UK news

Palestinians say no to Israel boycott

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 10, 2008

The Palestinian Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) does not support a general boycott on trade and investment with Israel.

This position emerged at the annual TUC Congress in Brighton this week, where a heated debate took place over the question of whether Palestinian workers are in favour of the boycott.


Sir Trevor Chinn resigns to pursue philanthropy

By Candice Krieger, September 10, 2008

Sir Trevor Chinn has resigned as chairman of Aim-listed private equity group Aurora Russia to concentrate on his charitable activities.

Former chairman of the AA and an adviser to buy-out firm CVC, Sir Trevor is quitting to focus on his new job helping London's poor as head of Boris Johnson 's Mayor's Fund. He has been replaced at Aurora Russia by Dan Koch, head of Deloitte & Touche in Russia.


Greens vote not to tolerate antisemitism

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 10, 2008

Delegates at this year's Green Party conference have backed a motion stating that the party did not tolerate or endorse antisemitism, but only after radically cutting the original resolution.

The original motion said that antisemitism also included elements of anti-Zionism and called for the Greens to adopt the European Union's definition of antisemitism.


Divorce lawyer is in the clear

By Marcus Dysch, September 5, 2008
High-profile divorce lawyer and TV pundit Vanessa Lloyd Platt will not face charges after being arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

Ms Lloyd Platt, whose North London-based company, Lloyd Platt & Co, is one of the UK's leading family-law and divorce firms, had denied any wrongdoing after been questioned in connection with an alleged plot to poison her.


UJS chair promises new mission, better service

September 4, 2008

The new Union of Jewish Students chair has pledged that the organisation has "a new purpose and mission".

Adam Pike, who took up his role on July 1, said this week he had already implemented wide-scale changes in an attempt to rejuvenate the union.

Last year, the JC revealed how an internal review attacked UJS for lacking "a clear and focused sense of mission, role and purpose" and for having "serious logistical, administrative and management deficiencies".


New J-Soc discount card

By Dana Gloger, September 4, 2008

STUDENTS who join university Jewish societies (J-Socs) will receive a variety of discounts for the first time this year.

UJS has secured a deal with companies that have agreed to give membership-card holders money off their services and products.

These include restaurants, off-licences, clothes shops, taxis and much more.

It will be the first year UJS members will receive such cards and have their membership numbers entered on to a database of J-Socs around the country. Students need to register for the card on the UJS website,


Union leaders pledge to end campus fears

By Marcus Dysch, September 4, 2008

Students should feel safer than in previous years when they return to campuses later this month, according to Union of Jewish Students leaders.
Better relations with the National Union of Students and work to improve reporting of antisemitism have left the UJS "much better placed" to defend its members than ever before, according to its campaigns director.
In May, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks said that Jewish students were made to feel like "pariahs" on campuses around the UK and called for universities to do more to protect them.


Ofcom rejects Hizb ut-Tahrir’s complaint against Panorama

By Simon Rocker, September 4, 2008

Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, has rejected a complaint of unfairness made by the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain against the BBC.

Hizb ut-Tahrir lodged a protest against a Panorama programme in October last year presented by a former member, Shiraz Maher.

One of its complaints concerned a claim that Omar Sharif, the would-be British suicide bomber who was involved in a fatal attack on a Tel Aviv bar, had been influenced by the group.


US reinstates eulogy ban

By Simon Rocker, September 4, 2008

The United Synagogue has put on hold plans by its rabbis to allow relatives to give eulogies at funerals.
Only last month the head of the organisation's Rabbinical Council (RCUS) wrote to colleagues to say that they could relax the previous practice, objected to by many congregants, which permitted only members of the clergy to speak at the cemetery.


Israel is heckled at Edinburgh Festival

By Leon Symons, September 4, 2008

The Jerusalem Quartet has been invited to return to the Edinburgh International Festival next year in defiance of protesters who disrupted their debut concert last week.

Five members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign were arrested and charged with breaches of the peace after shouting slogans during the ensemble's performance at Queen's Hall. The five were due to appear in court in Edinburgh yesterday (Thursday).