UK news

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.


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.