UK news

Anti-Israel camp split on ‘Zionist conspiracy’

By Bernard Josephs, May 7, 2009

A split has emerged within the ranks of anti-Israel campaigners after one of Israel’s harshest parliamentary critics, George Galloway, warned his fellow activists that claims that a powerful Zionist lobby is steering the Middle East policies of Western governments could lead to outright antisemitism.

But Lib Dem peer Baroness Tonge reiterated to the JC her belief that there is indeed a Zionist lobby which exercises disproportionate influence.

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Squatters evicted from Swan pub

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2009

A group of Polish squatters have been evicted from a pub owned by a strictly Orthodox Jewish community.

The men had entered the Swan, in Stamford Hill, last month and displayed a notice from the Criminal Law Act explaining their intention to live in the building.

It is believed representatives of the Bobov community, who own the Clapton Common site and hope to turn it into a community centre and synagogue, obtained an interim possession order (IPO) from a county court.

The squatters were then removed last Friday afternoon.

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Miliband's Iran warning

By Leon Symons, April 30, 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has warned that Iran has “one chance” to draw back from the brink of a potential nuclear confrontation.

Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s banquet at Mansion House last week, Mr Miliband made it clear that the potential threat of Iran attaining a nuclear capability still represented the single greatest threat to world peace.

He also called on Europe and the Arab world to give much greater support to the Middle East peace initiative launched by President Obama.

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Scottish union boycott ‘will breach Race Act’

By Marcus Dysch and Stephanie Brickman, April 30, 2009

The Scottish Trade Union Congress has backed a boycott of Israel, claiming the country has breached international law and human rights.

But the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) said the boycott breached the Race Relations Act.

STUC members agreed to recommendations put forward after a two-year investigation by the organisation itself, which included sending a delegation to Israel and the Palestinian territories in March.

It said its action would not target kosher food produced in Israel as it did not want to affect religious observance.

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New labour movement is ‘pro-peace’

By Leon Symons, April 30, 2009

A new international trades union movement committed to work for peace between Israel and Palestine has been launched this week “to challenge the apologists for Hamas and Hizbollah in the labour movement”.

Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (Tulip) has been started by the Community union in Britain, the Australian Workers Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in America.

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Rich Listers prove top givers

By Candice Krieger and Marcus Dysch, April 30, 2009

Five of Britain’s ten richest people are Jewish, according to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

Their performance could prompt the creation of a separate section focusing solely on the country’s wealthiest Jews, according to compiler Philip Beresford. He said it could be produced “at the drop of a hat” for the 2010 edition.

But the economic downturn has seen huge losses to even the biggest fortunes.

Chabad donor and London-based diamond mogul Lev Leviev, who was last year ranked 21st with a wealth of £2.5bn, is not on this year’s list.

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Chief Rabbi invited to Hay Festival

April 30, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is to appear at one of Britain’s top literary festivals next month.

He will discuss the future of Judaism, Jewish life and Israel in the 21st century at the Guardian Hay Festival in Wales, in conversation with BBC presenter Ed Stourton.

This year’s line-up, with Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, and South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has an emphasis on religion.

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Israeli and Arab kids team up — for cricket

By Jenni Frazer, April 30, 2009

Two weeks ago, if you had asked most children in southern Israel what they thought of cricket, the answer would have been a blank stare. But last week, thanks to a joint project by the Israel Cricket Association and the British charity, Cricket for Change, the response was overwhelming. As the old 10CC song had it: “I don’t like cricket. I LOVE it!”

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Kosher caterer bites the dust

By Simon Rocker, April 30, 2009

Kosher caterer Sharett has gone into liquidation after the failure of attempts to keep it afloat.

An order to wind up the north-west London company, which was started by Neal Sharpe and Ruth Synett in 1991, was made at the Insolvency Court on April 16.

In January last year, Sharett entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in order to stay in business and repay creditors more than £200,000.

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Knock, knock: it’s Wizo on the doorstep

By Simon Rocker, April 30, 2009

Wizo UK is to devote its annual Jewish Women’s Week next week to support for countering domestic violence in Israel under the campaign title of “Knock, Knock”.

Andy Epstein, chair of Wizo, said that it was “doubly appropriate as Jewish Women’s Week is the only Home Office authorised door-to-door campaign in the Jewish community.

“The ‘Knock, Knock’ title also refers to the hard knocks people take in life, both physical and mental. The money raised will help to support our projects for women and children suffering from domestic violence in Israel.”

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