UK news

Government to keep funding Holocaust Memorial Day

By Jessica Elgot, January 28, 2011

The government will fund at least two more years of the Holocaust Memorial Day with a grant of £1.5m.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced the funding will continue at the national HMD event last night.

He said: “Antisemitism and other forms of bigotry have sadly not yet been relegated to the history books. It’s the responsibility of every one of us to challenge divisive views and discrimination whenever we see them.


Lord Levy: JLC grabs too much power

By Simon Rocker, January 28, 2011

The Jewish Leadership Council has been accused of trying to grab too much power by its former vice-president Lord Levy.

In an article in today's JC, he reveals that his recent resignation from the council was because of its failure to define "its role or purpose".


Evil Eye? I'll get rid of it for 50 quid

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 28, 2011

Manchester rabbis have backed two services that claim to offer Jewish spiritual healing.

In recent weeks two Jewish papers have carried an advert by Israeli Rabbi Avraham Lebel in which he says he can remove the ayin hara (evil eye). He charges £50 for the service.

In another, the Chabad House in Whitefield advertises free "spiritual healing" by two men, Eric Sayers and Carl Montlake, described as "Jewish healers for the Jewish community".


Israel activists raise concerns with MPs

By Marcus Dysch, January 27, 2011

More than 300 pro-Israel activists met their MPs to voice concerns during the Zionist Federation’s annual Parliamentary lobby day.

They expressed their fears over rising extremism on campuses and the existence of a Hamas-related centre in London during sessions with Parliamentarians on Wednesday.

A training session for lobbyists was led by ZF president Eric Moonman and Jacob Vince of Christian Friends of Israel.

Around 100 MPs, including Sir Alan Beith, Louise Ellman, Lee Scott, Theresa Villiers and Luciana Berger, later met constituents for private meetings.


Rabbis outraged by 'inappropriate' Glenn Beck Holocaust slurs

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

A cross-communal group of rabbis have joined the voices calling for media mogul Rupert Murdoch to remove the controversial right wing pundit Glenn Beck from Fox News.

The rabbis have taken out a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal newspaper condemning Mr Beck’s repeated attacks on Holocaust survivor and financier George Soros.

In the advert the group criticised as “inappropriate” a programme broadcast on the channel last year called “Puppet Master”, in which Mr Beck accused Mr Soros of helping “to send the Jews to the death camps”.


Gaza images 'cast Israel in wrong light'

By Marcus Dysch, January 27, 2011

An exhibition featuring graphic images from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been accused of "fanning the flames of antisemitism".

Kai Wiedenhöfer's The Book of Destruction - named after an article about a list of Gaza's damaged buildings - shows Palestinians who were severely injured during Operation Cast Lead.

There are photos of people who lost limbs, as well as buildings flattened in the Gaza Strip, but none of Israelis or damage from Hamas rocket fire.


A woman of letters

By Robyn Rosen, January 27, 2011

An academic has been awarded a £9,000 grant to translate and catalogue 2,500 newly-discovered letters between an exiled German Jew and his family in Nazi Germany.

The collection was found by Daniel Schwab in his parents' garage in Johannesburg, and is now the subject of a research project by Dr Shirli Gilbert, a lecturer at Southampton University.

Mr Schwab's grandfather, Ralph sought refuge in South Africa after the Nazis came to power and exchanged many letters with a friend who was Nazi Party member.


Safety box guilty plea

By Robyn Rosen, January 27, 2011

A businessman who ran a safe deposit company at the centre of a £50 million police raid has admitted a string of offences in a long-running case.

Milton Woolf, a 54-year-old former treasurer of New London Synagogue, who lives in Golders Green, pleaded guilty to 14 charges at Southwark Crown Court last week, including possessing a revolver and false passports, not reporting money-laundering, and having $60,000 in counterfeit currency.


Campuses must stop extremists

January 27, 2011

John Mann has called the apparent refusal by the London School of Economics to clamp down on Islamist extremist speakers "unacceptable behaviour."
During the antisemitism debate, many MPs voiced anger over why hate speakers continue to be tolerated on campus.


MPs urge crackdown on internet hatred

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2011

MPs have urged the European Union to take the lead in cracking down on antisemitic sites from far right and Islamist groups.

At the first major debate on antisemitism last Thursday at Westminster Hall, John Mann, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, said he was frustrated with progress on the issue.

He said: "Is it beyond the EU to have some common standards relating to the internet that would greatly enhance what has happened in this country? "