Marcus Dysch

Zionist Federation may sue David Bellamy over talk pull-out

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) has claimed its campaign led TV botanist David Bellamy to pull out of a Zionist Federation science event.

Prof Bellamy was scheduled to be guest speaker at the Israel Blue White and Green event last week, but withdrew offering no explanation for his absence.

The JC understands that the ZF is now considering taking legal action against Prof Bellamy for breach of contract.

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Kosher kitchen plan gives Hull a recipe for revival

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

A kosher kitchen could be up and running for students in Hull in time for the next academic year as the university’s JSoc enjoys a revival.

The city’s Hillel house closed in 2004 after years of being under-occupied. It was hoped that after the property had been sold, funds could be allocated to support kosher facilities for JSoc members on campus.

But with too few Jewish students moving to the city, the project was shelved. It is now being resurrected as Hull JSoc enjoys its best year in more than a decade.

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Taking action in Africa

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

Jeneration, the pluralist initiative for students and young adults, is organising a two-week trip to Kenya which aims to encourage students to volunteer for social action programmes.

The trip, organised jointly with the conservation and development group Frontier, will include community-building projects, sessions working with local residents and sightseeing tours.

There are 10 places available for people aged 18 to 25. Jeneration has secured funding allowing places to be offered at the subsidised rates of £800 and £1,600.

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Lunches that fill a gap

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

Kosher lunches are back on the menu at Imperial College London after a six-month break in service.

A canteen offering kosher fare closed last summer, leaving students facing a challenge to find suitable food while on campus.

But Rabbi Mendy Loewenthal, director of South Kensington Chabad, has now intervened, securing funding from private donors to fill the gap until the canteen
reopens.

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Miliband meets Ron: What really happened

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

My sources at the Foreign Office have just handed me this transcript of Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor’s five-minute meeting with David Miliband this morning:

David Miliband: “Morning Ron, thanks for dropping by.”

Ron Prosor: “Boker Tov Dave, any chance of a coffee?”

DM: “Well, that’s not what we’re really here for. We need to discuss Dubai.”

RP: “Can we not? I went in that big tower once, felt very sick. Admittedly I’d just had lunch.”

DM: “No no, I mean the assassination, al-Mabhouh.”

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BBC – the naked truth?

By Marcus Dysch, February 17, 2010

Charles Sale's Sports Agenda column in the Mail has been following for some time the investigation of a freelancer who allegedly sabotaged a Radio 5 Live interview with Wigan manager Roberto Martinez last year.

It has been a relatively dull case in all honesty. Someone somewhere does something naughty. Bosses aren’t happy, launch investigation to find culprit, blah blah blah.

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Brit linked to Dubai Hamas killing: 'I woke up accused of murder'

By Marcus Dysch, February 16, 2010

The British man linked to the murder of Hamas military leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has said he is the victim of mistaken identity and is determined to clear his name.

Dubai has identified Melvyn Adam Mildiner, 31, as one of six British passport holders believed to have been involved in the death of al-Mabhouh in a luxury hotel.

At least 7 of the members of the assassination team in Dubai had passports with the names of real people, six British and one German. Most of the 'real names' were those of olim.

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Wife of Brit claims mistaken identity for Dubai Hamas murder

By Marcus Dysch, February 16, 2010

The wife of a British man linked to the murder of Hamas military leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has said her husband was not involved in the assassination.

Dubai has identified Melvyn Adam Mildiner as one of six British passport holders believed to have been involved in the death of al-Mabhouh in a luxury hotel.

Speaking from their home near Jerusalem, Melvyn Mildiner's wife said: “It wasn’t him. He’s never been to Dubai. The pictures that are being shown everywhere are not of him. It is not his passport. He has it here in the house.”

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Frustrated in Frankfurt

By Marcus Dysch, February 14, 2010

There’s something about foreign assignments that seems to not entirely agree with me.

After the shambles of the Stormont toilet lock-in , came the frustration in Frankfurt.

It all seemed so simple. Go to Frankfurt for the day, watch the handing back of some looted Nazi artwork, come back and write a nice colourful piece. Easy.

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Calls for the destruction of Israel in SOAS lecture

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has advocated suicide bombing, has told students he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.

Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, spoke to students at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) on Tuesday.

On Monday, he addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society and is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.

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Universities Minister grilled on extremism on campus

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

Universities Minister David Lammy has been quizzed by Jewish students concerned about hate speakers on campus and academic boycotts of Israel.

He was speaking to delegates at the Union of Jewish Students’ Parliamentary lobby day.

Around 100 students from 17 campuses and two schools took part in the event last week.

Many arranged individual meetings with their MPs. One group even attempted to corner opposition leader David Cameron as he walked through Parliament’s Central Lobby.

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Bnei Akiva offers students Brazil trip

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

British Bnei Akiva gap year students are to be offered the opportunity to work with Jewish communities in Brazil for the first time.

BA’s Hachshara programme, which prepares students for leadership roles, plans to send trainees to help run youth activities in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Around 30 participants are expected to spend a fortnight in Brazil, probably at the end of next year’s programme in June 2011.

There are around 96,000 Jews in the South American country.

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Stamford Hill pub becomes yeshivah

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

A former Stamford Hill pub is reopening as a yeshivah after a lengthy rebuilding project.

The British Oak was bought by the Belz community in 2002 and has been transformed at a cost of around £1 million. Supporters took part in a range of celebratory and fundraising events to mark the centre’s opening ceremony.

Rabbi Aaron Rokeach travelled from Israel to represent his father, Belz Rebbe Rabbi Issachar Dov Rokeach.

He spent Shabbat at the Holiday Inn at Luton Airport, where he was joined by over 140 community members who had each donated £3,600 to the project.

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Oxford student at Israeli minister: 'Kill the Jews'

By Marcus Dysch, February 9, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister was met by a protester screaming “slaughter the Jews” as he spoke at the Oxford Union.

Antisemitic and anti-Israel abuse was shouted throughout Danny Ayalon’s speech on Monday evening, with students causing numerous disruptions to the event.

During the hour-long session one student ran towards Mr Ayalon shouting the Arabic phrase “Itbah Al-Yahud” [Slaughter the Jews].

As many as 10 others, carrying Palestinian flags, made attempts to attack Mr Ayalon but were intercepted and removed by security.

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David Bellamy urged: 'Pull out of Zionist talk'

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2010

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) has urged botanist David Bellamy to pull out of a Zionist Federation event at which he is expected to speak about Israel’s environmental achievements.

Mr Bellamy is due to appear at the ZF’s Israel Blue White and Green seminar alongside leading Israeli scientists on Tuesday.

The event, which is primarily aimed at non-Jewish schoolchildren, is a follow-up to last year’s Israel Science Day which Bricup also attempted to disrupt.

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Gordon Brown 'troubled' by CST antisemitism report

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2010

The Community Security Trust recorded more antisemitic incidents in 2009 than in any other year since records began 26 years ago.

Releasing its annual figures for last year, the CST confirmed that 924 incidents were reported, including violent assaults, desecration of property and death threats.

The 69 per cent rise on 2008 followed an “unprecedented” number of antisemitic attacks recorded in January and February last year, during and after the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Around a quarter of cases included references to Gaza.

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Craggy Island or Carrickmacross?

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Zion Evrony's chaotic visit to Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, had all the component parts of an episode of Father Ted.

For the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland to be heckled or 'welcomed' with a protest should perhaps (unfortunately) come as no great surprise.

The idea of ripping a page from the town's visitor book is, however, not only vile but absolutely ridiculous.

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Warwick JSoc: Stepping out of Birmingham's shadow

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

The new president of Warwick University’s Jewish Society believes the time has come for the group to step out of the shadows of its neighbours in Birmingham.

Guy Israel and his eight-strong committee are working hard to establish Warwick JSoc as an independent force in the collective psyche of Jewish students, both in Britain and abroad.

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UJS sends out roast chicken 'Shabbat packs'

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

The Union of Jewish Students will be sending out Shabbat “packs” to campuses across the country next month for a one-off cheap food day.

The Shabbat UK initiative is run jointly with JNF.

Each pack for the March 5 event includes a roast chicken, challah, candles, grape juice, potatoes, vegetables and a prayer booklet.

The essentials must be ordered through JSoc or your national development officer before February 12 and cost just £1 per person.

Apply for a pack at www.ujs.org.uk.

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Fake Judaica floods online auction sites

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Collectors of Judaica are being warned of a rise in fake items being sold online.

Internet market sites such as eBay advertise hundreds of items including yads, figurines, kiddush cups and havdalah spice boxes.

But buyers have reported incidents of pieces being advertised as 19th century Russian antiques which, when purchased, turn out to be cheap, modern replicas.

Jacob Nightburg, from Stamford Hill, north east London, bought a spice box set on eBay for 120 euros [£105] from a seller based in Germany.

When it was delivered to him, Mr Nightburg became suspicious.

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