UK news

Roads closed after student protest

By Marcus Dysch, January 30, 2009

An anti-Israel protestor was arrested after scaling a student centre on Thursday evening.

The incident came as around 50 protestors gathered outside the London Student Centre, in Euston Road, central London, where Colonel Geva Rapp, a retired IDF officer, was due to speak.

Police closed roads and sealed off the area outside Euston Station shortly after the incident began at 6pm.

The man, carrying a “Free Palestine” placard, climbed a wall and walked across a ledge before sitting outside the first floor windows of the student centre.


Law of return under fire at Durban II

By Simon Rocker, January 29, 2009

Jewish groups will face an uphill battle in their efforts to keep anti-Zionism off the agenda of the forthcoming United Nations anti-racism conference.

The latest draft of the resolutions, published this week, contains a proposed new reference to the “racially-based law of return” — the law which grants the right of any Jew to settle in the state of Israel.

Israel and Canada have already pulled out of “Durban II”, the follow-up in April in Geneva to the UN conference in South Africa eight years ago.


Analysis: The antisemitic libel is back again

By Stephen Pollard, January 29, 2009

They may sometimes lie dormant, but antisemitic slurs never go away. Whatever one’s view of the BBC and Sky’s decision not to broadcast the DEC appeal — and there are good arguments on both sides — the most disturbing aspect of the past week has been the readiness of mainstream public figures to adopt the most basic antisemitic themes to explain why they oppose the decision.

It’s The Jews, you see. They run the media. They have the power. They have the control. And it’s about time someone stood up to them.


Rabbis leave faith forum

January 29, 2009

Both Jewish executive members of an interfaith forum which advises Redbridge Council in Essex have resigned after the forum passed a resolution expressing “outrage” at events in the Middle East.

Rabbi Geoffrey Hyman, of Ilford United Synagogue and Rabbi Maurice Michaels of South-West Essex Reform Synagogue announced they were leaving the management committee of the independent Redbridge Faith Forum.

The resolution said that the committee was “outraged by the humanitarian crisis that is taking place in the Holy Land”.


‘Hamas supporter’ speaks at Scottish HMD event

By Stephanie Brickman, January 29, 2009

A Scottish anti-Israel fringe group has held what it claimed was a Holocaust Memorial Day event, with a guest speaker who openly supports Hamas.

The Scottish Palestinian Solidarity campaign hosted two all-day events in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Sunday January 25 entitled Resistance to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing : from Europe in the 1940s to the Middle East Today.

The key speakers were Dr Azam Tamimi, director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought, and Liliane Kaczerginsky, daughter of Yiddish poet Shmerke Kaczerginsky.


Israeli embassy: police seek help in protest inquiry

By Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

Metropolitan Police detectives investigating attacks on police and property during two of the anti-Israel demonstrations at the start of the month have appealed for help in tracing six men.

They are among 40 people who took part in demonstrations in central London on January 3 and 10 whom officers from the Met’s Operation Ute want to interview.


History of Israel on stage in 10 mins

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

A play written in response to the situation in Gaza is to be staged at a London theatre from next week.

Seven Jewish Children – A Play for Gaza, by Caryl Churchill, will run at the Royal Court Theatre from February 6 to 21. With a predominantly Jewish cast, it shows Jewish mothers talking to their children about the Gaza bombing.

Written earlier this month, the play is just 10 minutes long and described by the theatre as “a history of Israel, ending with the bombing of Gaza”.


'No Jewish influence on BBC appeal decision'

By Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

Accusations that Israel had influenced the BBC’s decision not to broadcast an appeal for aid to Gaza were strongly denied this week.

The Board of Deputies said that no-one from the community or Israel had spoken to the BBC or had any contact with it about the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal, which was broadcast on Monday evening by ITV, Channel 4 and Five.

A Board spokesman said: “Of course humanitarian aid is very important. We were called by a BBC journalist seeking comment on this but we made none. But there is no Jewish, Israeli or Zionist influence here.”


Horror email links IDF to Warsaw Nazis

By Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

Holocaust images displayed in a viral email alongside pictures taken during Israel’s military operation in Gaza have been condemned as grossly offensive.

Forty-two Shoah pictures and an equal number depicting what areclaimed to be equivalent scenes from Gaza have been emailed all over the world.

Eric Moonman, president of the Zionist Federation, said: “These pictures are grossly offensive and I am reporting them to the police as a malicious communication.


Brady Maccabi club closure hits Masorti shul

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

One of the country’s oldest Jewish youth clubs is set to close next month, leaving community groups and a Masorti synagogue temporarily homeless.

Staff at the Brady Maccabi centre in Edgware, north west London, were told only last week that the building would close on February 27.

Two administrators and two youth development workers may lose their jobs, and events scheduled for March are likely to be cancelled.

Brady Maccabi was set up more than 100 years ago, and moved to its current premises in 1979.