UK news

Scotland: we must fight hate too

By Stephanie Brickman, December 23, 2010

Ken Macintosh, Labour MSP for Eastwood, a constituency in Glasgow with a sizeable Jewish community, has criticised the Scottish Parliament for taking a passive stance on antisemitism.

In particular, Mr Macintosh said he was concerned that there was no Scottish representation on the cross-government working group on antisemitism.

He said: "I would like to see us represented on the group, or at the very least to comment on its findings. It's a national initiative, so why don't we participate?"


Board publishes Zionism for clergy

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

The Board of Deputies has responded to growing anti-Israel feeling among Christians by publishing a defence of Zionism from leading rabbis.

Five thousand copies have been published of a 30-page collection of essays, entitled Zionism: A Jewish Communal Response from the UK.

Its editor, Liberal Judaism chairman Lucian Hudson, , said it was "designed to make clear that Jews across the community are united in the belief that Zionism is central to Judaism. We hope it will be read by many ordinary church members."


FOI papers 'lost', say

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 22, 2010

Civil servants lost a Freedom of Information appeal which could shed light on a missing Israeli soldier.

The Foreign Office said it did not know what had happened to papers requesting a 1982 ambassador's report, which may have contained references to Zachary Baumel. It only said they had been passed to the Information Commissioner's Office. But an official there said: "The FO are dealing with it. It's not an ongoing case with us."

Now lawyers acting for the soldier's family have been asked by the FO to make a fresh appeal. But they fear the mix-up could be a delaying tactic.


It's not over until she sings

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

A Jewish director's short film has been picked to play the opening night of a London film festival, but a twist of fate meant the film was almost never made.

Glasgow-born Nadaav Soudry, 32, made The Opera Singer for less than £200 in January. It is a comedy about a singer who sells out and records her voice for a mobile phone ring-tone.

But the day before the shoot, the recording studio and sound technician pulled out and Mr Soudry rang his actors to cancel.


Muslim Aid 'cleared' of terror link

December 22, 2010

The Charity Commission has dismissed claims that Muslim Aid has "terrorist links," despite an investigation which found it gave money to a charity with Palestinian links.

It investigated after the Daily Telegraph published concerns that the relief charity had made payments to eight organisations allegedly linked to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The charity denied this.


YouTube reopens hate expose account after speeches mix-up

By Robyn Rosen, December 22, 2010

The pro-Israel Palestinian Media Watch, has had its YouTube account reopened after the video-sharing website closed it for four days for allegedly propagating hate speech.

The account, which posts videos of hate preachers and anti-Israel terrorists to expose them, was closed last Thursday for "violating terms of use".

YouTube specified the posting of six videos, including those of Hamas
suicide terrorists.

Itamar Marcus, director of PMW, said: "The material we post on YouTube is to expose the hatred in Palestinian and Hamas media.


Terror think tank in funding crisis

By Martin Bright, December 22, 2010

The anti-extremist think tank Quilliam has issued an emergency appeal for donations following the slashing of its Home Office grant.

The organisation was founded in 2008 by two former members of the radical Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Maajid Nawaz and Ed Husain. It has forged a reputation as a high-profile counter-balance to established organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain. Quilliam's original funding from the Middle East was withdrawn after the leadership criticised fatwas backing suicide bombings in Israel.


Abduction father gets jail sentence

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

An "arrogant" Jewish father who abducted his daughter and fled to Israel has been sentenced to four months in prison for refusing to return her to England.

A warrant will now be issued for the arrest of the man, who still lives in Israel, although his daughter has been returned to the UK.

The man and his wife divorced in 1996, when their daughter was seven, and have been in almost constant litigation over her future. The girl is now in her 20s, but lacks legal capacity to decide where she should live.


Red Cross: Shalit case top priority

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

The head of international law at the British Red Cross, Michael Meyer, has said kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has received more media attention than any other prisoner during his 28 years at the organisation.

Mr Meyer suggested that visiting the 24-year-old soldier, who has been held by Hamas terrorists for more than four years, was complicated by the fact he was not being held by a sovereign state.


BNP claims victory over constitution

By Robyn Rosen, December 22, 2010

Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party, has claimed a "David and Goliath victory" after the High Court threw out claims that he did not comply with a court order to remove "discriminatory" clauses in the party's constitution.

The decision appears to be the end of an 18-month battle between the BNP and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. In June 2009 the commission contacted the BNP claiming that its constitution, which restricted membership to a particular "ethnic group" and those whose skin colour was white, was against the1976 Race Relations Act.