UK news

Pears Insistute appoints director

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

Professor David Feldman has been appointed director of Britain's first academic institute dealing solely with antisemitism.

Prof Feldman, 53, lectures in the School of Social Sciences at Birkbeck College, where the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, set up with a £1.5 million grant from the Pears Foundation, will be based.

Prof Feldman, a Londoner, joined Birkbeck in 1993 as a history lecturer and became a reader in 2000. He has also taught at the University of Michigan, Christ's College, Cambridge and at Bristol University.


Milkman hatched plan to overthrow 'Jewish government'

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

A milkman who wanted to overthrow the government because he believed it had been taken over by Jews, pledged to "die fighting" for his cause, a court heard

Nicky Davison, 19, is accused at Newcastle Crown Court of being a co-founder of Aryan Strike Force, an on-line extremist neo-Nazi group.

His father Ian Davison, 41, a disc jockey, earlier admitted six charges, including terrorism and producing a chemical weapon. He was discovered in possession of ricin, which can prove fatal.


TUC push to escalate Israel boycott

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

A concerted effort to push the Trades Union Congress into a full boycott of all Israeli goods has been stepped up after the launch of a boycott of Israeli settlement produce.

Hugh Lanning, deputy general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union and chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, has increased the pressure on the TUC by saying that the Palestinian support group wants to "work to take TUC policy further, together with individual unions, many of which already have a policy supporting a full boycott".


ASA urged to reverse ban on Western Wall adverts

By Simon Rocker, April 22, 2010

The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) is being urged to appeal against a ban on a holiday advert which described Judaism's holiest monument, the Western Wall, as part of Israel - after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complainant's claim that it was actually in the Occupied Territories.

The Board of Deputies said it was strongly pressing IGTO to contest last week's decision by the ASA.


Luciana Berger gets poll boost in Liverpool

April 22, 2010

Liverpool Wavertree Labour candidate Luciana Berger has won new support. The parents of once-jailed football fan Michael Shields have urged people to vote for her after a Lib Dem leaflet carrying their son's picture was distributed - they claimed - without permission.

Michael Shields, a Liverpool football fan, was tried and jailed for 15 years in Bulgaria in 2006 over an assault which he denied. His parents launched a successful campaign to free him, supported by local MP Louise Ellman and city councillor Joe Anderson.


Board of Deputies release election pack

April 22, 2010

The Board of Deputies has issued an election pack for deputies to quiz candidates.

It contains 18 sample questions on five areas: Israel, antisemitism, and racism, education, community cohesion and kosher food.

Devised by Board joint vice-president Jerry Lewis, it asks whether candidates are opposed to boycotts of Israel and to the recognition of Hamas and Hizbollah and if they favour a change in the law to prevent the arrest of visiting Israeli politicians.


Michael Gove: Security funding for Jewish schools

April 22, 2010

Jewish schools will have security funded by the government if the Tories win the election, Michael Gove promised this week.

Speaking at Moriah Jewish Day School in Pinner, Middlesex, Mr Gove, currently the Shadow Education Minister, said: "I visit lots of faith schools, and they have a wonderful ethos, and produce children with great values. But Church of England and Roman Catholic schools are different. They do not need the security Jewish schools need.


Finchley and Golders Green: Election 2010

By Marcus Dysch, April 22, 2010

When the bookies have you listed at odds as short as 1/20 it must be difficult to keep your mind on the job of attempting to enter the Commons.

But Mike Freer, the Tory former Barnet Council leader turned woud-be MP, is fully focused on securing the constituency with the highest proportion of Jewish voters in the country - Finchley and Golders Green.

Departing Labour MP Rudi Vis leaves Labour's new candidate, Alison Moore, with a majority of just 741 to defend.


Cheadle: Election 2010

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010

A Liberal Democrat MP has been criticised by Jewish constituents for courting Muslim voters by means of an anti-Israel letter which he sent to constituents who had Asian-sounding names.

Mark Hunter (right), who holds the seat in Cheadle, south Manchester, was confronted over the issue on Saturday in front of 300 Yeshurun Synagogue congregants, at hustings as part of the shul's Yom Ha'atzmaut Shabbaton. In the letter Mr Hunter had called for "an end to the blood-letting in Gaza", the end of UK arms sales to Israel, and an EU trading agreement boycott.


East Renfrewshire: Election 2010

By Stephanie Brickman, April 22, 2010

The BNP's Gary Raikes has pulled out of the running for Renfrewshire East. According to a BNP spokesperson they have decided instead to concentrate on several seats in Aberdeenshire, Raikes's home turf.

The news was welcomed by community leaders such as Glasgow Jewish Representative Council President Philip Mendelsohn, who said: "I'm glad to hear that the BNP have withdrawn their candidate from the seat as it was clearly targeted at a constituency which has both a high Jewish and Muslim component. It was designed to be divisive in what is a very cohesive community."