UK news

Novelist Lionel Davidson dies

November 3, 2009

Tributes have been paid to Lionel Davidson, the thriller writers' thriller writer, who has died aged 87. Davidson, born in Hull in 1922, was praised by Graham Greene as the first contemporary storyteller to have recaptured the high adventure of Rider Haggard.


Queen's Music Master manager jailed

By Marcus Dysch, November 2, 2009

The former manager of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music, has been jailed for defrauding the 75-year-old composer of more than £500,000.

Michael Arnold, 76, was Sir Peter’s manager for more than 30 years and was entrusted with his finances.

He was jailed for 18 months at Kingston Crown Court on Monday.

The self-confessed gambler had earlier admitted one charge of false accounting involving £522,333.

Arnold, who walks with a stick, was spared a longer sentence because of his age and ill-health.


Rabbis attack conspiracy website

By Robyn Rosen, November 2, 2009

Rabbis across the country have spoken out against a new antisemitic website which denies the Holocaust, calls Jews “Satan worshippers” and lists addresses of all UK synagogues.

The site, entitled UK Lockdown, lists various Jewish conspiracy theories and claims that Jews were responsible for the economic downturn, MPs’ expenses scandals and 9/11 attacks.

UK Lockdown, registered to Michael Samuel, living in Tottenham, includes videos and newspaper articles and refers to Jews as “the enemy”, “satanic”, “vampires” and the “devil mercy”.


Equality watchdog: JFS admissions are racist

By Simon Rocker, October 30, 2009

Britain’s equality watchdog has weighed into the JFS court case, arguing that it should remain unlawful for Jewish schools to select children on the basis of whether their parents are Jewish.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission told the Supreme Court this week that it considered using parental descent to decide admissions as racial discrimination.

The commission “considers that all rules based on a person’s descent from a particular class of persons are properly considered to be racial rules,” it stated in a written submission to the court.


School in radical Islam link

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2009

Haringey Council has suspended funding to an Islamic primary school whose backers have been linked to the radical group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HUT).

The Islamic Shaksiyah Foundation, which runs schools in Tottenham, north London, and in Slough, received £113,411 of government educational grants in 2007/8, according to a report from the Centre for Social Cohesion due out this week.

It named ISF trustees Farah Ahmed and Yusra Hamilton as members of HUT, a group which Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said he would ban.


Maccabi 'abusive' say referees

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

Maccabi League footballers are the most abusive of all to deal with, according to a number of referees who say it is putting them off the game.

Referees have said that players in the Maccabi Southern Football League (MSFL) are among the “worst” they have experienced.

Warwick Blake, 37, began refereeing the Sunday league less than a year ago but said he has already endured abuse and violence. Last month he returned to his car after a match to find all four of his tyres had been let down.


Chatham House man 'fired' because of pro-Israel book

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2009

The author of a new book sympathetic to Israel believes his views ultimately cost him his job at the UK’s most prestigious foreign-affairs think tank.

Robin Shepherd, whose new book, A State Beyond the Pale — Europe’s Problem with Israel explores hostility towards the Jewish state, says his pro-Israel position put him at odds with the leadership of London’s Chatham House.


Nurses find 'Hebrew' African village

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

Two Jewish nursing students had a pleasant surprise when they travelled to an impoverished town in Ghana only to discover a health clinic decorated with Stars of David.

Katie Susser and Sarah Mercer, both third year students at Birmingham University, have just returned from a two-month trip to Tamale, northern Ghana.

They volunteered at the Shekhinah Clinic, which was founded by Dr David Abdulai in 1989 and is run by local volunteers, helping patients with malaria, HIV and leprosy.


Rabbi 'dug up graves for profit'

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

The former head of the London Beth Din, Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, is to chair an extraordinary hearing against the chief rabbi of Turkey, who has been accused of desecrating ancient Jewish graves in Istanbul.

The allegations against Rabbi Yitzhak Haleva and his son, Rabbi Naftali Haleva of the Ortakoy congregation, have been made in a complaint to the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) by Israeli journalist Shaul Schiff.

He claimed the “destruction and desecration” of three Jewish cemeteries was ordered by “those craving wealth and profit”.


Israeli-Arab event in UK cancelled

By Marcus Dysch, October 29, 2009

A London networking evening for Arab and Jewish business leaders has been cancelled after its Palestinian hostess was pressured into pulling out by her friends and relatives.

Plans for the private home reception, due to be held on November 5, had been at an advanced stage.

The Arab-Jewish Ensemble, also known as Sheshbesh, is part of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s educational department. It had been booked to perform at the event.