Marcus Dysch

TUC vote to extend Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, September 14, 2010

The Trades Union Congress has voted to continue its boycott of Israeli goods from West Bank settlements and strengthen its links with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

A motion passed at the TUC congress in Manchester this afternoon stopped short of agreeing to a full boycott of Israel.

The TUC had been expected to extend its boycotts policy and encourage further disinvestment.

More..

New strategy for Labour Friends of Israel

By Marcus Dysch, September 7, 2010

Labour Friends of Israel has appointed a new director to oversee the parliamentary lobby group's work.

Jennifer Gerber replaces former director Luciana Berger, who was elected as an MP for the Liverpool Wavertree constituency in May.

Ms Gerber, from Finchley, north London, is a former director of Progress, a New Labour pressure group promoting radical and progressive politics.

She edited its magazine, for which she has written articles on Israel and antisemitism.

More..

BA crew: I was fired after pro-Nazi row

By Marcus Dysch, September 7, 2010

An air steward has spoken of his anger after being sacked by British Airways after an incident in which a colleague allegedly shouted antisemitic abuse and glorified the Nazis.

Jean-Paul Van der Velde, whose father survived two concentration camps, was dismissed for misconduct after the row with the fellow crew member in a New York bar. He had worked for BA for 23 years.

He said airline staff had been enjoying a drink during a stopover, but tempers frayed when his colleague became "drunk and aggressive".

More..

New year treats for Jewish soldiers

By Marcus Dysch, September 7, 2010

Packs of kosher provisions have been delivered to British Jewish troops serving in the armed forces to help them celebrate Rosh Hashanah.

The parcels include dried fruit and honey, powdered chicken soup, toffees and toiletries, and have been sent to locations including Afghanistan and the Falklands.

The Jewish Committee for HM Forces has also reissued the Soldiers' Siddur, for the first time since 1941.

More..

Child left without school after fight

By Marcus Dysch, September 7, 2010

A mother has withdrawn her sons from their Jewish school following a playground brawl - leaving one of them without a school place and the other re-sitting a year.

Sabine Hazan said she removed her sons from King Solomon High School, in Barkingside, Essex, because she felt their safety could not be guaranteed.

Her 12-year-old son Dan was involved in a fight with a group of boys at the end of last term.

Mrs Hazan, of Finchley, north west London, said the school had failed to treat the incident seriously.

More..

British mum wins custody battle after eight years

By Marcus Dysch, September 3, 2010

The mother of a girl involved in an eight-year custody battle has spoken of her joy after she and her daughter were allowed to return to Britain from Israel.

She said the emotional and financial strain put on her family by the case, whose legal bills total more than £250,000, had been "absolutely horrendous".

The woman, who is in her late 30s and cannot be identified for legal reasons, left Israel with her one-year-old daughter in 2001 after the breakdown of her marriage to a man she met while living on kibbutz.

More..

TUC likely to push for full Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, September 2, 2010

The Trades Union Congress is expected to call on its members at its annual conference to strengthen opposition to Israel by extending boycotts and encouraging disinvestment.

A motion on Israel and the Palestinians, backed by the GMB, the Fire Brigades' Union, the Public and Commercial Services Union and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, is expected to propose a full boycott of Israeli goods.

The four-day conference begins in Manchester on September 13.

More..

Tony Blair: Lebanon war was fatal blow

By Marcus Dysch, September 2, 2010

Tony Blair has described in detail how his support of Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war caused him substantial political damage and accelerated his departure as Prime Minister.

In his memoirs, A Journey, released this week, Mr Blair wrote that his reaction to the conflict "probably did me more damage than anything since Iraq. It showed how far I had swung from the mainstream of conventional Western media wisdom and from my own people".

Western leaders had initially "queued up to advise Israel to stand firm and hit hard", he wrote.

More..



EDL and the Jews

By Marcus Dysch, August 31, 2010

In June we ran a story reporting how the English Defence League, the extreme right-wing anti-Islamic-fundamentalism group, had launched a "Jewish division" to encourage members of our community to help "lead the counter-Jihad fight in England".

The suggestion from interested parties was that “a lot of Jewish guys want to get stuck in” and should adopt the EDL as some sort of competitor to communal groups such as CST which work to defend British Jews.

More..

Vandals attack Israeli cosmetics store

By Marcus Dysch, August 26, 2010

An Israeli skin care shop has had red paint thrown across its windows in a suspected targeted attack.

The Ahava store – famous for its Dead Sea products – was covered in the paint during the incident in Covent Garden, central London, on Wednesday night.

Staff discovered the damage when they arrived for work on Thursday morning.

Shop assistant Rita Trindad said: “We don’t know exactly what happened. I came in this morning and there was red paint all over the windows. We cleaned the windows this afternoon and we are still open – it’s business as usual.”

More..

BBC repels attacks on Gaza flotilla programme

By Marcus Dysch, August 26, 2010

The BBC has defended its Panorama programme on the Gaza flotilla incident amid a barrage of complaints from pro-Palestinian supporters.

Led by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, demonstrators protested at BBC offices in London, Manchester and Bristol on Sunday against "shockingly biased reporting".

In Death in the Med, presenter Jane Corbin interviewed IDF soldiers and activists involved in May's incident. She concluded that those on board the Mavi Marmara had been politically motivated and had not acted primarily to help Palestinians.

More..

Botch-op surgeon suspended

By Marcus Dysch, August 26, 2010

A surgeon has been suspended for six months after the General Medical Council found he was guilty of misconduct.

Gideon Lauffer, of Hendon, was sanctioned after a series of botched operations.

The GMC heard that two patients had died and a third lost a testicle after Mr Lauffer "acted outside his area of competency".

Concerns were first raised about his performance in 2004, but the GMC then decided he should be allowed to continue working while improving his abilities.

More..

BBC: flotilla ‘a political ploy’

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2010

The Gaza flotilla in which nine died was aimed more at turning international opinion against Israel than providing aid for Palestininans.

That was the considered opinion of the BBC's Panorama programme screened on Monday.

Presenter Jane Corbin interviewed IDF soldiers involved. One, identified only as Captain R, told how he was stabbed by those on board.

"They came at me with knives and tried to stab me. I kept getting hit on my head and my whole body," he said.

More..

A lot of hot Eire as Irish do boycott gig

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2010

Irish creative and performing artists have launched a cultural boycott of Israel, saying they will not perform or exhibit in the Jewish state "until it respects international law".

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign launched the boycott with a concert in Dublin, declaring that performers "should not be used as propaganda tools by the Israeli apartheid state".

In response, the Israeli Embassy in Dublin said the move was "regrettable and ill-informed".

More..

Israel to Hague: Come to see Gaza

By Marcus Dysch, August 19, 2010

William Hague will visit Israel within the next month on his first official visit to the region as Foreign Secretary - and has been invited by Israel's own Foreign Minister to visit Gaza.

The exact date of Mr Hague's trip is dependent on the completion of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which are currently being planned.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has suggested that Mr Hague also travels to Gaza as part of a group of European foreign ministers.

That raises the prospect of Hamas asking to meet the ministers during their visit.

More..



Hillan challenged in Barnet - blog exclusive

By Marcus Dysch, August 13, 2010

Newly-elected Barnet councillor Mark Shooter has taken the brave step of challenging council leader Lynne Hillan for the Conservative group leadership.

He has written to other Tory councillors appealing for support in an attempt to have her removed from the role.

More..

O2 sorry for sending parcel to 'Jew Face'

By Marcus Dysch, August 12, 2010

Mobile phone company O2 has apologised after a woman received a parcel addressed to "Ms Jew Face".

Joan Jennings, who is not Jewish, was shocked when the package containing a free Sim card and letter arrived with the offensive comment.

The letter, received on Monday, was addressed: "Hi Jew".

The following day Mrs Jennings contacted BBC Three Counties radio and the incident was discussed on air.

More..

£7m debt but Wrapit boss 'not responsible'

By Marcus Dysch, August 12, 2010

The former boss of an online wedding gift company which went into administration with debts of £7 million maintains she was not responsible for the firm's collapse, despite being disqualified from acting as a company director.

Wrapit retail director Pepita Diamand said "hand on Torah" she had acted with the best intentions. Hundreds of Jewish couples were left without presents and their guests without refunds after Wrapit folded two years ago.

More..

Oxford keeps up services in summer

By Marcus Dysch, August 12, 2010

Oxford's Jewish community is enjoying a period of renewed success with services taking place daily for the first time in years.

The number of people davening at Oxford Jewish Congregation's Richmond Road synagogue traditionally drops in summer as students return to their home towns.

But the community has continued its daily minyanim with the help of University Jewish Chaplaincy's Rabbi Daniel Braune Friedman, who has co-ordinated an informal rota of male congregants.

More..

Justin Bieber's 'Baby' - with a Jewish twist

By Marcus Dysch, August 11, 2010
See Video

Sophie Hiller performs a version of the Justin Bieber track Baby.

The singer's career has hit the big time this week, as she performed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as Sir Tom Jones’ warm-up act.

The 20-year-old, from East Barnet, north London, was invited to audition for the job after a producer of the Welshman’s show saw a clip of her on YouTube.

She describes her style as “jazzy, souly and funky with a modern twist”.

More..