UK news

Facebook fraudster ordered to pay his victim £22,000

By James Brewster, August 1, 2008

A businessman whose personal details were "laid bare" in fake entries on the Facebook social networking website has been awarded £22,000 in damages against the former friend who created the profile.

Mathew Firsht, managing director of Applause Store Productions, sued his old schoolfriend, freelance cameraman Grant Raphael, for libel and misuse of private information.

A judge at the High Court in London ruled that Mr Raphael's defence - that the entry was created on his computer by party gate-crashers at his flat - was "built on lies".


Welcome to Chief Constable

August 1, 2008
The appointment of the new Manchester Chief Constable, Peter Fahy, has been welcomed by the Jewish community. He has regularly condemned antisemitism, has visited Auschwitz and attends Holocaust Memorial Days. He succeeds the late Michael Todd.


Viewers enraged by comic’s Shoah sketch

By Dana Gloger, August 1, 2008

Media watchdog Ofcom is investigating Channel 4's The Kevin Bishop Show after receiving dozens of complaints about a Holocaust-themed sketch.

The two-minute skit, aired last Friday evening, was a spoof musical version of the scene in the film Sophie's Choice in which the heroine is forced to choose which of her two children to keep with her at Auschwitz.


MPs fly to Poland to learn legacy of hate

By Marcus Dysch, August 1, 2008

A group of nine MPs visited Poland last week to discuss combating antisemitism in the country.

The three-day trip was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism (PCAA).

It included a visit to the former Nazi death camp at Majdanek and meetings with government officials and Jewish residents.


Oberman did not write play, says co-author

By Candice Krieger, July 25, 2008

A simmering dispute between actress Tracy-Ann Oberman and playwright Diane Samuels broke dramatically into the open this week, when Ms Samuels spoke out against the former EastEnders star for appearing to claim sole authorship of a play to which they have joint credits. Ms Oberman in turn consulted her lawyers when the JC put Ms Samuels’s concerns to her.

The women are named as co-writers of a version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, re-named 3 Sisters on Hope Street, staged earlier this year at London’s Hampstead Theatre.


Priest sorry for Shoah reference

July 25, 2008
A Catholic priest has apologised to the Jewish community over the interpretation of an article he wrote about the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

Writing in a parish magazine in Norfolk, Chet News, Father Mark Hackeson said that since abortion had been legalised in the UK, more than six million lives had been destroyed - "on a par with the Jewish Holocaust".


Woman divorced against her will

By Simon Rocker, July 25, 2008

Rabbis issue ‘get’ at husband’s request

A London woman this week expressed shock at the prospect of being divorced by a rabbinical court against her will — in part because she allegedly wore clothes it deemed “provocative”.

Karin Gabay, a single mother of seven living in a council house, said she was “devastated” and “completely shocked” by the Sephardi Bet Din decision. She has been in dispute with her former husband over maintenance payments. 


Fury over deposit-box delay

By Candice Krieger, July 25, 2008

Owners of safety-deposit boxes seized in London police raids earlier this year are still waiting for their return and angry at lack of police action.

Officers raided nearly 7,000 boxes from Hampstead, Mayfair and Edgware in June, as part of Operation Rize.

Many of those taken belonged to innocent people who are still awaiting the return of their possessions. A restoration centre has been set up for the return of goods seized during the raid, but many people still feel they are being kept in the dark.


UK authorities detain Israeli 12-year-old girl for a month

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 25, 2008

Israeli officials expressed astonishment this week that a 12-year-old girl who entered Britain unaccompanied had apparently been kept under British welfare supervision for more than a month before contact was made with the Tel Aviv authorities. The girl — and earlier her nine-year-old brother — had been sent to Britain by her mother, a 38-year-old Russian-born Israeli.


JCC abandons plans for its new building

By Simon Rocker, July 25, 2008

Plans for the first American-style Jewish community centre in the heart of London have been shelved, a decision blamed by its backers on the worsening economic climate.

The board of the Jewish Community Centre for London (JCC) has announced it is putting on hold a scheme to develop an 80,000-square-foot former car showroom in Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, bought just over a year-and-a-half ago.