Marcus Dysch

"Comedy terrorist" takes on David Cameron

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

Two Jewish candidates from rather different sides of the political spectrum are attempting to overturn David Cameron's 14,000 majority.

Self-styled "comedy terrorist" Aaron Barschak - best-known for gate-crashing Prince William's 21st birthday party while dressed as Osama bin Laden - is hoping to become MP for Witney, the Oxford constituency held by the Tory leader.

Fellow candidate Joe Goldberg is less controversial. He is a Labour councillor in Haringey, north London.


Israel deputy ambassador 'shocked' by Manchester attack

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

Israel’s deputy ambassador to Britain was forced to seek refuge in a security office after protesters attempted to attack her following a university lecture.

Talya Lador-Fresher said she feared she would be physically assaulted when demonstrators climbed on the bonnet of her car and attempted to smash the windscreen.

She had been speaking to members of Manchester University’s politics society when the incident occurred on Wednesday evening. Around 40 demonstrators had gathered at the venue.


Lib Dem warns of 'power of Jewish lobby'

By Marcus Dysch, April 28, 2010

A Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Yorkshire told a hustings meeting that “the power of the Jewish lobbies in Washington and Britain” are the reason a full arms embargo has not been imposed on Israel.

Madeleine Kirk, standing for the party in the new seat of York Outer, was speaking at the York University event on Wednesday afternoon.

A question was asked about whether the candidates believed arms sales to Israel should be banned.

Ms Kirk, a long-standing local city councillor, replied that an embargo should be in place, but was not, "because of the Jewish lobby”.


UJS and double standards

By Marcus Dysch, April 26, 2010

Far be it from me to reignite the flames surrounding the UJS-Douglas Murray fall out of ten days ago.

But having just read this piece by Carly McKenzie on Comment is Free, I do wonder what exactly goes through the minds of the UJS hierarchy sometimes.

Here Carly writes:


Chabad to open student centre in Liverpool

By Marcus Dysch, April 22, 2010

Chabad is to open a new centre for Jewish students in Liverpool.

Manchester-born Rabbi Shmuly Brown and his wife Tzivia will open their home and offer Shabbat dinners, education sessions and social activities.

It is the latest step in Chabad's expansion of its campus work, which has seen significant development in Edinburgh, Bristol, Nottingham, south London and Leeds over the past two years.

The Liverpool venture means the organisation now assists students at 11 centres around the country.


Douglas Murray blasts 'foolish' UJS, who uninvited him

By Marcus Dysch, April 22, 2010

An anti-extremism campaigner has attacked the Union of Jewish Students and claimed that it bowed to pressure from Islamic students by withdrawing an invitation to him to appear in a panel debate.

Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, was expected to take part in a UJS-organised discussion on hate speech at the National Union of Students conference in Gateshead last week.

But UJS dropped him after the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) refused to share a platform with him.


Finchley and Golders Green: Election 2010

By Marcus Dysch, April 22, 2010

When the bookies have you listed at odds as short as 1/20 it must be difficult to keep your mind on the job of attempting to enter the Commons.

But Mike Freer, the Tory former Barnet Council leader turned woud-be MP, is fully focused on securing the constituency with the highest proportion of Jewish voters in the country - Finchley and Golders Green.

Departing Labour MP Rudi Vis leaves Labour's new candidate, Alison Moore, with a majority of just 741 to defend.


Party firms deny exploiting charities

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The directors of two promotions companies have defended themselves against allegations that they short-changed a Jewish charity and misled it over the share of the profit it would receive from a club night.

Danny Macabi, of Nana Life Events, and Darren Bloom, of Electric Parties, promote parties which have become the highlight of the social calendar for young Jewish professionals, often attracting up to 600 revellers to each event.


Confusion over move for Yemeni Jews to UK

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

A small number of Yemeni Jews may "imminently" move to Britain, although there is confusion over the government's role in their possible resettlement here.

There have been plans for more than a year to help Jews from Yemen escape persecution by moving to join family members already living in Stamford Hill's strictly Orthodox community.

The Independent newspaper claimed this week that the Foreign Office is on the verge of agreeing a secret deal with Yemeni authorities.


Northampton synagogue discovered under kebab shop

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The remains of a 13th century synagogue have been uncovered in the most unlikely of places - underneath a Northampton halal kebab shop.

Archaeologists discovered what they believe to be a staircase and walls 12ft below the cellar of the Kebabish takeaway, and a neighbouring pub.

The find came after painstaking radar surveys and non-intrusive investigations carried out using 3D imagery technology.

Marcus Roberts, director of JTrails, the National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail, located the site after spending more than 20 years researching Northampton's Jewish history.


£50k cash boost for the CST

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The Community Security Trust is to receive £48,869 of government funding to help the fight against antisemitism.

The grant awarded to CST is the largest single sum given to an organisation as part of the Home Office's Hate Crime Action plan which tackles disability, race, religion, sexuality and transgender hate crimes.

CST was one of only eight organisations to receive funds. More than 40 others were rejected.


Welsh protests fail to disrupt Israel envoy's visit

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

The Israeli ambassador faced an angry reception from protesters on Wednesday as he marked the appointment of Israel's first honorary consul for Wales.

Ron Prosor visited Cardiff to attend a ceremony at the Welsh Assembly, welcoming Philip Kaye to the role.

But the ambassador was later heckled as he arrived to give a lecture at Cardiff University Debating Society.


On the road with Ron

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

In this world there are sayers and there are doers.

Plenty of us have lots to say in Israel’s defence. Blogging, writing letters to newspapers, complaining about the BBC, whatever it may be there are a good number who will offer their talents to support the Jewish state.

But how many are prepared to go that extra mile, to stand up rather than just speak up? How many are prepared to enter the bear pit, confront the haters and be counted?

The cynics will say it is Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor’s job to be one of those who stands up to be counted.


Survivor leads March of the Living in Poland

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

Auschwitz survivor Freddie Knoller led a British delegation at the annual March of the Living in Poland this week.

Vienna-born Mr Knoller joined other survivors and thousands of students from around the world on the three-kilometre route from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Monday.

He was invited by the Austrian government to participate in the march, coinciding with Yom Hashoah, the remembrance day for Holocaust victims.


I've gotta feeling...

By Marcus Dysch, April 9, 2010

I’ve only just seen this version of the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling.


MPs urge Home Office to free embassy-protest mob

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

Supporters of pro-Palestinian demonstrators jailed after violent protests outside the Israeli embassy last year have stepped up their campaign against the sentences.

A small group of Stop the War Coalition members protested outside the Home Office last week, demanding that the remaining charges against defendants be dropped.

MPs George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, accompanied by representatives from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and British Muslim Initiative, delivered a 1,200-name petition.


Azzam Tamimi hit by student backlash

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

A Christian group has withdrawn an invitation to Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi following complaints from the European Union of Jewish Students.

Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, had been due to speak at a World Student Christian Federation interfaith conference in Berlin next week.

But the federation withdrew its invitation after the EUJS highlighted his track record of inflammatory speeches to students.


Hendon: Election 2010

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

In recent weeks voters in Hendon have been preoccupied more with matzah prices than turnout forecasts and swing percentages.

But they are now likely to find themselves at the forefront of fevered election activity.

Labour's Andrew Dismore, who has held the seat since 1997, faces a critical challenge from Tory Matthew Offord and the Liberal Democrats' Matthew Harris, who is Jewish.

Although the constituency is ranked 73rd on the Tories' list of targets, analysts put it in the top four of the essential 80 seats the party must win to topple Gordon Brown.


Antisemitic comic Dieudonné London gig cancelled

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

A planned London performance by a controversial French far-right comedian has been cancelled following complaints from the Jewish community.

Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, who was last year fined by a French court for performing an antisemitic stunt, was due to perform in Kensington on Saturday evening.

The Cameroon-born performer has previously stood for the European Parliament as head of the Anti-Zionist Party, which he formed with Alain Soral, a former member of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme-right National Front.


Church apologises to rabbi for 'ambush'

By Marcus Dysch, April 1, 2010

A rabbi has received an apology from a church group after the controversial play Seven Jewish Children was performed at the end of a conference discussing Israel and the Palestinians.

Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok was a speaker alongside Palestinian colleague Dawoud El-Alami (they are co-authors of a book on the conflict) at the lecture series The Holy Land: Whose Land Is It? in Ludlow, Shropshire.