UK Jews hold vigil for captive soldiers

Community also protests last week's Holocaust denial conference in Teheran.

regev goldwasser 298  (photo credit: Channel 10)
regev goldwasser 298
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Urging the release of Israel's kidnapped soldiers and in protest over last week's Holocaust denial conference in Teheran, members of Britain's Jewish community held a candlelight vigil outside the Iranian Embassy in London on Monday evening. Organized by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body of the Jewish community in the UK, the vigil was also attended parliamentarians and Christian groups. Hanukka candles were lit by Ben Helfgott, a Holocaust survivor and trustee of the Holocaust Education Trust, to honor IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev and Cpl. Gilad Shalit. The vigil came at a time of heightened international anxiety over Iran's accelerated aspirations to develop a nuclear weapons program and against the backdrop of last week's two-day conference in Teheran devoted to questioning whether the Holocaust happened. Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said: "This is an opportune time for the Jewish community and, indeed, all the British public to stand in solidarity and to urge the Iranian government to act humanely and responsibly, to be a force for peace rather than the sponsors of conflict." Meanwhile, on Sunday, there was a large demonstration outside the Manchester house of Ahron Hacohen, who was part of the Neturei Karta delegation to the Holocaust conference. Hacohen apparently needed a police escort to leave his house, and it has also been reported that many of the Jewish-owned shops in Manchester are now refusing to serve him.