UK news

Synagogue members list contacted by canvassers

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2010

Synagogue members have been contacted by canvassers who claimed a Conservative Party candidate was endorsed by the congregation.

Members of South Hampstead Synagogue were called on Tuesday evening by people claiming to be ringing on behalf of the Conservative Party.

The calls raised concerns that the synagogue's membership list may have been leaked or stolen.

SH chairman Michael Hatchwell was forced to email congregants alerting them to the canvassing. But he said the membership list had not been released.


School may get 40% non-Jewish entry

By Simon Rocker, May 6, 2010

King Solomon High School in Essex is facing an increase in non-Jewish students this autumn in line with the predicted impact of more Jewish school places available elsewhere.

As many as 40 per cent of first year entrants to the state-aided comprehensive could be non-Jewish, according to rumours circulating at a Jewish education conference last week.

Spencer Lewis, King Solomon's head teacher, declined to release figures this week, but suggested that the composition of the intake would be exceptional this year.


Salmond to talk on racism

May 6, 2010

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, will address a public meeting of the Glasgow Jewish community at the end of this month to address anxieties about antisemitism in the country.

Mr Salmond has apparently expressed concern at issues raised recently by the JC's political editor, Martin Bright.


Chief Rabbi backs a reversal of JFS ruling

By Simon Rocker, May 6, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, will back a unilateral move by Orthodox groups to reverse the JFS court ruling if it proves impossible to achieve broader communal agreement.

However, his office stressed in a statement that he still believed the Board of Deputies to be the "most appropriate body" to pursue a change in the law.

Jewish schools were forced to introduce new entry rules last year after the Supreme Court upheld an Appeal Court decision that schools could no longer choose pupils on the basis of whether their mother - or father - was Jewish.


Family banned from Jewish area for racist attacks

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 6, 2010

A mother, her son and his then boyfriend have been banned for five years from Manchester's most Jewish area after carrying out "disgraceful" racist attacks in a three-day spree.

Shameem Parker, 44, and her son Dean, 22, were sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court last Thursday, together with Barry Clark-Millar, 52.

All three, who pleaded guilty to charges of racially aggravated offences, received Asbos banning them from entering the Broughton Park area.

Judge Jonathan Foster QC also jailed the two men for four months each, while Mrs Parker received a 12-month community order.


Envoy attack sparks fear for Israelis' safety

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2010

Concerns have been raised for the safety of Israelis speaking to university students in Britain after its deputy ambassador fled to a security office as protesters attempted to attack her on a campus.

Talya Lador-Fresher feared she would be assaulted when demonstrators climbed on the bonnet of her car to try to smash the windscreen.

She had been speaking to members of Manchester University's Politics Society last Wednesday evening. Around 40 demonstrators, not believed to be students, gathered at the venue.


Leeds Student demands apology for pulled edition

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2010

A university newspaper was temporarily pulled from the shelves by the student union after it published an interview with a Palestinian journalist whose comments were interpreted as suggesting Jews control the media.

Leeds Student, the Leeds University newspaper, interviewed Sameh Habeeb, the founder and editor of the online Palestine Telegraph, about his experiences during last year's Gaza conflict.

Mr Habeeb said there was a "media blackout" on reporting life in Gaza and was then asked: "Do you believe mainstream media organisations have a hidden agenda?"


Muslim group's 'vicious abuse' of candidates

By Martin Bright, May 6, 2010

A Muslim organisation which campaigns against candidates who support Israel has been reported to the equalities watchdog for intimidating behaviour.

The Community Security Trust raised its concerns about the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) in a meeting with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission before the election, and received an assurance that its activities would be closely monitored. Such has been the intensity of the MPAC campaign that the CST decided to take up the issue with the EHRC as soon as the polls closed.


Mysterious posters seek Israeli businessman

By Leon Symons, May 6, 2010

Up to a dozen "wanted" posters have appeared in central London streets claiming that an Israeli-born man owes £1.5 million

The posters, headed "Wanted" in red capital letters, carry a picture of Arieh Buchwald (below). They state: "Mr Arieh Buchwald, also known as Mr B, owes over £1,500,000. A reward is offered for information that leads to the recovery of this money." This is followed by a mobile telephone number.

Tracked down by the JC, Mr Buchwald said: "I have nothing to say about this. I don't want to talk about it."


Election 2010: Jewish candidates await the results

By Jessica Elgot, May 6, 2010

Jewish candidates in the general election are facing a long day until the polls close tonight, and many have an uncertain night ahead.

Former Labour Friends of Israel Director Luciana Berger is standing in her first election as Labour’s candidate for Liverpool Wavertree.

Despite an impressive CV, Ms Berger upset some locals who saw her as being “parachuted” into a safe Labour seat and now the Liberal Democrats are favourites with the bookmakers to take the seat.