UK news

Academics pass boycott motion

May 28, 2009

Members of the University and College Union defied a warning from their leadership and passed a motion in support of boycotting Israel at their annual congress in Bournemouth.

They voted to support “the Palestinian call for a boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign”.

But the union’s executive had warned that it would be declared null and void following legal advice that the resolution would be unlawful because “it is likely to be viewed… as a call to boycott Israeli academic institutions”.


The last hurrah

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2009

A group of World War II evacuees who spent the war at the same school will be holding a reunion on September 1 — and it could be the last time they meet.

The group, who were at Dame Alice Owen boys’ school in Islington, were evacuated on September 1, 1939, two days before Britain declared war on Germany.

They were taken to the town of Bedford and Bedford Modern School, where they have held a reunion on that day every decade since 1979.

One of the organisers, David Bernstein, who lives in Croydon, has helped write a book about the group, most of whom are now in their 80s.


London student link to FBI fraud inquiry

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

An American family has warned that British Jews could unknowingly be the victims of an international fraud operation.

Deborah Stutman-Brickey and her husband David, of Columbus, Ohio, were forced to change their bank account after being targeted while attempting to let a student flat near Ohio State University.

Mrs Stutman-Brickey, a chemical engineer, said: “A very elaborate scheme of fraudulent cheques and getting bank routing numbers was launched, causing us many headaches.”


Aussies in London

May 27, 2009

A three-day hearing is due to begin at the London Beth Din on Monday to resolve the contractual dispute between the Bondi Mizrachi Synagogue in Sydney, Australia and its part-time rabbi, Moshe Gutnick.


Students’ congress

May 27, 2009

Jewish and Muslim students will be invited to take part in a global conference on faith and identity in London next year, organised by the Coeducational Trust, a network of Jewish and Muslim leaders.


Welcome visit

May 27, 2009

The Pope’s visit to Israel was “a great contribution to Catholic-Jewish relations”, Rabbi David Rosen, of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, told the Council of Christians and Jews.


Getting the big picture

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

You might not think twice about a name like “Weinberg” among supporters of a new Israel-linked charity.

But Rob Weinberg, trustee of the Friends of the Haifa Foundation UK, is not your average north-west Jewish Londoner: he is in fact a Bahá’í, who grew up in Canterbury.

He was recruited to the charity by Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks — sister-in-law of Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks — who set it up to promote the city as a symbol of multifaith harmony.


MP attacks shechitah in Commons debate

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

An anti-Shechitah MP has again called on the government to ban Jewish religious slaughter.

North West Leicestershire Labour MP David Taylor said the law which exempts shechitah from the practice of pre-stunning animals “cannot be allowed to continue”.

He asked Farming Minister Jane Kennedy to view a film which he said “shows the effects of such slaughter”.

“It cannot be allowed to continue and we must end those exemptions. It is cruel, unacceptable and antediluvian,” he said.

Ms Kennedy said she would watch the film “with a sinking heart”.


Ronson: jury’s eyes said it all

May 27, 2009

The entrepreneur Gerald Ronson has finally spoken about the 20-year-old Guinness shares scandal in a new memoir. Mr Ronson has, until now, refused to discuss any aspect of the case or his conviction.

In Gerald Ronson: Leading From the Front, he accuses Judge Denis Henry, the presiding judge in the case, of “not caring less that our rights as British subjects were being violated. He wanted a conviction...”


Why is intelligence head in London?

May 27, 2009

Mystery surrounds the visit of Israeli Intelligence Services Minister Dan Meridor to Britain yesterday.

He was officially meeting American Middle East envoy George Mitchell, to discuss the dismantling of Israeli settlements and American plans to talk to Iran about its nuclear programme.

However, it is unclear whom else he met, and why the London venue.

Mr Meridor’s office could not immediately explain why the meeting had to be held in Europe rather than in Israel or Washington .