters in Hendon have been preoccupied more with matzah prices than turnout forecasts and swing percentages.

But they are now likely to find themselves at the forefront of fevered election activity.

Labour's Andrew Dismore, who has held the seat since 1997, faces a critical challenge from Tory Matthew Offord and the Liberal Democrats' Matthew Harris, who is Jewish.

Although the constituency is ranked 73rd on the Tories' list of targets, analysts put it in the top four of the essential 80 seats the party must win to topple Gordon Brown.


How the Jewish vote could swing it

By Martin Bright, April 8, 2010

Such is the peculiar nature of our electoral system that if you happen to live in one of the UK's marginal constituencies, the fate of the nation lies in your hands.

With the 6th May ballot predicted to be one of the closest in living memory, small shifts in the voting pattern in a number of key seats will mean the difference between a workable majority for the two main parties - or a hung Parliament.


Muslims vow to unseat Zionists

By Martin Bright, April 8, 2010

The Muslim organisation that claimed responsibility for unseating "pro-war, pro-Israel" Labour MP Lorna Fitzsimons from her Rochdale constituency at the last election has launched its campaign for the 2010 election.

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which has an openly anti-Zionist agenda, has said it will target MPs and candidates known to support Israel and those they have identified as "Islamophobic". It claims that 82 constituencies now have a Muslim population larger than the incumbent's majority.


Jerusalem Quartet attack 'irrational' disruption

April 8, 2010

The Jerusalem Quartet have called last week's disruption of their London concert "irrational" and "ignorant".

The performance, broadcast live on Radio Three, was taken off air after a few minutes after protesters disrupted the event, attacking the musicians for having served in the IDF.

In a statement, the Quartet said: "It is destructive of our attempts to foster Israel-Arab relations for us to be the subject of demonstrations of the kind we suffered yesterday.