UK news

Amnesty Gaza report has 'systematic bias'

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

Amnesty International’s Middle East director has denied the charity has an anti-Israel agenda and said it works equally to protect citizens of the Jewish state and their Palestinian neighbours.

The organisation’s latest report on Israel and the Palestinians examines attempts to rebuild life in Gaza following last year’s conflict.

Published on Monday to coincide with the first anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Suffocating: The Gaza Strip Under Israeli Blockade calls on Israeli authorities to allow fuel, food, building materials and other essential goods into Gaza unrestricted.


Orthodox confront Neturei Karta sect

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2010

Police were called to a two-hour stand-off between Neturei Karta followers and a counter-demonstration of Orthodox Jews outside a Manchester hotel on Tuesday night.

Around 30 men from the anti-Zionist fringe Chasidic sect held placards decrying Israel and aliyah outside the Fairways Lodge hotel in Prestwich.


Brown concern over Hamas campus talk

By Leon Symons, January 21, 2010

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Universities Minister, David Lammy, expressed concern this week as it emerged that Birmingham University was refusing to ban a speaker who has advocated suicide bombing, supports Hizbollah and is widely known as Hamas’s representative in the UK.

Labour MP Denis MacShane, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, protested to the university’s vice-chancellor Prof David Eastwood about the appearance of Dr Azzam Tamimi, who told BBC TV he would be happy to be a suicide bomber.


Jewish leaders attack Muslim Council 'deal'

By Martin Bright, January 21, 2010

Senior Jewish leaders have attacked the decision to restore relations between the government and the Muslim Council of Britain.

In a strongly-worded letter to John Denham, the Communities Secretary, the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council expressed their “deep regret” at his announcement last Friday bringing the MCB in from the cold after asking and receiving assurances of its opposition to all forms of racism, including antisemitism.


British brothers role in Haitian rescue

January 21, 2010

Two brothers, originally from London, are playing very different roles in the Haitian tragedy.

Dr Ian Miskin, 53, is a lieutenant-colonel in the IDF reserves and was deployed a week ago to Haiti because it was thought that his expertise in treating infectious diseases — he is one of Israel’s foremost specialists in the subject — would be vital in the aftermath of the disaster. He, like the other Israeli medics, has been working long and arduous hours in Port-au-Prince treating the hundreds of Haitian wounded.


Col Tim Collins: Hamas 'committing war crimes'

By Jessica Elgot, January 20, 2010

Gulf War veteran Colonel Tim Collins has told the BBC that he believes Hamas is committing war crimes.

Col Collins, who grew up in Belfast during the Troubles, visited the town of Sderot in Israel and Gaza in a programme for BBC Newsnight, to give a soldier’s view of the Middle East conflict.

He was shown around Sderot bomb shelters and the police station, where he inspected a rocket from Gaza and pronounced it to be an indiscriminate weapon.

He said: “From growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, I can sympathise with the people of Sderot, this is just no way to live.”


Amy Winehouse guilty of pantomime assault

By Jessica Elgot, January 20, 2010

Amy Winehouse has been spared jail after pleading guilty to assaulting a theatre manager during a pantomime.

The singer pulled the hair of Richard Pound, manager of Milton Keynes Theatre after he suggested she had too much to drink during a performance of Cinderella.

Ms Winehouse, 26, admitted she had been drunk when she called Mr Pound, 27, a “f****** c***” and pulled his hair.

At Milton Keynes magistrates court, Ms Winehouse pleaded guilty to one charge of common assault and one of disorderly behaviour.


British POW joins Holocaust Memorial Day

By Jessica Elgot, January 20, 2010

The British prisoner of war who helped save the life of an Auschwitz prisoner will join survivors for a memorial service on Holocaust Memorial Day.

Denis Avey, 91, was a prisoner of war in Auschwitz who swapped places with a Jewish inmate. He met Ernst Lobethall, smuggling him cigarettes and bartering to repair his shoes to improve his chances of surviving the harsh winter and death marches.

In 1996, Mr Lobethall told the Shoah Foundation that he credited a British POW with saving his life, who he knew only as “Ginger”. He died in 2002, never meeting Mr Avey again.


Police to probe JC website attack

By Jessica Elgot, January 18, 2010

Police are investigating attempts to compromise the JC website after an attack by a pro-Palestinian hacker.

The site was suspended on Sunday evening after a message was posted on the home page in support of "Palestinian Mujahaeeds".

The perpetrator was believed to have been operating from a computer in Turkey, a country which was involved in a diplomatic row with israel.

No damage was done to the company’s internet operation and the message was removed when the site was briefly suspended from public view.


Stalker jailed for four months

By Marcus Dysch, January 18, 2010

A “socially inadequate loner”, who stalked a young mother for more than five years, has been jailed.

Elliot Fogel, 34, was given a four-month sentence after he admitted breaching a restraining order which banned him from any contact with Claire Waxman.

He had stored material on his computer including around 40,000 Google searches of Mrs Waxman’s name, a satellite image of her home, and her wedding picture.