Marcus Dysch

The clashes that divided Thatcher and Israel

By Marcus Dysch, December 30, 2010

Margaret Thatcher believed that Menachem Begin was the "most difficult" man she had to deal with in the early years of her premiership, and thought his West Bank policy "absurd".

The former Prime Minister's views about her Israeli counterpart are unearthed in documents released by the National Archives under the 30-year rule.

The previously secret papers reveal that, during a tête-à-tête with President Giscard of France at Number 10 in November 1979, Mrs Thatcher discussed how she had "never had a more difficult man to deal with" than Mr Begin.

More..

Tussles at the tills during Tesco boycott

By Marcus Dysch, December 29, 2010

Shoppers scuffled at a supermarket checkout after anti-Israel protesters loaded a trolley full of products and refused to pay for them.

Young demonstrators, including children, from the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), filmed themselves choosing Israeli products at Tescos in Barkingside, Essex.

They are seen filling the trolley with dozens of packets of chicken soup powder, melons, pickled cucumbers and herbs. One girl complains that a packet of Israeli Medjool dates are "kosher" and complains there is no alternative.

More..

Calls for Solomon to quit

By Marcus Dysch, December 29, 2010

A university society has called for a student union president to resign over apparently antisemitic remarks.

The Model United Nations Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies said Clare Solomon, president of the University of London Union, had "clearly lost the authority to represent all students equally".

Last month Ms Solomon claimed in a Facebook post that the persecution of Jews had been fabricated to justify attacks on Palestinians. The 37-year-old mature student said her comment had been "badly-worded" and apologised for any "misunderstandings".

More..

'Israel risks losing the whole world'

By Marcus Dysch, December 29, 2010

A senior Israeli minister has warned that the "whole world", led by the United States, may back a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood if Israel does not commit to peace talks.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the Trade and Industry Minister and a veteran Labour Party politician, said talks with the Palestinians must resume, even if Israel were forced to renew a freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank.

His warning, delivered to cabinet colleagues on Sunday, is the first admission by a senior Israeli official of a potential rift with its key ally.

More..

Rabbis targeted by 'bomb plot terror suspects'

By Marcus Dysch, December 29, 2010

Two rabbis were said to be among a group of potential targets for a gang of nine terror suspects, a court has heard.

Other possible targets for the alleged bomb plot included the London Stock Exchange, the US Embassy, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.

Details of who the two rabbis are, and their synagogues, cannot be reported for legal reasons.

The gang appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday and were remanded in custody. They
will appear at the Old Bailey on January 14.

More..

MP Luciana Berger's gifts from suspected stalker

By Marcus Dysch, December 24, 2010

Britain’s youngest Jewish MP has complained to the Commons authorities about a suspected serial stalker.

Luciana Berger, 29, received a pair of diamond earrings and inappropriate cards from the man, who has also pestered other female politicians.

Ms Berger, a former director of Labour Friends of Israel, was elected as the party’s MP for Liverpool Wavertree in May.

The man, thought to be American, is also believed to have sent a bracelet to a second female MP, as well as sending other cards with “odd messages”.

More..

Universities show signs of taking issue seriously

By Marcus Dysch, December 16, 2010

Campaigners believe there is "light at the end of the tunnel" in the ongoing effort to restrict hate speakers' appearances on university campuses.

Jewish community representatives working with vice-chancellors say that despite an initially "slow and poor response", higher education bodies have now accepted action must be taken against campus extremism.

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron said: "We have not done enough to deal with the promotion of extremist Islamism in our country… to deradicalise our universities we have to take a range of further steps."

More..

Board: Claims group should think again

By Marcus Dysch, December 16, 2010

An investigation into concerns about the Claims Conference, the New York-based body which distributes restitution funds to Holocaust survivors, has recommended that the conference's Goodwill Fund should be reopened for new claims.

An independent report, carried out for the Board of Deputies by barrister Jeffrey Gruder QC, found that the approach of the Conference "increases the sense of grievance felt by heirs and might make claims more, rather than less, probable".

More..

School planning scores poorly in assessment of future requirements

By Marcus Dysch, December 16, 2010

A report into the future of Jewish primary schools has queried the way the community co-ordinates new schools.

In the light of concern about a shortage of places in some areas, the Jewish Leadership Council's School Strategy Implementation Group has been looking at ways to satisfy demand.

At secular schools with a high Jewish pupil population, many parents say they would like their children to attend a Jewish school but do not have one in their area.

There are currently 24 initiatives geared towards creating additional Jewish school places for the next academic year.

More..

Chief Rabbi speaks on campus extremism

By Marcus Dysch, December 14, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has launched a blistering attack on university authorities and warned that they must not “turn a blind eye and deaf ear” to the rise of antisemitism on campuses.

In a passionate defence of Jewish students, he said universities had done “too little, too late” to tackle hate speakers appearing at universities.

The Chief Rabbi was speaking at the Department for Communities and Local Government ahead of the launch of a report into antisemitism in Britain.

More..

£2m on Jewish schools' security

By Marcus Dysch, December 9, 2010

Education Secretary Michael Gove has pledged £2 million to fund tighter security measures to protect Jewish schools.

Payments will be made to 39 voluntary-aided Jewish schools in England, via the Community Security Trust.

The money will cover the amount previously paid by parents and the CST to provide extra fencing, guards and CCTV.

In previous years the Labour government had encouraged councils to allocate funding and cover the shortfall.

More..

Maccabi footballer questioned after incident

By Marcus Dysch, December 9, 2010

An amateur footballer has been arrested on suspicion of threatening players with a 12-inch knife during a Maccabi game.

Paul Samuels, player-manager of the South Mancs A side, was shown a red card for punching an opponent, but then allegedly pulled a blade out of his kit bag on the touchline.

The incident happened just before half time in his side's over-35s Maccabi Masters league game against Hendon Harriers in Edgware, north west London, on Sunday. The match was immediately abandoned.

More..

Jewish mastermind behind Coronation Street's explosion

By Marcus Dysch, December 9, 2010

Television viewers gripped by the dramatic tram crash in Coronation Street should brace themselves for another shock.

The devastating scenes - part of a week of special episodes to mark the show's 50th anniversary - were brought to life by a Jewish mastermind.

Will Cohen, executive producer at The Mill, one of the world's largest special effects companies, was hired by ITV to create the most dramatic scenes in the show's history.

More..

We must do more to tackle campus extremism

By Marcus Dysch, December 9, 2010

The first anniversary of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to blow up a plane will be marked in a fortnight.

The former University College London student's arrest sparked the creation by Universities UK, the umbrella group which represents vice-chancellors, of a working group to tackle the proliferation of extremist activity on British campuses.

Since its formation it has uttered not a single word in public about what should be done. Our repeated attempts to interview Malcolm Grant, the UCL provost who chairs the group, have been met with a wall of silence.

More..

Shul CCTV catches purse snatcher

By Marcus Dysch, December 9, 2010

An Edgware synagogue has been thanked by police for its role in the jailing of a heroin addict who assaulted a pensioner outside the shul. The Yeshurun Synagogue in Fernhurst Gardens assisted officers' inquiries after the incident last month.

Christian Molnar, 30, of Burnt Oak Broadway, was jailed for 24 weeks at Hendon Magistrates' Court after admitting snatching a purse from an 84-year-old non-Jewish woman to fund his addiction.

The shul handed police a CCTV recording of the mugging which showed Molnar making off with the purse.

More..

Knock it down? You must be joking

By Marcus Dysch, November 26, 2010

A Charedi father must pay more than £12,000 after refusing to demolish an illegal extension at his family home.

Ben Feiner, of Kings Close, Hendon, admitted a charge of breaching an enforcement notice at Brent Magistrates' Court earlier this month.

The notice, issued by Barnet Council during a six-year dispute, required Mr Feiner to remove the first floor structure which was built without planning permission.

But Mr Feiner said he felt he had "done the right thing" by refusing to pull the extension down and then rebuild it to the same dimensions once permission had been granted.

More..

The battle to be new UJS president

By Marcus Dysch, November 25, 2010

Marcelle Jennings

Age: 21
Course: Sociology
Uni: University of Sussex
Slogan: Putting the 'U' back into UJS

What will you do differently if elected?

While I will focus more on individual JSocs instead of basing development on a largely regional basis, I will also continue with a lot of the great initiatives set up by the existing UJS team. I want to continue their work on "widening the debate", reclaiming the word Zionism, and the work towards helping graduating students with their career network forum.

More..

Peer: I will not be silenced on Israel

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Phillips of Sudbury is embroiled in an argument over his views on Israel following comments he made at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting.

Last week the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust made a formal complaint to Nick Clegg over the peer's apparent comment that America was in the grip of the "Israel lobby".

He was also alleged to have said that Europe was unable to think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust.

More..

British ambassador's unfond farewell to Israel

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

The Foreign Office has refused to release a valedictory despatch written by a British ambassador to Israel almost 30 years ago over fears that it could damage current relations between the two countries.

The document was sent to London by John Robinson as he left Tel Aviv in 1981, just a year after he had arrived.

Mr Robinson died in 1998, but the Foreign Office has declined to release his despatch after a JC Freedom of Information request, saying it is still too sensitive to disclose because it "would be likely to prejudice relations" between the UK and Israel.

More..

MoD plan kosher food for Army to march on

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

A new range of kosher ration packs for Jewish troops serving in the armed forces will be part of a multi-million pound deal sealed by the Ministry of Defence.

The rations will include kosher meat meals and will be available to those serving in all three branches of the military in Afghanistan and other locations worldwide.

Many of the products are specially designed to make them easier to carry and boost energy levels while troops are on patrol.

More..