Marcus Dysch

'Anti-Israel' Gaza flotilla forum cancelled

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2010

An interfaith forum debating the Gaza flotilla incident has been cancelled after Jewish communities expressed concerns that the event was “totally inappropriate” and would be a vehicle for anti-Israel sentiment.

The Building the Bridge (BtB) initiative in Bristol had been due to assess the flotilla’s impact on religious groups in the city on Monday evening.

But it was cancelled after Jewish community leaders questioned the role of an interfaith organisation in debating the flotilla fallout.

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Scottish Jews oppose double-decker burials

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2010

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities has said it "strongly objects" to proposals to allow the re-use of graves.

The Scottish Government is expected to back the deepening of burial sites, effectively giving the go-ahead to "double-deck" graves.

It is due to announce its plans next month following a lengthy consultation into solving the increasing difficulty of securing burial space.

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Seph Brown - rewriting history

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2010

I was surprised to see a letter in this week’s edition of the JC from Seph Brown, currently a volunteer working on Ed Miliband’s Labour leadership campaign.

Not that there is anything wrong with Mr Brown writing to air his views – he’s very welcome to, but perhaps he should get his facts right first.

He writes following a news story we carried a fortnight ago about his new job in Mr Miliband’s office.

In his letter he states:

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Son fights to move mother from Christian cemetery

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2010

A bereaved son has described his frustration after an unsuccessful three-year battle to have his mother's body moved from a Christian cemetery to a Jewish resting place.

Eugene Linder's late mother, Biba Skodnik, is buried in Finland. He has pleaded with the country's Prime Minister and President to allow him to reinter her in Switzerland, where his family now lives.

But despite the assistance of London-based Rabbi Aba Dunner of the Conference of European Rabbis, Mr Linder has failed to receive permission from the Finnish authorities to move her.

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Arab MKs blast 'apartheid' Jewish state

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2010

Israeli Arab Knesset members have launched a blistering attack on the Jewish state and its Parliament, declaring Israel "racist, fascist and worse than apartheid South Africa".

Speaking to supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at the House of Commons on Wednesday, MK Haneen Zoubi said: "Israel is much worse than the apartheid regime in South Africa. There were no ethnic cleansing policies there, but there are those policies in Israel."

Demand for entrance to the event was so great that supporters filled two committee rooms.

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Doubts over universal jurisdiction 'solution'

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2010

Arguments over alterations to the universal jurisdiction legislation have continued this week, despite the government’s announcement of a proposal to change the law.
J
ustice Secretary Ken Clarke said the coalition would table a legislative amendment which will ensure the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is required before an arrest warrant can be issued, in response to a private prosecution for war crimes.

This would close the loophole which saw lawyers representing Palestinians secure such a warrant for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni last December.

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Cameron's chutzpah

By Marcus Dysch, July 27, 2010

Compare the following:

David Cameron, leader of the opposition, speaking at the Conservative Friends of Israel annual lunch, June 2009:

“The belief I have in Israel is indestructible. I will never turn my back on Israel.”

David Cameron, Prime Minister, speaking in Ankara, Turkey, July 2010:

“Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.”

And

"The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable."

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Full text of anti-Israel activist acquittal revealed

By Marcus Dysch and Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

The full transcript has been revealed for the first time of a judge's summing-up in the trial of seven anti-Israel activists acquitted of damaging an arms factory in January 2009.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman had told the jury at Lewes Crown Court that the group's leader should be awarded the George Cross for his campaign.

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Jewish WW1 soldiers reburied

By Marcus Dysch, July 22, 2010

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were joined in France this week by 12 veterans from the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, as the Prince dedicated the first new Commonwealth War Graves cemetery for 50 years.

Two thousand people gathered at Fromelles, near Lille, for the reburial of 250 British and Australian soldiers on the 94th anniversary of the battle in which they were killed.

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Top lawyer questioned by police

By Marcus Dysch, July 22, 2010

A top Jewish lawyer has been interviewed by police investigating the alleged theft of £158,000 of his former chambers' funds.

David Friesner, who has represented Premier League footballers and was one of Manchester's most highly regarded barristers, was questioned under caution over the missing money. He has not been arrested or charged.

Mr Friesner, of Salford, denies any wrongdoing. His solicitor, Ian Lewis, said he would continue to aid police.

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Israel trip for Jews, Muslims and Christians

By Marcus Dysch, July 22, 2010

An interfaith group is encouraging Jews, Christians and Muslims to join a study trip to Israel examining ways to bring peace to the Middle East.

St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace is a Christian-led independent charity in east London.

It will run the eight-day "study and encounter" tour of Israel in November. Participants will be expected to work together to investigate how to create productive dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Anger over Scotland's 'double-decker' burials

By Marcus Dysch, July 22, 2010

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) has said it "strongly objects" to proposals to allow the re-use of graves.

The Scottish Government is expected to back the deepening of burial sites, effectively giving the go-ahead to "double-deck" graves.

It is due to announce its plans next month following a lengthy consultation into solving the increasing difficulty of securing burial space.

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Holocaust educators honoured

By Marcus Dysch, July 22, 2010

The work of three family members who set up Britain's first Holocaust memorial centre has been recognised with a rare triple award.

Marina Smith and her sons James and Stephen received honorary doctorates from Nottingham Trent University this week.

The trio founded the Holocaust Centre, in Laxton, Leicestershire, in 1995, and have since welcomed thousands of visitors to learn about the Shoah.

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Clarke: action soon on universal jurisdiction

By Marcus Dysch, July 21, 2010

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has promised that the government will address a law allowing private prosecutors to issue arrest warrants for visiting Israelis “in the very near future”.

Responding to a question on altering universal jurisdiction law by Hendon MP Matthew Offord, Mr Clarke described the current situation as “unsatisfactory”.

He said: “We are urgently considering how to proceed and expect to make an announcement shortly.

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Analysis: Her love for us is sadly unrequited

By Marcus Dysch, July 15, 2010

With two years to go before Londoners elect their mayor, Jewish voters in the capital are facing a mini-dilemma. Who should we support?

The three leading contestants in the race for City Hall are certainly sufficiently well-known to pass one test - Ken, Oona and Boris are in a select group of politicians recognisable by their first names alone.

But deciding among the trio poses a challenge for the Jewish community.

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I'll unite London, says Oona King

By Marcus Dysch, July 15, 2010

Oona King has urged Jewish Londoners to back her attempt to become Labour's mayoral candidate in the capital and deny Ken Livingstone a return to power.

Five years after she was acrimoniously ousted from her Bethnal Green and Bow parliamentary seat by George Galloway, Ms King said she was eager to move beyond sectarian divides.

Daughter of a Jewish mother and a black father, 42-year-old Ms King
said racism and antisemitism had "no place in our religious and ethnically diverse city".

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Anger over Gaza flotilla forum

By Marcus Dysch, July 15, 2010

An interfaith forum which will debate the Gaza flotilla incident and assess its impact on religious groups has sparked an angry response from a Jewish community.

The Building the Bridge (BtB ) initiative in Bristol will assess the flotilla's impact and use discussion groups for people to "share their views and experiences".

The initiative works with the government's Prevent counter-terrorism strategy and is funded by Bristol City Council.

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Call for re-trial after 'shocking' summing-up

By Marcus Dysch, July 15, 2010

The full transcript has been revealed for the first time of a judge's summing-up in the trial of seven anti-Israel activists acquitted of damaging an arms factory.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman had told the jury at Lewes Crown Court that the group's leader should be awarded the George Cross for his campaign.

The group were cleared last month of causing £180,000 of damage to the EDO MBM factory in Brighton after they claimed they had acted "to prevent Israeli war crimes".

The company denied ever supplying Israel with arms equipment.

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Barnet councillors should be ashamed

By Marcus Dysch, July 14, 2010

The news that Barnet Council cabinet members have voted through a bumper new pay structure is surely one of the most disgraceful episodes in the proud history of the borough with the largest number of Jewish households in the country.

The deal agreed at last night’s council meeting, reported here by my old paper the Hendon Times, will prove a sickening blow to hard working Barnet residents who are currently scrimping and saving to make ends meet.

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The World Cup - Chabad style

By Marcus Dysch, July 9, 2010

As the World Cup reaches its conclusion this weekend, newspapers, TV channels and websites will mourn the end of their largely mind-numbing, octopus-laden coverage. (The fans won’t).

But just when you thought you had seen it all, every possible milking of the tournament and every gimmick, when you thought nothing could be more bizarre than Alan Shearer going to Soweto and asking a South African man: “Apartheid – how was it for you?”…

..along comes this beauty from Chabad:

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