Marcus Dysch

Historian blasts UK's Israel policy

By Marcus Dysch, December 10, 2009

Historian Andrew Roberts has launched a scathing attack on British policy towards Israel, claiming only Israel itself is prepared to defend Jews from a second Holocaust.

Speaking at the Anglo-Israel Association’s annual dinner in London on Tuesday, Mr Roberts pledged to “strip away some of the myths” surrounding the relationship between the two countries.


Was it the JC wot won it?

By Marcus Dysch, December 10, 2009

A couple of weeks ago we ran this preview of the Union of Jewish Students’ chair elections.

My prediction, that Alex Dwek would land the top job in Jewish student politics, came true. Mazeltov to Alex.

Much like Rupert Murdoch, JC On Campus likes to back a winner.


Hackney synagogue forced to demolish site

By Marcus Dysch, December 10, 2009

Part of a Stoke Newington synagogue has been demolished by bulldozers after community leaders conceded defeat in a nine-year planning row with council chiefs.

The Portakabin annexe at the Torah Etz Chaim shul in Lordship Road was demolished after a court ordered trustees to remove the temporary structure. The building had been used as an overflow for services for the 320-member Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregation and for children’s activities since 1997.


The real Madrid?

By Marcus Dysch, December 8, 2009

So there I was, wandering around Madrid on the first night of my holiday with hardly a care in the world.

Then, as if from nowhere, my friend, Real Madrid TV presenter Kay Murray, and I stumbled upon a curious barrier of sorts and a small, but busy, group of protestors.


Brothers of 'starved' Israeli boy are sent to live in UK

By Marcus Dysch and Anshel Pfeffer, November 26, 2009

Three brothers of a boy allegedly starved by his mother in Jerusalem have moved to England, and are now living with their grandparents in London’s strictly Orthodox community.

The boys, aged nine, seven and five, arrived in Stamford Hill last Thursday, the same day their mother gave birth to her sixth child, also a boy.

It is believed they were accompanied on the jouraney by a rabbi from the strictly-Orthodox Edah Charedit faction and that they were sent on the express orders of Rabbi David Kahan, the spiritual leader of the Toldot Aharon Chasidic group to which the family belongs.


Maccabi referee was 'unlawfully killed;'

By Marcus Dysch, November 26, 2009

A pensioner who was hit by a van as he crossed a road after enjoying a night out with his wife and friends was unlawfully killed, a coroner has ruled.

Jack Reuben died 48 hours after the collision in north London in July 2007.

The 78-year-old was vice-president of London Maccabi Vale cricket club for almost 50 years, and had served as a football referee in the Maccabi Southern Football League.

Mr Reuben and his wife Anita, who were members of Edgware Synagogue, were hit while crossing Whetstone High Road after leaving a restaurant.


Israel Deputy Prime Minister seeks UK support

By Marcus Dysch, November 26, 2009

Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom has urged British donors to continue their support for the Jewish state as it attempts to pursue peace and faces a threat from Iran.

Addressing British Ort’s gala dinner in London on Monday, Mr Shalom said the Israeli government was working hard to “give people a normal life”. However, Iran was “trying to do everything it can” to become a nuclear power and the region’s dominant force.


Who will win top UJS job? Time to decide

By Marcus Dysch, November 26, 2009

The hotly-contested race to become the new Union of Jewish Students’ chair will be decided in Leeds on Thursday night.

Efforts to succeed Adam Pike in the top job in Jewish student politics have seen the three candidates tour campuses across Britain in the search for votes. After one of the most challenging years for UJS, with rising antisemitism and widespread anti-Israel action on campuses, the winner is guaranteed a full in-tray when they take up the role in July 2010.


Netanya helicopter deaths joy on Press TV site

By Marcus Dysch, November 24, 2009

Reports of the death of a British tourist in a helicopter crash in Netanya were met with celebration by readers of Press TV’s website.

The news organisation, funded by the Iranian government, ran a story on Tuesday afternoon headlined “Two killed in Israeli chopper crash”.

It was immediately met with comments referring to the Gaza conflict and apparently calling for Jews and Israelis to be killed.


The pantomime of Katie and Peter

By Marcus Dysch, November 24, 2009

Three months ago I heard that the Katie Price/Peter Andre divorce was a set-up, designed to guarantee them both maximum publicity for months to come before, ultimately, a reconciliation before the end of the year.

I dismissed it as too far fetched, too desperate, too cynical a ploy for even the British media to go along with.

Now I wonder.


Promoting peace between Jewish students and Palestinian activists

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

Trying to convince Palestinian farmers in Ramallah of the benefits of a two-state solution is no easy task. But doing the same with pro-Palestinian students in Britain can be even harder.

Members of OneVoice, the grassroots movement which works with Israelis and Palestinians to promote co-existence and conflict resolution, yesterday completed a challenging two-week campus tour.

Palestinian Dina Jaber and her Israeli colleague Beata Krants faced the challenge of convincing some of the most vocal advocates from both sides that a peaceful conclusion is achievable.


UJS pledge to lead anti-BNP campaign

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

Undergraduates should be at the forefront of campaigns against the BNP and other far-right groups, according to Union of Jewish Students chairman Adam Pike.

Mr Pike said he had “watched with horror” as the extreme right-wing English Defence League held demonstrations across the country and the BNP achieved two seats in the European Parliament.

He was speaking on the topic of antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus at a Joseph Interfaith Foundation conference held at SOAS.


Martial arts group denies Nazi clothing

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

A leading mixed-martial arts group has distanced itself from a clothing company which features Nazi-style images on its products.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship held a tournament in Manchester on Saturday night at which a number of fighters wore Hoelzer Reich items.

The sport is growing quickly on both sides of the Atlantic as an alternative attraction for boxing and wrestling fans. British fighters Michael Bisping and Dan Hardy were among those on the bill at the MEN Arena.

Hoelzer Reich’s clothes feature Iron Crosses and swastika and SS-style emblems.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.