Marcus Dysch



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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Sex abuse complaint rejected

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The Charity Commission has rejected a complaint against Christian Aid for publishing claims that Israeli settlers had sexually abused Palestinian children in Hebron.

Christian Aid apologised "unreservedly" after sending out a press release which mistakenly made the false claim and said it should have described the alleged incidents as having involved "verbal sexual abuse".

The episode came after social worker Miranda Pinch travelled to the West Bank town to "monitor human rights abuses" as part of an accompaniment programme part-funded by the
charity.

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Manchester University agrees to boost security

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The new vice-chancellor of Manchester University has met representatives of the Jewish community to discuss security concerns on campus.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, who took up her role at the university only last week, held a meeting with representatives from the Board of Deputies, Manchester Jewish Representative Council and the Community Security Trust on Monday.

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Board of Deputies cuts links with Methodists

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The Board of Deputies has broken off all contact with the leadership of the Methodist Church following its endorsement of a report deeply critical of Israel.

A spokesperson for the Board said: "There cannot be any engagement with the leadership of the Methodist Church until such a time that we see signs of a change in their stance."

But both sides vowed to continue interfaith work at a local level, encouraging members of Methodist and Jewish communities to maintain regular dialogue.

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Veterans attack comments on Jewish war record

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women reacted angrily this week to comments by an Irish newspaper columnist on the war record of British Jews.

Kevin Myers, claiming in the Irish Independent that Hitler had had no intention of invading Britain, remarked: "Jews - before the creation of Israel - were a very non-martial people. During the war, more British Cohens died as civilians than as soldiers."

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Finchley school fire investigated

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

Police are investigating the cause of a fire at Pardes House Grammar School in Finchley on Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to the Hendon Lane premises after staff smelled smoke.

The blaze caused around £1,000 worth of damage in a store room, setting alight old desks and chairs.

Some boys were seen running away from the school. It is not known whether they were Pardes House pupils. CCTV footage is being studied in an attempt to identify the group. Barnet Police say there is nothing to suggest the fire was motivated by antisemitism.

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How to fix Jewish-Methodist relations - Panini football stickers

By Marcus Dysch, July 6, 2010

As the fallout rumbles on from the Methodist Church's endorsement last week of an anti-Israel report, I bring news of my own (albeit initially unintended) work to repair interfaith relations.

I am collecting stickers for the Panini World Cup album (yes I am 27, laugh if you like) and in an increasingly desperate attempt to fill the book and find those pesky last few Beckhams or Ronaldos I resorted to Twitter for help.

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Turkey 'ready to ban all Israel flights'

By Marcus Dysch, July 2, 2010

Turkey will ban commercial flights to and from Israel unless the families of Gaza flotilla victims receive an apology and compensation, according to Turkish media reports.

Israel's Industry Minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, is said to have told Turkey's Foreign Minister at a secret meeting in Brussels that the Jewish state was rethinking its initial refusal to pay compensation.

It was claimed that the Foreign Minister warned that Turkey would ban flights between the countries unless its demands were met.

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Israel ready to release 1,000 prisoners for Shalit

By Marcus Dysch, July 2, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has said he is prepared to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

In a live address on Israeli television, Mr Netanyahu said he was ready "to pay the price" of releasing the prisoners, but would not allow them to return to the West Bank and would not set free "arch-terrorists".

He has come under increasing pressure from Shalit's family. More than 10,000 supporters of the family marched in Netanya on Friday morning as part of a 12-day protest march to Jerusalem.

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Crucifixion show at Jewish gallery praised

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

The co-chairman of the London Jewish Museum of Art says he is "buoyed" by a wave of support for the gallery's decision to host an exhibition addressing the Crucifixion.

David Glasser said criticism last week of the launch of Cross Purposes – Shock and Contemplation in Images of the Crucifixion had been followed by an "exceptionally busy" weekend and around 200 supportive emails.

The exhibition at the St John's Wood gallery includes depictions of Christ on the cross by Tracey Emin, Graham Sutherland and Duncan Grant.

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Government pledge to tackle campus extremists

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

The government has pledged to reassess its Prevent counter-terrorism strategy to investigate whether it has done enough to challenge extremists.

Universities Minister David Willetts admitted there might still be cases where extreme speakers have fostered hatred or violence.

Millions of pounds have already been spent on the project in an attempt to prevent Muslim radicalisation.

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Hull celebrates first Pidyon HaBen in 23 years

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

Hull Hebrew Congregation has celebrated a rare simchah - the city's first Pidyon HaBen for 23 years.

Kimberley and Avi Schwartz from Jerusalem decided to hold the biblical redemption ceremony in east Yorkshire after bringing their one-month-old son Akiva Menachem to visit family in Mrs Schwartz's home community.

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Ovens ban after kosher bakery leak

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

A Hendon kosher bakery and café has been banned from using its gas ovens following a carbon monoxide leak on Sunday morning.

More than 20 people were evacuated and a large section of Brent Street was sealed off following the incident at Mr Baker.

It took five fire engines and specialist appliances, four rapid response ambulance cars and a team of police officers over four hours to deal with the leak.

The London Ambulance Service said that as a precaution, it had assessed 10 people at the scene but none had required hospital treatment.

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Abu Hamza's son jailed for riot

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

The son of hate preacher Abu Hamza has been jailed for his role in rioting outside the Israeli Embassy in London.

Yasser Kamel, 20, wielded a stolen police riot shield and threw sticks at officers while demonstrating against Israel’s Cast Lead operation in Gaza last year.

He was sentenced to 12 months in youth detention after admitting one count of violent disorder at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday.

Kamel, of Shepherd’s Bush, west London, had arrived at the protest at around 4.45pm on January 10, 2009, and was caught on camera confronting officers with the riot shield.

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Fury as Methodists vote to boycott Israel

By Marcus Dysch and Simon Rocker, July 1, 2010

The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said the Methodists’ annual conference should “hang its head in shame” for passing a policy which calls for a boycott of goods from “illegal” Israeli West Bank settlements and blames Israeli occupation as the “key hindrance” to Middle East peace.

Lord Sacks said the implications of the decision would “reverberate across the hitherto harmonious relationship between the faith communities in the UK”.

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Comment: It's been a tough year - but we're stronger

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

As the current academic year comes to an end, Jewish students will be reflecting on a relatively peaceful period on campus, if not an entirely harmonious one.

The grim scenes of last year's anti-Israel lecture theatre occupations have thankfully not been repeated. But the fall-out on campuses following last month's Gaza flotilla incident would surely have been more considerable had students not been busy studying for exams.

Over the past 10 months we have covered a wide array of student news and views in JC On Campus.

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Irish song will plead for Gilad Shalit

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

The leader of a Northern Ireland Messianic congregation has written a song to mark today's fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

Jim Clint said he composed Song for Gilad (Take a Little Time) to remind the captured Israeli soldier's family that he has not been forgotten, and to also hit back at "media bias against Israel".

It includes the lyrics: "Let us stand together with our voices as one/ Crying out for freedom for this special son/ We cannot be silent nor turn away/ So take a little time to pray... for Gilad."

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Charedim hard hit by budget

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

The spending cuts announced in the budget contain "very bleak news" that could lead to misery for the Charedi community, the country's largest Jewish housing association has warned.

Chancellor George Osborne's announcement of a freeze on child benefits and cuts to housing benefit have been met with serious concern by the Agudas Israel Housing Association.

Families on housing benefit will receive a maximum of £400 a week for properties with more than three bedrooms as the government attempts to save £1.8 billion by the end of this parliament.

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Jewish art museum's crucifix exhibition

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

Supporters of the London Jewish Museum of Art have reacted furiously to a new exhibition which addresses the Crucifixion.

The Cross Purposes – Shock and Contemplation in images of the Crucifixion show traces artistic representations of the Crucifixion, from solely Christian interpretations to modern-day images.

Among the artwork on display at the museum's St John's Wood gallery are depictions of Christ on the cross by Tracey Emin, Graham Sutherland and Duncan Grant.

More than 300 people attended the official opening on Tuesday night.

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Newcastle Brown Ale imported to Israel

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

It is an acquired taste even in its native Tyneside, but cult classic drink Newcastle Brown Ale is being introduced to a new market of potential fans - Israelis.

Its delicate, fruity aroma and nutty caramel malt taste can now be enjoyed by regulars at bars across the Jewish state, thanks partly to the increasing popularity of British-style pubs and ales.

Oren Abrashi of Tempo, one of Israel's largest brewers, which will distribute Newcastle Brown Ale in Israel, said the drink is already well-loved.

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