UK news

Your cause is fabulous too

By Jessica Elgot, July 9, 2009

Israel's envoy to the UK, Ron Prosor, with actress Joanna Lumley.

Mr Prosor decided to present the Gurkha Welfare Trust, for which Ms Lumley has long been a campaigner, with £300 rejected by the Edinburgh Film Festival after it refused to accpet money from Israel.

Gurkhas, said Mr Prosor, were another worthy cause.


JFS: Your views - Rights and wrongs of 'racist' ruling

July 9, 2009

Test of birth is a religious, not racist, one

The Lords Justices are right to point out that race is a product of birth and that any discrimination on that basis falls within the definition of the Race Relations Act. But it does not follow that every selection which is based on birth is necessarily racial. Nationality, royalty and religion also use birth as their entry point and classification so that, for example, a child born to a British or American parent obtains British or American nationality.


Read it and weep

By James Brewster, July 9, 2009

A sex attacker who claims he could be killed by red onions in the Irish prison diet if extradited from the UK to serve his sentence in Dublin has been sent packing by top judges.


Scientists link up for green energy talks

By Simon Rocker, July 9, 2009

Scientists from Britain and Israel met in London this week to discuss the challenges of finding alternative sources of energy amid the threat of global warming.

Professors and students from the Weizmann Institute and Imperial College, London held a two-day conference to explore the possibilities of solar energy.


Leading Tories join the JLC

By Leon Symons, July 9, 2009

Links between the Conservative Party and the Anglo-Jewish community were further strengthened this week as two senior Tories joined the Jewish Leadership Council.

Howard Leigh and Stanley Fink, who both act as party treasurers, have become individually nominated members of the JLC.

Two weeks ago, the JC reported how Tory leader David Cameron appeared at four different communal events in a week.


Press TV loses key guests

By Leon Symons, July 9, 2009

Award-winning radio presenter Nick Ferrari has admitted that his decision to join the Iranian state-backed 24-hour television station Press TV “was one of the dimmest career decisions of my life”.

Mr Ferrari was one of a number of British journalists who presented programmes on the channel — until last week, when he quit in protest at the Iranian government’s response to demonstrations against its general election result.

The LBC morning show presenter compered last year’s 60th anniversary tribute to Israel in Trafalgar Square.


Arab peace activist’s play gets UK reading

By Keren David, July 9, 2009

A play about a Palestinian peace campaigner whose daughter was allegedly shot by Israeli soldiers will be performed in London this weekend.

The play reading is being held at the Theatro Technis in Camden, north London, on Sunday, to raise money to bring activist Bassam Aramin and his family to Bradford for a year so that he can study for an MA in Peace Studies.

The Israeli playwright Idan Meir was inspired to write about Mr Aramin when his tutor at university told his class to “search for the voices we don’t want to hear”.


Scottish TUC in ‘Zionist lobby’ row

By Leon Symons, July 9, 2009

A senior figure in the Scottish Trades Union Congress has sparked a row with an attack on a new group that brings together Israeli and Palestinian trade unionists.

STUC assistant general secretary Mary Senior told a meeting of the International Solidarity Movement in Paris that Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (Tulip) “appears to be the creation of the British-led organisation Trade Union Friends of Israel. We must never underestimate the Zionist lobby. And we must be prepared to stand up to their accusations of antisemitism.”


Ecclestone: The week of controversy

By Simon Rocker, July 9, 2009

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has called off a visit to Germany to talk about the country’s forthcoming Grand Prix, despite having apologised for apparently praising Hitler’s leadership skills in a recent newspaper interview.

However, a Jewish friend of Mr Ecclestone spoke up for him this week. Gordon Hausmann, a solicitor involved with several Jewish charities, said that although Mr Ecclestone’s comments had been “foolish”, there was “no question of him being a supporter of Hitler”.


Fears over closure of Bevis Marks

By Simon Rocker, July 9, 2009

Members of Britain’s oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks in East London, have protested over plans which they fear could be a prelude to its closure as an active place of worship.

Around 70 congregants and supporters attended a meeting on Tuesday to voice concern over Sephardi leaders’ reported plan to remove its rabbi.

A letter from the Mahamad (executive) of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, denying any move to close the 300-year old synagogue, failed to reassure them.