UK news

Ed Miliband's mum Marion Kozak on Israel

By Marcus Dysch, September 28, 2010

The mother of new Labour Party leader Ed Miliband is a long-standing supporter of left-wing pro-Palestinian organisations.

Marion Kozak, 75, who maintained a low profile as Ed defeated his brother David to become leader of the Opposition, is a signatory of the founding statements of both Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV).

Her sons both described themselves as "critical friends" of Israel during a leadership hustings in June. Ms Kozak is a long-standing human rights campaigner and was an early CND activist.


Respect expels 'antisemitic' Tower Hamlets candidate

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

George Galloway’s Respect party apologised after it emerged that one of its national council members had posted “antisemitic” comments about Jews on Facebook – despite campaigning against racism against Muslims.

Abul “Abz” Hussain, who stood unsuccessfully in May to become a Tower Hamlets councillor suggested in one post that a “Jew” should be swapped for aid to Gaza. He has now been expelled from the party.

The former law student at the London School of Economics also joked about chopping off a Jewish person’s peyot (sideburns) and confiscating their kippah.


Ben Uri appeals for missing paintings

By Leon Symons, September 28, 2010

Anglo-Jewry's leading art gallery has launched an appeal to find dozens of paintings by the distinguished Czech-born artist Ludwig Blum.

Next January the Ben Uri Gallery in St John's Wood is presenting the first British retrospective of Blum's work in more than 70 years, curated by Israeli scholar and historian Dalia Manor.

But many of the paintings shown at four exhibitions in London in the 1930s - including the Ben Uri - have not been seen since.


Interview: Michael Gove

By Martin Bright, September 28, 2010

On Israel security:
Its position will be strengthened by doing properly by its neighbours

On faith schools:
They equip people brilliantly for multi-cultural 21st century Britain

On air travel:
I'll follow Tony Blair's example and have a couple of pints first

There was one matter I had been wanting to clear up with Michael Gove for some time. I had heard that the Conservative Party's most consistent and passionate defender of Israel had never travelled to the country itself.


Jewish blockade boat finally sets sail

By Marcus Dysch, September 28, 2010

A boat carrying a group of Jewish pro-Palestinian activists finally set sail for Gaza this week with the aim of breaking Israel's naval blockade.

The boat left a port in Cyprus on Sunday morning and was due to arrive on Tuesday, after the JC went to press.

The vessel was named Irene after Irene Bruegel, the late founder-secretary of Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), one of the groups which helped organise the trip.


Middle East peace process is charade, argue experts

By Marcus Dysch, September 28, 2010

A panel of politicians, foreign affairs analysts and historians has convinced an audience of more than 1,000 people that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is a "charade".

An Intelligence Squared debate in central London last week discussed the impact of settlements, Iran and the international community on the talks.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami led the argument in favour of the motion "the Middle East peace process is a charade", with former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk defending the process.


More MEPs weigh in on Shechita row

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

More influential MEPs have spoken out in favour of "discriminatory" legislation which would lead to the labelling of kosher meat.

The 15 British MEPs who sit on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (Envi) committee, have been approached for their views on amendment 205 to the Provision of Food Information to Consumers legislation. Amendment 205 requires all meat products derived from animals slaughtered by shechitah to be labelled as "meat from slaughter without stunning".


East End succah goes green

By Jessica Elgot, September 28, 2010

Behind the high rises of Tower Hamlets, past the bright lights of Brick Lane, a community of radical Jewish activists, partnered by artists, gardeners, architects and a London mosque, have built a unique succah.

The East London succah - built in the most historically Jewish area of London - is the brainchild of Jewish activism group Jewdas and Heather Ring, a landscape architect who specialises in pop-up shops and temporary structures.


Ladder-fall builder can appeal

By James Brewster, September 28, 2010

A woman who believed she had finally seen the end of a four-year legal wrangle may face a six-figure compensation claim from a polish builder who fell off a ladder while repairing her roof.

In a case a judge said would be "greeted with horror" by homeowners, Nadia Isaacs is being challenged for damages by Tomasz Kmiecic, 31, who fell at her Hamstead, north London, home in 2006.

He blamed her exacting standards of cleanliness for his fall because she refused to let him walk on her white carpets to gain access via her son's bedroom window.


Ex-Islamist takes war on hate to USA

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

Ed Husain, the Muslim co-founder of a British counter-extremism organisation, is to take the "battle of ideas" to America.

Mr Husain, 34, who set up the Quilliam think tank in 2007, will leave the organisation this November to become a senior fellow at the US Council for Foreign Relations (CFR).

He is also planning to take on an academic role at an American university and work on a follow-up book to The Islamist.