UK news

Guttentag and Wolfe will galvanise the grassroots

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

A major conference to galvanise Jewish activists to fight public demonisation of Israel is being planned for Manchester, probably in May.

Joint president of the Zionist Federation, Joy Wolfe, said there was "a growing awareness" across the UK's Jewish leadership of an urgent need for a major tactic change to match the web of far-left activists and groups like the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

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Anti-Israel protesters clash with Israel's top Bedouin diplomat

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2011

University security officers were called to protect the most senior Muslim in the Israeli Foreign Ministry when pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted his appearance at a British campus.

Diplomat Ismail Khaldi, a Galilee Bedouin, had just started to speak at Edinburgh University on Wednesday evening when demonstrators began chanting and surrounded him.

The university’s International Relations Society had earlier pulled out of the event, saying the invitation to Mr Khaldi was “unjust to the Palestinian people who live under an apartheid regime”.

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Islamophobia group loses main sponsors

By Martin Bright, February 4, 2011

Plans to establish an all-party parliamentary group on Islamophobia have been left in disarray after its chair and one of its vice-chairs resigned over an “orchestrated lobbying campaign” from an Islamist group that backs Hamas.

The JC revealed last month that iEngage, a Muslim organisation with a track record of anti-Zionism, had been given the job of acting as the group’s secretariat.

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Seven years prison after violent assault

By Robyn Rosen, February 3, 2011

A Jewish man has been sent to prison for seven years after luring a teenager to a restaurant in Golders Green and repeatedly stabbing him following a feud over a girl.

Jacob Butchoff, 20, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and was handed the sentence in Wood Green Crown Court today.

He was arrested in September last year after he attacked an 18-year-old man at a Chinese restaurant in Golders Green Road.

The victim had begun a relationship with Butchoff’s ex-girlfriend in 2007 which prompted animosity between the two.

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Guardian hits back at 'anti-Israel' claims

By Charlie English - The Guardian, February 3, 2011

A week after publication, the Guardian's revelations about the Palestine papers – published in partnership with Al Jazeera – have been followed up by leading Israeli and Arab news outlets as well as global media organisations such as the BBC and the New York Times.

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Brothel millionaire has to repay £4,000

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 3, 2011

A Jewish man who lived a luxury lifestyle by earning £5 million through a chain of brothels has been ordered to pay back just £4,000, while police will return guns and a ninja knife to him. But his wife must return £250,000, a Manchester court has heard.

Ian Barnett and his wife Michelle, from Prestwich, appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday. The couple were involved in a prostitution enterprise comprising four brothels across Greater Manchester.

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Government fails to act on campus

By Marcus Dysch, February 3, 2011

The government department responsible for universities has admitted having no recent discussions with higher education authorities over campus invitations to hate speakers.

The revelation came in a written response to a parliamentary question tabled by Lord Beecham. He had asked what representations had been made to university authorities about invitations to speakers with a history of promoting antisemitism, Islamophobia or racism on campus.

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Pro-Israel activists lobby MPs

By Marcus Dysch, February 3, 2011

More than 300 pro-Israel activists met their MPs to voice concerns during the Zionist Federation's annual Parliamentary lobby day.

They expressed their fears over rising extremism on campuses and attacks on Christian communities in the Middle East during sessions with parliamentarians last week.

A training session for lobbyists was led by ZF president Eric Moonman and Jacob Vince of Christian Friends of Israel.

Around 100 MPs, including Sir Alan Beith, Louise Ellman, Lee Scott, Theresa Villiers and Luciana Berger, later met constituents for private meetings.

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UK Jews reach out to Arabs

By Jessica Elgot and Simon Rocker, February 3, 2011

Religious, business and community leaders, including two US rabbis, have spent five days in Nazareth forging connections with Arab businesses and charities, in the first trip of its kind organised by the UK Taskforce on Israeli Arab Citizens.

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The Jaffa oranges grown in Spain

By Jessica Elgot, February 3, 2011

Puzzled customers have been wondering why they keep seeing the Jaffa brand in supermarkets, but then discover that the fruit in question is not grown in Israel.

But a JC investigation has established that Jaffa oranges and grapefruits can be sold by Tesco - but the fruit is not necessarily from Israel.

The brand name Jaffa can be used by Tesco on citrus fruits approved by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture when the Israeli fruit is out of season.

But other supermarkets may be using the Jaffa name improperly if the fruits are not Israeli.

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