Marcus Dysch

Footballer banned for racial abuse

By Marcus Dysch and Danny Caro, November 19, 2009

A Maccabi Premier Division footballer who racially abused a fellow Jewish player has been fined and banned from football for six months.

Ashley Rubin called opposition striker Virgil Levy, who is of South American origin, “Paki” and told him during a game in April that he did not belong in the community or in the league.

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Ilona gets her necklace — thanks to the JC

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

A Ukrainian teenager living in a remote Jewish community has been presented with a Star of David necklace donated by a British girl who read about her in the JC.

Ilona Kaplyn, 15, featured in an article in May about Krivoy Rog — a former steel mining community 200 miles from the capital Kiev — after World Jewish Relief opened a community centre in the city.

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Row over Yasmin Alibhai-Brown synagogue invite

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

A leading Reform synagogue has been attacked by the Zionist Federation for hosting one of Britain’s most outspoken critics of Israel.

Columnist and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown appeared at North Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth Gardens), in north west London, on Wednesday.

At the event, jointly hosted by the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCore), Ms Alibhai-Brown spoke about her life in Britain after leaving her native Uganda.

The one-woman show is described as “the impassioned and poignant story of how Shakespeare and the theatre” changed her life.

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Edinburgh students' Israel boycott fails

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

Edinburgh University Students’ Association has failed in an attempt to introduce a full boycott of Israel.

A motion advocating comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanction action against the Jewish state was heavily defeated at EUSA’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

Around 700 students attended the debate, split across two lecture theatres, with only “a handful” backing anti-Israel action.

The motion had called on EUSA to join the global BDS movement and lobby the university to adopt the same approach.

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Boycotter blames the Board for antisemitism in Britain

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

The Board of Deputies is to blame for rising antisemitism in Britain, according to a leading member of a Jewish anti-Israel group.

Tony Greenstein, of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG), was speaking on the BBC1 debate show, The Big Questions, on Sunday morning.

During the wide-ranging discussion, Mr Greenstein said: “Of course there’s no justification for antisemitism, but there’s also no justification for the Board of Deputies calling rallies in support of the invasion of Lebanon and Gaza in the name of the British Jewish community. That causes antisemitism.

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Caring for the elderly

By Marcus Dysch, November 18, 2009

JC columnist Melanie Phillips has it spot on in a piece in the Mail today. She writes that too many British families are shovelling elderly relatives off to care homes and allowing the state to (supposedly) look after them, rather than putting in the effort themselves to do what is right.

She asks:

How have we descended to this appalling state of affairs? The core reason is that in Britain, we do not venerate our elders in the way that other cultures do.

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Swastikas go on sale in Hull clothes shop

By Marcus Dysch, November 12, 2009

A military memorabilia shop which sells swastikas and replica Nazi items has been criticised by the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women.

Combat Clothing Company offers shoppers the chance to buy Nazi flags, swastika armbands and Iron Cross medals.

Lapel badges featuring a swastika are also on sale alongside British wartime medals at the store in Hull, east Yorkshire.

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Buycott combats Morrisons and Waitrose Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, November 12, 2009

Shoppers across the country have been buying as many Israeli products as possible this week to thwart an anti-Israel boycott of two major supermarket chains.

The “buycott” initiative was drawn up by the Board of Deputies and the Fair Play Campaign Group in response to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s action against Waitrose and Morrisons.

Pro-Israel groups hailed the community’s response, with a number of stores selling out of almost their entire stocks of kosher products, including wine, fruit and herbs.

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Shocked by Sophocles? Don't be.

By Marcus Dysch, November 12, 2009

Michael Sophocles’ piece on our campus page this week will no doubt shock many readers. Probably more parents than students.

Admittedly not every Jewish student will turn to working as a sex escort or become a gambling addict in order to cope with the trials and tribulations of being at university.

But many will experience a vast array of personal and social problems during the supposed glory years of academia.

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UJS puts chicken on menu with Friday night initiative

By Marcus Dysch, November 12, 2009

From Aberdeen to Exeter, the Shabbat UK experience arrives on campuses next weekend.

The UJS initiative provides every Jewish student with the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Friday-night dinner, regardless of where they are studying or whether their university has a dedicated JSoc.

Packs of Shabbat essentials will be delivered ahead of November 20 and will include a chicken, candles, challot, grape juice and a prayer booklet.

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Interfaith groups support campus tour

By Marcus Dysch, November 12, 2009

Dialogue and understanding were top of the agenda during an interfaith campus tour this week.

Campus Faith Hub: From Dialogue to Action offered students the opportunity to discuss global issues, including conflict resolution and poverty.

The project was backed by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the Three Faiths Forum and the Coexistence Trust.

The tour visited the universities of Leeds, Nottingham, Leicester, Salford and Birmingham.

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Sussex Students' Union agrees Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Israeli goods will be boycotted by the University of Sussex Student Union after an unsuccessful UJS campaign to defend the Jewish state.

The union voted ‘Yes’ by 562 votes to 450 in a referendum with the question “Should USSU boycott Israeli Goods?”

A passionate statement was put forward by the anti-boycott campaign, explaining how during the Gaza conflict earlier this year the Sussex campus had become “like a war zone” for Jewish students.

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Birmingham students set up text ticketing service

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Two Birmingham University graduates have devised an electronic mobile pre-payment system allowing students to buy tickets for gigs and events by text message.

Txt2buy.com was set up by Simon Rabin and Daniel Rosenberg late last year and is currently being used in Manchester and Leeds.

The 23-year-olds became friends through FZY and spent a year researching the feasibility of their plans.

Simon said: “We originally approached the networks with the intention of billing purchases to students’ phone bills and were more or less ignored by them all.

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Sir Alistair Horne's Shabbat dinner at Oxford Chabad

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Distinguished historian Sir Alistair Horne was treated to his first Shabbat dinner, courtesy of Oxford University Chabad Society.

Sir Alistair was invited by Rabbi Eli Brackman to speak about his book on Henry Kissinger and the Yom Kippur War.

Around 100 students attended the American-themed dinner and heard recollections of Kissinger’s role in the war and the Israeli reaction to the historian, who had served in the British Army during the Second World War.

“I enjoyed the evening. It was flattering to be asked to speak and to be invited to don a yarmulke,” said Sir Alistair.

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Danny Ayalon booed during LSE talk

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon gave a lecture at LSE during a trip to Britain last week.

Speaking on the topic “The situation in the Middle East: The view from Israel”, he told around 300 students that both Israel and the Palestinians hope to achieve reconciliation.

Security for Israel, he said, would be recognised with sovereignty and economic prosperity for Palestinians.

The event was interrupted several times by students who shouted at Mr Ayalon. After the lecture he took part in a question and answer session.

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Orthodox life turns around teen terrors

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

It began with foul language, lip piercings and under-age drinking, but it led to studying an “ology” and spending more time with the family.

Two Hampshire teenagers who lived for a week with a strictly Orthodox family in Israel for a BBC reality show believe the experience changed their lives.

Jack Travers, 18, and Gemma Lyons, 17, filmed the episode of World’s Strictest Parents with the Sha-ked family in the gated, religious community of Nof Ayalon, near Modi’in, in May.

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No kosher kill-off, Tesco tells customers

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Tesco has moved to reassure customers that kosher products have not been removed from its online sales and delivery service.

Online shoppers in a number of locations across Britain reported being unable to buy kosher food using the Tesco.com grocery service last week.

It sparked fears the range had been removed from the company’s website.

A Tesco spokeswoman said a “technical error” had been experienced and the problem was due to be resolved this week, making kosher items available as usual.

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Charedis raise funds for rapist

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

A strictly Orthodox community is running a fundraising campaign for a convicted child molester who avoided jail by hiding in London for two years.

Nachman Stal lived secretly among the Charedi community in Stamford Hill, north London, having fled Israel in 2006 after being found guilty of sodomy and indecent assault of a minor.

The father-of-nine lost an extradition hearing in June and is now serving his sentence in an Israeli prison.

Members of the Stamford Hill community are appealing for money to support his wife and children, who have also returned to Israel.

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FZY target Gordon Brown with Gilad Shalit petition

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

Two Federation of Zionist Youth leaders have launched an online petition calling on Gordon Brown to make the release of Gilad Shalit a priority.

Aaron Collins and Samuel Franklin used the Downing Street website to set up the petition after a video of Shalit was released last month. An FZY spokesman said: “French President Nicolas Sarkozy has come out and declared that Gilad’s release is top of his agenda, and we hope that Mr Brown will do the same.

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Simon Mann's family is 'overjoyed' at release

By Marcus Dysch, November 5, 2009

The family of freed British mercenary Simon Mann have thanked the president of Equatorial Guinea for pardoning the 57-year-old.

The former SAS soldier had been sentenced to 34 years in jail for his role in a coup plot in the oil-rich African nation. He was freed by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema on Tuesday.

In a statement, Mr Mann’s Jewish wife, Amanda, said: “Everyone is profoundly grateful to the president and the government of Equatorial Guinea.

“The whole family is overjoyed at the prospect of finally welcoming Simon home after five-and-a-half long years away.”

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