UK news

Mayor opens Stamford Hill Centre

By Leon Symons, November 21, 2008

London Mayor Boris Johnson brought laughter and applause when he showed a previously unknown mastery of Yiddish while opening a new combined day centre and synagogue for Agudas Israel Housing Association's Schonfeld Square home in Stamford Hill on Thursday.


Holocaust denier wins extradition fight

By Leon Symons, November 21, 2008

Convicted Holocaust denier Frederick Toben has won his fight against extradition to Germany for publishing material online "of an antisemitic and/or revisionist nature".

Dr Toben, director of the revisionist Adelaide Institute in Australia, had been arrested while en route from America to Dubai on a European warrant executed on behalf of the German government.


Prince Charles' "dream" of visiting Israel

November 21, 2008

Shortly after visiting the Queen and receiving his knighthood, President Shimon Peres arrived at Clarence House for an audience with Prince Charles.

Mr Peres and the Prince spoke for about 30 minu te s about the peace process, the Iranian nuclear programme and the Prince's ecological initiatives.


Private coach for pupils as gangs attack school buses

By Marcus Dysch, November 20, 2008

Parents of pupils at Britain's biggest Jewish school are to pay for private buses following a series of incidents on public transport.

In one attack last week, a gang threatened to stab a JFS pupil travelling home to Golders Green, North West London.

The attack, which included the boy's friends being called "Jewish pigs" and "scum", follows the throwing of stones at bus windows and antisemitic taunts shouted at youngsters.


‘Generals row’ hits Peres visit

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

A diplomatic row is simmering behind this week's historic visit of President Shimon Peres.

Mr Peres, who flies back today after four days in Britain, met The Queen, the Prime Minister and made an emotional address to Parliament.

He also faced protests during an address to Oxford students and made an emotional address to MPs.
But his aides accused the British government of failing to deliver on promises to change the law that allows individuals to bring legal actions against IDF officers.


Peres receives honorary knighthood from the Queen

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

Queen Elizabeth awarded an honorary knighthood this morning to President of Israel Shimon Peres. Mr Peres was knighted with the Grand Cross of the order of St Michael and St George.

The Queen and Mr Peres met for about 30 minutes during which Mr Peres spoke to the Queen about Israel's history and current situation. Mr Peres gave the Queen two gifts: a letter written by her father, George VI, upon the official recognition by Britain of the state of Israel, and two silver candlesticks in the shape of pomegranates.


President Peres' packed timetable for his London visit

By Marcus Dysch, November 20, 2008

Monday evening November 17 - Mr Peres arrives at Heathrow, he is greeted by Foreign Office officials before travelling to his central London hotel.

Tuesday November 18- 8am - Mr Peres gives media interviews at his hotel, including appearances on the BBC's Today and Hardtalk programmes.

10am - Jewish Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Ian Luder, greets Mr Peres at Mansion House, City of London. He signs the ‘distinguished visitors' guestbook.


A British hero saved my father

November 20, 2008

Shimon peres told MPs and peers in an address to parliament that a speech made to the Knesset by Gordon Brown "invoked a distant memory within me".

He said that, while the Prime Minister's father "cherished the Bible", his father "experienced an attempt to kill the people of the Bible".

"In pre-state Israel, my father volunteered for the Royal British Army. He was captured by the German forces and became a prisoner of war.


Ex-Green on leaked BNP list

By Simon Griver, November 20, 2008

The Green Party said that a former parliamentary candidate whose name appeared on a British National Party contacts list is no longer a Green Party member.

Keith Bessant stood twice as a Green candidate in Cheltenham in the general elections of 2001 and 2005.
His name was one of 12,500 that appeared on a leaked list of BNP supporters that surfaced online this week.


Hare play is fair play, says theatre boss Hytner

By Leon Symons, November 20, 2008

The director of the National Theatre has defended a play which a leading rabbi has claimed "depicts Jews in a vile manner".

Nicholas Hytner said that while he had no regrets about producing the play Gethsemane, by Sir David Hare, "I regret the response, because I'm director of the National Theatre and I'm Jewish.

"It does concern me that there have been several reactions from non-Jewish journalists accusing the play and the performance of antisemitism, because I don't detect it. I don't see it.