Marcus Dysch

Café’s Israel boycott becomes PR disaster

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

A café owner has apologised for displaying a sign declaring “Jews are welcome”, saying it was a bid to allay fears that his boycott of Israeli goods could be interpreted as being antisemitic.

Chris Boddington said he was open about his boycott and support for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at Café Crema in New Cross, south-east London. But he realised a boycott of Israeli produce could be equated with antisemitism.

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Artist wins top design gong

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

British artist Benjamin Shine has won a highly prestigious Red Dot design award for a children’s activity toy he has created.

Cordz, which is already on sale in the UK and the US, allows children to create pictures and doodles by sticking coloured lengths of cord on to a reusable board.

The Red Dot competition is the world’s largest and most distinguished design contest. There were 3,231 entries from 49 countries in the category in which Cordz was judged.

London-born Mr Shine, 31, said he was “blown away” by the award.

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British Library loses Ramban document

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

A 454-year-old edition of a book written by the 12th-century scholar, philosopher and rabbi, Moses ben Maimon — better known as Maimonides or the Rambam — is among 9,000 items missing from the British Library.

A library spokesman said the book, Letter on Astrology, is unlikely to have been stolen. Instead, it is thought to be missing somewhere in the 650km of storage shelves within the central London library. The library, which was formerly housed in the British Museum, moved to its new St Pancras base in 1998. The manuscript’s loss is believed to predate the move.

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Sir Paul McCartney joins peace charity

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Sir Paul McCartney has followed the success of his first Israeli concert last year by joining the conflict-resolution organisation, OneVoice.

The former Beatle has been added to the honorary board of advisers for the charity, which works with Israelis and Palestinians to promote a two-state solution to the conflict.

During his concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park last September, Sir Paul and his band wore OneVoice pin-badges.

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Anger over offensive magazine

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Students have written and distributed a magazine littered with antisemitic jokes as part of a charity fundraising initiative.

Rag to the Future was produced by Barts and the London Students’ Association, part of the University of London, for rag week, which began last Friday.

Jokes about circumcision, pork and Jewish wives were among the most offensive material.

Juliet Lewin of Hatch End, north London, complained to the students’ association after reading a copy of the magazine given to her husband by students in central London.

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Raid turns up guns, drugs ... and tusks

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Evidence of paedophilia, firearms possession, drug trafficking and prostitution have been uncovered by police conducting an investigation into the criminal use of safety deposit boxes.

Police are now conducting over 1,000 spin-off investigations and believe they have inflicted a substantial blow to global crime networks.

Among the items discovered in the 3,554 seized boxes were millions of pounds, euros and US dollars in cash; illegal elephant tusks; drugs including ketamine and pure cocaine; forged passports and numerous firearms.

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MSPs seek envoy’s expulsion

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, should be expelled from Britain until Israel “shows it is not above international law”, according to members of the Scottish Parliament.

A session of Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee has urged the UK government to have Mr Prosor removed, following pressure from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

But foreign policy matters remain under Westminster’s jurisdiction, and the Scottish government said it was “not minded” to support the call for Mr Prosor’s expulsion.

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George Galloway to defy Canada ban

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Controversial British MP George Galloway has vowed to do whatever is possible to enter Canada after its government banned him over fears he could threaten national security.

The decision to stop him entering for a speaking tour was taken after the Jewish Defence League of Canada wrote to the government highlighting Mr Galloway’s support for Hamas.

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Paul McCartney joins OneVoice campaign

By Marcus Dysch, March 24, 2009

Sir Paul McCartney has followed the success of his first Israeli concert last year by joining conflict-resolution organisation OneVoice.

The former Beatle has been added to the Honorary Board of Advisors for the charity, which works with Israelis and Palestinians to promote a two-state solution to the conflict.

During the gig at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon last September, Sir Paul and his band wore OneVoice pin-badges.

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Ken Loach accuses Israel of ‘great crimes’

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

The maverick film director Ken Loach has attacked Israel’s action in Gaza, calling it “one of the great crimes of the last decades” and arguing that the rise in antisemitism is a direct consequence.

Speaking during a Belgian press conference at the launch of an international independent tribunal on the conflict, Mr Loach said individuals and organisations behind Operation Cast Lead would “have to pay” for their actions.

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UK taxes ‘funding terror’

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

British taxpayers are funding anti-Israel and extremist teaching in the Palestinian territories, a new report claims.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) said millions of pounds had been spent on Palestinian Authority-funded TV broadcasts, school textbooks and newspaper articles discouraging a two-state solution.

The TPA report, Palestinian Hate Education since Annapolis, concludes that money from the Department for International Development (DFID), which totalled almost £100 million in the 2007/08 financial year, is being used directly to promote hatred of Israel and the West.

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Lib Dems urge ban on arms to Israel

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

The Liberal Democrats have called for a suspension of British arms sales to Israel following the Gaza conflict.

In a wide-ranging motion proposed by MP Edward Davey, the party’s foreign affairs spokesman, at its spring conference in Harrogate, delegates also voted for the suspension of the update to Israel’s association agreement with the EU, which provides the basis for the country’s dealings in Europe.

Lib Dem Friends of Israel chairman Monroe Palmer said: “Restrictions on trade with Israel will not resolve any problems in the region whatsoever.

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Salute to Israel protest case is dropped by the CPS

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

A criminal charge has been dropped against the founder member of an anti-Israel campaign who protested with fake blood on her hands at a rally for Israel.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, was one of eight people arrested during the Salute to Israel parade through central London last June.

As a UJIA float passed her in Haymarket, Ms Wimborne-Idrissi held up her hands, covered in red food dye, and shouted: “Palestinian blood on Israeli hands.”

She was arrested and charged with a public order offence for “causing harassment, alarm and distress”.

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Moussawi is out - but could reapply

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

An intense lobbying campaign by Jewish organisations has succeeded with the Home Office rejecting a visa application from Hizbollah media relations officer Ibrahim Moussawi.

Under increasing pressure from the Board of Deputies, the Community Security Trust and the JC, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith turned down his request to attend a seminar at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies next week.

Jon Benjamin, Board chief executive, said the result was being treated as a substantial victory.

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Gigolo ‘sought revenge on BMW’

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

A conman who defrauded Germany’s richest woman is claimed to have targeted his victim because of her family’s Nazi past.

Helg Sgarbi, dubbed the Swiss Gigolo, was last week jailed for six years for defrauding and attempting to blackmail Susanne Klatten with a videotape of the couple having sex in a hotel.

Ms Klatten, the 68th wealthiest person in the world, is an heir to the BMW fortune and is thought to be worth almost $10 billion.

Her great-grandfather, Gunther Quandt, founded BMW and his first wife, Magda, later married Joseph Goebbels.

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Madoff admits fraud charges

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff has pleaded guilty to all 11 charges in connection with a multi-billion dollar investment fraud.

He arrived at a New York courthouse this morning wearing a bullef-proof vest and is expected to be sentenced to a 150-year jail term on June 16.

Madoff, 70, was charged with four counts of fraud, three counts of money laundering, making false statements, perjury, making a false filing to the US financial watchdog, and theft from an employee benefit plan.

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Jewish Care job cuts

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Thirteen Jewish Care employees are being made redundant following a six-week consultation process.

The charity announced in January that up to 22 jobs could go at its Merit House, Colindale, headquarters as part of a bid to slash £2.5 million off its budget.

Redundancies have been made across the administrative spectrum in departments such as human resources, marketing and fundraising.

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Rallies against Israeli scientists fall flat

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Anti-Israel protestors have failed to disrupt a series of lectures by academics and scientists promoting the country’s achievements to British students.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) had called for Thursday’s event, at the Science Museum, in west London, to be cancelled.

But its members were joined outside the museum by less than 50 demonstrators from other groups, including Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG) and students from the adjacent Imperial College.

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Israel envoy rides into farce up north

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

A visit by Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor to Leeds turned into a “fiasco” after proposed receptions and appointments with civic leaders failed to materialise.

The two-day tour this week was intended to improve interfaith and community relations but was hampered by a series of security concerns and rejected requests for meetings.

On Monday afternoon, the Israeli Embassy issued a press statement outlining the ambassador’s “disappointment” at the cancellation of a meeting with Muslim leaders.

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'Hitler's bones' sold online by Irving

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Convicted Holocaust denier David Irving is running an online auction of Nazi memorabilia, including what he claims is one of Hitler’s bones.

Irving was declared bankrupt in 2002 after failing to pay any of the £150,000 costs awarded against him in a lost libel case against American academic Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books.

It is thought the items will be targeted at the US market, where Nazi collectibles sell for substantial prices.

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