UK news

Hendon: Election 2010

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

In recent weeks voters in Hendon have been preoccupied more with matzah prices than turnout forecasts and swing percentages.

But they are now likely to find themselves at the forefront of fevered election activity.

Labour's Andrew Dismore, who has held the seat since 1997, faces a critical challenge from Tory Matthew Offord and the Liberal Democrats' Matthew Harris, who is Jewish.

Although the constituency is ranked 73rd on the Tories' list of targets, analysts put it in the top four of the essential 80 seats the party must win to topple Gordon Brown.


How the Jewish vote could swing it

By Martin Bright, April 8, 2010

Such is the peculiar nature of our electoral system that if you happen to live in one of the UK's marginal constituencies, the fate of the nation lies in your hands.

With the 6th May ballot predicted to be one of the closest in living memory, small shifts in the voting pattern in a number of key seats will mean the difference between a workable majority for the two main parties - or a hung Parliament.


Muslims vow to unseat Zionists

By Martin Bright, April 8, 2010

The Muslim organisation that claimed responsibility for unseating "pro-war, pro-Israel" Labour MP Lorna Fitzsimons from her Rochdale constituency at the last election has launched its campaign for the 2010 election.

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which has an openly anti-Zionist agenda, has said it will target MPs and candidates known to support Israel and those they have identified as "Islamophobic". It claims that 82 constituencies now have a Muslim population larger than the incumbent's majority.


Jerusalem Quartet attack 'irrational' disruption

April 8, 2010

The Jerusalem Quartet have called last week's disruption of their London concert "irrational" and "ignorant".

The performance, broadcast live on Radio Three, was taken off air after a few minutes after protesters disrupted the event, attacking the musicians for having served in the IDF.

In a statement, the Quartet said: "It is destructive of our attempts to foster Israel-Arab relations for us to be the subject of demonstrations of the kind we suffered yesterday.


Questions quiz genius Alex Guttenplan didn't want

By Simon Rocker, April 8, 2010

The Daily Mail dubbed him a "pin-up Einstein", the Guardian reviewer hailed him the "Lionel Messi of factual information".

Alex Guttenplan, a 19-year-old natural sciences student at Emmanuel College, Cambridge is the latest star to emerge from University Challenge.

In the final, screened earlier this week, he captained his college to a 315-110 point victory over St John's Oxford - a margin of victory for which "overwhelming" would be an understatement. Alex emerged victorious in an astonishing show of general knowledge, both arts and sciences.


Labour asked to withdraw anti-Zionist MPs

By Martin Bright, April 8, 2010

The Board of Deputies has asked the Labour Party to consider whether two anti-Zionist MPs should be withdrawn as candidates following comments warning voters about the alleged influence of the "Israel lobby" on the UK election.

The unprecedented intervention from the Board follows comments from Martin Linton and Sir Gerald Kaufman last month at a meeting in Parliament held by Friends of Al-Aqsa to discuss Israeli house demolitions.


Linton apologises for ' Israel's tentacles' speech

By Martin Bright, April 2, 2010

One of the Labour Party’s most prominent pro-Palestinian
campaigners has apologised for comments he made in Parliament last month
warning voters of the “long tentacles of Israel” seeking to influence the
forthcoming UK election.

Martin Linton, Labour MP for Battersea, founded Labour
Friends of Palestine and serves as its chair. He said he was sorry for any
offence caused, but was not aware of the anti-Semitic precedents of the image
of a Jewish octopus.


UK 'should prevent arms being used in West Bank'

By Simon Rocker, April 1, 2010

The government should do more to make sure that military components sold by Britain to Israel are not used in the Occupied Territories, a joint parliamentary committee on arms exports has said.

They said it was “regrettable that arms exports to Israel were almost certainly used in Operation Cast Lead” – last year’s campaign against rocket-launchers in Gaza.

“This is in direct contravention to the UK government’s policy that UK arms exports to Israel should not be used in the Occupied Territories,” they said.


Board rejects Sikh attempt to list Jews and Sikhs as ethnicity

By Simon Rocker, April 1, 2010

The Board of Deputies has distanced itself from threatened legal action by a Sikh group to have both communities included as ethnic groups on the next census.

Both Jews and Sikhs are recognised for the voluntary religious question, which was introduced at the last census in 2001.

But whereas both are legally classified as ethnic groups - unlike Hindus or Muslims, recognised only as religious communities - they are not listed in the ethnic category on the census.


Church apologises to rabbi for 'ambush'

By Marcus Dysch, April 1, 2010

A rabbi has received an apology from a church group after the controversial play Seven Jewish Children was performed at the end of a conference discussing Israel and the Palestinians.

Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok was a speaker alongside Palestinian colleague Dawoud El-Alami (they are co-authors of a book on the conflict) at the lecture series The Holy Land: Whose Land Is It? in Ludlow, Shropshire.