UK news

Israeli films win prizes at London Film Festival

By Jessica Elgot, October 29, 2009

Two Israeli films have won top prizes at the London film festival

Israeli director Yoav Shamir has won the Grierson prize for documentary for his film Defamation, which looks at antisemitism around the world.

The Sutherland award for the best first feature film went to Ajami, a film set in Jaffa in a mixed Jewish and Arab neighbourhood. It was directed by Palestinian Scandar Copti and Israeli Yaron Shani.

The film has also been placed on the short list of nominees for the 2010 Academy Awards.

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Jenny Tonge lashed over fascist link

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2009

An anti-fascist group has demanded that Baroness Tonge withdraws from a pro-Palestinian conference in December which is also due to be addressed by a far-right Hungarian Euro-MP.

The ‘Nothing British About the BNP’ group challenged the Liberal Democrat peer over the planned participation of Kristina Morvai, leader of the nationalist Jobbik party in the European Parliament.

But Nasim Ahmed, researcher for the Palestinian Return Centre, denied that Mrs Morvai was “among invited guests” and said it deplored her “extremist” party.

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Poll: BNP leader Nick Griffin 'lied' over Holocaust

By Barry Toberman, October 29, 2009

More than two in three Britons believe Nick Griffin is a Holocaust denier despite the BNP leader’s claim to the contrary during his controversial Question Time appearance.

In a poll conducted exclusively for the JC by YouGov this week, 1,409 adults were asked if they were convinced by Griffin’s belated acceptance of the Holocaust. Sixty-nine per cent responded that “Griffin is still at heart a Holocaust denier and only pretends to have changed his views to make the BNP appear more moderate”.

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Machete gang who targeted Jews rearrested

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 28, 2009

Convicted members of a machete gang which violently targeted a Jewish family and business in a string of robberies in Manchester have been re-arrested after being released early from prison.

Greater Manchester Police admitted to losing track of two gang members, both men and aged 20 and 21, on Tuesday after then pair breached their release terms. They were arrested only hours later for attempted burglary in Wigan after being spotting acting suspiciously outside a house. They had served only six months of their two year jail sentences before being released.

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New legal right for Nazi-looted art heirs

By Jessica Elgot, October 28, 2009

A new law has been approved to allow art looted by the Nazis and found in British museums to be returned to the heirs of the original owners.

Labour’s Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon, sponsored the Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Act, which has been approved by the House of Lords.

It will now be given royal assent before becoming law.

Before the law was passed, the spoliation panel would recommend pieces to be returned to their owners, but museums had no legal powers to carry out the recommendations.

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JFS: refusal was ‘religion not race’

October 28, 2009

Britain's leading Jewish school has told the Supreme Court that it had discriminated against a boy of 12 on religious rather than racial grounds when it denied him a place.

A crowded court heard Lord Pannick QC, claim that the boy was refused because the chief rabbi deemed his mother's conversion to Judaism invalid.

JFS had double the number of applicants to places, so children whose mothers were recognised as Jewish were given priority. The boy, known as M, was refused entry because he did not fall into this category, said Lord Pannick, who is representing JFS.

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Israel embassy demos: 63 charged

By Leon Symons, October 27, 2009

A total of 63 people will be appearing in court later this week on charges arising out of demonstrations outside the Israeli embassy in west London in January this year.

One person has been charged with actual bodily harm, one with handling stolen goods and almost everyone else with breaking section two of the Public Order Act, which covers violent disorder. The youngest person charged is a 12-year-old boy from Tower Hamlets.

All 63 are due to appear at West London Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and Friday of this week.

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Solicitor jailed for stealing from dead clients

By Marcus Dysch, October 27, 2009

A solicitor has been jailed for stealing £43,450 left by dead clients in their wills.

Alan Benstock, a former deputy coroner, used the money to fund his daughter’s private education, cover family medical bills and pay the mortgage on his home in Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

The 51-year-old admitted nine charges of theft over a four-month period in 2006.

He had set up a charitable trust into which he paid the money from three dead clients’ wills. He did not register the trust with the Charity Commission and kept it secret from colleagues.

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Griffin branded 'bigot' by rabbi's son

By Robyn Rosen, October 23, 2009

The Jewish teenager who grilled Nick Griffin on last night’s Question Time has said the BNP leader came across as a “racist bigot”.

JFS pupil Joel Weiner, 17, confronted Mr Griffin during the programme and demanded answers about his history of Holocaust denial.

Joel’s grandfather escaped from Germany to Palestine the day before war broke out but many of his family were lost — some, he believes, in Auschwitz.

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My evening on Question Time with the BNP

By Jessica Elgot, October 23, 2009

It was such good luck getting the tickets. I’m an avid Question Time watcher, and I applied for tickets over a year ago now. But the tickets I was allocated fell on Yom Kippur, and I couldn’t go. So the woman who organised it said I could come again another time. It really was amazing good luck. I took my girlfriend and a couple of friends.

We didn’t have such a problem getting into the studio, but it was a long wait for it to start. We got in at about 5 o’clock and they don’t start filming until 8. It was very fairly edited by the BBC, they didn’t take anything out at all.

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