Marcus Dysch

Etgarim to offer sporty summer camp to disabled British youth

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

An Israeli charity which provides challenging outdoor sports activities for physically and mentally disabled children wants to open its summer camps to British youngsters.

Etgarim currently works with 5,000 youngsters and 700 adults at its Israeli centres. Post-trauma psychological help and sporting pursuits are offered to IDF veterans.

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World Jewish Relief brings hope to Ukrainian community

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

At first glance, Krivoy Rog is a grim, soulless city.

Mile after mile of empty fields are interspersed with drab tower blocks. The wide, potholed streets are largely devoid of traffic. Only occasionally does a pedestrian wander by.

This sprawling former steel mining city in south Ukraine, 200 miles from the capital Kiev, is home to 12,000 Jews, most of whom are, like the other 700,000 residents, in dire need of medical and financial assistance.

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Andrew Dismore MP a step closer to law on art restitution

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

A campaign to change the law which would allow art looted by the Nazis and found in British museums to be returned to the heirs of the original owners has taken a “major step forward”.

Labour’s Hendon MP Andrew Dismore secured an unopposed second reading for his Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Bill in the House of Commons last Friday.

It will now be considered in detail at committee level and then followed by a report and a final reading.

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Sir Jeremy blasts Edinburgh Film Festival for boycott ‘capitulation’

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

Anti-Israel campaigners have succeeded in forcing the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return funding from the Israeli Embassy.

Members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign had threatened to picket the event in June unless £300, which was to be used to fly Israeli director Tali Shalom Ezer to Scotland, was rejected.

Festival organisers said the decision was not a result of those threats, but was instead based on comments made by film director Ken Loach, speaking on behalf of the SPSC.

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BBC's World's Strictest Parents 'do Shabbat & keep kosher'

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

They look the most unlikely of families: the modestly-dressed Zionist parents and the surly teenagers, complete with piercings and heavy make-up.

But the two youngsters from Hampshire now have a new understanding of all aspects of Jewish life after spending a week living with this Orthodox family in Israel.

Gemma Lyons, 16, and 17-year-old Jack Travers filmed an episode of the BBC reality show World’s Strictest Parents with the Sha-ked family, in the gated, religious community of Nof Ayalon, near Modi’in, last week.

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Boycott the boycotters

By Marcus Dysch, May 20, 2009

The capitulation by organisers of the Edinburgh Film Festival is, I think, more shocking than most examples of the Israel boycott we’ve previously seen.

Had the organisers decided off their own backs to not accept the Israeli Embassy’s money to fly in director Tali Shalom Ezer it would have been bad enough.

But to so openly base the decision on the ramblings of Ken Loach almost beggars belief.

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Film festival made to hand back embassy cash

By Marcus Dysch, May 20, 2009

Anti-Israel campaigners have succeeded in forcing the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return funding from the Israeli Embassy.

Members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign had threatened to picket the event in June unless £300, which was to be used to fly Israeli director Tali Shalom Ezer to Scotland, was rejected.

Festival organisers said the decision was not a result of those threats, but was instead based on comments made by film director Ken Loach, speaking on behalf of the SPSC.

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Board of Deputies condemn Islam centre blaze

By Marcus Dysch, May 15, 2009

The Board of Deputies has written to leaders of an Islamic centre gutted by fire in a suspected arson attack to express “solidarity and disgust”.

The Islamic Education Centre in Luton was targeted last week.

It is thought the fire could have been started by far right activists in revenge for the picketing of British troops by Muslim extremists in the town in March.

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Shock at gay film shown to teenagers

By Marcus Dysch, May 14, 2009

A feature film about gay IDF soldiers has been screened to a group of teenagers preparing for a Liberal Judaism-organised tour of Israel.

Parents said the children were shocked when Yossi and Jagger, described as an “Israeli Brokeback Mountain”, was broadcast at a sleep-over event last week.

The youngsters had been meeting at the organisation’s headquarters in central London for the first time ahead of their LJY Netzer trip in July and August, for a pre-tour orientation session.

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Toy gun pest handed 12-month curfew order

By Marcus Dysch, May 14, 2009

A man who shot an Orthodox Jew with a pellet gun has been sentenced to a curfew order.

Kris Cherry, 20, must not leave his home in Gateshead between 8pm and 7am for the next three months after admitting he carried out the attack because he “didn’t like Jews”.

His victim, who has not been named, was not injured in the March 14 shooting despite being hit on the arm.

Unemployed Cherry fired the gun from a car “for a laugh” while travelling through Bensham, home to the North East’s largest Jewish community.

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Gateshead shooter sentenced

By Marcus Dysch, May 13, 2009

A man who shot an Orthodox Jew with a pellet from a toy gun has been sentenced to a curfew order.

Kris Cherry, 20, must not leave his home in Bensham, Gateshead, between 8pm and 7am for the next three months after admitting he carried out the attack because he “didn’t like Jews”.

His victim, who has not been named, was not injured in the March 14 shooting despite being hit on the arm.

Unemployed Cherry fired the gun from a car “for a laugh” while travelling through Bensham, home to the North East’s largest Jewish community.

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Oh dear, what can the matter be?

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2009

I anticipated numerous problems that could crop up on my trip to follow Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor around Belfast.

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Oxford blocks Neturei talk

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2009

A lecture by the leader of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect was relocated after Oxford University’s largest graduate college refused to let him speak on campus.

Ahron Cohen was the guest speaker at the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford’s (MECO) monthly forum on Thursday last week.

The event had been due to take place at Wolfson College but was relocated to a private venue after the college cancelled the booking.

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Islam Channel used to ‘promote intolerance’

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2009

Programmes on a leading Muslim television channel have been hosted by Islamists and members of the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir, a counter-extremist think-tank has claimed.

Islam Channel is the largest satellite station aimed at British and European Muslims. The Quilliam Foundation said it was being used to promote “intolerant and bigoted interpretations of Islam”.

A spokesman for the channel said it would not be responding to the foundation’s claims.

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Squatters evicted from Swan pub

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2009

A group of Polish squatters have been evicted from a pub owned by a strictly Orthodox Jewish community.

The men had entered the Swan, in Stamford Hill, last month and displayed a notice from the Criminal Law Act explaining their intention to live in the building.

It is believed representatives of the Bobov community, who own the Clapton Common site and hope to turn it into a community centre and synagogue, obtained an interim possession order (IPO) from a county court.

The squatters were then removed last Friday afternoon.

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Barclays stands firm over tennis star ban

By Marcus Dysch, April 30, 2009

The chief executive of Barclays Bank has responded to campaigners’ concerns about the company’s continuing sponsorship of a tennis tournament from which Israel’s top woman player was barred.

Retired stockbroker and Barclays shareholder Alan Diamond questioned John Varley in front of 1,100 people at Barclays’ annual general meeting last week.

The United Arab Emirates refused to grant a visa to Shahar Peer to compete in the event in February, prompting the withdrawal of support from the Wall Street Journal Europe and the cancellation of the Tennis Channel’s coverage.

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Party drug kills medical student

By Marcus Dysch, April 30, 2009

A 21-year-old medical student has been found dead after taking a “party drug” which the Home Office failed to ban despite warnings of its dangers.

Hester Stewart’s parents paid tribute to their “caring, wonderful girl” and attacked the government for failing to implement plans to outlaw gamma-butyrlactone (GBL) last year.

Ms Stewart, whose family were formerly members of Brighton and Hove Orthodox Hebrew Congregation, died at a house in Brighton on Sunday morning. A container of GBL was found close to her.

It mixes with acid in the stomach to create date-rape drug GHB.

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Teen convicted of station attack

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2009

A teenager has admitted punching a Jewish schoolboy in the face during an unprovoked attack.

The 15-year-old victim, from Stanmore, Middlesex, was leaving Kingsbury Tube station in January when he was approached by three boys.

He tried to walk away but one of the youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, followed him and asked: “What you saying about me?” and then punched him in the face.

The attacker had bullied his victim on two previous occasions, including during a football match when he made antisemitic comments.

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Polish squatters hijack the ‘shul’ pub

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2009

A group of Polish squatters have taken control of a pub bought by a Jewish community group which hoped to turn it into a synagogue.

The Swan, in Stamford Hill, has been empty since it closed in January when it was sold to members of the Bobov community.

It is thought the squatters entered the building a number of weeks ago and four people are now living there permanently.

The pub’s front door displays a notice from the group quoting the Criminal Law Act, which is widely used by illegal tenants to make it a crime in most circumstances for a landlord to force entry.

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Palestine group told: return Lotto cash

By Marcus Dysch, April 23, 2009

A Palestinian organisation has been ordered to return part of a National Lottery grant after an investigation found the money had been used to promote an unauthorised project.

Palestine Lives was handed £7,434 to run a one-day cultural festival at Manchester’s Albert Square in June last year.

But the group later used the grant to promote two film weekends, claiming they were “funded by the National Lottery”.

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