UK news

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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Britain faces abuse backlash

December 30, 2008

The attacks on Gaza have led to an upsurge in abusive messages and grafitti directed against the Jewish community in the UK.

In Stamford Hill and Golders Green, the slogans "Jihad for Israel" and "Jihad the only solution for Palestine" have been daubed on buildings in the heart of the community. Some of the daubings appeared on a wall next to the main entrance of Finchley Synagogue.

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Official: it’s OK to convert Jews

By Leon Symons, December 23, 2008

The Charity Commission is at the centre of a row after publishing advice that appears to give a green light to evangelical groups whose sole aim is to convert Jews to Christianity.

The Commission has been attacked by Rabbi Shmuel Arkush, Anglo-Jewry’s main anti-missionary campaigner. But it has received backing from the Board of Deputies, which described the advice as a “useful tool in helping to expose those groups who prey on vulnerable individuals”.

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Fury at ‘Don’t buy on West Bank’ advice

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2008

Israeli officials have said they are “deeply disappointed” at the British Government’s decision to publish an advice note warning Britons against buying property in settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights, describing the move as “politically motivated”.

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Artist Hannah Frank dies aged 100

December 23, 2008

Hannah Frank, the celebrated Jewish artist, has died, aged 100.

Born in Glasgow in 1908, she graduated from Glasgow University in 1930 with an MA in Arts. She also spent time at the city’s famous art school. Hannah’s artistic career covered 75 years. She is known for her distinctive black-and-white drawings and her sensuous sculptures (left, her mask of her father, Charles Frank).

In August she celebrated her own centenary with an exhibition at Glasgow University Chapel.

Her funeral took place on Sunday (December 21) at Glasgow’s Cathcart
Cemetery.

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Fraudsters ordered to hand over assets

By Lynda Roughley, December 23, 2008

A Manchester man jailed for six years for involvement in a large-scale “advance fee” business fraud has been ordered to hand over £425,000.

Following a two-day confiscation hearing at Liverpool Crown Court, it was agreed that Carl Montlake had benefited by £1.5 million from the scam.

It was also agreed that he has realiseable assets of £425,000 and Judge Gerald Clifton ordered that, if this sum is not paid over under the Proceeds of Crime Act, by January 31 next year, he will face an extra 42 months in prison.

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US attends first liaison meeting

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2008

The United Synagogue has for the first time sent a rabbinic representative to the liaison body set up to reduce tensions between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox.

Rabbi Michael Harris, joint vice- chairman of the US Rabbinical Council, attended last Thursday’s meeting at US head office of the community consultative committee, established under the 1998 Stanmore Accords.

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Police probe Facebook complaint

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2008

Comments posted on the social networking website Facebook are to be investigated by police after a Jewish user claimed they were antisemitic and could incite racial hatred.

One group, titled “We hate Tottenham”, contains references to “dirty yiddo scum” as part of its introductory description.

The group has more than 1,240 members. One person wrote: “Yid scum….hate em more ‘n more every week.”

Another states: “Let’s smash them yid mugs tonight!”

A London-based 34-year-old man, who does not want to be named reported a number of comments to police last week.

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