UK news

David Bellamy pulls out of Zionist Federation talk

February 11, 2010

TV Botanist David Bellamy pulled out of an appearance at the Zionist Federation’s annual environment seminar, days after an anti-Israel group said he should be “outraged” by the event.

Prof Bellamy was scheduled to be guest speaker at the Israel Blue White and Green events on Tuesday, but withdrew offering no explanation for his absence.

At the event, almost 1,000 sixth form pupils and university students were briefed by leading Israeli scientists.


Man who refused wife a get loses action against JC

By Leon Symons, February 11, 2010

A man who complained about the JC’s coverage of his refusal to give his wife a get has lost his action against the paper.

Edward Saleh’s wife Miriam divorced him three years ago. But he left her an agunah — a chained woman — unless she agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of a Beth Din that would seek to re-open the issues settled in her civil action.

Ms Saleh refused and, even now, is still unable to remarry according to Jewish law.

This week the newspaper watchdog, the Press Complaints Commission, rejected Mr Saleh’s claim that the JC’s report was inaccurate.


Calls for the destruction of Israel in SOAS lecture

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has advocated suicide bombing, has told students he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.

Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, spoke to students at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) on Tuesday.

On Monday, he addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society and is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.


MP slams ‘Zionist conspiracy’ attack on Labour candidate

By Martin Bright, February 11, 2010

A senior Jewish Labour MP in Liverpool has called on activists in the party to end an anti-Zionist campaign of vilification against Luciana Berger, who was selected as the party’s candidate in the Wavertree constituency of the city last month.

Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Select Committee, accused veteran MP Peter Kilfoyle of indulging in a “conspiracy theory” by making an issue of Ms Berger’s job as director of Labour Friends of Israel.


JLC pushes Straw on warrants

By Martin Bright and Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

The Jewish Leadership Council has written the second letter in as many weeks requesting an urgent meeting with Justice Secretary Jack Straw to discuss the delay in introducing legislation to prevent magistrates from issuing arrest warrants for alleged war criminals.

The JLC first wrote to the Ministry of Justice on January 28 to request urgent talks to discuss why the government had failed to announce the reform.

A new letter, written jointly with the Board of Deputies, was sent on Tuesday, but at the time of going to press, there was no response from Mr Straw.


Oxford student: 'I didn't mean 'Kill the Jews'

By Jessica Elgot, February 11, 2010

The student who appeared to shout “Slaughter the Jews” at Israeli minister Danny Ayalon has claimed the Deputy Foreign minister misunderstood his Arabic.

The Oxford Student newspaper has named the protester as second year St Edmund’s Hall student Noor Rashid.

Several eyewitnesses said they heard Mr Rashid shout: “Itbah Al-Yahud”, an Arabic phrase meaning “Slaughter the Jews”. Mr Ayalon translated the phrase with this meaning.


Tonge: Investigate IDF stealing organs in Haiti

By Simon Rocker and Martin Bright, February 11, 2010

Baroness Tonge, the Liberal peer, said this week that Israel should set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants.

Her call has been sharply criticised by fellow LibDems, but party leader Nick Clegg has refused to act against her.

The organ theft claims were published last week in the Palestine Telegraph, an online journal based in Gaza of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.


School that 'allowed antisemitism' lost 19 teachers

By Leon Symons, February 10, 2010

Nineteen teachers left an east London primary school accused of racial and religious discrimination in just six years, an employment tribunal has heard.

The teachers were employed at Bigland Green Primary School in Tower Hamlets and, according to Nicholas Kafouris, who is suing the school, this was due in part to the head, Jill Hankey.

“She upset a lot of teachers of different cultures and faiths,” Mr Kafouris said in answer to a question from one of the members of the tribunal in central London.


Oxford student at Israeli minister: 'Kill the Jews'

By Marcus Dysch, February 9, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister was met by a protester screaming “slaughter the Jews” as he spoke at the Oxford Union.

Antisemitic and anti-Israel abuse was shouted throughout Danny Ayalon’s speech on Monday evening, with students causing numerous disruptions to the event.

During the hour-long session one student ran towards Mr Ayalon shouting the Arabic phrase “Itbah Al-Yahud” [Slaughter the Jews].

As many as 10 others, carrying Palestinian flags, made attempts to attack Mr Ayalon but were intercepted and removed by security.


Teacher 'sacked for challenging antisemitism'

By Leon Symons, February 9, 2010

A Christian teacher who claims he was forced out of his job for reporting his pupils’ antisemitic and anti-Christian comments clashed repeatedly with a barrister at an employment tribunal.

Nicholas Kafouris, 52, claimed that pupils at predominantly Muslim Bigland Primary School in Tower Hamlets, east London, had said in lessons that they “hated Jews and Christians”, had praised the Twin Towers perpetrators as heroes and martyrs and said they wanted to be “Islamic bombers” when they grew up.