Marcus Dysch



How to fix Jewish-Methodist relations - Panini football stickers

By Marcus Dysch, July 6, 2010

As the fallout rumbles on from the Methodist Church's endorsement last week of an anti-Israel report, I bring news of my own (albeit initially unintended) work to repair interfaith relations.

I am collecting stickers for the Panini World Cup album (yes I am 27, laugh if you like) and in an increasingly desperate attempt to fill the book and find those pesky last few Beckhams or Ronaldos I resorted to Twitter for help.

More..

Turkey 'ready to ban all Israel flights'

By Marcus Dysch, July 2, 2010

Turkey will ban commercial flights to and from Israel unless the families of Gaza flotilla victims receive an apology and compensation, according to Turkish media reports.

Israel's Industry Minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, is said to have told Turkey's Foreign Minister at a secret meeting in Brussels that the Jewish state was rethinking its initial refusal to pay compensation.

It was claimed that the Foreign Minister warned that Turkey would ban flights between the countries unless its demands were met.

More..

Israel ready to release 1,000 prisoners for Shalit

By Marcus Dysch, July 2, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has said he is prepared to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

In a live address on Israeli television, Mr Netanyahu said he was ready "to pay the price" of releasing the prisoners, but would not allow them to return to the West Bank and would not set free "arch-terrorists".

He has come under increasing pressure from Shalit's family. More than 10,000 supporters of the family marched in Netanya on Friday morning as part of a 12-day protest march to Jerusalem.

More..

Crucifixion show at Jewish gallery praised

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

The co-chairman of the London Jewish Museum of Art says he is "buoyed" by a wave of support for the gallery's decision to host an exhibition addressing the Crucifixion.

David Glasser said criticism last week of the launch of Cross Purposes – Shock and Contemplation in Images of the Crucifixion had been followed by an "exceptionally busy" weekend and around 200 supportive emails.

The exhibition at the St John's Wood gallery includes depictions of Christ on the cross by Tracey Emin, Graham Sutherland and Duncan Grant.

More..

Government pledge to tackle campus extremists

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

The government has pledged to reassess its Prevent counter-terrorism strategy to investigate whether it has done enough to challenge extremists.

Universities Minister David Willetts admitted there might still be cases where extreme speakers have fostered hatred or violence.

Millions of pounds have already been spent on the project in an attempt to prevent Muslim radicalisation.

More..

Hull celebrates first Pidyon HaBen in 23 years

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

Hull Hebrew Congregation has celebrated a rare simchah - the city's first Pidyon HaBen for 23 years.

Kimberley and Avi Schwartz from Jerusalem decided to hold the biblical redemption ceremony in east Yorkshire after bringing their one-month-old son Akiva Menachem to visit family in Mrs Schwartz's home community.

More..

Ovens ban after kosher bakery leak

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

A Hendon kosher bakery and café has been banned from using its gas ovens following a carbon monoxide leak on Sunday morning.

More than 20 people were evacuated and a large section of Brent Street was sealed off following the incident at Mr Baker.

It took five fire engines and specialist appliances, four rapid response ambulance cars and a team of police officers over four hours to deal with the leak.

The London Ambulance Service said that as a precaution, it had assessed 10 people at the scene but none had required hospital treatment.

More..

Abu Hamza's son jailed for riot

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

The son of hate preacher Abu Hamza has been jailed for his role in rioting outside the Israeli Embassy in London.

Yasser Kamel, 20, wielded a stolen police riot shield and threw sticks at officers while demonstrating against Israel’s Cast Lead operation in Gaza last year.

He was sentenced to 12 months in youth detention after admitting one count of violent disorder at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday.

Kamel, of Shepherd’s Bush, west London, had arrived at the protest at around 4.45pm on January 10, 2009, and was caught on camera confronting officers with the riot shield.

More..

Fury as Methodists vote to boycott Israel

By Marcus Dysch and Simon Rocker, July 1, 2010

The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said the Methodists’ annual conference should “hang its head in shame” for passing a policy which calls for a boycott of goods from “illegal” Israeli West Bank settlements and blames Israeli occupation as the “key hindrance” to Middle East peace.

Lord Sacks said the implications of the decision would “reverberate across the hitherto harmonious relationship between the faith communities in the UK”.

More..

Comment: It's been a tough year - but we're stronger

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

As the current academic year comes to an end, Jewish students will be reflecting on a relatively peaceful period on campus, if not an entirely harmonious one.

The grim scenes of last year's anti-Israel lecture theatre occupations have thankfully not been repeated. But the fall-out on campuses following last month's Gaza flotilla incident would surely have been more considerable had students not been busy studying for exams.

Over the past 10 months we have covered a wide array of student news and views in JC On Campus.

More..

Irish song will plead for Gilad Shalit

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

The leader of a Northern Ireland Messianic congregation has written a song to mark today's fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

Jim Clint said he composed Song for Gilad (Take a Little Time) to remind the captured Israeli soldier's family that he has not been forgotten, and to also hit back at "media bias against Israel".

It includes the lyrics: "Let us stand together with our voices as one/ Crying out for freedom for this special son/ We cannot be silent nor turn away/ So take a little time to pray... for Gilad."

More..

Charedim hard hit by budget

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

The spending cuts announced in the budget contain "very bleak news" that could lead to misery for the Charedi community, the country's largest Jewish housing association has warned.

Chancellor George Osborne's announcement of a freeze on child benefits and cuts to housing benefit have been met with serious concern by the Agudas Israel Housing Association.

Families on housing benefit will receive a maximum of £400 a week for properties with more than three bedrooms as the government attempts to save £1.8 billion by the end of this parliament.

More..

Jewish art museum's crucifix exhibition

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

Supporters of the London Jewish Museum of Art have reacted furiously to a new exhibition which addresses the Crucifixion.

The Cross Purposes – Shock and Contemplation in images of the Crucifixion show traces artistic representations of the Crucifixion, from solely Christian interpretations to modern-day images.

Among the artwork on display at the museum's St John's Wood gallery are depictions of Christ on the cross by Tracey Emin, Graham Sutherland and Duncan Grant.

More than 300 people attended the official opening on Tuesday night.

More..

Newcastle Brown Ale imported to Israel

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

It is an acquired taste even in its native Tyneside, but cult classic drink Newcastle Brown Ale is being introduced to a new market of potential fans - Israelis.

Its delicate, fruity aroma and nutty caramel malt taste can now be enjoyed by regulars at bars across the Jewish state, thanks partly to the increasing popularity of British-style pubs and ales.

Oren Abrashi of Tempo, one of Israel's largest brewers, which will distribute Newcastle Brown Ale in Israel, said the drink is already well-loved.

More..

Board celebrates 250th anniversary

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

Past and present members of the Board of Deputies were a hat-maker's dream as they arrived at the organisation's 250th anniversary celebration on Sunday in fedoras, panamas, bowlers, an Ajex beret and even a top hat adorned with peacock feathers.

The 200-plus guests were honouring the request of the late Gertrude Shilling, a deputy known for the extravagant millinery creations she wore annually to the Royal Ascot race meeting.

More..

Corsica shock over discovery of its only Holocaust victim

By Marcus Dysch, June 17, 2010

A Corsican history teacher has shattered a local myth by showing that one single Jew was indeed deported from the island during the Second World War and sent to his death.

For more than 60 years, the people of Corsica have prided themselves on the fact that no Jews were deported during Corsica's occupation by German and Italian forces. This extraordinary record is usually attributed to vigilance of the island's wartime prefect, Paul Balley, who protected Jews on the island from being sent to the camps.

More..

John Bercow speaks to Oxford Chabad

By Marcus Dysch, June 17, 2010

Oxford Chabad Society welcomed the first Jewish Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, to an end-of-term Friday night dinner.

Around 100 students, staff and Oxford Jewish community members heard Mr Bercow talk on the subject of "New Parliament, New Politics?".

He discussed how the expenses scandal had undermined the trust of the public in politics and should be viewed as a transition from traditional, executive-run politics to a new system of greater accountability.

More..

Parliament discusses Gaza flotilla fall-out

By Marcus Dysch and Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

British and European parliamentarians took part in a trio of debates this week to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and wider Middle East issues.

On Monday evening, the House of Commons discussed the government's policy on the region. Most of the debate centred on the fall-out from the Gaza flotilla incident.

There were calls for the government to ban arms sales to Israel and impose boycott, divestment and sanctions policies. James Arbuthnot, chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, admitted that Israel "makes mistakes" and criticised settlement building.

More..

Playwright knighted in Honours List

By Marcus Dysch, June 12, 2010

A playwright, an educational philanthropist and a nursery headteacher are among those recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

South African-born screenwriter Ronald Harwood is knighted for services to drama. In 2003, he won an Oscar for his work on the Holocaust-themed film, The Pianist. The 75-year-old, previously nominated for his play The Dresser, which was later filmed, was born in Cape Town and came to London in 1951 to pursue a career in theatre, changing his name from Horwitz to Harwood.

More..



Big Brother - Middle East style

By Marcus Dysch, June 11, 2010

According to reports in today’s newspapers, a special version of Big Brother is to be broadcast in France.

Twelve 18-year-old Israelis and Palestinians will be shut in a house in Marseille for three weeks during August…and will be asked to agree on a solution to the conflict.

The producer of the show, Mohamed Ulad, said the project would use a “popular format” to cover a “serious subject”.

Hmm, I can see how this might turn out...

“This is Big Brother, will Shimon please stop building in the east side of the garden?”

More..