Sandy Rashty

Interview: Jeremy Robson

By Sandy Rashty, December 11, 2014

Jeremy Robson has published headline-grabbing celebrities-turned-authors, from Muhammad Ali to Joan Collins and Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel.

He remembers driving Ali around the UK on a promotional book tour from Oxford to Brixton, describing the Muslim-convert as a man on the look-out for religious debate.

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Sir Derek Jacobi against shul revamp

By Sandy Rashty, December 11, 2014

Sir Derek Jacobi said he was disappointed after an Orthodox synagogue was granted planning permission to extend its premises.

Last week, Camden Council approved a £12 million plan to redevelop the South Hampstead Synagogue in north-west London.

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Katherine Jenkins’ song for Chanucah

By Sandy Rashty, December 11, 2014

Katherine Jenkins has released a Chanucah album to mark the first year in which she will celebrate the festival as the wife of Jewish artist Andrew Levitas.

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Palestinian minister dies after West Bank protest

By Sandy Rashty, December 10, 2014

A Palestinian minister has died after clashing with Israeli soldiers at a protest in the West Bank today.

Ziad Abu Ein, a minister without portfolio, appeared to be arguing with IDF soldiers near the Turmusiya village.

One witness claimed he was pushed by soldiers. Others claimed that he was suffocated by tear gas.

Mr Abu Ein died before reaching a hospital in Ramallah.

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David Cameron 'filled with grief' for Holocaust victims on visit to Auschwitz

By Sandy Rashty, December 10, 2014

David Cameron lit a candle in memory of six million victims of the Holocaust on a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland today.

It was his first visit to the camp as prime minister.

Mr Cameron was accompanied by Jewish Leadership Council head Mick Davis, who is chair of the Holocaust Commission set up by Mr Cameron this year.

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Israel rejects Amnesty war crime claim

By Sandy Rashty, December 10, 2014

Amnesty International has claimed that Israeli air strikes against four high-rise buildings in Gaza during the summer amounted to “war crimes”.

The al-Basha Tower complex – which housed around 30 flats, TV and radio stations – was flattened during the strikes. There were no fatalities.

Amnesty called for an investigation into the strikes in a report into the incident.

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It gets my goat when people call UKIP racist

By Sandy Rashty, November 27, 2014

Andrew Reid, treasurer of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip), might be described as its perfect spokesman.

A Jewish lawyer and property developer who grew up in Golders Green, it's not easy to tar him with the "every Ukip supporter is a racist and/or swivel-eyed loon" brush that many have wielded ahead of next year's general election.

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Justice for Jews from Arab lands: support grows in UK

By Sandy Rashty, November 27, 2014

"Jews from Arab lands suffered - their story should be told. They weren't just uprooted; their history was uprooted."

So says Florette Hyman, who was born Florette Menir in Cairo, and who came to the UK in 1957 after her family was forced to leave Egypt.

"Everyone is talking about the Palestinian refugees.

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Freewheeling around a culture capital

By Sandy Rashty, November 20, 2014

A small city has been built in the centre of Aarhus, the up-and-coming but lesser-known cultural capital of Denmark. The student population has been allowed to run riot with creativity, displaying their university art projects, elusive theatre and musical constructs for the 50th anniversary of the ten-day Aarhus Festival - one of the largest cultural events inScandinavia.

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Trailer: Jewish actress Helena Bonham Carter stars in Disney's new Cinderella film

By Sandy Rashty, November 20, 2014
Watch the trailer as Jewish actress Helena Bonham Carter plays Cinderella's Fairy God Mother in the new Disney film.

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Call for end to funding of banned charity

By Sandy Rashty, November 20, 2014

Communal organisations have called on the government to stop funding Birmingham-based charity, Islamic Relief, after it was banned as a terrorist organisation by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Islamic Relief, which signed contracts worth £12.5 million on projects funded by the UK government in the last calendar year, has already been banned from operating in the West Bank after it was accused

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Etherton to take over at film festival

By Sandy Rashty, November 20, 2014

The man behind major culture festivals in the UK, Geneva, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv has been named as the next chief executive of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

Michael Etherton has organised music and film festivals across the globe since he graduated from Oxford University and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

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Security group advises vigilance around shuls in wake of attacks

By Sandy Rashty, November 19, 2014

Security levels around UK synagogues have been raised in the wake of the terrorist attack on a Jerusalem shul yesterday and the stabbing of Charedi man in Antwerp on Saturday.

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Baroness Warsi in row over Jerusalem synagogue attack tweets

By Sandy Rashty, November 18, 2014

Former Cabinet Minister Sayeeda Warsi has compared the terrorists who killed four Jews praying at synagogue in Jerusalem with the Israelis who campaign outside the Al Aqsa mosque.

In a series of tweets, she wrote: “Israeli extremists storm Al Aqsa & intimidate worshipers. Palestinian extremists storm synagogue & kill 4 worshippers.”

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Israel will always be our ally, pledges David Cameron

By Sandy Rashty, November 17, 2014

David Cameron has pledged that Israel would always be an ally of Britain while he remained in Downing Street.

Speaking at the annual Norwood dinner on Monday night, which raised a record-breaking £3.6 million for the charity, the Prime Minister said: "Israel is our ally. Israel is our friend. And with me as Prime Minister that will never change."

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Jonathan Shalit: Starmaker who shows celebs what it means to be Jewish

By Sandy Rashty, November 13, 2014

'Yes, I work in showbusiness, the business of show, but I work in a very serious business, a very hard business,' Jonathan Shalit tells me with his infectious enthusiasm.

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Boycotts can hurt the UK, too

By Sandy Rashty, November 13, 2014

Israel's Chief Scientist, Avi Hasson, has warned that boycott campaigns could deter Israelis from trading with Britain.

Mr Hasson, whose office is part of Israel's Ministry of Economy, met senior ministers and business leaders in London at a conference co-organised by UK Israel Business and the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association.

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‘Charlie Kray was a charmer’

By Sandy Rashty, November 6, 2014

Every time Jonathan Goldberg QC attends a party, he faces the same question: “How can you defend a man you know to be guilty?”

It’s something he has come to expect, having acted for some of the most notorious murderers, rapists and fraudsters in criminal courts at home and abroad for the past 41 years.

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Rush for tickets as film festival opens

By Sandy Rashty, November 6, 2014

At least 15,000 people are expected to attend the UK Jewish Film Festival, with organisers reporting that 60 per cent of tickets were sold out in advance of the festival opening on this week.

Israeli films, The Green Prince; The Dove Flyer and Zero Motivation have been the most popular draws in London.

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IDF soldier appeals for better equipment

By Sandy Rashty, November 6, 2014

A former JFS student who is serving in the Israel Defence Forces is appealing for funds to buy equipment because the kit supplied by the army is not up to the job.

The 22-year-old Londoner, who has fought in Gaza and the West Bank since joining an elite infantry unit this year, wants to raise £10,000 to buy better boots and winter clothing for him and his comrades

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