Leon Symons

Hate preacher banned from UK

By Leon Symons, June 18, 2010

Muslim preacher Zakir Naik has been banned by Home Secretary Theresa May from coming to Britain.

Mrs May said: “I have excluded Dr Naik from the UK. Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour.

“Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right, and I am not willing to allow those who might not be conducive to the public good to enter the UK. Exclusion powers are very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate on issues.”

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Internet duo: We're proud to be neo-Nazis

By Leon Symons, June 17, 2010

Two men whose avowed aim was to eradicate Jews from Britain have gone on trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Trevor Hannington, 58, from South Wales, and Michael Heaton, 42, from Manchester, have been accused of soliciting people to kill Jews through postings on a website.

Hannington denied one count of soliciting to murder, while Heaton is on trial for four comments he made on a website run by an organisation called the Aryan Strike Force (ASF) between January and April, 2008.

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Teacher loses antisemitism claim

By Leon Symons, June 14, 2010

A Christian teacher who sued his former school claiming he was forced out of his job for complaining that Muslim pupils were making antisemitic and anti-Christian remarks has lost his employment tribunal.

Nicholas Kafouris, 52, claimed that pupils had said in lessons that they “hated Jews and Christians”, had praised the 9/11 bombers as heroes and said they wanted to be suicide bombers when they grew up.

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'Aryan Strike Force' on trial

By Leon Symons, June 11, 2010

Two men whose avowed aim was to eradicate Jews from Britain have gone on trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Trevor Hannington, 58, from South Wales, and Michael Heaton, 42, from Manchester, have been accused of soliciting people to kill Jews through postings on a web site.

Hannington denied one count of soliciting to murder, while Heaton was on trial for four comments he made on a website run by an organisation called the Aryan Strike Force (ASF) between January and April, 2008.

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1922 Committee success for Halfon

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2010

Robert Halfon, the new Tory MP for Harlow in Essex, has been elected to the executive of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs.

Mr Halfon, former political director of Conservative Friends of Israel, defeated former Labour minister Bill Rammell with a majority of 4,925.

Now, even though he has been in Parliament for only a couple of weeks, he has been elected by fellow MPs to the c ommittee, which acts as a conduit for backbenchers to formulate their views independently of the front bench. It also plays a key part in the election of a new party leader.

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Kosher Meat: In Depth

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2010

THE CONSUMER
Many kosher meat-eaters are not only aware of wider trends towards organic produce, but feel excluded from the improvement in quality and choice that they perceive in non-kosher meat.

Gaby Brown, a mother-of-three from Stamford Hill, said: "Keeping kosher is fine but I find that I don't have as much choice about sourcing origins and we don't get meat or poultry from special or historic breeds, which can be particularly good. It feels to me like we're looking on from the sidelines; the non-kosher trade has all this variety while we can only sit and gaze from afar.

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Salmond: Scots Jews are not persecuted

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2010

Scotland's First Minister has dismissed the claim that the country's Jewish community is shrinking because of a rise in antisemitism.

But speaking this week to a meeting arranged by Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum, Alex Salmond did acknowledge that there were incidents.

He went on: "I don't share the analysis that the Jewish community is suffering a wave of persecution or that antisemitism in Scotland is rapidly growing and such a severe problem that it is jeopardising this community."

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Dismore needs cash to challenge result

By Leon Symons, May 24, 2010

Former Hendon Labour MP Andrew Dismore is agonising over whether or not he can afford to mount a legal challenge to the General Election result that cost him his seat by just 106 votes.

Mr Dismore held a lengthy meeting with his legal representatives on Friday evening and said afterwards: “I would like to mount a challenge. The advice I have been given is that I have a good case if you put together all the things that went wrong with the election. But it is a very costly business.

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Handcuffed Jewish boy calls for help by text

By Leon Symons, May 21, 2010

A teenage boy whose family were being robbed at gunpoint alerted neighbours by texting them while his hands were handcuffed behind his back.

The 16-year-old managed to slip his mobile phone from his pocket and type the words: "Call police to my house - we are being robbed."

He even managed to dial the neighbour's number so his mother could lie next to him and whisper into the mouthpiece.

Four men had burst in to the house in Hendon, north west London, on a Saturday night in April, armed with two guns and a screwdriver.

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'Nazi zealot' milkman and father sentenced

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2010

A father and son described as “Nazi zealots” have been jailed for a total of 12 years at Newcastle Crown Court.

Ian Davison, a 41-year-old disc jockey, became the first man in England and Wales to be convicted of a terrorism-related offence involving the lethal poison ricin. He was given 10 years in prison.

Davison, from County Durham, had already pleaded guilty to six offences including production of the ricin.

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BNP and MPAC fail to sway electorate

By Leon Symons, May 13, 2010

Jewish and pro-Israel candidates performed well in the general election, despite a leafleting campaign by the Middle East Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) in some constituencies and the efforts of the BNP in others.

Arguably the biggest winner was in Harlow, Essex, where Robert Halfon, political director of the Conservative Friends of Israel, toppled former Armed Services Minister Bill Rammell, with a near-5,000 majority.

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Jewish old-age: It's in the genes

By Leon Symons, May 13, 2010

They smoke, drink, and are overweight. They are nearly 100 years old - and Jewish.

This week an Israeli-born academic revealed the secret: it's in their genes.

In London this week to speak to the Royal Academy, Professor Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute of Ageing in New York, discussed his pioneering 12-year study of 500 Ashkenazi Jews aged between 95 and an astonishing 112 years old.

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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."

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Thugs attack rabbi in Golders Green

By Leon Symons, May 6, 2010

A rabbi needed eight stitches in a head wound after a vicious assault by two bottle-wielding men in Golders Green in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rabbi Yossi Simon, a mohel, and his two sons had been loading a vehicle at the London Jewish Family Centre with equipment for a Lag b'Omer parade in Stamford Hill.

"We were approached by two men who were very drunk and started throwing bottles at me," Rabbi Simon said. "Then they started punching me in the face. It was a frightening experience.

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Website launched to challenge Holocaust denial

By Leon Symons, April 29, 2010

A groundbreaking Second World War website launched to counter Holocaust denial will be launched next week.

The site is the brainchild of the historian and documentary filmmaker Laurence Rees, former creative director of BBC Television History.

Mr Rees has also written seven history books about different aspects of the war, including one to accompany his acclaimed television series Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution.

Since that book and programme appeared, Mr Rees says he had been "plagued by Holocaust deniers".

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Lib Dems fury over Friends of Palestine support claim

By Leon Symons, April 29, 2010

Liberal Democrats in Liverpool Wavertree have sought advice from one of the city's top lawyers, Rex Makin, about an email sent to members of the Jewish community, among others, apparently claiming that the LibDems backed Liverpool Friends of Palestine.

The email alleged that a LibDem leaflet had been inserted into one from Liverpool Friends of Palestine and then pushed through doors in the constituency. This, it was claimed, showed that the Wavertree LibDems had colluded with the organisation.

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Woman,64, fights off burglars who stole £30k

By Leon Symons, April 29, 2010

A 64-year-old woman has revealed how she managed to fight off two burglars who were in cahoots with her cleaner.

She put up such stout resistance that although the gang escaped with more than £30,000-worth of jewellery, they did not take valuable items that she was wearing.

Barnet police have warned other householders to beware of the gang, thought to be Romanians and believed to have carried out other burglaries in the area.

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Pears Insistute appoints director

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

Professor David Feldman has been appointed director of Britain's first academic institute dealing solely with antisemitism.

Prof Feldman, 53, lectures in the School of Social Sciences at Birkbeck College, where the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, set up with a £1.5 million grant from the Pears Foundation, will be based.

Prof Feldman, a Londoner, joined Birkbeck in 1993 as a history lecturer and became a reader in 2000. He has also taught at the University of Michigan, Christ's College, Cambridge and at Bristol University.

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Milkman hatched plan to overthrow 'Jewish government'

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

A milkman who wanted to overthrow the government because he believed it had been taken over by Jews, pledged to "die fighting" for his cause, a court heard

Nicky Davison, 19, is accused at Newcastle Crown Court of being a co-founder of Aryan Strike Force, an on-line extremist neo-Nazi group.

His father Ian Davison, 41, a disc jockey, earlier admitted six charges, including terrorism and producing a chemical weapon. He was discovered in possession of ricin, which can prove fatal.

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TUC push to escalate Israel boycott

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

A concerted effort to push the Trades Union Congress into a full boycott of all Israeli goods has been stepped up after the launch of a boycott of Israeli settlement produce.

Hugh Lanning, deputy general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union and chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, has increased the pressure on the TUC by saying that the Palestinian support group wants to "work to take TUC policy further, together with individual unions, many of which already have a policy supporting a full boycott".

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