UK news

Man bailed after Stamford Hill attack

January 13, 2011

A 24-year-old man has been released on bail after he was arrested for allegedly punching a strictly Orthodox man in the head.

Officers were called to Stamford Hill in north London shortly before 11pm on Saturday following reports of an attack.

It is alleged that the attacker punched the back of the victim's head, knocking his hat and kippah off before shouting racist abuse.

Police said the abuse made reference to Israel.


Israel friends change tack and relaunch

By Martin Bright, January 13, 2011

Labour Friends of Israel is to re-invent itself as a membership organisation to argue actively for the two-state solution and develop the "progressive case" for Israel.

The new direction will be outlined at a seminar in March held jointly in Westminster with the New Labour magazine Progress to promote a fresh strategy for Israel's friends within the Labour Party and the trade union movement.

In recent years LFI has found itself increasingly forced into a fire-fighting role against a growing anti-Zionist sentiment in the Labour movement and the wider British left.


Islamists cite Holocaust on genocide day

January 13, 2011

A leading Holocaust memorial group has criticised an event run by an Islamic organisation which compares the Shoah to Palestinian suffering.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission's Genocide Memorial Day is also due to hear from Ahron Cohen, leader of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect, who has previously questioned the number of deaths in the Holocaust.

IHRC said the event would coincide with the second anniversary of the "genocidal acts in Gaza" during Israel's Operation Cast Lead.


Baseball thug jailed for antisemitic abuse

January 13, 2011

A man has been sentenced to a year in prison after he threatened four shul-goers with a baseball bat and antisemitic abuse in Cardiff last June.

Lee Tucker, 23, an unemployed joiner, was convicted of antisemitic affray at Cardiff Crown Court last month.

He tapped a baseball bat menacingly in his hand, threatening to kill the four men and knock their teeth out, according to the South Wales Echo. He then got into his car and drove towards them.

Rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg, of Cardiff United Synagogue, said: "They were four American students who were staying with me for Shabbat.


Book Week attacked for 'anti-Israel' event

By Simon Rocker, January 13, 2011

Jewish Book Week has defended a session in its forthcoming programme featuring a panel of two journalists known for their bitter denunciations of Israel, and which is jointly promoted by a journal accused of "unremitting hostility" to Israel.

Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy will discuss his book, The Punishment of Gaza, with Independent journalist Johann Hari in an event billed as in association with the London Review of Books.

The session, due to take place in London on March 6, has been sharply criticised.


Lord Sugar, Borat or David Miliband for next chief rabbi?

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

Lord Sugar has more chance of being chosen as the next chief rabbi than Borat, according to Paddy Power.

The news that Lord Sacks is to step down in 2013 has prompted the UK bookmaker to suggest some potential replacements.

Rabbi Harvey Belovski of Golders Green Synagogue has been given the best odds, with 6 to 4 that he will be picked.

But other high-profile Jewish leaders, including Mill Hill rabbi Yitzchak Schochet and six others — tipped as candidates by the JC — have also received favourable odds.


Complaints over Palestine advert 'distortion'

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

Jewish organisations have condemned as misleading an advert that appeared in National Geographic Traveler magazine for implying that Palestine extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

The Zionist Federation, which has complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), said the advert also gave “false impressions” by describing Palestine as a country and suggesting that the city of Hebron was under Palestinian control.


Literary critic John Gross dies at 75

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

The distinguished Jewish literary critic John Gross has died at the age of 75.

Mr Gross, a prolific author and commentator who was described by The Spectator as “the best-read man in Britain”, spent seven years as editor of The Times Literary Supplement.

He was also a books editor for the New York Times and the Sunday Telegraph’s theatre critic. In 1971 he chaired the judging panel of the Booker prize.

His father was a Polish-born ex-rabbinical student who later moved to Mile End and trained as a doctor.


Spiderman star Andrew Garfield up for Bafta rising star nod

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

Jewish actor Andrew Garfield has been nominated for this year's Bafta rising star award.

The half-British star, chosen as the next star of the Spiderman franchise, will soon be on screen alongside Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan in the film version of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel Never Let Me Go.

Last month Mr Garfield was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook.

The film, written by Aaron Sorkin, has also been placed on the long-list of potential nominees for the 2011 Baftas.


Marking the efforts of those at the grass roots

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, January 6, 2011

Volunteers and philanthropists from the Jewish community have been recognised in the New Year's Honours List.

Marjorie Ziff is made MBE for services to the community in Leeds.

The 81-year-old has served the city's Jewish community for nearly 60 years alongside her husband, Arnold, who died in 2004.

Their charitable donations have supported dozens of local and international groups, including Leeds Jewish Blind Society, Leeds Metropolitan University and the Royal College of Music.