Israeli soccer player Tal Ben Haim was forced to divert a trip to his nation's European Championships qualifying match against Croatia on Saturday to dash to his son's circumcision.
Jews in 'Grave Danger,' says Congress Leader
Jewish communities in some parts of Europe face a "very dark period" after a wave of anti-Semitic attacks in several corners of the continent, according to the President of the European Jewish Congress. Moshe Kantor said small communities were "being physically, verbally and psychologically threatened by fundamentalist elements" on the left and the right of the political spectrum. The Moscow-born activist cited increases in anti-Jewish incidents in Malmö, Sweden and said more protection was needed. Earlier this month, a gang reportedly shouted "Heil Hitler" and "Jewish pigs" at a group of schoolchildren in the city in southern Sweden, entering the site where the children were gathering for an event and damaging property. In other recent attacks, a pig's head was left at the entrance to a synagogue in Lithuania, while latest figures showed an increase in reports of anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands.
New Faces Take Charge of BBC One, Liverpool FC
Two historic and prominent British institutions have come under a degree of Jewish control this week. 36-year-old television executive Danny Cohen has been appointed controller of BBC One, the British Broadcasting Corporation's flagship television channel. Cohen, from Edgware in north London, has previously run digital entertainment channelE4 and BBC3. Elsewhere, sleeping giant Liverpool Football Club has been sold to New England Sports Ventures, chaired by New York-born Tom Werner. The soccer team has won the European Cup five times, more than any other British club, and the English league championship 18 times, a record that fierce rival Manchester United equalled only in 2009. But recent performances had put previous American owners George Gillette and Tom Hicks under pressure to sell up.
Pair in Hoodie and T-Shirt Stand Trial over Israeli Cosmetic Store Attack
Two suspects were told by magistrates to take their hands out of their pockets while appearing in court accused of chaining themselves inside a London branch of the Israeli cosmetics store Ahava. Gwendolen Wilkinson, 20, from Newport, Wales, wearing a hooded jumper, and Matthew Richardson, 24, from Sheffield, in a black t-shirt, pleaded not guilty at a north London court to a charge of aggravated trespass. Protesters frequently target the Ahava store in Covent Garden, central London, claiming it mislabels their products 'Made in Israel' when they are in fact produced in the West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. The pair were released on bail and will return in for the trial in January.
Jacobson Awarded for 'Subtle' Novel, Will Spend Winnings on Wife's Handbag
Novelist Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker prize for his book The Finkler Question, about two Jews and their non-Jewish friend, the first time the writer has won the prestigious British award. Jacobson, a Cambridge graduate from Manchester, who had twice been shortlisted, said he would spend the £50,000 ($80,000) prize on a new handbag for his wife. His book is being described as the first comic novel to win the award, but poet Sir Andrew Motion said the book was "also very clever, very sad and very subtle." Jacobson said all novels were "essentially comic."
Chop Chop, say Israelis as Soccer Father Runs to Circumcise Son
Israeli soccer player Tal Ben Haim was forced to divert a trip to his nation's European Championships qualifying match against Croatia on Saturday to dash to his son's circumcision. The 28-year-old, whose wife Michal gave birth to a son last week, was dropped off at a shtiebel in Edgware, London, near the family home, on his way to Luton Airport on Friday. Under Jewish law, the circumcision takes place on the boy's eighth day. A synagogue representative said it was a private ceremony with few guests. Israel lost 2-1 at home, the West Ham United player appearing in defence. Israel soccer authorities ordered him to report for training on the Monday despite the ordeal.