Marcus Dysch

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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Idan on his way to UK

By Marcus Dysch, November 11, 2010

Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel will tour campuses later this month.

He will perform in Leeds, Birmingham and Nottingham between November 28 and December 1 as part of a campaign organised by the Union of Jewish Students.

It is hoped the triple platinum-selling artist will also hold discussion groups with students following his gigs to discuss interfaith work and unity on campus.

In Leeds he is expected to run a workshop with the university's music department, handing down essential tips to Jewish and non-Jewish students.

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Israel boycotters launch European grouping

By Marcus Dysch, November 11, 2010

Fresh attempts to promote academic and cultural boycotts of Israel will be spearheaded by a newly-established pan-European organisation.

The European Platform for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (EPACBI) includes representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Spain and five other countries with the aim of streamlining action against the Jewish state.

Members of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup), and its French equivalent AURDIP, joined forces to set up the new group and campaign against European Union funding of Israeli academic research.

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Jews against EDL launch unity voice

By Marcus Dysch, November 11, 2010

The first joint initiative to combat Jewish support for the English Defence League within the community has been launched.

The "Not in our name - Jews against the EDL" campaign is backed by more than a dozen organisations, including the Board of Deputies, Community Security Trust, the Israeli Embassy, and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

More than 500 people have already pledged their support.

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The JC and the Phil Woolas affair

By Marcus Dysch, November 11, 2010

A key section of evidence in the court case which saw a Labour MP stripped of his job focused on a JC report of pre-election attacks on Israel.

At the specially convened election court last week, the former Immigration Minister Phil Woolas was found guilty of lying about his opponent on campaign leaflets. The court ruled that Mr Woolas had stirred racial tensions in the Oldham and Saddleworth constituency, which he won by just 103 votes.

He has been removed from Parliament and thrown out of the Labour Party following the judgment.

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Student rage at union chief’s views

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2010

The Union of Jewish Students has called for a student union president to resign after making apparently antisemitic remarks.

Clare Solomon, a religion student at the School of Oriental and African Studies, claimed that the persecution of Jews had been fabricated to justify attacks on Palestinians.

She was elected as president of the University of London student union earlier this year.

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Israel's Meridor feared UK arrrest

By Marcus Dysch, November 4, 2010

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor cancelled an appearance at a London fundraising dinner this week over fears he could be arrested under universal jurisdiction legislation.

The Israeli Justice Ministry warned Mr Meridor that a warrant for his arrest might be issued if he entered Britain.

He had been due to speak at the Bicom dinner on Monday evening, to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who cancelled last week citing the delicate state of the peace negotiations.

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When will university chiefs finally act?

By Marcus Dysch, November 3, 2010

Roshonara Choudhry has been jailed for life for the attempted murder of MP Stephen Timms.

Inspired by al-Qaeda and Jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki she knifed Mr Timms during a constituency surgery in May.

Thankfully, and no doubt rather luckily, he escaped serious injury or worse.

As Choudhry was jailed, her supporters (yes really) protested in the public gallery, screaming “Allahu akbar”, “British go to hell” and “Curse the judge”. A demonstration was also taking place outside the court.

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