UK news

Anger at students' Hitler drinking game

By Robyn Rosen, January 18, 2010

The community has spoken of its outrage after almost 12,000 students joined a Facebook group promoting a drinking game which encourages participants to mock the Holocaust and dress up as Hitler.

Students at Huddersfield University allegedly created Hitler – The Drinking Game, which involves laying out cards in a swastika shape and members impersonating Hitler.


Palestinian attack on JC website

By Richard Burton, managing editor, January 18, 2010

The JC’s website was the subject of an online attack yesterday. Hackers managed to place a message on the home page in support of "Palestinian Mujahaeeds".

The site was immediately suspended while technicians investigated if the site's security had been breached.

Fortunately, they quickly established that no serious breach had taken place and no damage was done. Early indications are that the perpetrator was operating from a computer in Turkey.


Government lifts ban on contact with Muslim Council of Britain

By Stephen Pollard, January 15, 2010

The government has announced that it is lifting its ban on official contact with the Muslim Council of Britain, imposed after the group’s Deputy Secretary General, Daud Abdullah, was revealed to have been a signatory to the Istanbul Declaration, which called for violence against Israel and was widely interpreted as condoning attacks on British troops.

There is speculation that the lifting of the ban is a quid pro quo for next week’s announcement that legislation will be introduced on universal jurisdiction for war crimes.


Mick Green, guitarist for Van Morrison, dies

By Jessica Elgot, January 15, 2010

Rock ‘n’ roll guitarist Mick Green who played with Paul McCartney and Van Morrison has died aged 65.

Mr Green began his career playing with ‘60s band Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. He later played in the band Shanghai, which supported Status Quo on tour in 1976.

During his career he also played with Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney and Van Morrison on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

He played guitar on five tracks of Van Morrison’s album Keep it Simple in 2008.


David Hirsh to speak at UCU seminar

By Leon Symons, January 14, 2010

David Hirsh, who runs the Engage anti-academic boycott website, will be speaking at a one-day seminar on antisemitism organised by the University and College Union next Monday.

Elements of UCU have tried unsuccessfully for the past three years to introduce an academic boycott of Israel and Mr Hirsh, a lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, has been of the union’s harshest critics.


Synagogue links 'don't guarantee school place'

By Simon Rocker, January 14, 2010

Jewish schools have been warned by the body which scrutinises the admissions policies of state schools that there could be problems in accepting pupils according to synagogue membership.

Elizabeth Passmore, the Schools Adjudicator, said that, because shuls charged fees for membership, schools could be breaking the government’s admissions code which banned offering places according to financial means.


Amnesty apologies for Israel 'war crimes' accusation

By Leon Symons, January 14, 2010

Amnesty International has apologised to the co-chairs of the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel after alleging that they had defended “war crimes” committed by Israel.

Steven Jaffe and Terry McCorran had threatened to sue Amnesty’s branch in Northern Ireland unless the allegation was withdrawn. The threat drew a swift and unreserved apology from local director Patrick Corrigan.

In a letter to the Belfast Telegraph last month, Mr Jaffe and Mr McCorran criticised Amnesty’s support of attempts to indict Israeli MKs wanting to visit Britain on war crimes charges.


Tributes for Tribe founder's OBE

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, January 14, 2010

The president of the United Synagogue has paid tribute to predecessor Peter Sheldon, who was made OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Mr Sheldon was recognised for his services to the Jewish community, which include a six-year stint as US president and leading roles in the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce, North West London Eruv Committee and London Beth Din’s Kashrut Division.

He is also chairman of Morasha Jewish Primary School, in Finchley, north west London.


New organisation to tackle race hate on campus

By Marcus Dysch, January 14, 2010

University leaders are to form a group to tackle extremism on campus, four years after the Parliamentary All-Party Inquiry into Antisemitism first recommended such a move.

The Union of Jewish Students and the Community Security Trust welcomed the new working group, but called for higher education institutions to “demonstrate leadership” and drop their previously “sluggish” approach.


Row over definition of Holocaust survivor

By Leon Symons, January 14, 2010

A row has broken out over the meaning of the term Holocaust survivor after an 85-year-old grandmother used it to describe herself when criticising Israeli action against Palestinians.

German-born Hedy Epstein was attacked by a senior figure in the Zionist Federation who dismissed her as a refugee “touted as a trophy survivor” to help vilify Israel.

The row exploded into a heated online exchange and a debate about whether historians had a proper definition of the term.