Marcus Dysch

Labour MP Diane Abbott vows to save Yemeni Jews

By Marcus Dysch, March 4, 2010

A Labour MP has accused the government of putting the lives of Yemeni Jews at risk by not doing enough to save them from al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists.

A year ago, London's strictly Orthodox community worked with Immigration Minister Phil Woolas in the hope that 120 Yemenis could move to Stamford Hill, north London.

The Home Office was expected to agree to allow them to settle in Britain, but the move never happened. Now Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, has stepped in and demanded that they reconsider.

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Lib Dems under fire over Gaza leaflets

By Marcus Dysch, March 4, 2010

Parliamentary candidates across the country have clashed over pre-election attacks on Israel.

Labour's Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Phil Woolas has written to Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, questioning his party's views on arms sales to the Jewish state.

Mr Woolas acted after the Lib Dem candidate in the constituency, Elwyn Watkins, wrote to Muslim supporters condemning Israel's "disproportionate use of force" during last year's Gaza conflict and calling for an end to arms sales to Israel.

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Gaza activists claim ‘state racism’

By Marcus Dysch and Jessica Elgot, March 4, 2010

Supporters of pro-Palestinian demonstrators jailed for their roles in violent protests outside the Israeli Embassy say the sentences are a result of "state racism" against Muslims.

At least 22 people have so far been handed jail terms ranging from eight months to two and a half years. More are awaiting sentencing.

Thousands attended demonstrations outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington in January last year. More than 60 were later charged, the majority with public order offences.

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JSocs building bridges

By Marcus Dysch, March 4, 2010

More than 30 students took part in a weekend retreat in Bournemouth organised by the Union of Jewish Students and University Jewish Chaplaincy.

Representatives of 11 small and medium sized Jewish Societies from the central and southern regions braved bad weather to enjoy a barbeque and stroll on the beach.

Topics up for discussion included Jewish views on gambling, creationism and social action.

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Irish minister 'regrets' protest at Israel envoy

By Marcus Dysch, March 2, 2010

Ireland’s foreign minister has said he regrets a town council’s decision to remove a page, signed by the Israeli ambassador, from its visitors’ book.

Zion Evrony, Israel’s envoy to Ireland, visited Carrickmacross at the end of January but was met by a political row and protests from angry Sinn Féin councillors.

They proposed that the council should “remove” the page signed by Dr Evrony from the visitors’ book.

Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said he “regrets” the incident and believes states should treat each other with respect.

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Two held over Purim ‘havoc’

By Marcus Dysch, March 1, 2010

Police arrested two Jewish revellers as a group of 300 people caused "havoc" during rowdy Purim celebrations.

The men were arrested on suspicion of affray in north west London on Saturday night after residents called for officers to disperse the crowds.

Barnet Police said there had been "fighting, throwing of fireworks and general havoc" in Brent Street, Hendon, and Golders Green Road, Golders Green, between 10pm and 12.30am on Sunday morning.

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Ex-Leo Baeck chair is honorary QC

By Marcus Dysch, March 1, 2010

The former chairman of Leo Baeck College has been appointed an honorary Queen’s Counsel.

Professor Graham Zellick will make the declaration and receive the letters patent of appointment from the Lord Chancellor at a ceremony at Westminster Hall on March 22.

The rare award of Honorary Silk is made by the Queen and recognises lawyers who have “made a major contribution to the law of England and Wales outside practice courts”.

Prof Zellick said: “You do not get notice of it and you cannot apply so it comes as a great surprise. I’m very proud.

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Fury at Muslim hate speaker invited to universities

By Marcus Dysch, February 25, 2010

Three universities have been slammed for hosting an extremist Muslim who has expressed antisemitic views. Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick has previously denounced Jews and homosexuals as "filth".

He was due to speak at King's College London yesterday after being invited by its Islamic Society.

The Qabeelat Al Shams group, a student section of the Islamic education group Al Maghrib Institute, asked him to appear at the University of East London (UEL) this weekend and at City University last week.

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Charedi father told to demolish family home

By Marcus Dysch, February 25, 2010

A Charedi father must demolish his family home after losing a planning dispute with a council.

Jacob Dreyfuss, president of Stamford Hill's Stolin-Karlin synagogue, rebuilt his two-storey home without planning permission, to add a cellar and a loft extension.

Hackney Council issued an enforcement notice and he appealed against it without success.

The government's Planning Inspectorate has now given him a year to "remove the unauthorised house".

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Reform Jews grill Chris Grayling on arrest law

By Marcus Dysch, February 25, 2010

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said this week that he was unsure whether it was necessary to change the law on universal jurisdiction.

He was speaking to two dozen members of the Reform community at the Sternberg Centre in Finchley, north west London, on Monday evening.

Audience members grilled him on how a prospective Tory administration would tackle the issue of universal jurisdiction.

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Moshe Ya'alon's video message to World Ort

By Marcus Dysch, February 25, 2010

Israeli vice-premier Moshe Ya'alon took part in a video conference with London activists to discuss the challenges his country faces.

The exchange was hosted by World Ort at its Camden offices, allowing 30 community members to quiz Mr Ya'alon on issues such as Islamist extremism and Iran's nuclear threat.

Speaking from his Jerusalem office, Mr Ya'alon said: "You are the people who can best confront the biggest strategic threat, which is the attempt to delegitimise and dehumanise the state of Israel."

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Hull care facility spreads its net for residents

By Marcus Dysch, February 25, 2010

Hull's Jewish care home is hoping to attract new residents from neighbouring communities whose residential facilities are over-subscribed.

The committee at Menorah House is looking further afield to help fill its rooms, while assisting those unable to access kosher homes in other cities.

Ranked excellent at its last key unannounced inspection, the home has 24 flats, all with en-suite facilities and sitting rooms.

Harold Flasher, chairman of Menorah House's building committee, said the move was intended to help the home weather the recession.

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Blow me...finally someone works out how to market Israel

By Marcus Dysch, February 23, 2010
This could possibly be the best marketing effort on Israel's behalf in a generation.

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Manchester Uni to debate Israeli speaker ban

By Marcus Dysch, February 22, 2010

Manchester University Students' Union has not voted to ban all Israeli speakers from giving talks, despite earlier claims to the contrary.

Andrew Balcombe, speaking at the Zionist Federation dinner last night, claimed that the Union executive had voted to deny all Israelis a platform at the Union.

It had been thought that the executive had pushed through a motion backing a ban.

The JC now understands that an executive meeting is due to take place on Tuesday to discuss interpretations of a motion adopted after last year’s Gaza conflict.

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Peer into Dubai semis

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

Shahar Peer has continued her sensational run at the Barclays Dubai Championships with a quarter final victory over China’s Li Na.

Leading 7-5 3-0, the Israeli advanced after Chinese player Na, world number 10, retired injured.

Peer, ranked 12 places lower than her opponent, has been making impressive progress in the tournament from which she was excluded last year when the UAE refused to grant her a visa.

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Nazi-looted Matisse painting returned to Frankfurt

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

It travelled around Europe for a decade, passed through the hands of a senior Nazi officer and was displayed in a Paris museum for almost 60 years.

But an original Matisse painting, looted by the Nazis from a German Jewish family, has finally been returned to its rightful owner's home city.

Le Mur Rose (The Pink Wall), worth about £174,000, was handed to Frankfurt's Jewish Museum last Thursday by Magen David Adom UK, which was willed the 1898 oil canvas in a legacy. The Frankfurt municipality, the German government and a local bank shared the cost of the painting.

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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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