UK news

British mum wins custody battle after eight years

By Marcus Dysch, September 3, 2010

The mother of a girl involved in an eight-year custody battle has spoken of her joy after she and her daughter were allowed to return to Britain from Israel.

She said the emotional and financial strain put on her family by the case, whose legal bills total more than £250,000, had been "absolutely horrendous".

The woman, who is in her late 30s and cannot be identified for legal reasons, left Israel with her one-year-old daughter in 2001 after the breakdown of her marriage to a man she met while living on kibbutz.

More..

GMC seeks Jewish views

September 2, 2010

The views of Jewish patients are being sought by the General Medical Council as it launches a consultation on equality.

The council aims to use the advice to avoid discriminating against patients from minority groups.

It is hoped this will assist foreign doctors in the UK to learn more about British medical standards and ethics and respect patients' beliefs.

Jewish groups have previously highlighted the need for doctors to be aware of halachic requirements such as prompt burials.

More..

Ex-BNP insider says the party is half-Nazi

By Robyn Rosen, September 2, 2010

The former legal adviser to the BNP has said the party includes "hardcore Nazis".

Lee Barnes left the far-right party earlier this month and then wrote on his blog that he was thinking of starting up a new party.

He said the BNP was "comprised on one the hand of hard-core Nazis on one wing and, on the other, civic nationalists. Both sides despise each other.

"The Nazi wing are in complete denial about the party's recent constitution change to allow ethnic minority members in, whilst the moderate wing are up in arms that the party did not do this sooner.

More..

Girl died from painkillers she mistook for sweets

By Leon Symons, September 2, 2010

A five-year-old girl died of a drug overdose after mistaking painkillers for jelly beans, an inquest heard this week.

Hanna Collins was believed to have climbed onto a chair to reach what she thought were sweets in a cupboard where her father kept his medication.

Hanna would have been unable to read the "keep out" sign on the packet of Tramadol, Hertfordshire coroners were told.

Her father Andrew was looking after Hanna, her twin sister Lucy, and Amy, on the night of March 18 while their mother Claudia went swimming.

More..

Parkinson's patients get martial arts medicine

By Robyn Rosen, September 2, 2010

A group of Parkinson's disease patients have pooled their resources to bring an Israeli martial arts expert to London for some off-beat treatment.

Alex Kerten, who holds black belts in several fighting styles, was flown to Britain after Laurie Phillips, 67, had taken his wife to see him in Israel.

The result was a series of workshops which left the wife of one sufferer in tears after she saw her husband, who has been in a wheelchair for 16 months, stand up and dance.

More..

Lord Sacks ponders issues of faith

By Simon Rocker, September 2, 2010

The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks says he has put his faith "on the line" for his annual Rosh Hashanah broadcast this year when it goes out on BBC1 onSunday night.

Entitled The Case for God? the programme features him in conversation with four of Britain's "cleverest" critics of religion - as he calls them.

Three are Jewish - Howard Jacobson, Alain de Botton and Lisa Jardine. The fourth, neurobiologist Colin Blakemore, argues that science has made religion irrelevant.

At one point, the Chief Rabbi is asked by Howard Jacobson whether he is sure there is a God.

More..

TUC likely to push for full Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, September 2, 2010

The Trades Union Congress is expected to call on its members at its annual conference to strengthen opposition to Israel by extending boycotts and encouraging disinvestment.

A motion on Israel and the Palestinians, backed by the GMB, the Fire Brigades' Union, the Public and Commercial Services Union and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, is expected to propose a full boycott of Israeli goods.

The four-day conference begins in Manchester on September 13.

More..

Rabbi's rhymes - with a twist

By Simon Rocker, September 2, 2010

It might not seem unusual for a rabbi to translate the Torah - but it is if he does it in verse.

Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen has just published a new poetic version of Genesis in English, rendered into rhyming couplets.

It is a new departure for the rabbi who has previously written many books on Jewish festivals and prayer as well as articles on the Bible in scholarly journals.

Since he has written on Jewish liturgy, and a major part of the liturgy is poetic, he has long been captivated by poetry as a form of religious expression, he explained.

More..

Chief Rabbi set to represent all faith communities

By Simon Rocker, September 2, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has been asked to give the response at the Pope's main interfaith meeting during his state visit to Britain in two weeks' time.

Pope Benedict will address leaders of the country's faiths at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, a Catholic teacher training institution that is part of Surrey University.

More..

Can Pope Benedict soothe pain over Pius beatification?

By Simon Rocker, September 2, 2010

The proposed beatification of controversial wartime Pope Pius XII has shadowed Catholic-Jewish relations for more than 40 years.

Critics of Pius, who died in 1958, accuse him of having failed to use his influence to speak out on behalf of Europe's Jews as the Nazis closed in.

More..