UK news

BBC uses Charedi picture to illustrate Jews

By Marcus Dysch, October 22, 2009

This is the image which the BBC has been using to illustrate how British Jews cope with grief.

The mocked-up picture ran alongside a feature on the corporation’s website giving practical tips on dealing with bereavement and explaining how different religions conduct funerals.

It was used on the page for months, but has now been replaced with a picture of a candle after the JC asked the corporation to explain why the image had been selected.

A BBC spokesman admitted the scale of its website meant mistakes occur but could offer no further explanation of why the image had been used.


Faith schools criticised for Middle East bias

By Jessica Elgot, October 22, 2009

Muslim schools are likely to use “inflammatory language” and bias when teaching pupils about the Middle East, an Ofsted report has found.

Inspectors visited 51 private faith schools to investigate the spiritual and cultural lessons that the schools provided. They found some schools displayed posters in favour of a certain religious or political group.

They also found that many of the schools used teaching materials which had incorrect information about other religions.


BNP banned from Parliament

October 21, 2009

Following action by John Mann MP and a vote in the House of Commons, MEPs including the BNP’s Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons will be denied Parliamentary passes and access to House of Commons facilities thus putting an end to a 20 year precedent.

Mr Mann’s early day motion was signed by dozens of parliamentary colleagues. It noted that while Euro MPs had traditionally been granted passes to the Houses of Parliament, the reverse was not true for UK MPs trying to access European parliamentary services.


BNP on Question Time: the chaos continues

By Jessica Elgot and Marcus Dysch, October 21, 2009

Last-ditch attempts to block the appearance of BNP leader Nick Griffin on Question Time tomorrow are being launched.

The Young Jewish Political Network will launch a Twitter protest about the appearance of the BNP leader on the BBC’s flagship political programme.

The group is asking followers to twitter the message #NoToTheBNP on the social networking site.

YJPN will also be tweeting messages in the hours leading up to the programme, listing the reasons why the far-right group is not representative of Britain.


Harold Evans slams Goldstone Report

By Simon Rocker, October 20, 2009

One of Britain’s most distinguished journalists has launched a fierce attack on the United Nations inquiry into the Gaza conflict headed by Judge Richard Goldstone.

Sir Harold Evans, editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981, said in today’s Guardian that the judge had been “suckered into lending his good name to a half-baked report…


Stephen Fry apologises to Poland

By Robyn Rosen, October 19, 2009

Comic actor Stephen Fry has apologised for comments he made which implied Poles were to blame for the atrocities at Auschwitz.

Earlier this month, Mr Fry appeared on Channel 4 News to speak about his objection to the Conservative party’s ties with Poland’s Law and Justice party.


Liveblogging the BNP on Question Time

By Jessica Elgot, October 19, 2009

For the first time in the programme’s history BNP leader Nick Griffin will appear on the BBC’s flagship political programme, Question Time on Thursday night.

He will appear alongside playwright Bonnie Greer, Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, Chris Huhne and Conservative peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

The JC’s editor Stephen Pollard and Political Editor Martin Bright will be providing expert commentary and analysis, as it happens, on the by liveblogging Mr Griffin’s appearances on the programme.


Miliband's dinner date with Jewish leaders

By Simon Rocker, October 19, 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband is due to attend a dinner tonight to honour Henry Grunwald, who retired as president of the Board of Deputies and chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council in the spring.

Leading figures in British Jewry will gather at the event at a top London hotel.

It will be Mr Miliband’s first appearance at a Jewish function since he sparked controversy with his attack earlier this month on some of the Conservative party’s East European allies for alleged far-right links.


Bevis Marks Rabbi resigns

By Jessica Elgot, October 19, 2009

The rabbi of Bevis Marks has resigned amid continuing tensions at Britain’s oldest synagogue.

Rabbi Nathan Asmoucha was suspended by leaders of the Spanish and Portugese Jews' Congregation nearly three months ago.

The rabbi, who came from Zimbabwe to the City of London synagogue two years ago, was due to face a disciplinary hearing following his participation in an interfaith demonstration against high bank interest rates, organised by the charity London Citizens.


I feel guilty' says Polish Holocaust artist

By Robyn Rosen, October 15, 2009

A non-Jewish Polish artist who has built the latest installation in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, has spoken of the “guilt” he feels for Poland’s past.

How It Is, by Miroslaw Balka, is a huge steel sculpture, standing 13m high, 10m wide and 30m long.

Reminiscent of a giant shipping container and mounted on supports so that visitors can walk underneath, some have suggested it is similar to a gas chamber.

Mr Balka was born in Warsaw in 1958. Much of his work explores his personal history and the history of Poland, including a focus on the Holocaust.