UK news

Squatters locked me out, then stole my art

By Leon Symons, March 26, 2009

The life of an Israeli artist has been wrecked by a group of Polish squatters who broke into and occupied his home twice, stripping it of his work and possessions.

Ya’akov Boussidan was initially left with bills of hundreds of pounds for telephone calls and utilities, as well as repairs for the damage they caused at his house — once the home of the actress Marie Lloyd — in Lewisham, south London.

While he was trying to regain possession of his home, he fell ill and spent three weeks in hospital.


Ronson family agony over ill baby

By Jessica Elgot, March 26, 2009

Two years ago, Nicole Allalouf was given almost unbearable news. Her then 10-month-old daughter, Lucy, who had been suffering from up to 300 unexplained seizures every day, had an extremely rare brain tumour. It required dangerously invasive brain surgery.

Ever since then, Nicole (daughter of Dame Gail Ronson and businessman Gerald Ronson) and her husband, Israeli businessman Yoyo Allalouf, have been doing what any parent would do: everything in their power to give Lucy a chance of survival.


Sir Paul McCartney joins peace charity

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Sir Paul McCartney has followed the success of his first Israeli concert last year by joining the conflict-resolution organisation, OneVoice.

The former Beatle has been added to the honorary board of advisers for the charity, which works with Israelis and Palestinians to promote a two-state solution to the conflict.

During his concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park last September, Sir Paul and his band wore OneVoice pin-badges.


Anger over offensive magazine

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Students have written and distributed a magazine littered with antisemitic jokes as part of a charity fundraising initiative.

Rag to the Future was produced by Barts and the London Students’ Association, part of the University of London, for rag week, which began last Friday.

Jokes about circumcision, pork and Jewish wives were among the most offensive material.

Juliet Lewin of Hatch End, north London, complained to the students’ association after reading a copy of the magazine given to her husband by students in central London.


Raid turns up guns, drugs ... and tusks

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Evidence of paedophilia, firearms possession, drug trafficking and prostitution have been uncovered by police conducting an investigation into the criminal use of safety deposit boxes.

Police are now conducting over 1,000 spin-off investigations and believe they have inflicted a substantial blow to global crime networks.

Among the items discovered in the 3,554 seized boxes were millions of pounds, euros and US dollars in cash; illegal elephant tusks; drugs including ketamine and pure cocaine; forged passports and numerous firearms.


Lost German artworks go to auction in UK

By James Martin, March 26, 2009

A collection of artworks by the daughter of a prominent Nazi-era German Jewish political activist, which was found in a trunk in a London attic, is to be auctioned next month.

They are 22 drawings and paintings by Dodo Burgner, most of which may have been published by Ulk magazine, a satirical publication edited by her father, Theodor Wolff. He was an eminent Jewish art critic and editor who founded the German Liberal Democrat Party in 1918.


Wrapit: 'gets relaunch'

By James Martin, March 26, 2009

The Jewish owner of an online wedding gift firm that went bust in August last year has offered her “heartfelt sympathy” to the hundreds of couples who never received presents. This week the company, Wrapit, relaunched under a new name.

Pepita Diamand, who founded Wrapit eight years ago, said: “I’m sorry for customers who were affected and I well understand that the re-emergence of the company leaves them with a sour taste in their mouths.” She said: “I was invited to participate in the new business and flatly refused.”


Apprentice drop-out says: I ran for my wife

By Jan Shure, March 26, 2009

The contestant who dropped out of The Apprentice because he could not face being apart from his wife and young children for up to three months has said the decision to leave was the hardest one he has ever made.

Adam Freeman, 31, who lives in Chigwell, Essex, with his wife Joanna and their daughters, Sienna and Peyton, was due to be one of 16 candidates in the current series of the hit BBC1 reality TV show which began on Wednesday.


Sect tries to buy a church

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2009

The Manchester Jewish Representative Council has protested against the proposed sale of a local church to the breakaway Catholic sect to which Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson belongs.

Council president Barbara Goldstone said allowing the Society for Saint Pius X (SSPX) to buy St George’s, a disused Anglican church in Gorton, would “only destroy the religious harmony in the city of which we are very proud”.


MSPs seek envoy’s expulsion

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, should be expelled from Britain until Israel “shows it is not above international law”, according to members of the Scottish Parliament.

A session of Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee has urged the UK government to have Mr Prosor removed, following pressure from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

But foreign policy matters remain under Westminster’s jurisdiction, and the Scottish government said it was “not minded” to support the call for Mr Prosor’s expulsion.