UK news

Attempt to expel Israeli architects fails

By Marcus Dysch, July 31, 2008

A long-running dispute sparked by calls for a boycott of Israel has resurfaced following attempts to expel Israelis from the International Union of Architects (UIA).

A motion likening Israeli actions to those of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe collapsed due to a lack of support at a major conference in Turin last month.

London-based Abe Hayeem, chair of the Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) lobby group, proposed the motion.


Charedi web centre goes online

By Craig Silver, July 31, 2008

A new strictly Orthodox internet business centre has been opened in Stamford Hill, thought to be the first of its kind.

The new establishment, the Heimishe Business Centre is located on the Triangle Estate, Stamford Hill, and only allows people who are married to attend. It houses nine computers in separate sections for men and women, and costs £1.20 an hour.


Teens: let us smoke on tour

By Dana Gloger, July 31, 2008

The hot topic among Jewish youth movements this summer has been whether or not to allow participants to smoke on "tour" - the Israel summer schemes for post-GCSE 16-year-olds.

The dilemma arises over a change in UK law which has raised the age at which cigarettes can be bought to 18, the same as in Israel. But legally, 16-year-olds in Britain can smoke.


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

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 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 24, 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.


Visa law ‘will hit charedim’

By Leon Symons, July 24, 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.


Postcard with anti-Israel message withdrawn

By Leon Symons, July 24, 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.


MP backs looted-art campaign

July 24, 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.


Police in cannabis farm raid

By Marcus Dysch, July 24, 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.


Student glues himself to the PM

By Jessica Ware, July 24, 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."