Martin Bright

Hague rebuts 'Arabist' accusation

By Martin Bright, March 8, 2012

Foreign Secretary William Hague has reacted with fury to the suggestion that he has been taken hostage by Arabist Foreign Office mandarins.

Mr Hague turned on backbencher Douglas Carswell at a private meeting of more than 30 pro-Israel Conservative MPs last week, describing his concerns about the Foreign Office as "claptrap".

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Auschwitz files may have been destroyed

By Martin Bright, March 8, 2012

Crucial documents, including letters from British soldiers alerting the War Office to the Holocaust, may have been destroyed in the chaos at the end of hostilities.

These records are believed to have included coded messages from Sergeant-Major Charles Coward, the head of the British prisoner of war camp at Auschwitz about what he witnessed there.

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Cameron losing patience with Iran

By Martin Bright, March 8, 2012

Has David Cameron had his "45-minute" moment, after warning on Tuesday that Iran's nuclear programme was a threat beyond the Middle East?

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Our Culture Minister should take notes

By Martin Bright, March 1, 2012

What will be the cultural legacy of the Cameron government? Thus far it has been difficult to identify a vision beyond the idealistic hope that private philanthropy will step in as state subsidy shrivels.

Next week, when Culture Minister Ed Vaizey visits Israel to draw inspiration from the country's hi-tech success stories, he will find there is much the UK can learn.

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Goodbye Baroness Tonge, it has been a long and troubling ride

By Martin Bright, March 1, 2012

Baroness Tonge has been a one-woman running sore within the Liberal Democrat Party, poisoning relations with the Jewish community with her persistently distasteful and incendiary comments about Israel. Finally she is gone, effectively sacked after refusing to withdraw her statement during an event at Middlesex University that Israel "will not last forever".

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UK does comprehend Iran threat

By Martin Bright, February 23, 2012

It is rare that the political class has been as united as it was on Monday evening when MPs voted by 285 to six for a cross-party amendment to keep all options open when dealing with Iran. The anti-war Tory MP John Baron proposed a backbench motion calling on the government to remove military intervention from the table and barely a voice was raised in support.

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March of the Living to honour UK PoWs

By Martin Bright, February 23, 2012

The UK branch of the international Holocaust memorial movement, March of the Living, will this year mark Yom Hashoah with a ceremony at the site of the British prisoner of war camp at Auschwitz.

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Long-lost Nuremberg Trials film restored, 66 years late

By Martin Bright, February 23, 2012

An extraordinary lost film of the Nuremberg war crimes trial enjoyed its UK premiere this week six decades after it was first made. The newly-restored film, Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today, was unveiled at a screening in Parliament on Wednesday.

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The Auschwitz papers could reveal a hidden Shoah story

By Martin Bright, February 10, 2012

Over the past three weeks the JC has been running a campaign to open the files held by the Ministry of Defence and the National Archives about British prisoners of war held at Auschwitz. To their credit, ministers have reacted quickly to pressure from MPs and offered to help in any way they can.

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UK will seek out Auschwitz files

By Martin Bright, February 9, 2012

The Ministry of Defence has agreed to release all files relating to the father of Israeli President Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Persky, who was held captive as a British prisoner of war at Auschwitz.

Officials and archivists are now on the search for details of Mr Persky's time at Camp E715, situated next to the Buna-Monowitz camp, which provided slave labour to the IG Farben chemical factory.

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MP pushing for release of Auschwitz files

By Martin Bright, February 2, 2012

The Ministry of Defence and the National Archives were under increasing pressure this week to release papers relating to Yitzhak Persky, the father of Israeli president Shimon Peres, who was held in a prisoner of war camp for British soldiers at Auschwitz.

Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow, has written to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond asking for his help in releasing Mr Persky's

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Release the Auschwitz files

By Martin Bright, January 26, 2012

 

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Carry on camping

By Martin Bright, January 26, 2012

It's at least three decades since I stayed in a caravan.

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Clegg ups rhetoric on settlements to Abbas's delight

By Martin Bright, January 19, 2012

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has described Israeli settlement building as "an act of deliberate vandalism" in a sign that the UK is hardening its rhetoric towards the Netanyahu government.

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Fissure opens in Whitehall

By Martin Bright, January 19, 2012

When I asked Nick Clegg at his joint press conference with Mahmoud Abbas about the increasingly combative nature of the UK government's language on settlements, I didn't expect him to escalate the rhetoric still further.

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Nick Clegg: Israel's settlements are 'deliberate vandalism'

By Martin Bright, January 16, 2012

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today described Israeli settlement building as "deliberate vandalism" in a further signal that the UK government's line is hardening.

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UK set to talk tough to Israel as Abbas visits

By Martin Bright, January 12, 2012

The British government has stepped up its war of words with Israel over settlement building in advance of an official visit next week by Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Ministers have grown increasingly frustrated by what they see as Benjamin Netanyahu's intransigent position on the issue, which is seen as a serious hurdle to peace in the region.

The Jewish Leadership Council and the B

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Police open Twitter threat file

By Martin Bright, January 12, 2012

Police are now investigating three separate allegations of death threats from an antisemitic Twitter stalker who advertised himself as an Ed Miliband lookalike.

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Acting as cover for extremism is the real problem

By Martin Bright, January 5, 2012

As news stories go, it's about as straightforward as they come. A group of community activists keen to recruit in the Jewish community turns out to have a trustee who has made a public statement celebrating antisemitic terrorists who murder Jews.

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Margaret Thatcher: An embedding Zionist

By Martin Bright, January 5, 2012

Margaret Thatcher may not have had the visceral or spiritual connection to Israel felt by Tony Blair or Gordon Brown but her premiership marked a sea-change within the Conservative Party, which has defined its policy ever since.

Mrs Thatcher's anti-Communism and uncompromising position on terrorism made her naturally lean towards Israel in the Middle East.

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