UK news

Osem and Yarden merge

April 7, 2009

The office of Fair Trading has given members of the public until next Thursday to raise objections to a merger of two of the country’s main distributors of Israeli kosher products, Osem UK and Yarden GB.

A notice posted on the OFT’s website within the past few days has invited comments on Osem’s “anticipated acquisition” of Yarden.

An official explained this as a routine procedure to check whether a deal would reduce competition to the point of warranting investigation.


Family living in fear after hate attacks

By Marcus Dysch, April 7, 2009

An Israeli family living in Edgware say they fear for their safety after being subjected to a campaign of antisemitic abuse by their neighbours.

Police are investigating a number of incidents reported by the 38-year-old man and his wife since they moved to the Broadfields estate six years ago. The couple, who have five children, are too scared to be named. In the latest incident, their car, parked outside their ground floor flat, had its window smashed last Tuesday.


A final farewell for our D-Day heroes

By James Martin and Yaakov Wise, April 7, 2009

Co-ordinating the landing on Juno beach in Normandy were officers and men from British Combined Operations, including a young Leading Aircraftsman, David Teacher, who, now 85, lives with his wife of 66 years, Nancy, in Salford.

Mr Teacher, a retired garage proprietor, is vice chairman of the Bolton and District Normandy Veterans’ Association and a former chairman of Manchester Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen.


Banned Hizbollah fighter blames JC

By Marcus Dysch, April 7, 2009

A Hizbollah fighter has been barred from re-entering Britain, and has blamed the JC for his detention by immigration officers.

Lebanese-born Dyab Abou Jahjah addressed two meetings in London last week, but left the country to visit Brussels before the weekend.

When he attempted to return on Saturday to catch a flight home to Beirut, he was detained for six hours before being denied entry.

Jahjah, who is also leader of a radical Muslim group, wrote on his blog: “They say I am a threat to the peaceful co-existence of communities.


Pesach protest stripper socks it to supermarket

By Keren David, April 7, 2009

Scrubbing brushes and vacuum cleaners are the recognised weapons in the annual war against all things leavened. But one religious man has found a novel use for the humble sock.

Arieh Yerushalmi, 28, of Bat Yam was so angry about the sale of chametz during Pesach that he stripped naked in a local supermarket — save for the strategically placed sock.

Yerushalmi had been incensed by a court ruling allowing the sale of leavened goods in supermarkets because they are not designated as public places, unlike open air markets.


Boycott helpline at Tesco

By Marcus Dysch, April 7, 2009

Pro-Israel groups have attacked Tesco for setting up a customer helpline for those considering boycotting Israeli goods.

Tesco says it provided the service in expectation of calls questioning its stocking of products from Israel and the West Bank.

Callers selecting the general information option on its customer helpline hear the recorded message: “If you are ringing regarding Israeli goods, please press one.” They are then connected to specially-trained call centre staff.


Dangoor urges charity help

April 2, 2009

Iraqi-born philanthropist Naim Dangoor has urged Londoners to give to “open their purses” in an £8,000 advert in the Evening Standard. Dr Dangoor said he had woken up the day before “with that message in my head, for people to help their friends and neighbbours.”


Two arrested at bakery

April 2, 2009

An Algerian and a Sri Lankan have been arrested by immigration agents for allegedly working illegally at the north-west London kosher bakery, Grodzinski, on Golders Green Road. A Borders Agency spokesman said the bakery could be fined if it had knowingly employed the two men.


Kops wins honour from Queen

April 2, 2009

The playwright, poet and novelist Bernard Kops has been awarded a Civil List pension.

Two weeks ago Mr Kops received a letter from the Prime Minister with the news that the Queen had conferred the rare honour on him.

Awarded for life, it puts him in the company of poets such as Lord Byron, William Wordsworth and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Mr Kops, 83, believes he may be the first Jewish writer to receive the award, which has been made on the recommendation of Downing Street for his services to literature.


Israelis run late, but love duty free shops

April 2, 2009

Israeli travellers pack at the last minute, but will do anything to secure a duty-free airport bargain and so are more likely to arrive early at the airport.

And, extraordinarily enough, despite their legendary short tempers, Israelis are apparently more tolerant than their European counterparts.

The unusual findings appear in a survey commissioned by British Airways to identify passenger travel habits in Israel and Europe.