UK news

William Hague: The full JC interview

By Martin Bright, April 29, 2010

Was the idea of the new alliance with new parties in the European Union yours?

We knew we would create a new group. Obviously, it wasn’t our intention to sit unaligned in the European parliament. The whole point of leaving it was to have a new group with a different outlook in some ways on Europe to the EPP, which is federalist grouping, which is why the Conservative Party has never been comfortable in it.

Nor have the Czech Party, the ODS. So we wanted to create a new grouping and that grew naturally from David Cameron’s pledge.


Jewish man stands for BNP in Brent

By Robyn Rosen, April 29, 2010

A Jewish man who claims to have “no interest” in politics is standing as the BNP candidate in a local election.

Richard Blackmore, from Kensal Rise, is standing for the Fryent ward in Brent, the first BNP candidate for the borough in 30 years.

Mr Blackmore, who is retired but would not state his age, described himself as of “Jewish extraction”.
His late mother’s maiden name was Gluckstein.

He said he joined the BNP because he was “disgusted” with New Labour and the BNP was an “alternative”.


Nick Clegg: The full JC interview

By Martin Bright, April 29, 2010

What would you do to kick-start talks in the Middle East in order to bring about a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

Clearly President Obama has the most leverage over the parties in the peace process. There is a limit to what we can do on our own, but I would like to see the UK and the EU supporting the initiatives being taken by the Americans.


Lib Dem warns of 'power of Jewish lobby'

By Marcus Dysch, April 28, 2010

A Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Yorkshire told a hustings meeting that “the power of the Jewish lobbies in Washington and Britain” are the reason a full arms embargo has not been imposed on Israel.

Madeleine Kirk, standing for the party in the new seat of York Outer, was speaking at the York University event on Wednesday afternoon.

A question was asked about whether the candidates believed arms sales to Israel should be banned.

Ms Kirk, a long-standing local city councillor, replied that an embargo should be in place, but was not, "because of the Jewish lobby”.


Alan Sillitoe, the 'non-Jewish Jew'

By Jessica Elgot, April 26, 2010

Alan Sillitoe, the novelist, who has died aged 82, often spoke of his love for Jewish culture and Israel.

Married to American Jewish poet Ruth Fainlight, Nottingham-born Mr Sillitoe was one of Britain’s best-known novelists and famous as one of the 1950s “Angry Young Men”, though it was a label he disliked.

Mr Sillitoe’s father was an often violent factory worker, and his mother, frequently attacked by his father, sometimes resorted to prostitution to feed the family.


Goldstone to attend grandson's barmitzvah

By Moira Schneider and Jessica Elgot, April 26, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone will attend his grandson’s barmitzvah after all, after previously agreeing not to attend the event in South Africa so as not to cause distress or disturbance.

He has agreed to a meeting with the South African Jewish community leaders where they could air their grievances.

Judge Goldstone authored the controversial UN report into Operation Cast Lead, finding both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes. He had agreed not to attend his grandson’s barmitzvah because of possible protests.


Rabbis call for action on Congo

By Simon Rocker, April 23, 2010

More than 50 rabbis including Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield and Liberal chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich have called on political leaders to make it an “absolute priority” for the next parliament to act to save war-ravaged Congo.

In a letter published in today’s Guardian, they say that the loss of life had reached nearly five and half million people by 2007 – with 45,000 still dying every month.

“What these shocking figures cannot convey is the scale of ongoing rape, torture and humiliation,” they write.


Tonge quits Palestine Telegraph 'over KKK video'

By Jessica Elgot, April 22, 2010

Baroness Jenny Tonge has withdrawn her patronage of the Palestine Telegraph after the paper posted a video of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke claiming that Israel is a terrorist threat to America.

The LibDem peer has often been attacked for her patronage of the Palestine Telegraph, which has previously linked IDF doctors to organ theft in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.


Jewish organisations team up to fight political racism

By Jessica Elgot, April 22, 2010

More than 50 religious organisations have lent their support to a pledge which asks UK citizens to use their votes to help fight racism and discrimination in politics.

Although the pledge does not specifically name the British National Party as the target, it urges voters to be “aware of the political forces who would seek to divide our country by promoting ideology of racism and prejudice.”

The initiative, organised by the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality and the Three Faiths Forum, has signed up 56 organisations to the pledge.


Lib Dem Lord Wallace: His controversial Q&A in full

April 22, 2010

Q: Melvyn Benjamin, Hendon United Synagogue: