UK news

Honour for hero who saved 52,000

By Simon Rocker, January 8, 2009

A Suffolk boarding school held a special service on Tuesday to commemorate an outstanding former pupil who saved the lives of nearly 52,000 Jews during the Second World War.

Prince Constantin Karadja of Romania, who attended Framlingham College from 1906-1908, was a consul-general for his country in Berlin in the early years of the war and an official in the Romanian Foreign Ministry from 1941-44.

Despite opposition from within his own government, he issued papers to protect Jews of Romanian nationality abroad who would have otherwise fallen into the hands of the Nazis.


Youth call to be given seat on JLC

By Simon Rocker, January 8, 2009

The leader of one of the largest Zionist youth movements is calling for a youth representative to be given a seat at the Jewish Leadership Council.

Jack Prevezer, 22, mazkir of the Federation of Zionist Youth, made the call during a recent panel discussion by youth leaders at the Limmud conference.


Kosher meat prices rise by 10 per cent

By Leon Symons, January 8, 2009

The cost of kosher beef and lamb rose this week as a direct result of the strength of the euro against the pound — and a second rise is threatened for next week.

Kosher butchers have been forced to increase their prices by 20p-25p a kilo on the shelf as wholesale prices have risen by 40p-50p a kilo, a rise of around 10 per cent, according to Kosher Licensed Meat Traders’ Association chairman Jacky Lipowicz.


Charity settles its trustee dispute

By Simon Rocker, January 8, 2009

The British Friends of the Hebrew University has reached an agreement with a former trustee who protested over the deduction of management charges from donor funds.

Geoffrey Simmonds argued that it had been unreasonable for the charity to take money from bequests to use for administration costs if the donor had been unaware of it at the time.

But this month he and BFHU chairman Brent Isaacs announced that they had resolved the dispute.

“It avoids legal action and the Charity Commission,” Mr Simmonds said. “It’s the right result.”


Scourge of apartheid, Helen Suzman, dies at 91

By Ruth Rothenberg, January 8, 2009

The white scourge of apartheid, Helen Suzman, whose death at the age of 91 was announced this week, was credited with shortening its lifespan through her courageous and often lonely campaign to publicise its outrages and befriend its victims.

She came to her political views as an adult after growing up in Johannesburg, with black service taken for granted. Her mother died when she was born. Her Lithuanian-born father, Sam Gavronsky, who ran a meat and cattle business, remarried when she was nine.


Lib Dems split over conflict

By Simon Rocker, January 8, 2009

The Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel are trying to broker a meeting between the Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor and the party’s leader, Nick Clegg, who has been outspoken in his criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza.

In an article in Wednesday’s Guardian, Mr Clegg called on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to condemn Israeli tactics and suspend arm sales and demanded that the European Union suspend a proposed new trade agreement with Israel.


Bid to firebomb synagogue as protests grow

By Craig Silver, January 8, 2009

An attempt was made to firebomb a London synagogue at the weekend in a protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The attack, just before midnight on Sunday, at Brondesbury Synagogue in Willesden, North-West London, was the most serious of 25 antisemitic incidents that have occurred since Israel launched its operation on December 27.


We need to be scared, says IDF colonel

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 7, 2009

An IDF colonel has described how he hopes his troops feel fear as they continue to push into Gaza.

“Fear is healthy” Lt-Colonel Amir Ulo said this evening. “It is part of a warrior’s basic skills that helps him prepare, not fear that paralyses.”

Lt-Col Ulo is commander of the Combat Engineer Corps special operations unit Yahalom and his soldiers have been leading the IDF’s combat groups as they take up positions around Gaza.


Drivers quizzed in hunt for girl

December 31, 2008

Motorists were questioned by police in North West London this morning during a search for a missing child.

Officers were called to Rotherwick Road, Golders Green, following reports that a three-year-old girl had disappeared from her family home.

They searched the surrounding area and stopped traffic to ask whether members of the public had seen the toddler.

The unnamed girl was later found safe and uninjured at the property.


Limmud: ex-defence chief assesses Gaza

By Simon Rocker, December 31, 2008

The idea that armies should use proportionate force was dismissed by a former director of military intelligence for the Israel Defence Forces at a special session on Gaza at the Limmud conference.

General Yaacov Amidror said: “The advantage Israel has, is only because it can react disproportionately.”

From a military perspective, he added: “The only way to deal with such a situation is to react without taking into consideration proportionality… otherwise you will lose before you begin.”