UK news

US attends first liaison meeting

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2008

The United Synagogue has for the first time sent a rabbinic representative to the liaison body set up to reduce tensions between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox.

Rabbi Michael Harris, joint vice- chairman of the US Rabbinical Council, attended last Thursday’s meeting at US head office of the community consultative committee, established under the 1998 Stanmore Accords.

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Police probe Facebook complaint

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2008

Comments posted on the social networking website Facebook are to be investigated by police after a Jewish user claimed they were antisemitic and could incite racial hatred.

One group, titled “We hate Tottenham”, contains references to “dirty yiddo scum” as part of its introductory description.

The group has more than 1,240 members. One person wrote: “Yid scum….hate em more ‘n more every week.”

Another states: “Let’s smash them yid mugs tonight!”

A London-based 34-year-old man, who does not want to be named reported a number of comments to police last week.

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Hip-op man disabled by hospital fall

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2008

A pensioner has received £180,000 in damages after hospital staff dropped him as he recovered from a hip replacement operation.

Harold Shaw, 82, was left unable to walk and confined to a care home after the incident at Finchley Memorial Hospital, in North-West London.

Mr Shaw’s son, David, took legal action against Barnet Primary Care Trust (PCT), which manages the hospital. The case was due to be heard at the High Court last month, but the trust settled out of court.

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Payout pensioner dropped by hospital nurse

By Marcus Dysch, December 19, 2008

A pensioner has received £180,000 in damages after hospital staff dropped him as he recovered from a hip replacement operation.

Harold Shaw, 82, was left unable to walk and confined to a care home after the incident at Finchley Memorial Hospital, in North-West London.

Mr Shaw’s son, David, took legal action against Barnet Primary Care Trust (PCT), which manages the hospital. The case was due to be heard at the High Court last month, but the trust settled out of court.

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Madoff scandal: charities lose $1bn

By Daniella Peled and Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2008

The Bernard Madoff investment scandal is expected to cost the Jewish charity world well over a billion dollars. But UK charities are likely to escape relatively unscathed from immediate losses.

Avraham Infeld, president of the Chais Family Foundation in Jerusalem, which has announced it is closing down after losing all its assets, said: “$600 million has disappeared overnight from the Jewish world.”

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Jet strikes give Fiddler an unlikely twist

By Leon Symons, December 18, 2008

Pupils watching an end-of-term production of Fiddler on the Roof were suddenly confronted with a final scene of video images of Israeli air strikes.

And the man who decided to show the surprise video was the production director — who is Jewish.

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Life lesson for ‘fit Jew’ students

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Oxford students will attend a cultural diversity course as punishment for their “bring a fit Jew” party.

Members of the under-21 rugby team will take part in the special seminar in January, but university proctors have refused to reveal details.

It has been organised after an investigation into last month’s party at which players were invited to find “fit” female students as dates and “dress as Jews”.

The event was cancelled following complaints from Jewish students, but some team members went ahead as planned.

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The end of the road for posters like this

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Roadside billboards in the heart of a Jewish community are to be removed after objectors claimed they were too provocative.

The Advanced Medical Institute (AMI) adverts for nasal sprays to help with impotence resulted in more than 150 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Barnet Councillor Brian Gordon demanded action from his own officials. He said: “To a lot of people, seeing a great big poster with the word ‘sex’ on is very provocative.

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MPs ask Red Cross to help Shalit

By Bernard Josephs, December 18, 2008

Red Cross officials have assured an all-party delegation of MPs that they are continuing to pressure armed factions in Gaza to allow them to visit captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive for more than two years.

“We have made it clear that the Shalit case is very high on our list of priorities and we deplore the fact that our delegates have been refused access to him,” a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said after the meeting in London on Wednesday.

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Brown criticises Israel’s Palestinian policy

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown criticised Israel’s policy on the territories at a London conference on investment in the Palestinian economy this week.

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