UK news

Israeli politician who advocates ‘transfer’ of Arabs due in London

By Shelly Paz, May 30, 2008

One of Israel’s most controversial politicians, former deputy prime minister Avigdor Lieberman, has been invited to London next month by Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael and the Israel Business Club, in an attempt to spark  debate that will assist fundraising.

“Many of the members of the Israeli and the Jewish community in London, who are likely to donate money, do actually agree with Lieberman’s opinions,” said Dubi Bergman, KKL’s representative in London.


UK rabbi uses sermon to attack convert annulments as ‘insane’

By Simon Rocker, May 30, 2008

A leading United Synagogue rabbi has hit out at the recent decision of a rabbinical court in Israel calling for the annulment of thousands of conversions carried out in the country.

Rabbi Naftali Brawer condemned the verdict of the Supreme Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem as symptomatic of an “insane and oppressive interpretation” of Jewish law.


Now Balen case will go to the Lords

May 30, 2008

A London solicitor is to take his campaign for the BBC to release a report into its Israel coverage to the highest court in the country.

For three years, the corporation has successfully resisted attempts by Steven Sugar to obtain a copy of the 2004 Balen Report under the Freedom of Information Act.

But this week, Mr Sugar said that the House of Lords has agreed to hear an appeal against previous court decisions that were in favour of the BBC.


He's fired - and this time it's kosher

By Craig Silver, May 30, 2008

The nice Jewish boy of The Apprentice on BBC1 finally lost his chance of a six-figure salary with Sir Alan Sugar’s Amstrad company this week when he was sacked.

But the self-styled natural-born salesman, who repeatedly avoided dismissal by narrow margins, is still quids in: he has sold his story to a national newspaper.


Ex-trustee turns on Friends of Hebrew U

By Simon Rocker, May 30, 2008

A disaffected former trustee of the British Friends of the Hebrew University is calling for the Charity Commission to investigate its handling of millions of pounds worth of donor funds.

Geoffrey Simmonds, who resigned three years ago amid disagreements over the way the Friends was run, claims that the charity has been deducting money for management costs which should be going directly to the Jerusalem-based university.


Battle begins as Nazis drop in for a beer

By Leon Symons, May 30, 2008

Manchester Jewish leaders have accused a local organisation of breaking a promise by allowing participants in a 1940s weekend to wear Nazi uniforms.

Bolton Street station in Bury, an area with a large Jewish community, was turned by the East Lancashire Railway society into a re-creation of a 1940s war zone at the weekend, with British “Tommies” rubbing shoulders with “Yanks” and “Germans”.


Rabbi granted bail

By Dana Gloger, May 30, 2008

A Charedi rabbi was granted bail on appeal at London’s High Court last week, after he was originally denied it by magistrates.

The American government is seeking to extradite Avrum Friesel, 55, on 19 fraud charges, allegedly committed in late 1980s and early 1990s. The charges relate to his time as town clerk of New Square Town in New York, a Chasidic community of the Skverer sect.

He moved to Stamford Hill, London, in 1999, and was arrested in April this year.


JC wins top design award

May 30, 2008

The Jewish Chronicle’s news section has won a coveted Award of Excellence from the Society of News Design (SND).

SND, an American organisation, has, for the last 28 years, sponsored an annual international competition to recognise excellence in newspaper design.

This year, the JC was one of only four British newspapers to win.

The others were The Guardian, The Observer and the Independent on Sunday.

The JC’s creative director John Belknap was also selected as one of the judges to choose the world’s best-designed newspapers.


Anthrax 'guilty' plea

By Dana Gloger, May 30, 2008

A man who sent a letter containing powder to the JC’s offices has pleaded guilty to seven offences, five of them religiously aggravated.

The charges faced by Ashraf Ali, who appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court on Wednesday, related to two offences of blackmail, four counts of racial or religiously aggravated harassment and one count of religiously aggravated intentional harassment.


How Fleet Street saw the 60th

May 23, 2008

A new survey of newspaper and radio coverage of Israel’s 60th anniversary of independence has found that The Guardian and The Independent ran the highest number of stories with “negative” comment, while the Daily Telegraph’s comment stories were “half positive and half neutral” towards Israel.

Media-monitoring body Just Journalism analysed 874 editions of 20 publications from January to March this year. It also examined 284 BBC radio broadcasts from the same period.