Martin Bright

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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UK pledges Arab-Israeli cash boost

By Martin Bright, June 16, 2011

The government has announced its determination to spend more on projects to encourage co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.

The commitment follows questions from shadow defence spokesman Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, highlighting the small proportion of the aid budget spent on boosting co-operation between Israeli and Palestinian civil society.

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EXCLUSIVE: SOAS taught Gaddafi son and hosts al-Qaradawi on editorial board

By Martin Bright, June 15, 2011

The country’s most prestigious university for the study of the Middle East provided one-to-one English tuition to Mutassim Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan dictator, who acts as his national security adviser. It also hosts the controversial Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi on the editorial board for its Journal of Islamic Studies.

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London Citizens has crossed line

By Martin Bright, June 10, 2011

This is the third week that the JC has run a story about the activities of London Citizens, and its parent organisation Citizens UK.

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Asylum groups warn Jewish community over London Citizens

By Martin Bright, June 10, 2011

Campaigners working to end the detention of the children of asylum seekers have warned the Jewish community against collaborating with Citizens UK, the controversial "community organisers" currently running a campaign to win over synagogues and Jewish organisations.

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University and College Union is 'institutionally racist'

By Martin Bright, June 2, 2011

The leaders of the Jewish community have recorded their outrage at the University and College Union, which has voted to distance itself from the European Union's working definition of antisemitism, at its annual congress in Harrogate.

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Rabbi 'in pain' over London Citizens link

By Martin Bright, June 2, 2011

Jewish leaders working with "community organisers" London Citizens this week sought to justify their association with an organisation whose deputy chair has described Hamas terrorists as "heroes".

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Revealed: antisemite was key to WikiLeaks operation

By Martin Bright, June 2, 2011

The notorious antisemitic journalist Israel Shamir was actively involved in developing the WikiLeaks network - and was not just another freelance writer who happened to strike up a working relationship with the website's founder Julian Assange, according to newly-revealed correspondence.

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UCU antisemitism motion passes

By Martin Bright, May 30, 2011

The Universities and Colleges Union has voted to distance itself from the European Union's working definition of antisemitism at its annual congress in Harrogate.

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London Citizens stand by Islamist hardliner

By Martin Bright, May 26, 2011

A community organising group, feted by politicians across the political spectrum for its grassroots activism, has defended its links to an Islamist hardliner who expressed his support for Hamas terrorist leaders.

London Citizens, currently on a recruitment drive in the Jewish community, models itself on the kind of "community organising" with which Barack Obama made his name in
Chicago.

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Fightback on definition of antisemitism

By Martin Bright, May 26, 2011

The Jewish Leadership Council has written to the equalities watchdog, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, to express its concern at moves within the Universities and Colleges Union to reject the widely-accepted definition of antisemitism.

A motion tabled at the UCU's congress this weekend will propose that the union distances itself from a definition drawn up by the European Union.

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Delegitimisation: myths and reality

By Martin Bright, May 20, 2011

This is a short speech I gave to the We Believe in Israel conference on Sunday May 15th:

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Time to recognise progressive case for Israel

By Martin Bright, May 19, 2011

As a participant in the We Believe in Israel conference on Sunday I was invited to speak on three panels. The first two were on the delegitimisation debate and the third on how liberals could make the progressive case for Israel.

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David Cairns MP: A brilliant advocate

By Martin Bright, May 12, 2011

I had the pleasure of meeting David Cairns shortly before his tragic death. We had been brought together to discuss what we both believed was an over-defensive attitude to Israel among its supporters on the left. David was a brilliant advocate for Israel and determined to provide a space for debate for those within the Labour Party, grown weary of the constant attacks.

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LSE stays silent on Libya link

By Martin Bright, May 12, 2011

The London School of Economics has refused requests from Harlow MP Robert Halfon for further information about its relationship with Libya.

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Diplomacy - or mixed messages?

By Martin Bright, May 5, 2011

It is becoming increasingly difficult to trace the twists and turns of the government's position on Israel. First, David Cameron used a speech in Ankara to describe Gaza as a prison camp and condemned Israel's boarding of the Turkish flotilla as completely unacceptable; then he told the CST that Israel has the right to search shipping that enters its territorial waters.

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Netanyahu adds UK to diplomacy round-trip

By Martin Bright, April 28, 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to spend an intensive 36 hours in Britain next week as part of a whistlestop tour to persuade European leaders to vote against the recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations in September.

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Facing Fatah - the day I became one of the 'hard men' of the Middle East

By Martin Bright, April 21, 2011

I have just spent two days inside the skin of Jibril Rajoub, the Fatah hard man and former West Bank security chief. This was not a comfortable experience.

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