UK news

Veterans attack comments on Jewish war record

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women reacted angrily this week to comments by an Irish newspaper columnist on the war record of British Jews.

Kevin Myers, claiming in the Irish Independent that Hitler had had no intention of invading Britain, remarked: "Jews - before the creation of Israel - were a very non-martial people. During the war, more British Cohens died as civilians than as soldiers."


Abu Hamza extradition halted

By Robyn Rosen, July 8, 2010

The European Court of Human Rights has halted the extradition of hate preacher Abu Hamza to the US.

The radical Islamist was jailed in 2004 and the British courts approved his extradition in 2007, which he appealed.

While he was on trial, he accused Jews of being “blasphemous, traitors and dirty” and said this is why Hitler was sent into the world.

Today, the European Court of Human Rights ordered a halt to his extradition after he and three other British men complained about the length of sentence they could face in the US.


Amazon to sell kosher groceries

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Online retailer Amazon has entered the kosher food market.

The website, which started by selling books and has since expanded into homeware and other entertainment products, has launched a new service delivering groceries directly to customers.

Among the 22,000 items on sale at the Amazon Grocery Store is a wide selection of kosher products.

Customers can also buy vegan and gluten free foods made by brands including Kraft and Walkers.


Muslim suing Jew 'joked about religion'

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

A Muslim woman suing her former boss for race discrimination had allegedly emailed him Jewish jokes.

Secretary Jasmine Akhtar told a central London employment tribunal that partners at London firm Goodge Law racially abused her and called her a “Paki”.

She is seeking damages for derogatory remarks which she said got worse when she announced her pregnancy.

But Richard Samuel, defending the firm, said partner Michael Greenstein and Ms Akhtar had exchanged “friendly banter” about Mr Greenstein's Jewish background.


Tributes to 7/7 bomb victims

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Relatives of the July 7 London bombing victims are marking the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks.

John Falding, whose Israeli partner Anat Rosenberg was killed on the Number 30 bus, plans to make a now-annual strip to Tavistock Square with a dozen white lilies to pay tribute to her.

Mr Falding said that his life has been on hold since the former charity worker’s death at 39.

He said: “This is my job now, to look after Anat’s memory.”

Ms Rosenberg, who is buried in Jerusalem, was one of a number of Jewish people injured or killed in the bombings.


Jewish actor to play Spiderman

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2010

A Jewish actor will be stepping into Spiderman’s suit, 48 years after the superhero was invented by Jewish artist Stan Lee.

Californian actor Andrew Garfield has won the part of Peter Parker in the fourth film in the Spiderman franchise, replacing Tobey Maguire in the role.

The 26-year-old, who grew up in what he has described as a privileged middle class British Jewish home, has previously appeared in war film Lions for Lambs and the opposite Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. He has also been in three episodes of Doctor Who.


No change for Pope's Kol Nidre speech

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2010

The Speaker of the House of Lords has called for a key parliamentary speech by Pope Benedict XVI to be moved from Yom Kippur eve.

Former Labour MP Baroness Hélène Hayman has appealed to the Foreign Office to move the address from the possible late afternoon slot so that Jewish dignitaries can attend without compromising their religious observance.

It will not take place on Yom Kippur itself but with sunset at just before 7pm a late start will leave little time for Jewish parliamentarians to eat before the 25-hour fast day.


Ex-Bnei Akiva chief, 35, dies of leukaemia

By Jessica Elgot, July 2, 2010

Hundreds of people have posted tribute messages on Facebook for fomer Executive Director of Bnei Akiva and co-founder of the London School of Jewish Studies Marc Weinberg, who has died of leukaemia aged 35.

Mr Weinberg, who leaves his wife Natalie and two young children Yona and Maayan, had been ill for three years and had a bone marrow transplant in April.

Mr Weinberg’s mother was former Executive Director of the Chief Rabbi’s office Syma Weinberg. He was mazkir artzi of Bnei Akiva in the UK. Later, Marc was a founder of the Alei Ziyyon minyan in London.


Two more Brighton activists cleared of factory damage

By Jessica Elgot, July 2, 2010

Two more pro-Palestinian activists who broke into an arms factory in Brighton and caused £180,000 worth of damage have been acquitted after they argued they were trying to prevent war crimes in Gaza.

Elijah Smith, 43, of no known address and Christopher Osmond, 30, of Islington Park Road, Islington were cleared of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

The defendants' solicitor, Lydia Dagostino, said: "We are delighted at the result.

"It sends a clear indication that sometimes direct action is the only option when all other avenues have failed."


Deputy leader of BNP resigns

By Leon Symons, July 2, 2010

The deputy leader of the BNP has resigned in a seeming show of support for embattled leader Nick Griffin.

Simon Darby has used his blog to claim that he has sacrificed himself for the good of the BNP . He also says he hopes to try to head off any internal battles ahead of a leadership election, sparked by the party's poor showing in the general and local elections.

A challenge to Mr Griffin's leadership is being mounted by former elections officer Eddy Butler, with Nick Cass, the former Yorkshire regional organiser, as his running mate.