UK news

Muslim hate preacher to appeal UK ban

By Robyn Rosen, June 24, 2010

Zakir Naik, the Muslim preacher who has been banned to enter the UK by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, plans to challenge the order.

Ms May announced last week that Dr Naik, who was to start a speaking tour of Britain, was “not conducive to the public good”.

Some of his remarks have led to him being called a “hatemonger” by Monmouth Tory MP David Davies.


Irish song will plead for Gilad Shalit

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

The leader of a Northern Ireland Messianic congregation has written a song to mark today's fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

Jim Clint said he composed Song for Gilad (Take a Little Time) to remind the captured Israeli soldier's family that he has not been forgotten, and to also hit back at "media bias against Israel".

It includes the lyrics: "Let us stand together with our voices as one/ Crying out for freedom for this special son/ We cannot be silent nor turn away/ So take a little time to pray... for Gilad."


Interview: Gerald Steinberg

By Nathan Jeffay, June 24, 2010

Gerald Steinberg is on the offensive. The Israeli politics professor will visit London next week to urge action by British Jews against the "demonisation" of Israel by well-respected charities.

Dr Steinberg, chair of political science at Bar Ilan University, is touring London, and plans to face his audiences with a stark message.

"Britain in general and London in particular are the centre of the demonisation process against Israel which is taking place," he said.


Religious code for doctors

By Simon Rocker, June 24, 2010

Doctors should be sensitive to the religious needs of terminally ill patients and their families, according to new guidelines issued by the General Medical Council, the regulatory body for the medical profession.

The guidelines, which take effect on Thursday, say patients may want to discuss what happens to their body after death, in accordance with their beliefs and values. "You must treat the patient's body with dignity and respect," they state. "You should make sure, wherever possible, that the body is handled in line with their personal religious or other beliefs."


Court stops solicitor publishing report on BBC Middle East bias

By Simon Rocker, June 24, 2010

Steven Sugar, the London solicitor battling to force the BBC to release a report into its Middle East coverage, says his latest legal defeat does not spell the end of his campaign.

On Wednesday, the Appeal Court rejected his latest call for the 2004 Balen Report to be made available.

Mr Sugar, who first applied to the Information Commissioner early in 2005 and has since fought several court actions, described the decision as "very disappointing. It's a very unbalanced judgment".


CST slam EDL after march attack

By Robyn Rosen, June 24, 2010

The Community Security Trust has said that the English Defence League should be shunned after a march in east London ended when a gang of youths attacked police officers.

According to organisers Unite Against Fascism (UAF), around 5,000 people turned up for the march as a response to a planned protest by the EDL, which was later cancelled.

Protesters chanted, "EDL, Nazi scum", during the march on Sunday.


Charedim hard hit by budget

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

The spending cuts announced in the budget contain "very bleak news" that could lead to misery for the Charedi community, the country's largest Jewish housing association has warned.

Chancellor George Osborne's announcement of a freeze on child benefits and cuts to housing benefit have been met with serious concern by the Agudas Israel Housing Association.

Families on housing benefit will receive a maximum of £400 a week for properties with more than three bedrooms as the government attempts to save £1.8 billion by the end of this parliament.


Jewish art museum's crucifix exhibition

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

Supporters of the London Jewish Museum of Art have reacted furiously to a new exhibition which addresses the Crucifixion.

The Cross Purposes – Shock and Contemplation in images of the Crucifixion show traces artistic representations of the Crucifixion, from solely Christian interpretations to modern-day images.

Among the artwork on display at the museum's St John's Wood gallery are depictions of Christ on the cross by Tracey Emin, Graham Sutherland and Duncan Grant.

More than 300 people attended the official opening on Tuesday night.


Police probe 'threat' posters

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

Police are investigating pro-Palestinian posters put up in a small Sussex town after a Jewish resident complained they were "threatening".

The posters in Barnham, West Sussex, were put up by two groups calling themselves "The UK Friends of Palestine and Israel" and the "Free Gaza Movement".

They call for a boycott of Israel and urge support for "the orphans of the Gaza massacre". There are also "Wanted" posters which accuse Israeli politicians of war crimes, including Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, which have also been seen in the town.


Councillors urged to act over Bury Nazis

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Jewish leaders have called on Bury councillors to "stop sitting on the fence" after a muted response to communal outrage over men dressed in Nazi regalia at a public event three weeks ago.

Since the event, it has emerged that 20 men wore swastikas and SS insignia at the East Lancashire Railway wartime re-enactment. One man posed as Nazi war-criminal Hermann Goering, while photographs have confirmed some men wearing up to five pieces of Nazi insignia and a jeep draped in a large Nazi flag, which flout rules set by the organisers banning such displays.