UK news

Pop group prove Israel's got talent

By Jessica Elgot, April 29, 2010

An Israeli group took London by storm on Tuesday night as they joined finalists in a world-wide popcompetition.

Umlala, a five-piece from Jerusalem, finished fifth out of 20 acts in the Global Battle of the Bands contest, which attracted entries from around the world, including Japan, Nepal,
Germany and the Ukraine.

They played the final set of the competition, which was held at Scala nightclub in London's King's Cross on Tuesday night, and were greeted by rapturous applause.


'Zionist myth' book on prize shortlist

By Simon Rocker, April 29, 2010

A controversial book which argues that the idea of a Jewish people descended from the ancient Israelites is a Zionist myth, has been shortlisted for British Jewry's main literary award.

The Invention of the Jewish People by Tel Aviv University Professor Shlomo Sand is one of four books up for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize.


BBC rejects review by US lobby group

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

The BBC presents Israel in a negative light and undermines the Jewish state's image, according to a new study published by Honest Reporting.

The American-based monitoring group analysed articles on the BBC website between January and March and found that while 51 stories reflected negatively on Israel, only two portrayed the Palestinians negatively during the same period.

It said 18 stories on the conflict expressed a Palestinian viewpoint without an equal Israeli response.


Cambridge students host Azam Tamimi

April 29, 2010

Think tank director Douglas Murray was due to speak to Jewish students at Cambridge University last night, a fortnight after an Islamic group convinced the Union of Jewish Students to drop him from a panel debate.

Mr Murray was expected to discuss ways to improve Jewish students' responses to hate-speakers on campus.

But on the same night, the university's Palestine Society was set to host a panel expected to include inflammatory speakers Azzam Tamimi and Daud Abdullah as part of an Israeli Apartheid Week event.


Anti-Israel demos at technology show

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

Anti-Israel demonstrations took place outside the Scottish Parliament for three days this week as an exhibition promoting the Jewish state's technological achievements prompted mass opposition.

The small exhibit, Israel's contribution to medicine, science and technology, was organised by the Scottish Friends of Israel group and sponsored by MSP Ken MacIntosh.

It opened on Tuesday at Holyrood. Protesters from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Scottish Friends of Palestine groups gathered outside the parliament building.


Website launched to challenge Holocaust denial

By Leon Symons, April 29, 2010

A groundbreaking Second World War website launched to counter Holocaust denial will be launched next week.

The site is the brainchild of the historian and documentary filmmaker Laurence Rees, former creative director of BBC Television History.

Mr Rees has also written seven history books about different aspects of the war, including one to accompany his acclaimed television series Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution.

Since that book and programme appeared, Mr Rees says he had been "plagued by Holocaust deniers".


Luton South: Election 2010

By Robyn Rosen, April 29, 2010

Inside Luton's indoor market, between a party shop and a drycleaners, is an office with dusted windows trimmed in a purple border.

Seated at an antique desk, next to a white sofa with plumped cushions, a tray of biscuits and a huge bunch of roses in a crystal vase, is Luton's most glamorous parliamentary candidate, Esther Rantzen.

The former host of That's Life! and founder of ChildLine is standing as an independent parliamentary candidate for Luton South.


William Hague: I have Iran in my sights

April 29, 2010

William Hague is in no doubt about the most urgent issue to face him if he finds himself in the Foreign Office next month.

"It's the Iranian nuclear programme," he says. "We have consistently been the party arguing for tough sanctions and a strong European approach over the last few years, and are very frustrated that this hasn't emerged strongly enough."


Altrincham and Sale West: Election 2010

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 29, 2010

Manchester Jewry's most affluent community sits on the edge of the only Tory seat in Greater Manchester, Altrincham and Sale West.

It is home to Bowdon, Hale and Sale, some of Manchester's wealthiest suburbs, each with its own synagogue. It has the largest Jewish community outside north Manchester, although it makes up only two per cent of the area's population.

Nevertheless, incumbent MP Graham Brady is chasing the Jewish vote, noting the "vibrant" community is "integrated into every walk of life, whether business, education, public service or voluntary organisations."


Tottenham: Election 2010

April 29, 2010

It will be something of a political earthquake if Labour's David Lammy is unseated in Tottenham.

He holds a majority of 13,034 and his nearest rivals are the Liberal Democrats, who at the last election pushed the Tories into third.

Despite the slim chance of an upset, both Labour and the Tories are going out of their way to court the Charedi community in south Tottenham.

Mr Lammy has been pictured in the Orthodox paper Hamodia enjoying Chanukah and the local paper has carried pictures of him on a walkabout with Charedi leaders.