UK news

Payout pensioner dropped by hospital nurse

By Marcus Dysch, December 19, 2008

A pensioner has received £180,000 in damages after hospital staff dropped him as he recovered from a hip replacement operation.

Harold Shaw, 82, was left unable to walk and confined to a care home after the incident at Finchley Memorial Hospital, in North-West London.

Mr Shaw’s son, David, took legal action against Barnet Primary Care Trust (PCT), which manages the hospital. The case was due to be heard at the High Court last month, but the trust settled out of court.


Madoff scandal: charities lose $1bn

By Daniella Peled and Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2008

The Bernard Madoff investment scandal is expected to cost the Jewish charity world well over a billion dollars. But UK charities are likely to escape relatively unscathed from immediate losses.

Avraham Infeld, president of the Chais Family Foundation in Jerusalem, which has announced it is closing down after losing all its assets, said: “$600 million has disappeared overnight from the Jewish world.”


Jet strikes give Fiddler an unlikely twist

By Leon Symons, December 18, 2008

Pupils watching an end-of-term production of Fiddler on the Roof were suddenly confronted with a final scene of video images of Israeli air strikes.

And the man who decided to show the surprise video was the production director — who is Jewish.


Life lesson for ‘fit Jew’ students

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Oxford students will attend a cultural diversity course as punishment for their “bring a fit Jew” party.

Members of the under-21 rugby team will take part in the special seminar in January, but university proctors have refused to reveal details.

It has been organised after an investigation into last month’s party at which players were invited to find “fit” female students as dates and “dress as Jews”.

The event was cancelled following complaints from Jewish students, but some team members went ahead as planned.


The end of the road for posters like this

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Roadside billboards in the heart of a Jewish community are to be removed after objectors claimed they were too provocative.

The Advanced Medical Institute (AMI) adverts for nasal sprays to help with impotence resulted in more than 150 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Barnet Councillor Brian Gordon demanded action from his own officials. He said: “To a lot of people, seeing a great big poster with the word ‘sex’ on is very provocative.


MPs ask Red Cross to help Shalit

By Bernard Josephs, December 18, 2008

Red Cross officials have assured an all-party delegation of MPs that they are continuing to pressure armed factions in Gaza to allow them to visit captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive for more than two years.

“We have made it clear that the Shalit case is very high on our list of priorities and we deplore the fact that our delegates have been refused access to him,” a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said after the meeting in London on Wednesday.


Brown criticises Israel’s Palestinian policy

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown criticised Israel’s policy on the territories at a London conference on investment in the Palestinian economy this week.


Olmert scorns idea of ‘economic peace’

By Daniella Peled and Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert poured scorn on the concept of boosting the Palestinian economy as a way of achieving peace during a 24-hour visit to London this week.

Speaking at a gathering of Jewish community leaders, he described “a new concept: an economic peace which will help to bring a real peace.
“I wish it could be true, but I know it is an illusion, a slogan.”


The barmitzvah band that helped Alex get the X Factor

By Candice Krieger, December 18, 2008

X Factor winner Alexandra Burke may now be firmly on the path to international stardom. But she is unlikely to forget the Jewish support which helped set her on her way.

The 20-year-old from Islington, north London, who was unsuccessful in her attempt to make the finals in 2005, has spent the past two years singing at weddings and barmitzvahs with leading simchah performers the Gilev Showband, who helped her regain her confidence.


Anger over missionary leaflet drive

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 18, 2008

Evangelical Christian missionaries have been targeting Manchester’s Jewish community with leaflets using religious terminology and Ashkenazi spellings to entice people to read them. Residents in Broughton Park, who have received the leaflets through their doors, are concerned about what they call the “deceptive material”.