UK news

School that 'allowed antisemitism' lost 19 teachers

By Leon Symons, February 10, 2010

Nineteen teachers left an east London primary school accused of racial and religious discrimination in just six years, an employment tribunal has heard.

The teachers were employed at Bigland Green Primary School in Tower Hamlets and, according to Nicholas Kafouris, who is suing the school, this was due in part to the head, Jill Hankey.

“She upset a lot of teachers of different cultures and faiths,” Mr Kafouris said in answer to a question from one of the members of the tribunal in central London.


Oxford student at Israeli minister: 'Kill the Jews'

By Marcus Dysch, February 9, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister was met by a protester screaming “slaughter the Jews” as he spoke at the Oxford Union.

Antisemitic and anti-Israel abuse was shouted throughout Danny Ayalon’s speech on Monday evening, with students causing numerous disruptions to the event.

During the hour-long session one student ran towards Mr Ayalon shouting the Arabic phrase “Itbah Al-Yahud” [Slaughter the Jews].

As many as 10 others, carrying Palestinian flags, made attempts to attack Mr Ayalon but were intercepted and removed by security.


Teacher 'sacked for challenging antisemitism'

By Leon Symons, February 9, 2010

A Christian teacher who claims he was forced out of his job for reporting his pupils’ antisemitic and anti-Christian comments clashed repeatedly with a barrister at an employment tribunal.

Nicholas Kafouris, 52, claimed that pupils at predominantly Muslim Bigland Primary School in Tower Hamlets, east London, had said in lessons that they “hated Jews and Christians”, had praised the Twin Towers perpetrators as heroes and martyrs and said they wanted to be “Islamic bombers” when they grew up.


Sacha Baron-Cohen: It's Purim not a wedding!

By Jessica Elgot, February 8, 2010

Sacha Baron Cohen and fiancée Isla Fisher have denied rumours they are planning to tie the knot at the end of February, insisting all they are planning is a Purim party.

Borat star Mr Baron-Cohen and his Australian actress fiancée Miss Fisher, who have a two-year-old daughter Olive, sent an email to 80 guests telling them to keep February 26 free.

The Daily Mail reported the couple were planning their nuptials that day, but Mr Baron-Cohen’s spokesman said the pair were throwing a fancy dress Purim party.

He said: "They're having a Purim party. That is all!"


Conservative Future row over Nazi election slogan

By Jessica Elgot, February 8, 2010

The chairman of West Yorkshire Conservative Future has been suspended after calling his election campaign after a Nazi squadron who led Jews into the gas chambers.

Student David Bolt, 20, the area chairman of the Conservative youth wing wrote to members, likening their election campaign to the Nazi Sonderkommando, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported.


Row over Cambridge University 'hate speaker'

By Robyn Rosen, February 8, 2010

Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has said he would be happy to be a suicide bomber, will address Cambridge University students tonight, despite calls from the Union of Jewish Students to revoke the invitation.

The Cambridge Islamic Society has invited Dr Tamimi, director of Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, to address students this evening.


David Bellamy urged: 'Pull out of Zionist talk'

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2010

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) has urged botanist David Bellamy to pull out of a Zionist Federation event at which he is expected to speak about Israel’s environmental achievements.

Mr Bellamy is due to appear at the ZF’s Israel Blue White and Green seminar alongside leading Israeli scientists on Tuesday.

The event, which is primarily aimed at non-Jewish schoolchildren, is a follow-up to last year’s Israel Science Day which Bricup also attempted to disrupt.


Gordon Brown 'troubled' by CST antisemitism report

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2010

The Community Security Trust recorded more antisemitic incidents in 2009 than in any other year since records began 26 years ago.

Releasing its annual figures for last year, the CST confirmed that 924 incidents were reported, including violent assaults, desecration of property and death threats.

The 69 per cent rise on 2008 followed an “unprecedented” number of antisemitic attacks recorded in January and February last year, during and after the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Around a quarter of cases included references to Gaza.


Brittany Murphy's mother-in-law: Judaism saved my son

By Robyn Rosen, February 4, 2010

The Jewish mother-in-law of Brittany Murphy, the 32-year-old actress who died last year, has said that her son’s faith has kept him going, despite the “devastating” rumours surrounding the death.

Ms Murphy, the star of Clueless and 8 Mile, died on December 20 at the Los Angeles home she shared with her British husband, Simon Monjack.

Mr Monjack’s mother, Buckinghamshire-based hypnotherapist Linda, said she had been “devastated” by reports of her son’s questionable past and rumours of drugs, alcohol and eating disorders which followed the actress’s death.


Media monitor says FT blames Israel

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2010

The Financial Times believes Israel is largely responsible for the failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians, according to the media analysis group Just Journalism.

The paper regards Israel’s settlement building as the main obstacle.

At the same time, it downplays other factors such as Palestinian terrorism, disunity between Fatah and Hamas and Palestinian failure to recognise Israel as a Jewish status, Just Journalism says, in a report based on examination of 121 editorials about the Middle East in the FT in 2009.