UK news

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.

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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.

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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.

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Visa law ‘will hit charedim’

By Leon Symons, July 25, 2008

A proposed visa law could place obstacles in the way of arranged marriages in the strictly Orthodox community.

MPs will vote on whether or not to raise the age for visas sought by people abroad wanting to marry here who are aged 18 to 21. The proposal is one of five put forward by the Home Office in an effort to halt forced marriages prevalent in other communities.

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Postcard with anti-Israel message withdrawn

By Leon Symons, July 25, 2008

When is a postcard not a postcard? When it is a political diatribe against Israel — and provides no space for a message.

The postcard in question features an anti-Israeli poem by Michael Rosen, the children’s laureate, on one side, and  four maps on the other side showing areas which it implies were Palestinian and are now part of Israel. There are also quotations attributed to David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon, and a paragraph accusing Israel of carrying out “ethnic cleansing, terrorism and apartheid” with American money and connivance.

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MP backs looted-art campaign

July 25, 2008
The law should be changed to ensure that artwork looted by the Nazis and now held by national museums and galleries is returned to its rightful owners, an MP has said.

Restrictions covering national museums prevent works being returned to the heirs of the original owners. Instead, once ownership is proved, compensation is offered. But Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, hopes clauses in the Heritage Bill, due to come before Parliament later this year, can be used to close the loophole.

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Police in cannabis farm raid

By Marcus Dysch, July 25, 2008

A cannabis farm has been discovered by workmen at a house in the heart of a Jewish neighbourhood.

Police were called to the property in Prestwich, Manchester, last Friday afternoon after the men, who had been contracted to work at the house, saw plants growing inside.

The workers were chased away by a man at the Park Road house, but when officers arrived, they discovered around 400 cannabis plants.

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Student glues himself to the PM

By Jessica Ware, July 25, 2008
A Jewish activist campaigning against Heathrow Airport's third runway superglued himself to the Prime Minister at a Downing Street reception.

Dan Glass, 24, a Plane Stupid volunteer, was at Number 10 on Tuesday to receive an award for his campaigning.

As Mr Brown shook his hand, Mr Glass, from Barnet, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, grabbed the Prime Minister's sleeve and said: "This is a non-violent protest. I have superglued myself to the buttons of the Prime Minister. We can't shake away climate change, like you can just shake away my arm."

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The council-house single mother of seven 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. 

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A troubled marriage

By Marcus Dysch, July 25, 2008

When Karin and Asi Gabay first met in a Tel Aviv beach café in 1992, they could never have predicted how their relationship would pan out.

Asi Gabay, 36, who now runs the Chopstix noodle bar in Golders Green, moved to London aged three.

The couple married in 1993 in Holon and settled in North London. Asi began working for his father at his Hendon restaurant, Sami’s.

But disillusioned with life in a new country, and without a job, Karin returned to Israel in 1994, just weeks before the birth of her first child.

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