UK news

Israel envoy rides into farce up north

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

A visit by Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor to Leeds turned into a “fiasco” after proposed receptions and appointments with civic leaders failed to materialise.

The two-day tour this week was intended to improve interfaith and community relations but was hampered by a series of security concerns and rejected requests for meetings.

On Monday afternoon, the Israeli Embassy issued a press statement outlining the ambassador’s “disappointment” at the cancellation of a meeting with Muslim leaders.

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'Hitler's bones' sold online by Irving

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Convicted Holocaust denier David Irving is running an online auction of Nazi memorabilia, including what he claims is one of Hitler’s bones.

Irving was declared bankrupt in 2002 after failing to pay any of the £150,000 costs awarded against him in a lost libel case against American academic Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books.

It is thought the items will be targeted at the US market, where Nazi collectibles sell for substantial prices.

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Smith widens the battle against net hate crime

By Leon Symons, March 12, 2009

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to examine how antisemitic and other racist crimes can be reported on the internet.

Asked in an interview with the JC why it was still not possible to report hate crime on-line, Ms Smith said: “That is a sensible suggestion. I will look into it.”

Currently, there are only two methods of reporting hate crime on the internet. One is through a website called Truevision set up by a number of police forces, mainly for the lesbian, gay, bi- and transsexual community. The site is currently undergoing reconstruction.

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Shalom, shalom, shalom: Coker wants Jewish cops

By Leon Symons, March 12, 2009

Police minister Vernon Coker has thrown out a challenge to recruit more members of the Jewish community into police forces across the country.

He told a reception in London on Monday night of senior police officers and civil staff from all over the country: “I will work hard with the Jewish Police Association to ensure that we get more members of the Jewish faith as police officers.

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Nazi-joke councillor

March 12, 2009

A town councillor who dressed as a Nazi stormtrooper for a fancy dress party has been cleared of any wrongdoing by his party. Liberal Democrat Sean Aspey, a member of Porthcawl Council in South Wales, was suspended by the local group last week.

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Blackwell loses UCU place

March 12, 2009

Birmingham University lecturer Sue Blackwell, one of the leaders of the campaign to boycott Israeli universities, has lost her seat on the national executive of the University and College Union, a move which is being seen as a vote against the boycott.

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US wants London lawyer

March 12, 2009

London solicitor Jeffrey Tesler, who holds UK and Israeli passports, was arrested last week on an extradition warrant to the United States where he is wanted on conspiracy charges. Mr Tesler, 60, appeared before Westminster magistrates and is due to return.

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Charities share £500,000

March 12, 2009

Two Israeli charities, the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre and the Weizmann Institute of Science, will benefit by just over half a million pounds from the sale of rare stamps from the estate of the late David Barton. The sale took place at Sotheby’s on Monday.

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Seven Jewish Children fails to make the grade in girls’ school

By Leon Symons, March 12, 2009

Parents have stopped a north London school from producing two performances of the controversial play Seven Jewish Children.

The play, written by Caryl Churchill and billed as a history of Israel in 10 minutes, was due to be performed on Wednesday and Thursday this week at Palmers Green High School.

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Not a good time to show my face here, says comic

By John Nathan, March 12, 2009

The Israeli comedy actress and writer Iris Bahr has spoken of her fears over bringing her one-woman show Dai to London at a time when antisemitism and anti-Israeli feeling is running high.

“It’s a crappy time to be a Jew going to England,” she wrote in a blog before she left her Los Angeles home. “If you’re an Israeli Jew like me, you’re really screwed.”

Bahr plays three Israeli characters in a Tel Aviv café moments before a suicide bomber enters. It opened this week at the Shaw Theatre.

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