Martin Bright

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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London Citizens stand by their man

By Martin Bright, July 21, 2011

London Citizens, the "community organisers" feted by Ed Miliband and David Cameron, has chosen to stand by a trustee who expressed his support for Hamas.

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This issue is too important for hijacking

By Martin Bright, July 21, 2011

As I sat in Portcullis House in Westminster on Tuesday, soaking up the feverish atmosphere in advance of the Murdochs' appearance at the culture select committee, I was accosted by the beaming figure of MP Nick Boles.

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i-Engage disengaged

By Martin Bright, July 21, 2011

A highly organised phalanx of 50 backbench Conservatives rallied this week to vote against using i-Engage, an anti-Zionist Muslim organisation, as the secretariat for the all-party parliamentary group on Islamophobia.

The operation took supporters of i-Engage by surprise, as MPs from all parties voted 60-2 to drop the organisation.

The decisive vote on Monday was hailed as an important victo

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Why the left seems to mind that I'm not a Jew

By Martin Bright, July 21, 2011

When I took the job as political editor of the JC in 2009, I wondered if it might be an issue that I was not a Jew. A reasonable concern, you might think, given the title of the publication.

I would not have been surprised if I had encountered a certain amount of suspicion. In the event, I was met with a mixture of curiosity and generosity.

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Universal jurisdiction law set to go through

By Martin Bright, July 14, 2011

Liberal Democrat peers made a final attempt this week to derail new measures to change the law on universal jurisdiction. Under the present system, magistrates can issue arrest warrants to foreign politicians and military figures accused of war crimes.

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Pivotal moment for unions and Labour

By Martin Bright, July 7, 2011

The decision by Ronnie Fraser to fight back against the anti-Israel stance of the University and College Union is not just an act of considerable personal courage. It is also a hugely important political moment.

For many years, too many trade union members have stood by as their officers expended significant time and money on international "solidarity" campaigns.

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UK arrest scare for top Israeli

By Martin Bright, July 7, 2011

Former Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz made a visit to the UK last week in defiance of attempts to serve him with an arrest warrant for war crimes.

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Alistair Burt says Gaza is 'unsustainable'

By Martin Bright, June 30, 2011

Middle East minister Alistair Burt became the first Foreign Office minister to visit the Gaza Strip in five years on Tuesday, as he toured a United Nations school in Jabalia refugee camp and met business leaders in Gaza City.

Mr Burt said: "I was struck today by the need for further progress to allow imports by UNRWA and others to complete much-needed projects and to facilitate exports.

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The nasty things in Green leader's PC

By Martin Bright, June 30, 2011

The Green Party could be "more sensitive" in its use of the language of boycott in its policy towards Israel, according to its leader, Caroline Lucas.

The MP for Brighton Pavilion, the first Green to sit in the House of Commons, said she had come to this conclusion after discussions with a rabbi in her constituency, Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue.

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Turning right away from Atlee and Blair

By Martin Bright, June 30, 2011

The politics of Maurice Glasman are a little difficult to pin down and intentionally so. The concept of "Blue Labour", which should be understood as the complement to the "Red Tory" philosophy of Phillip Blond, is a provocation to the conventional Labour Party thinking.

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Baroness Tonge behind Salah Lords meeting

By Martin Bright, June 29, 2011

Controversial pro-Palestinian peer Baroness Tonge was responsible for getting banned cleric Raed Salah into parliament earlier this week.

Staff at the House of Lords confirmed that a committee room was booked on Monday evening in the name of the Liberal Democrat peer for a meeting with Sheikh Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.

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Green MP Caroline Lucas challenges PSC on pre-Israel map

By Martin Bright, June 23, 2011

The leader of the Green Party has written to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign questioning why the organisation uses as its logo a provocative map of Palestine prior to the creation of Israel.

Caroline Lucas, Parliament's first Green MP, is a prominent supporter of the Palestinian cause and has visited the Palestinian territories on several occasions.

The Green Party has close links with the

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Saudi ambassador defends SOAS funds

By Martin Bright, June 23, 2011

The Saudi ambassador to Britain has written an open letter to MPs defending donations to the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

The JC revealed last week that SOAS had received donations of £755,000 from the Saudi royal family over the past four years. This was used to fund the college's Islamic Studies Centre and a Journal of Islamic Studies.

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Board president hits right note over mood music change

By Martin Bright, June 23, 2011

So the President of the Board of Deputies has said the leadership of the Jewish community has access but no influence. Isn't this just as it should be?

This newspaper and the Board are the first to cry foul when there is any suggestion from conspiracy theorists that the tiny British Jewish community can fix government policy on Israel or radical Islam.

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Arrest warrant lawyer helping rights groups

By Martin Bright, June 23, 2011

The lawyer at the forefront of the campaign to arrest Israelis for war crimes has been advising human rights organisations opposed to a reform to the universal jurisdiction law.

Daniel Machover is one of the founders of Lawyers for Palestinian Rights

The new Police and Social Responsibility Bill passes the power to issue warrants to the Director of Public Prosecutions when it previously lay

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