UK news

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 .


Award win puts artist in the Frieze frame

By Julia Weiner, May 27, 2009

Jordan Wolfson, a Jewish American artist, has won the 2009 Cartier Award. Mr Wolfson, 28, who is represented by galleries in Berlin, Naples and New York, is a conceptual artist whose recent work focuses on film and video.

The award is considered one of the most important in the world and will allow Mr Wolfson to create a major new work at Frieze Art Fair, the UK’s largest art fair which takes place at London’s Regents Park in October.

The award funds production costs of up to £10,000, an artist’s fee of £1,000, and a three-month residency in London.


Ban on ‘Territories’ Tube posters

By Jan Shure, May 27, 2009

The Israel Government Tourist Office is to remove a series of holiday posters from London Underground stations following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.

The complaint was about a map featured in the poster which showed the Occupied Territories incorporated into Israel.

As we reported last week, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign complained about the posters, part of the £40,000 IGTO Think.Israel campaign.

The ASA is to investigate the complaint, and expects to have an adjudication within the next few weeks. I


Torture-row doctors stick the knife in

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2009

The Israeli president of the World Medical Association has attacked critics who have called for his dismissal over allegations that Israeli doctors have been involved in or condoned the torture of Palestinians.


Anti-BNP alliance now in final push

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2009

The groups battling to prevent the British National Party gaining a seat in the European elections on June 4 will launch their final offensive this week.

The Board of Deputies-backed Your Voice Not Theirs initiative, the Hope Not Hate campaign and the anti-Fascist magazine Searchlight will be putting all their efforts into getting voters out to polling stations.


Edinburgh film woman hits back

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

The Israeli film director at the centre of an argument over film festival funding has hit back at anti-Israel campaigners.

Tali Shalom Ezer said she was “outraged” at comments made by controversial director Ken Loach, in which he claimed Israel had conducted “massacres and state terrorism in Gaza”.

Following Mr Loach’s remarks, organisers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival rejected a £300 donation from the Israeli Embassy.

The money was to be used to fly Ms Shalom Ezer to Scotland for the screening of her debut film, Surrogate.


Still no cash for tribunal winner

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

A former employee of an Orthodox charity is owed thousands in compensation, months after winning an unfair dismissal claim against it.

Geraldine Fainer was awarded more than £17,000 by Watford Employment Tribunal in December after losing her job at The Clubhouse, a charity which supports Orthodox youngsters and their families in London.

But a spokesman for the organisation said that it had gone into liquidation last month.

Last Friday, Barnet County Court ordered to be paid to Ms Fainer £6,500 which had been previously frozen in two of the charity’s bank accounts.