Marcus Dysch

Schools out of Tottenham Palestine Literary Festival

By Marcus Dysch, October 3, 2011

Eight schools pulled out of a literary festival organised by pro-Palestinian campaigners after Education Secretary Michael Gove intervened.

Pupils from the primary schools in the north London boroughs of Haringey and Islington were due to attend workshops led by anti-Israel activists at the Tottenham Palestine Literary Festival last weekend.

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Tourism with a twist

By Marcus Dysch, September 27, 2011

A new travel company is offering British Jews the opportunity to take holidays with a difference - staying with Muslim families in East Jerusalem and visiting the Palestinian territories.

The trips are part of a range of interfaith tours offered by Middle East Journeys to encourage religious Jews, Christians and Muslims to step out of their comfort zones and meet those with other beliefs.

Th

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Gove asks schools to pull out of Tottenham festival

By Marcus Dysch, September 27, 2011

Education Secretary Michael Gove has intervened to ask primary schools to pull their pupils out of a literature festival organised by pro-Palestinian campaigners.

Mr Gove wrote to headteachers after learning of the plans for youngsters to attend workshops at the Tottenham Palestine Literary Festival.

Eight schools from the north London boroughs of Islington and Haringey had signalled their i

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LPO: 'Jewish pressure' led to suspensions

By Marcus Dysch, September 27, 2011

Dozens of musicians, artists, playwrights and activists have urged the London Philharmonic Orchestra to reconsider its suspension of four members for expressing anti-Israel views.

In a letter published in the Daily Telegraph, 117 signatories, most of who have long track records of anti-Israel activism, attacked the LPO's action after the four players put their names and that of the LPO to a let

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NUS scraps former anti-Israel policy

By Marcus Dysch, September 27, 2011

The National Union of Students has scrapped its anti-Israel policy and replaced it with a motion backing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

NUS will now encourage student unions to host round-table debates on the situation in the Middle East and promote interfaith initiatives on campus.

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Sweet New Year for the troops

By Marcus Dysch, September 27, 2011

Packs of kosher provisions have been distributed to Jewish troops serving in the British armed forces to help them celebrate Rosh Hashanah.

The parcels, including honey cake, dried fruits, powdered chicken soup and other treats, were dispatched to those serving in Afghanistan and other conflict zones. They are provided by the Jewish Committee for HM Forces.

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Pledge to avoid Yom Tov clashes

By Marcus Dysch, September 27, 2011

Birkbeck College and the University of London Union have pledged to work harder to ensure Freshers' Week events do not clash with Jewish festivals or Shabbat.

Jewish students taking politics courses at Birkbeck were surprised to discover their induction evening was planned for this evening, clashing with both Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat.

ULU's Freshers' Fair was also due to take place today.

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Innuendo removed from mag

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

The New Statesman magazine has amended an online article written by a pro-Palestinian activist following complaints that it alluded to a Jewish conspiracy.

Activist Ben White, who has spoken at events organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and War on Want, had written about the London Philharmonic Orchestra's suspension of four players who put their names to a letter, published in the I

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Banned sheikh's fate mulled

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

A High Court judge is to rule on whether Islamic political activist Raed Salah was detained unlawfully in Britain.

Following a two-day hearing Judge Nicol reserved judgment on whether Home Secretary Theresa May's order to arrest Sheikh Salah was legal.

The 52-year-old father-of-eight was initially detained in London in June after allegedly flouting a ban on entering Britain imposed by the Ho

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Glyndebourne apology

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

The executive chairman of the Glyndebourne festival has apologised for the production of a children's opera based on the writings of a pro-Palestinian activist.

Gus Christie said he could "understand and sympathise" with concerns raised over When I Am Old, written using the recollections of Rachel Corrie who was killed in Gaza in 2003.

Performed three times last month by members of the Glynd

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Students' great shul crawl

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

Two Oxford University students have set out on an ambitious project to review every synagogue in Britain.

Danny Kessler and Joshua Felberg plan light-hearted assessments of nearly 400 communities, based on the standard of the kiddush, the rabbi's sermon, decorum, and "peculiar customs".

The friends served as co-presidents of Oxford Jewish Society last year and came up with the idea after see

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How one man's protest went around the globe

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

The level of anti-Israel activity on British campuses is "overwhelming" and not enough is being done to combat it, according to a former academic in Islamic studies.

Denis MacEoin, former editor of the Middle East Quarterly, led criticism of one student association which attempted to implement a boycott of Israel earlier this year.

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UJS 'lacks backbone': Schochet

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

A leading Orthodox rabbi believes Jewish students do not have the "backbone" to tackle anti-Israel activity on campuses.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet said the Union of Jewish Students "must stop playing the victim" and unite against "radicalism and fundamentalism" at British universities.

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LPO urged to end suspension of Israel boycott musicians

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

Dozens of musicians, artists, playwrights and activists have urged the London Philharmonic Orchestra to reconsider its suspension of four members for expressing anti-Israel views.

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UJS's "radical, progressive" campaign? Sensible, or a cause for concern?

By Marcus Dysch, September 16, 2011

The Union of Jewish Students announced plans this week to launch a "radical, progressive" campaign, encouraging students to speak up for the rights and "liberation" of both Israelis and Palestinians.

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High Court to rule on Raed Salah arrest

By Marcus Dysch, September 16, 2011

A High Court judge is to rule on whether Islamic political activist Raed Salah was detained unlawfully in Britain.

Following a two-day hearing Judge Mr Justice Nicol reserved judgment on whether Home Secretary Theresa May's order to arrest Sheikh Salah was legal.

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Overcome the hurdles and enjoy the positives

By Marcus Dysch, September 15, 2011

The new year on campus will bring tough challenges for Jewish students and the organisations which serve them so admirably.

Perhaps the biggest challenge will be working around the NUS's anti-Israel policies, adopted last May.

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Canadian to lead EDL Jews

By Marcus Dysch, September 15, 2011

The new leader of the English Defence League's Jewish division has encouraged British Jews to back the extreme right-wing group and "defend liberal democracy".

James Cohen, 52, who is based in Ottawa, Canada, said his dealings with EDL leaders had led him to believe they were "affable, intelligent, right-minded people" who had been "wrongly maligned" by the British media.

Mr Cohen, a writer

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Luciana Berger: I've been unlucky in the House

By Marcus Dysch, September 15, 2011

Britain's youngest Jewish MP, Luciana Berger, is facing criticism over her record of defending Israel since being elected to Parliament.

Ms Berger, 30, was Labour Friends of Israel director for three years before stepping down last year to fight her election campaign in the Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

There was an expectation that she would be a leading pro-Israel voice in Parliament.

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East Jerusalem choice

By Marcus Dysch, September 15, 2011

One-third of Palestinians in east Jerusalem would rather hold Israeli citizenship than live in a new Palestinian state, according to polling by a former State Department adviser.

David Pollock, who supervised US government studies of public opinion in the Middle East, carried out polls of more than 1,000 people living in Palestinian neighbourhoods in the city.

Speaking in Westminster on Mond

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