UK news

TUC boycott vote prompts anger

By Leon Symons, September 24, 2009

The decision of the Trades Union Congress to support a “targeted, consumer-led” boycott of goods from Israeli settlements in occupied areas has been described as a warning shot.

Communal leaders fear that unions which are avowedly anti-Israel will attempt to implement a much wider boycott next year. They also believe that not enough was done ahead of congress to avert the outcome.

More..

Board: Muslim Council of Britain must be boycotted until reform

By Simon Rocker, September 24, 2009

The government should lay down conditions for dealing with organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain, a parliamentary inquiry has been told by the Board of Deputies.

In a joint submission with the Community Security Trust to the Commons’ Communities and Local Government Committee, the Board wrote: “Any future engagement with umbrella groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain must be contingent on them representing a greater range of views than those of the Islamists, and firmly rejecting violence in all circumstances, including in overseas conflicts.”

More..

Analysis: Denham reveals how government's Islamist stance unresolved

By Martin Bright, September 24, 2009

Our interview with Communities Secretary John Denham illustrates that the British government’s stance on engagement with home-grown Islamism remains unresolved.

Mr Denham has made it clear that the Muslim Council of Britain will remain out in the cold while its deputy secretary general remains a signatory to the Istanbul declaration calling for attacks on Israel and the Royal Navy.

More..

John Denham interview: let's talk to the Muslim Council but not yet

By Martin Bright, September 24, 2009

Few politicians are as well-mannered and gracious as Communities Secretary John Denham. He is popular with the Labour Party faithful because he is has no airs and is prepared to discuss his ideas openly. In the past decade he has navigated the Blair-Brown sectarian divide with great skill and made an astonishing comeback after resigning from the government over Iraq. But he is not without enemies.

More..

Holocaust survivor to thank Pope for priest who saved him

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

A Holocaust survivor whose life was saved by a Catholic priest during the war will visit the Vatican next month to thank the Pope.

Joseph Szlezinger was hidden in a Belgian convent and his mother Gita lived for 18 months in a basement after the priest, Father Clement, agreed to protect them from the Nazis.

More..

Glowing report for gefilte fish

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

The traditional choice for a kosher fish supper is chopped and boiled or chopped and fried. But we can reveal a new option — chopped and glow-in-the-dark.

Student Jessica Taylor was shocked to see her late-night gefilte fish snack light up the kitchen of her north London family home by glowing bright green and yellow. Her mother had bought the Hoffman’s product the previous day at Moshe’s Deli in Temple Fortune.

More..

John Denham: Government were wrong on terror

By Martin Bright, September 24, 2009

The government’s strategy on terrorism following the 7/7 attacks was fundamentally flawed, admits the Cabinet minister now responsible for community cohesion.

Speaking to the JC on the eve of the Labour Party conference, Communities and Local Government Secretary John Denham said the strategy to tackle extremism in the wake of the suicide bombings of 2005 was too centralised, with solutions being sought from Whitehall without reference to the reality on the ground.

More..

Foreign Office man guilty of racist rant

By Leon Symons, September 24, 2009

Foreign Office civil servant Rowan Laxton has been found guilty of uttering a foul-mouthed anti-Israel rant at a gymnasium during Operation Cast lead in January.

District judge Howard Riddle fined Laxton, 48, £350 with £500 costs at Westminster Magistrates Court.

His counsel, Julian Knowles, said afterwards: “Mr Laxton is very disappointed by the outcome and he will be considering his next steps with his legal team.”

More..

Ehud Barak to speak at Labour conference

September 23, 2009

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak will speak at the Labour Party Conference next week.

He will be addressing the Labour Friends of Israel at their annual reception on Tuesday afternoon.

The presence of Mr Barak, who is also Israel’s deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party, is certain to be controversial given the hostility of many Labour Party members to Israel, and his role in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza earlier this year.

More..

Quiet New Year on the security front

By Barry Toberman, September 22, 2009

The Community Security Trust has reported an almost trouble-free Rosh Hashanah at British synagogues.

Only a small number of minor incidents were recorded, mostly abuse being shouted from cars at congregants walking to or from shuls in London, Hertfordshire and Manchester.

CST communications director Mark Gardner said that while the incidents were “disturbing for the victims, overall it was a peaceful weekend”.

More..