Marcus Dysch

Ofcom raps radio station for antisemitic 'joke'

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2009

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has upheld a complaint against an Asian community radio station which broadcast an antisemitic joke sent in by a listener.

A volunteer presenter on Radio Faza, a Nottingham-based channel aimed at women in the city’s south Asian community, read out the text message on September 25, during the daily News Today show.

He introduced the message as a “joke”, and said: “Jewish kid next door just asked me for a water fight…thought I would text while the kettle is boiling.”


Zionist hit by abuse at SOAS debate

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2009

The co-vice chairman of the Zionist Federation was subjected to antisemitic abuse after revealing his identity at a university debate on Israel and the Palestinians.

Jonathan Hoffman was asking a question at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in London. When asked to state his name, there was loud jeering and screams of “Jew”, “not welcome here” and “he’s Jewish”.

He had been raising concerns about the presence of Bongani Masuku at the debate, titled: “Israel, the Palestinians and apartheid: The case for sanctions and boycott”.


Baroness Neuberger defends expenses

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2009

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger has defended her expenses claims after it was revealed she had received more than £78,000 for overnight accommodation allowances over five years.

The president of Liberal Judaism lists her main home as a flat in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire; her husband, Anthony, is a professor at Warwick Business School in nearby Coventry.

But Baroness Neuberger has claimed £78,106 over the past five years, at a rate of £174 per night, to cover the cost of staying in a townhouse she owns in Primrose Hill, north London.


Antisemitic graffiti at Colchester University

By Marcus Dysch, Campus Editor, December 23, 2009

A university campus laundrette has been daubed with the words “exterminate Jews” in German.

Law student Kate Douglas spotted the graffiti on a wall at the University of Essex’s campus in Colchester.

Juden ausrotten was scrawled in black marker pen, with the German for “you must die” above it in red pen.

The graffiti was quickly painted over by the university last week.

Ms Douglas said: “This was a phrase used by the Nazis and Hitler himself to call for the extermination of all Jews. I was disgusted and deeply saddened to find it.


No Saint Nick

By Marcus Dysch, December 22, 2009

Nick Clegg’s track-record on Israel is well-known. This is the party leader who did not even realise Israel was a Jewish state.

Given such form, perhaps his comment piece in the Guardian this morning should come as no surprise.


Tricky Europa League draw for Hapoel

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2009

Hapoel Tel Aviv face a tricky visit to Russia to play Rubin Kazan in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.

Rubin were the surprise package of the Champions League group stages, securing a memorable victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp in October before eventually finishing third in their group.

Hapoel successfully negotiated Group C in the initial stage of the Europa League, winning the group ahead of Hamburg and eliminating Celtic in the process.

The two-leg tie will take place over a week in February, with the first leg on February 18 and the return fixture on February 25.


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.


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.


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”.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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”.


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.


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.