Marcus Dysch

Screaming protesters disrupt JNF meeting

By Marcus Dysch, December 17, 2009

Anti-Israel protestors caused severe disruption at a major JNF conference on Sunday, with two Jewish demonstrators carried out of the hall after screaming insults at Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor.

The one-day conference, held at the Hendon Hall Hotel in north west London, considered solutions to overcrowding in Israeli cities and how the Jewish state deals with the severe water crisis in the Negev.

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Anti-Islam demo in Harrow draws just 15 supporters

By Marcus Dysch, December 17, 2009

A demonstration on Sunday against the building of a new mosque in north west London passed off peacefully, with no arrests.

Leading Jewish organisations had called on members of the community not to attend the Harrow demo, with the Board of Deputies and Community Security Trust among those warning against joining the Islamophobic protest.

Only 15 members of Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), the organisation behind the demo, turned up at the rally, near Harrow Central Mosque.

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Food label rule breakers may go unpunished

By Marcus Dysch, December 17, 2009

New guidelines on the labelling of West Bank products will be hard to enforce and traders are unlikely to be punished for ignoring them.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued voluntary guidance to stores stating that labels on items imported to Britain from the West Bank should differentiate between “Israeli settlement produce” and “Palestinian produce”.

The government would consider traders to be “almost be certainly committing an offence”, if Palestinian produce from the West Bank was labelled as “produce of Israel”.

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University academic refuses apology for threatening emails

By Marcus Dysch, December 17, 2009

A university governor has refused to apologise for sending offensive emails to a leading professor in which he declared “I hope you perish”.

The row between Ben-Gurion University’s British-born donor Michael Gross and Professor David Newman, led 120 BGU academics to write to its chair of governors demanding that Mr Gross should apologise or be sacked.

Mr Gross sent two emails to Prof Newman after the political geography professor, also British-born, appeared on last month’s Channel 4 Dispatches strand, which examined Britain’s pro-Israel lobby.

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My holiday job dream flopped

By Marcus Dysch, December 17, 2009

“A couple of friends were going abroad as au pairs and the thought of returning to Spain appealed to me. Living with a family would help keep up my Spanish and I had previously enjoyed working with children.

“My friends recommended a website where they found jobs, so I logged on and posted a profile.

“I got a few responses, including one from an agent in Majorca. She rang to tell me she had a suitable family. I was interested, so she put us in touch.

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Arrest warrant issued for Tzipi Livni

By Marcus Dysch, December 15, 2009

An arrest warrant was issued for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni by a London court, but was later annulled after Ms Livni cancelled her scheduled visit and did not enter Britain.

Ms Livni had been due to speak at Sunday’s JNF Vision 2010 conference in Hendon, north-west London, but cancelled over fears she would be arrested for alleged war crimes.

It is believed Westminster Magistrates’ Court issued the warrant at the request of pro-Palestinian lawyers acting on behalf of those affected by Israel’s action in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

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Confusion over Livni's cancelled visit to UK

By Marcus Dysch, December 14, 2009

There is confusion over the exact grounds for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancelling a trip to Britain.

Ms Livni, who had been due to speak at Sunday’s JNF Vision 2010 conference in Hendon, north-west London, said through her office that she had cancelled the trip a fortnight ago for scheduling reasons.

It had been thought she would meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and possibly Foreign Secretary David Miliband, for private talks.

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Livni cancels JNF visit to UK

By Marcus Dysch, December 14, 2009

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancelled a visit to Britain this weekend over fears pro-Palestinian lawyers would seek to have her arrested.

Ms Livni had been due to speak at Sunday’s JNF Vision 2010 conference in Hendon, north-west London. She had also been expected to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown for private talks.

But she pulled out of the trip for fear of lawyers obtaining an arrest warrant.

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Israel and UK row over settlement labels

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2009

The Israeli government has accused Britain of encouraging a boycott of goods from West Bank settlements.

The two countries are locked in a diplomatic row after the British government released new guidelines for supermarkets on labelling of foods from settlements and products made by Palestinians.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued voluntary guidance to UK stores stating that labels should differentiate between “Israeli settlement produce” and “Palestinian produce”. Currently, foods are labeled “Produce of the West Bank”.

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Israelis win honorary MBEs in Queen's honours list

By Marcus Dysch, December 10, 2009

Two Israelis have been awarded honorary MBEs by the Queen in recognition of their work in strengthening British ties with the Jewish state.

Natie Shevel, UJIA regional director for Israel, was recognised for his “outstanding achievement” and services to the charity, and for local efforts which “stand out as an example to others”.

Sonia Feldman, who has worked as science education manager at the British Council office in Tel Aviv for 37 years, is recognised for promoting UK science in Israel.

South African-born Mr Shevel, 42, said: “It’s taken me completely by surprise.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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