Marcus Dysch

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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Legal action from teacher sacked for challenging racism

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

A teacher who claims he was sacked for challenging his pupils’ racist and antisemitic views is due to have his case heard at an employment tribunal next week.

Nicholas Kafouris, a Christian, said some pupils at the predominantly Muslim Bigland Green Primary School in Tower Hamlets, east London, had made antisemitic remarks and praised Islamic extremists during classes.

Greek-born Mr Kafouris said remarks were regularly made in late 2006 and that pupils as young as nine had glorified the September 11 suicide bombers.

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Sinn Fein call for boycott of ambassador to Ireland

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony, thought he was dropping in to the small town of Carrickmacross for a cup of tea and a chat with the mayor.

Instead, he walked into a massive political row in which Sinn Féin councillors even called for a page he signed in the visitors’ book to be removed.

Dr Evrony visited the town in County Monaghan last Friday and was greeted by more than 30 residents protesting alongside councillors and the deputy mayor.

The group blocked his route and demanded that mayor Mary Kerr-Conlon cancel her meeting with him.

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British doctor Ian Miskin tells of hell in Haiti

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

A British doctor has described in detail for the first time the incredible effort made by Israeli medics to help victims of the Haitian earthquake.

Dr Ian Miskin and his team treated more than 1,100 survivors, conducting 400 operations and working round the clock to scour the devastated island for improvised supplies and equipment.

Colleagues were even forced to strip machinery found in collapsed buildings to retrieve screws for use in operations on damaged limbs.

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Benny Morris talk cut by Cambridge Israel society

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Cambridge University’s Israel Society has been slammed for bowing to pressure from Muslim students to cancel a speech by a top Israeli historian.

Prof Benny Morris had been due to speak on Thursday, but the event was cancelled after complaints from, among others, the university’s Islamic and Pakistan societies who claimed he was an “Islamophobic hate speaker”.

Israel Society president Jake Witzenfeld called the cancellation “unfortunate but noble”, adding: “There was no intention to “give racism a platform”.

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French cemetary vanadalised by neo-Nazis

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

Dozens of Jewish graves were found desecrated in a French cemetery on Holocaust Memorial Day.

At least 30 headstones in Strasbourg were daubed with antisemitic graffiti. Swastikas were painted on 18 graves, and 13 were overturned. The phrase “Juden Raus” [Jews Out] was written on one grave.

The umbrella group Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), which represents the French Jewish community and tackles antisemitism, said it was not clear whether the incident was linked to the memorial day.

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Rabbi fills dinner gap

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

Students in Nottingham may have been stressed out during the exam period this month, but they have not been going hungry.

Chaplain Rabbi Yochanan Pereira and wife Jodie have been feeding students in record numbers — hosting up to 70 at a time as JSoc committee members took a break to concentrate on their studies.

Rabbi Pereira explained: “On two weekends we held Friday-night meals in our house and on one occasion managed to fit 72 people into our house, 10 more than our previous record.

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Businessman 'shot burglar alarm to stop ringing'

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

A businessman is being investigated by police after a shotgun was fired at a neighbour’s burglar alarm late at night.

Peter Shalson, 52, was questioned following an incident at the property next to his detached home in St John’s Wood, north west London, earlier this month.

A butler at the neighbour’s house claimed CCTV footage had caught an intruder climbing a cast-iron fence, smashing a glass door and then shooting the alarm’s control box to stop it ringing.

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£3.5m to convert pub to Bobov community centre

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

A strictly Orthodox community which hopes to turn a former pub into a centre for social and religious activities is aiming to raise £3.5million to complete the project.

Work is yet to begin on the conversion of The Swan more than a year after the building was bought by Stamford Hill’s Bobov community and four months after planning permission was granted by Hackney Council.

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Blogger questioned on anti-Zionist 'harassment'

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

A university student who wrote blogs attacking anti-Zionists has accused police of acting on behalf of the Church after he was questioned in connection with a harassment complaint.

Joseph Weissman, 23, author of the Seismic Shock blog, revealed that two officers had visited him asking for comments he had made about Church of England pastor Stephen Sizer to be removed from the site.

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Wife of British doctor in Haiti speaks

By Marcus Dysch, January 22, 2010

The wife of a British-born doctor who is part of the Israeli mission treating victims of the Haitian earthquake has spoken about her husband's work .

Dr Ian Miskin, 53, one of Israel’s foremost specialists in treating infectious diseases, has been in Haiti for a week, aiding rescue missions and helping those rescued from the rubble.

Speaking from her home in Israel, Hagit Miskin , herself a leading paediatrician, said her husband, originally from London, was battling the growing problem of infections among survivors.

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Campus ghetto - myth or reality?

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

In her comment piece in this week's JC On Campus section, Birmingham student Roseanna Lewis raises what is, I suspect, an often under-reported concern held by some Jewish students.

She suggests that on many campuses, admittedly often those with a larger Jewish student community (Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham), young Jews not only do not mix with their non-Jewish counterparts, but in some cases actively go out of their way to avoid those from other faiths and backgrounds.

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Where Star Wars meets Chaplin

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

A 25ft Tyrannosaurus Rex roars at Charlie Chaplin while a Dalek looks on — and all within sight of the Thames. No, not a scene from the imagination of a particularly eclectic movie buff, but one of the prop-filled exhibition rooms at the London Film Museum.

This is where memorabilia marking some of the greatest moments in British cinema history can be viewed by visitors, ranging from the original Rank gong to a spear from Michael Caine’s epic Zulu, via the Pinhead costume from Hellraiser.

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Liddle defends his Auschwitz ‘humour’

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

Journalist Rod Liddle has defended comments he made about Auschwitz in an online forum which contains virulently antisemitic jokes.

Mr Liddle, the former editor of Radio 4’s Today programme, said his remarks needed to be viewed in context and that he had been attempting to show the Nazi death camp has been “rendered politically correct…something much less than it should be”.

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'Sorry' for victims of Thalidomide

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

Two Jewish Thalidomide victims visited Parliament last week to witness the government’s long-awaited apology to those who suffered the consequences of the drug’s use 50 years ago.

Guy Tweedy and Nick Dobrick heard Health Minister Mike O’Brien express “sincere regret and deep sympathy” and confirm a £20 million package, worth around £40,000 each for more than 460 survivors and their families.

Mr O’Brien told the House of Commons the money, to be distributed by the Thalidomide Trust, would be used to meet the health needs of survivors.

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Hackney council threat to demolish four-storey Charedi home

By Marcus Dysch, January 21, 2010

A Charedi family is waiting to discover whether their home will be demolished following a long-running dispute with a council.

Jacob Dreyfuss, president of Stamford Hill’s Stolin-Karlin synagogue, has appealed to overturn an enforcement notice imposed after he rebuilt his home without planning permission.

If he loses, Hackney Council will be legally allowed to have the house knocked down and rebuilt to its original dimensions.

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