Martin Bright

Eleventh hour change to war criminal arrest bill

By Martin Bright, March 30, 2011

A last-minute amendment to the Police Bill, tabled by the Labour front bench, proposed the establishment of specialist units with the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police to speed up decisions about the arrest of war criminals.

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Ron Prosor: Israel hate at UK universities worst ever

By Martin Bright, March 30, 2011

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor has delivered a devastating attack on British universities for their role in educating members of the autocratic elites of the Middle East, tolerating extremism on campus and becoming the focus of the boycott movement against Israel.

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Sudden amendment for war crime arrest law

By Martin Bright, March 29, 2011

A last minute amendment to the Police Bill proposed by the Labour front bench would establish specialist units with the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police to speed up decisions about the arrest of war criminals.

The amendment has been tabled by Shadow Police and Criminal Justice Minister Vernon Coaker.

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Could extremists benefit from AV?

By Martin Bright, March 24, 2011

Campaigners against the reform of voting system have warned the Jewish community that a switch to the "alternative vote" system will encourage extremist groups and force mainstream parties to pander to the anti-immigrant vote.

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MP Robert Halfon faces Libya libel suit

By Martin Bright, March 24, 2011

The tory MP campaigning for an inquiry into the funding of British universities by authoritarian Middle Eastern regimes has been threatened with a libel action by one of his targets.

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Quilliam must take care over its funds

By Martin Bright, March 17, 2011

After our article last week about the importance of saving the anti-extremist think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, from closure, following Home Office cuts, the JC was contacted by a source close to government, warning us off.

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More universities quizzed over Middle East funds

By Martin Bright, March 17, 2011

Further details emerged this week about the funding of British universities from authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

As the JC reported last week, 100 of Britain's top universities have now come under increased scrutiny as a result of Freedom of Information requests, early day motions and parliamentary questions from the Harlow MP Robert Halfon.

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Interview: Liberty's Shami Chakrabarti

By Martin Bright, March 17, 2011

I had been talking to Shami Chakrabarti, the telegenic director of Liberty about her organisation's predecessor, the National Council for Civil Liberties, and the work it had done for Jews attacked by neo-Fascists immediately after the war, when she suddenly turned the conversation to contemporary antisemitism.

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Questions over extremism monitor Quilliam and Saif Gaddafi

By Martin Bright, March 14, 2011

Since writing a piece for this week’s Jewish Chronicle urging people to back the anti-extremist think tank Quilliam, I received some disturbing information warning me off. I believe this came from a source close to government. The claims made against Quilliam were serious and my support for the organisation needs to be examined in the light of what they said.

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Quilliam's Libyan Connection

By Martin Bright, March 12, 2011

Since writing a piece for this week’s Jewish Chronicle urging people to back the anti-extremist think tank Quilliam, I received some disturbing information warning me off. I believe this came from a source close to government. The claims made against Quilliam were serious and my support for the organisation needs to be examined in the light of what they said.

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Labour Friends lean to the left

By Martin Bright, March 10, 2011

Labour Friends of Israel is relaunching itself as a membership organisation at a debate in Westminster next Tuesday.

The panel discussion, Making the Progressive Case for Israel, will bring together supporters of Israel on the left to discuss how to develop a more proactive approach.

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The true message of the PM's CST speech

By Martin Bright, March 10, 2011

David Cameron's speech to the Community Security Trust last week was an important restatement of his support - up to and including Israel's right to search vessels bringing cargo into Gaza.

This was something of a shift from his indignant remarks during his "prison camp" speech in Turkey last summer when he described the boarding of the Gaza flotilla as completely unacceptable.

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Quilliam: A think-tank we must save

By Martin Bright, March 10, 2011

In a week in which events in Libya have again made us aware of how desperately the people of the Muslim world are crying out for liberty and democracy, how depressing it was to hear that the anti-Islamist Quilliam Foundation could face closure.

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Universities and Gaddafi: is there more?

By Martin Bright, March 10, 2011

The MP driving the investigations into the Gaddafi regime's controversial relationship with British universities has pledged to expose the full extent of their Middle East funding.

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Jews lead the way in fight against hate

By Martin Bright, March 3, 2011

The Jewish community is prepared to put itself at the forefront of the campaign against religious and racial extremism, according to a detailed new analysis of identity in England.

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Julian Assange, you need to explain

By Martin Bright, March 3, 2011

It is impossible to read Ian Hislop's account of his conversation with Julian Assange without feeling very uncomfortable. On the face of it, this is a classic example of antisemitism. And although Mr Assange denies it, he does not explain why Mr Hislop would have chosen to put his reputation on the line in such a public manner.

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Islamists get a key role in parliament

By Martin Bright and Simon Rocker, February 17, 2011

Jewish organisations and politicians have expressed outrage at the decision by the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia to retain the controversial Islamist organisation iEngage as its secretariat.

Described by the CST as having "a troubling attitude to antisemitism", concerns about its Islamist politics had earlier led to the resignation of the group's Conservative chair Kris Hopkins MP, and one of its vice-chairs, Jewish Labour peer Greville Janner.

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Islamophobia group keeps controversial anti-Zionist link

By Martin Bright, February 15, 2011

The new all party parliamentary group on Islamophobia has voted by a narrow margin to retain the controversial anti-Zionist iEngage organisation as its secretariat.

Concerns about the sectarian politics of iEngage (also known simply as Engage) led to the resignation of the group's Conservative Chair Kris Hopkins MP and one of its vice-chairs, veteran Jewish Labour peer Greville Janner.

The appointment is a direct challenge to Prime Minister David Cameron, who called for Islamist groups to be given a wide berth in a recent speech to a security conference in Munich.

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Liam Fox calls for tougher action against Iran

By Martin Bright, February 10, 2011

Defence Secretary Liam Fox used his speech at the Herzliya conference to warn against complacency in the face of the growing nuclear threat from Iran and urged more robust action from the international community.

Speaking on Monday on a panel of defence ministers convened by European Friends of Israel, Dr Fox said: "When talking about timescales I do not think it is prudent to assume we are at the most optimistic end of the spectrum."

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Warm reception for Cameron's separatism speech

By Martin Bright, February 10, 2011

Ephraim Halevy, former head of Mossad, tells a great story about his time as Israel's ambassador to the European Union in the late 1990s.

While wandering the Brussels corridors he discovered there was an official with responsibility for "special cultural affairs" who ran a mysterious outfit called the Cellule des Etudes ("The Study Cell").

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