UK news

Former youth leader to take over at New Israel Fund

By Jennifer Lipman, November 19, 2010

The former national leader of youth movement Habonim has been appointed as the chief executive of the UK branch of the New Israel Fund (NIF).

Adam Ognall will take over in January 2011 from Ellen Goldberg, who is returning to Israel after four years in the role.

Mr Ognall, who founded a sustainability enterprise called GreenMinds, is the current chair of North London charity Restore. He previously served as the co-chair of the Zionist Youth Council and worked at the Charity Commission.


Oona King, Michael Grade, Stanley Fink to go to House of Lords

By Marcus Dysch and Jennifer Lipman, November 19, 2010

The chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI) and the former chief executive of the Chief Rabbi’s Office are among the more than 50 new members of the House of Lords.

Monroe Palmer, a Liberal Democrat councillor, will be joined as a peer by two Jewish former MPs, Susan Kramer and Oona King.


Technology chief Jonathan Kestenbaum set for Lords

By Jennifer Lipman, November 19, 2010

The former manager of Great Britain’s Maccabiah Team is expected to be named as a Labour peer later today.

Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of the endowment fund for science and technology (NESTA), has been tipped to be included on a list of as many as 50 new working peers to be announced by Downing Street.

Jewish academic Dr Maurice Glasman and former Labour MP Oona King are also expected to be given peerages, as are Andrew Feldman, the joint chairman of the Conservative party, and the party’s treasurer Stanley Fink.


Amy Winehouse to tour Brazil

By Jennifer Lipman, November 19, 2010

Amy Winehouse is to return to the stage after nearly two years with a series of concerts in South America early next year.

The Jewish singer, who grew up in north London, will perform four dates in cities around Brazil in January. The American singer Mayer Hawthorne, whose real name is Andrew Mayer Cohen, will support her on the tour.

She will travel with bodyguards including accompanied a former SAS officer in order to ensure her safety while in the country.

Ms Winehouse, 27, is expected to release a new album after the Brazil tour.


Report: public money goes to 'anti-Israel' journal

By Simon Rocker, November 18, 2010

More than £767,000 of public money from the Arts Council has gone to the London Review of Books – a publication “virulently hostile” to Israel and Zionism, according to a new report by the media monitoring body, Just Journalism.

The literary journal received its grants from the council – which is funded by the Government and the National Lottery - over a 30-year period, JJ says.


Valuable china that survived the Nazis

By Jenni Frazer, November 18, 2010

The remnants of an extraordinary collection are to go, almost literally, under the hammer. Broken china and perfect pieces, part of the Meissen china collection assembled by Gustav von Klemperer, the Jewish chairman of the Dresdner Bank, are for sale at Bonham's in London on December 8.


Terror as Israel jet blown off course

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

Airline passengers flying from Israel to Britain fainted when the pilot twice failed to land in gale-force winds.

The pilot of the Jet2 flight to Manchester struggled against winds of up to 80mph to wrestle the plane to within seconds of landing.

But he was forced to divert to East Midlands Airport, near Leicester, 80 miles away.

Many shaken and nauseous passengers chose to take taxis, costing up to £200, rather than the coaches provided by the airline to get home.


Stacey Solomon didn't sing for kangaroo supper

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2010

Stacey Solomon may have bitten off more than she could chew in the current series of I'm a Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here!

The former King Solomon pupil, 21, munched on a distinctly un-kosher kangaroo penis for her first task in the Australian jungle. She later had green goo sprayed in her face.

But she's still favourite to win the ITV show at 3/1. And the X Factor finalist has the backing of Simon Cowell who told me this week: "Put your money on her. She's a fantastic girl and she makes brilliant TV."


Peer: I will not be silenced on Israel

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Phillips of Sudbury is embroiled in an argument over his views on Israel following comments he made at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting.

Last week the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust made a formal complaint to Nick Clegg over the peer's apparent comment that America was in the grip of the "Israel lobby".

He was also alleged to have said that Europe was unable to think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust.


Lib Dem peer Jenny Tonge crosses line again

By Robyn Rosen, November 18, 2010

Controversial Lib Dem peer Jenny Tonge has accused Israel of being the "cause of terrorism" and said the West's treatment of Muslims was due to "Holocaust guilt" and the power of the pro-Israel lobby.

Baroness Tonge, who was sacked in February by leader Nick Clegg as health spokesperson after demanding an investigation into allegations of organ harvesting by the IDF in Haiti, made the comments in the House of Lords on Friday.