Martin Bright

Interview: Tzipi Livni

By Martin Bright, October 11, 2011

Israeli Opposition leader Tzipi Livni was shocked that the anti-Israel campaigners on campus in Britain had intensified their campaign to lobby for a "one-state solution" to the conflict.

Speaking to the JC during her brief visit to the UK last week she said: "What surprised me was not that there are those who are delegitimising Israel.

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Taub's masterclass in speechmaking

By Martin Bright, October 6, 2011

I went to the Labour Friends of Israel fringe in Liverpool last week to hear what Ed Miliband had to say about his decision to back the Palestinian bid for observer status at the UN. As a result, I heard one of the funniest, most moving and eloquent speeches of the conference season. Unfortunately, it was not made by the Labour leader, but by the new Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub.

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Ambassador Taub makes new friends

By Martin Bright, October 6, 2011

Daniel Taub, the new Israeli ambassador to the UK, used events organised by Conservative Friends of Israel at the Conservative Party conference to thank the coalition government for "coming through" on amending the legislation on universal jurisdiction.

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Taub: Labour sending wrong message on peace process

By Martin Bright, September 28, 2011

Opposition leader Ed Miliband told a packed Labour for Friends of Israel reception at his party's conference in Liverpool on Tuesday that backing the Palestinian bid for statehood was the right thing to do.

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We will applaud MidEast democracy

By Martin Bright, September 27, 2011

Alistair Burt has had a busy week. After making a speech at the International Atomic Energy Authority in Vienna warning of the continued nuclear threat of Iran, the Middle East minister flew to New York to join David Cameron and William Hague in discussions over the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.

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'Bid was right but Ed is wrong'

By Martin Bright, September 27, 2011

The Middle East peace process is riddled with contradictions and paradoxes.

It is always chastening to bear in mind, for example, that a two-state solution would result in a so-called "apartheid" Israel with a significant population of Arab citizens and a supposedly "free" Palestine without Jews.

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Minister: 'Prepare to work with the Islamists'

By Martin Bright, September 27, 2011

We should prepare for Islamists in government and even Islamist governments in the wake of the Arab Spring, the minister responsible for the Middle East said this week.

Speaking before next week's Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Alistair Burt said there was a need to distinguish between Islamists who were prepared to support peace within the new democracies and those, such as Hamas

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Jim Murphy: Labour still loves Israel

By Martin Bright, September 22, 2011

The Labour Party should resist pressure to embrace the boycott movement and should remain a staunch supporter of Israel under Ed Miliband's leadership, according to Labour's defence spokesman, Jim Murphy.

He said the party's decision to urge the government to vote for Palestinian statehood should not be seen as a betrayal of Israel, and warned that nothing would be solved by "a one-off symbolic

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UK lawyers probe Israeli justice

By Martin Bright, September 15, 2011

A group of senior British lawyers, including Shadow Attorney-General Baroness Scotland, visited Israel and the Palestinian territories this week to investigate allegations of the mistreatment of children under Israeli military law.

Answering a parliamentary question last week, Middle East Minister Alistair Burt confirmed that the delegation had the backing of the UK government.

"The UK remai

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Now we know where the TUC stands

By Martin Bright, September 15, 2011

The old 1930s US mine workers' chant, Which Side Are You On? still has a resonance for the trade union movement across the world.

This week the TUC decided which side it was on. It chose a tiny ultra-left UK fringe organisation, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, over its comrades in the Israeli trade union the Histadrut, and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU).

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Trade unions embrace bigotry and step up boycott

By Martin Bright, September 15, 2011

The TUC this week voted to review its relationship with the Histadrut, Israel's General Federation of Labour, and reaffirmed its commitment to the boycott movement in partnership with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The unprecedented move was voted through on the last day of the TUC's annual congress in London and could lead to the severing of a relationship that goes back to the 1920s.

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TUC motion to sever all Israel ties

By Martin Bright, September 8, 2011

Next week's Trades Union Congress will debate withdrawing all co-operation with Israeli organisations, including the giant Israeli trade union the Histadrut.

The unprecedented proposal is the subject of an amendment by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), to a motion on the Middle East by super-union Unite.

The move would break a link between the British trade unions and the Hista

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Alistair Burt to take charge of Britain's position at the UN

By Martin Bright, September 8, 2011

Jewish community leaders will meet Middle East Minister Alistair Burt next week to discuss Britain's stance on the possible unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.

A spokesman for the Board of Deputies said: "A unilateral declaration of statehood will do nothing to alter the situation on the ground for ordinary Palestinians.

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Ken needs to show a profound change

By Martin Bright, August 25, 2011

To win over voters who threw him out of office at the last mayoral election, Ken Livingstone will need to demonstrate that he is no longer a sectarian politician prepared to set one community against another.He must also recognise that the "cheeky chappy" act no longer washes with large sections of the electorate.

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It was a Palestinian narrative

By Martin Bright, August 25, 2011

At the beginning of this week I was told by various senior Conservative sources that the JC's story about Alan Duncan's "land grab" video had been hugely embarrassing, but that his views were not shared by other government ministers.

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Government in chaos over Alan Duncan's 'land grab' video

By Martin Bright and Simon Rocker, August 25, 2011

The government has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown after a minister described Israel's security barrier as a "land grab" and said that Israel deliberately took water away from the Palestinians.

Last week the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development (DfID) claimed the comments by Development Minister Alan Duncan reflected UK government policy.

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Middle East peace talks in a London kitchen

By Martin Bright, August 18, 2011

Secret peace talks between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, took place in London, the JC can reveal.

The encounter was hosted over dinner by UK businessman Poju Zabludowicz at his north London home.

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Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas in secret London peace talks

By Martin Bright, August 17, 2011

A secret meeting between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, has taken place in London as part of a series of back-channel negotiations to reach a peace agreement in the Middle East, the JC can reveal.

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MacShane to Hague: 'Pull out of Durban'

By Martin Bright, August 11, 2011

A former UK foreign minister has written an open letter to Foreign Secretary William Hague calling on the British government to pull out of next month's conference to mark the tenth anniversary of the Durban declaration on anti-racism.

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Row over MPs' rejection of Islamophobia group

By Martin Bright, August 4, 2011

A war of words has broken out over the decision to drop the anti-Zionist organisaton i-Engage (also known as Engage) as the secretariat to the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Islamophobia.

MPs voted last month to dispense with its services of after efforts by Conservative MPs Nick Boles and Robert Halfon along with Labour's Hazel Blears and John Spellar.

The founder of Muslims4UK, In

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