UK news

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.


IDF taught British Army vital lessons

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

The former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan has praised the Israeli army and said the British Army has learnt important lessons from it.

Retired Colonel Richard Kemp said some policies by the British Army have been formed "as a direct result" of consultation with its Israeli counterpart.

Speaking at an event held by the Zionist Federation, Colonel Kemp made his comments as royal sculptor Frances Segelman completed a bust of him at a fundraising event for BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Servicemen Association) and the Shalom Foundation, a children's charity.


Oona backs Ken for mayor to regain our trust

September 28, 2010

Former MP Oona King has pledged her support for Ken Livingstone in his fight to win back the London mayoralty after he soundly beat her for the Labour candidacy to take on Boris Johnson.

Mr Livingstone, whose two previous terms as mayor saw him open a rift with the Jewish community, will challenge the Tory incumbent in 2012.

Ms King lost her Bethnal Green and Bow parliamentary seat to George Galloway, following an acrimonious campaign in 2005.

Since then she had worked as a Downing Street adviser to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.


Desmond Tutu urges boycott of Ben-Gurion University

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged Johannesburg University to end its partnership agreement with Israel's Ben-Gurion University.

On Friday, more than 200 of South Africa's leading academics and writers published a statement supporting the termination on the grounds of BGU's "direct collaboration and involvement with the Israeli military and occupation".