Marcus Dysch

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."

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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".

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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.

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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.

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£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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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UCU branded institutionally antisemitic

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

A leading scientist has resigned from the University and College Union after accusing the organisation of being "institutionally antisemitic".

Denis Noble, who is not Jewish, said he took the decision after almost 50 years as a member of the union because it had become "impossible" for him to continue, given the "punishment of Israeli colleagues for the actions of their government".

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Jewish life soars at Wills and Kate uni

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

St Andrews JSoc is enjoying one of its most successful years thanks to a significant membership boost.

Last year the society signed up around 200 new members, meaning more events, backed by more people, are now able to take place.

At the end of October, JSoc arranged a successful Shabbaton with the help of members from nearby Dundee Hebrew Congregation. After a Shabbat morning service they held a discussion on the week's parsha and a bagel lunch.

Bill and Emily Shackman, from the Dundee community, have agreed to return to lead a number of services for students throughout the year.

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Football helping UJS to build bridges

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2010

A five-a-side complex in Nottingham may be a long way from Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium, but for one group of student footballers the Spanish capital is their next destination.

The Seely 17 team, winners of the third annual Juefa Cup, will see Jose Mourinho's men compete in La Liga as their prize after picking up their own trophy at Sunday's tournament.

Following the success of the last two years in Birmingham and Leeds, the Union of Jewish Students' event attracted nearly 30 teams and more than 200 students to Nottingham.

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Universal jurisdiction - the other view

By Marcus Dysch, November 16, 2010

I’ve just spotted a piece of fairly foaming invective published by the Palestine Chronicle.

Written by Stuart Littlewood, author of the book Radio Free Palestine, the open letter to the Liberal Democrats lays out opposition to the planned alterations to the universal jurisdiction legislation of which we all know so much.

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Man jailed for racist YouTube videos

By Marcus Dysch, November 15, 2010

A man has been jailed for 15 months for posting racist video clips on YouTube.

Gareth Hemingway admitted five offences under the Public Order Act at Leeds Crown Court on Monday.

The court heard he had posted five videos featuring racist imagery and when he was arrested at his home in Sussex, police found a collection of Nazi memorabilia including a flag bearing the symbol of the SS.

The clips posted online called for a “racial holy war”, described acts of violence and made references to far right groups including Combat 18 and POWER (Patriots of White European Resistance).

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Two go head-to-head in battle for UJS presidency

By Marcus Dysch, November 11, 2010

Two candidates have started their campaign to become the most important figure in Jewish student politics.

Daniel Grabiner and Marcelle Jennings have been confirmed as the only students standing to become UJS president and follow current incumbent Alex Dwek.

They will go through a rigorous election process, culminating with the result being announced after a final hustings evening in Birmingham on December 1.

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