UK news

Far-right’s first lady goes public on Shoah-denial

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

An attempt by a woman described as “one of the leaders of the extreme right” to justify her support for Holocaust deniers and Iran has been condemned by anti-fascist commentators.

Lady Renouf, a close friend of David Irving, has written to the JC in response to an article by columnist David Toube two weeks ago. Mr Toube criticised Lady Renouf’s support for disgraced academic Nicholas Kollerstrom, dismissed in April as an honorary fellow of University College London for publishing a paper claiming the gas chambers of Auschwitz never existed.

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Demolishing with Care

By Dana Gloger, June 13, 2008

This is the moment excavators began — delicately — tearing down Jewish Care’s North-West London headquarters.

The site, which includes Stuart Young House and the Michael Sobell Community Centre, is being demolished to make way for a £40 million redevelopment.

The work began with excavating machines pulling down the existing buildings this week.

The project will take around two years, longer than similar redevelopments because of the unusual nature of the demolition work.

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BBC caught in row over payment to academic who denies gas chambers

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

A disgraced academic sacked as an honorary fellow by a London university for claiming that the gas chambers of Auschwitz never existed is to have his views questioned in a BBC television programme.


Disgraced academic Nicholas Kollerstrom

Nicholas Kollerstrom was this week helping to make an edition of the BBC2 programme The Conspiracy Files when he became embroiled in a row over whether or not he was being paid for his participation.

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MSPs clash over Auschwitz trips

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

Members of the Scottish Parliament have clashed for the second time in a month over funding for school trips to Auschwitz. 

In May, Labour MSPs attacked the ruling Scottish National Party and the Tories for forcing through a decision that individual institutions should decide for themselves how to spend £150,000 given to Scottish schools by Westminster.

The decision meant the money was not ring-fenced for sending pupils on visits to Auschwitz concentration camp, as it has been in England.

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FCO to host antisemitism conference

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

The first conference bringing together parliamentarians from all over the world who lead the fight against antisemitism will be held in London next February, co-hosted by the Foreign Office.

The other co-host will be the newly formed Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA). Sessions of the conference will be held at the Houses of Parliament and the Foreign Office.

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Parents ‘in limbo’ over school squeeze

By Dana Gloger, June 13, 2008

At least 30 children in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, have failed to obtain a place at a Jewish primary school for September, despite their parents’ wishes.

Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, in Radlett, is the closest Jewish school, but chair of governors Rebecca Hilsenrath said that this year around 80 children failed to get a place at its nursery.Around half of these would probably  have been from Borehamwood.

Some managed to find places in other nearby Jewish schools including the Michael Sobell Sinai School, in Kenton, and Rosh Pinah, Edgware.

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Major union rejects Israel boycott

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

A decision by Britain’s third-largest union not to adopt an anti-Israel motion at its congress in Plymouth on Monday has been welcomed by the Stop The Boycott campaign.

The GMB general union debated a motion on statehood for Palestine that also made mention of rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza.

Although at least one region wanted to harden the wording, delegates ultimately decided to steer clear of a motion that called for any boycott.

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Miliband cuts Israel trip

June 13, 2008

Foreign Secretary David Miliband was forced to cut short his trip to Israel this week because of a three-line whip on Wednesday night’s House of Commons vote on the length of time police can question terror suspects before charging them.

Government and Opposition MPs were brought in from foreign trips and far-flung constituencies in order to be present for the vote, viewed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a vital test of his premiership. On Tuesday, Mr Miliband was due to have visited the southern Israeli town of Sderot, scene of repeated rocket attacks from Hamas.

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UJIA to sponsor Maccabiah team

June 13, 2008

The UJIA is to be the official team sponsor of Maccabi GB for next summer’s 18th Maccabiah Games. Maccabi GB plans to take its largest ever squad to the Games in Israel in July 2009. Up to 10,000 athletes will represent 57 countries in the largest diaspora gathering in Israel.

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Chief backs training scheme

June 13, 2008

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has agreed to be a patron of a new training  programme to encourage young lay and clerical religious leaders in the UK. Successful applicants in their 20s will be given free places on the £11,000-per-head Faith in Leadership scheme.

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