UK news

BBC rows back on Louis Theroux publicity

February 4, 2011

The BBC has had to backtrack after it sent out an incorrect publicity notice describing hard-line Zionists featured in a Louis Theroux film as "possibly the biggest threat to world peace today".

A corrected version of the billing had to be resent after the JC contacted the BBC to ask about the description, which included the lines: "In part these men and women are a tiny group of religious extremists who claim they are acting on divine promises from thousands of years ago.

"In part they are possibly the biggest threat to world peace today."


Liberals take stand

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

A group of women from the Liberal Jewish Community in Manchester are fighting for Jerusalem's Women of the Wall and are taking a stand for their own community's right to exist.

Manchester's newly inaugurated Liberal Jewish Community, the first such in the North West, is holding a Friday night service tonight which will protest against an Israeli ban on women being able to sing and read the Torah at Jerusalem's Western Wall.

The service will take place at Cross Street Chapel in central Manchester.


All aboard for trips to 'you know where'

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2011

A travel firm has admitted that its advert for a tour of Israel fails to mention the country's name because it wanted to "avoid upsetting anyone".

Riviera Travel runs an eight-day trip to sample the "enduring appeal of Jerusalem, Galilee and the Dead Sea".

Michael Wright, Riviera's managing director, said Israel had been omitted due to the "overwhelming desire to avoid upsetting anyone". He added: "We are just tour operators."

He said the company had taken a lead from the Advertising Standards Authority, which banned an advert describing the Western Wall as part of Israel.


Dead Sea firm boycotted? Their lease was up

By Robyn Rosen, February 4, 2011

The manager of a shopping centre in Ireland has attacked claims by anti-Israel protesters as "complete fabrication," after they said he had promised that a Dead Sea cosmetics company would not be allowed to trade on the premises.

Protesters from the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstrated by the Premier Dead Sea Cosmetics stall in the Johnston Court shopping centre in Sligo on January 22. They claimed the company "helps fund the Israeli apartheid regime, its brutal occupation of Palestine and its illegal settlements in the West Bank".


Lithuania accused over Holocaust event

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2011

Controversy has broken out over a conference, jointly sponsored by the Lithuanian government, on the country's wartime record which is due to take place in London next week.

A petition expressing concern at the Lithuanian government's attitude to the Holocaust has been signed by among others Lord Janner, Denis McShane MP and Rabbi Barry Marcus, who organises Holocaust education trips.


Guttentag and Wolfe will galvanise the grassroots

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

A major conference to galvanise Jewish activists to fight public demonisation of Israel is being planned for Manchester, probably in May.

Joint president of the Zionist Federation, Joy Wolfe, said there was "a growing awareness" across the UK's Jewish leadership of an urgent need for a major tactic change to match the web of far-left activists and groups like the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.


Anti-Israel protesters clash with Israel's top Bedouin diplomat

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2011

University security officers were called to protect the most senior Muslim in the Israeli Foreign Ministry when pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted his appearance at a British campus.

Diplomat Ismail Khaldi, a Galilee Bedouin, had just started to speak at Edinburgh University on Wednesday evening when demonstrators began chanting and surrounded him.

The university’s International Relations Society had earlier pulled out of the event, saying the invitation to Mr Khaldi was “unjust to the Palestinian people who live under an apartheid regime”.


Islamophobia group loses main sponsors

By Martin Bright, February 4, 2011

Plans to establish an all-party parliamentary group on Islamophobia have been left in disarray after its chair and one of its vice-chairs resigned over an “orchestrated lobbying campaign” from an Islamist group that backs Hamas.

The JC revealed last month that iEngage, a Muslim organisation with a track record of anti-Zionism, had been given the job of acting as the group’s secretariat.


Seven years prison after violent assault

By Robyn Rosen, February 3, 2011

A Jewish man has been sent to prison for seven years after luring a teenager to a restaurant in Golders Green and repeatedly stabbing him following a feud over a girl.

Jacob Butchoff, 20, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and was handed the sentence in Wood Green Crown Court today.

He was arrested in September last year after he attacked an 18-year-old man at a Chinese restaurant in Golders Green Road.

The victim had begun a relationship with Butchoff’s ex-girlfriend in 2007 which prompted animosity between the two.


Guardian hits back at 'anti-Israel' claims

By Charlie English - The Guardian, February 3, 2011

A week after publication, the Guardian's revelations about the Palestine papers – published in partnership with Al Jazeera – have been followed up by leading Israeli and Arab news outlets as well as global media organisations such as the BBC and the New York Times.