UK news

Gordon Brown's bid to fix rift with UK Jews

By Martin Bright and Simon Rocker, November 12, 2009

The government is to launch a charm offensive to rebuild the trust of the Jewish community in response to the anger unleashed by the Goldstone Report on Gaza.

Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis met senior representatives of the community on Tuesday to reassure them about last week’s decision to abstain in the UN General Assembly on a resolution endorsing the findings of the controversial report. Judge Richard Goldstone found that Israel and Hamas should be investigated for war crimes during the conflict.


Palestinian unions say Israel boycott would harm them

By Leon Symons, November 12, 2009

The leader of Palestine’s equivalent of the TUC has told a delegation of British trade unionists that they are not interested in general boycotts of Israel.

Shaher Saeed, general secretary of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), told representatives of seven unions that the organisation had so little interest in the subject it had never discussed boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and therefore had no policy on the subject.


Labour MP pulls out of pro-Palestine event

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009

Labour MP Neil Gerrard has pulled out of a pro-Hamas rally, which will be attended by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Tonge, after an anti-racism group asked him to withdraw.

Mr Gerrard told the anti-fascist group Nothing British About the BNP that he would not attend the event organised by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC).

He claimed this was because of “substantial evidence” that far-right Hungarian MP Kristina Morvai would be attending.


Community letter attacks government on Kaminski

By Leon Symons, November 9, 2009

Anglo-Jewry has launched a second public attack on the government in a week. A letter published in the Daily Telegraph signed by some communal leaders called on Foreign Secretary David Miliband to withdraw accusations he made against the Conservatives’ new European allies. A number of the signatories were Tory party supporters.


British Jews' anger deepens over Goldstone vote

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009

British Jews have attacked the government and Foreign Secretary David Miliband for failing to take action against the Goldstone Report, claiming they have “lost credibility”.

In an unprecedented move, the Board of Deputies, the Zionist Federation and the Jewish Leadership Council have voiced their anger at the decision of the British government to abstain from the vote at the UN General Assembly.


Israeli cleared of causing policeman's death

By Leon Symons, November 6, 2009

An Israeli has been cleared of causing the death by dangerous driving of an off-duty motor-cycle policeman.

Liron Shnaider, a 26-year-old musician who lives in Golders Green, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of careless driving and will be sentenced next month.

Shnaider was acquitted after a four-day trial at Isleworth Crown Court during which his counsel, Jonathan Goldberg QC, demonstrated that the accident in April that brought about the death of 36-year-old PC Chris Dent occurred because of a sequence of unfortunate events.


Chief Rabbi: Muslims can learn from Jews

By Simon Rocker, November 6, 2009

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks said that Muslims need to learn to separate religion from power, in a major lecture in London this week.

“One of the great advantages of being Jewish, is you know how to sing in a minor key,” The Times reported him saying. “We have had 26 centuries of experience, ever since the Babylonian exile, of living as a minority in the midst of a culture that does not share our views.”


Miliband rejects pleas over Goldstone UN vote

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has rejected demands from the Jewish community that Britain vote ‘no’ at the UN General Assembly debate on the Goldstone Report.

In a joint statement, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies expressed their dismay over the lack of action by the British government regarding the report and demanded nothing less than a ‘no’ vote by Britain at the UN, calling the report “a sustained political attack upon Israel”.


Rabbis call for kashrut price cuts

By Leon Symons, November 5, 2009

A Tesco chicken was waved, figuratively speaking, above the heads of some of Europe’s leading rabbis at a conference in Brussels last week.

More than 100 rabbis met to discuss kashrut and how to make it cheaper.

The £2 Tesco chicken was cited as an example of cheap non-kosher food being sold across Europe. A kosher chicken costs five times more.


Halve your kosher meat eating, say campaigners

By Simon Rocker, November 5, 2009

Jews should try to cut their meat consumption by half over the next few years in order to help combat global warming, according to leading Jewish environmental campaigners attending an international conference hosted by Prince Philip.

Representatives of the world’s faiths detailed their ideas to offset the impact of climate change at an Alliance of Religions and Conservation event (Arc) at Windsor Castle this week, attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.