UK news

Smart move

December 31, 2008

Smarties are kosher once more. They have been off-limits to kosher consumers since the early 1990s when the then makers, Rowntree, informed the Beth Din that red Smarties were coloured with insect-derived cochineal. Now that non-kosher carminic acid has been removed, the London Beth Din says Smarties are now permitted.

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Ahmadinejad Xmas speech has C4 under fire

By Marcus Dysch, December 31, 2008

Channel 4 has defended its invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver its alternative Christmas message.

In his speech, Mr Ahmadinejad claimed society faced a range of moral, political and security crises.

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Can’t pay? Then you will miss Maccabiah

By Marcus Dysch, December 31, 2008

The mother of a 15-year-old girl thrown out of a Maccabi GB basketball team over a financial disagreement, has accused Maccabi of acting “outrageously”. Ofra Azar-Freedman had told Maccabi that she would struggle to meet the £2,750 fee to be paid for each Maccabiah competitor as she is recovering from an emergency operation and has been unable to work.

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Top speakers’ pullout fails to dent Limmud

By Simon Rocker, December 30, 2008

The crisis in Gaza forced the withdrawal of Mark Regev, international media adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel, from the Limmud winter conference which opened at Warwick University near Coventry on Sunday.

Along with Mr Regev, Kadima MK Menachem Ben-Sasson also pulled out at the last minute because of the latest events at home.

Elliott Goldstein, chair of Limmud, said: “Obviously, we are sorry they can’t join us. But we still have nearly 100 presenters at the conference from Israel speaking on a huge range of topics, including the unfolding situation.”

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Bereaved families urge peace at conference

By Simon Rocker, December 30, 2008

A group of Israelis and Palestinians brought their joint call for peace to the Limmud conference.

Ayelet and Zvika Shahak’s daughter Bat-Chen was killed on her 15th birthday on Purim by a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv in 1994.

Ali Abu Awwad (also pictured above) and his brother, Khaled, from Beit Ommer in the West Bank, lost their other brother, Yousef, who was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier after an argument broke out at a checkpoint four years ago, leaving two young children.

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Teaching aide loses appeal

December 30, 2008

A former teaching assistant from Salford, convicted of laundering money her husband made from a brothels, has failed in her appeal against conviction. Michelle Barnett of Broughton Park, had insisted she did not know the source of the cash.

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Stevens’ shoes in Shoah show

December 30, 2008

Strictly Come Dancing’s Rachel Stevens has donated a pair of shoes to an exhibition marking Holocaust Memorial Day on January 25.

They will help form a sculpture, reflecting the thousands of shoes abandoned at concentration camps.

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PCC rejects complaint

December 30, 2008

The Press Complaints Commission has rejected a complaint that its code of practice was breached by the JC when reporting the conviction of a racist and antisemitic emailer. Maher Khammash targeted the former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, Foreign Secretary David Miliband and the JC.

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Israel blasts UK’s ‘megaphone’ tactic

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 30, 2008

Israeli diplomats have expressed their “deep disappointment” over what they have termed Britain’s “megaphone diplomacy” over Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

But the Minister for the Middle East, Bill Rammell, has denied that the government is planning any initiatives.

Mr Rammell visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority last week and at the end of his stay said: “Our position is long-standing. We have always said that the settlements are illegal by international law and that they make facts on the ground, making a solution more difficult.”

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Orthodox college goes bust

By Simon Rocker, December 30, 2008

The country’s only training college for teachers wanting to work at strictly Orthodox day schools has been forced to close.

Donors were not able to secure enough funds to maintain MST College, which opened in Hendon, North London in 1979.

Michael Cohen, its principal, said: “We got no government or local authority funding. We survived with an income from our students which was about a third of the costs, while the rest came from supporters.

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