UK news

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.


Ethnic communities vow to ease interfaith tensions

By Simon Rocker, April 2, 2009

A new interfaith group has been launched to try to prevent foreign conflicts causing tensions between religious communities in London.

Called United London Stands, it has emerged out of contacts between the London Jewish Forum and the City Circle, an independent group of young British Muslims.


Media ‘boost bogus Shoah tales’

By James Martin, April 2, 2009

A world expert on false Holocaust testimonies is concerned that media interest in Shoah accounts is encouraging people to fabricate stories.

Professor Sue Vice, of Sheffield University, has suggested that the current popularity of “misery memoirs”, or mis-lit, has created a situation where “accounts of suffering are very marketable”.

Giving the annual Holocaust lecture at Royal Holloway University’s Holocaust Research Centre, Professor Vice argued that the media, “intrigued by the Holocaust, may be a factor behind false accounts”.


Chief rabbi backs G20 prayer

By James Martin, April 2, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has joined other faith leaders in expressing hope that the G20 meeting in London this week would be “blessed with wisdom”.

The Chief Rabbi signed a religious leaders’ communiqué addressed to heads of the world’s largest economies, which stated: “Our prayers are with the world’s leaders that they be blessed with the wisdom and courage to begin the journey from recession to recovery, and from the old world of national pride to a new age of global responsibility.”


Lib Dems are ‘little better than the BNP’

By Marcus Dysch, April 2, 2009

The Liberal Democrats have acted “little better than the BNP” in promoting anti-Israel views to win votes in Muslim areas, according to the Conservative Friends of Israel.

Launching a scathing attack on Lib-Dem election campaigning, James Arbuthnot MP, CFI parliamentary chairman, said the party was “attempting to incite hatred and fear for its own electoral advantage”.