Marcus Dysch

A tale of two Edinburghs

By Marcus Dysch, June 11, 2009

Same city, same supposed 'problem', different answer.

The organisers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival should take note of the response from their friends down the road in Leith to pro-Palestinian pressure over sponsorship.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign warned the Leith Festival board that there would be leafleting and boycotting and more moaning due to Veolia's £3,000 grant.

Veolia are involved in the Jerusalem light-rail project, much to the SPSC's displeasure.


I quit job, sold home, then Israel barred me

By Marcus Dysch, June 11, 2009

A non-Jewish man and his Jewish-born wife say they are “living in complete limbo” after their Israeli citizenship application was rejected by the Jewish Agency.

Kevin and Andrea Ayres sold their home in Devon and quit their jobs 18 months ago in the hope of making aliyah to northern Israel.

Their application was made because Mrs Ayres had a Jewish grandmother.
Last month the couple, now living in temporary accommodation, began legal proceedings at the Israeli High Court in an attempt to force the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for citizenship, to grant them nationality.


Moshe’s Mafia leaders get nine years for £36m cannabis plot

By Marcus Dysch, June 11, 2009

The Israeli masterminds of one of the biggest smuggling operations ever intercepted by British police have been jailed.

Moshe Kedar, aged 81, and Yehezkel Srebro, 57, were both sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.

Their accomplice, Mordechai Hersh, 67, received an eight-year term.
They will be deported from Britain after completing their sentences, handed down at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday last week.

Earlier the men were convicted of planning an elaborate operation to bring more than 12 tonnes of cannabis, worth £36 million, into the country using a tugboat.


A kosher menu for a sheikh

By Marcus Dysch, June 11, 2009

As lunch orders go, it is one of the most unusual ever served by kosher caterer Tony Page.

But last week His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, tucked into a London Beth Din-supervised feast at his private residence in Newmarket, Suffolk.

Sheikh Mohammed, whose wealth is estimated at around £11 billion, was hosting a delegation of Jewish business leaders from America — and chose Mr Page’s firm to provide the food.

The menu included a selection of smoked salmon, lamb with herb crust, and baked sea bass. Fresh fruit was served for dessert.


BNP in the line of fire

By Marcus Dysch, June 9, 2009

It was the calm before the storm.

BNP activists were standing around joking about their electoral success. Waiting for their leader to arrive in Westminster for his first major press conference since winning a seat in the European Parliament, they exuded the cocky smarm we have become familiar with.

But they weren’t laughing for long.

Ten minutes later they were scuffling with protestors in scenes more reminiscent of a football riot than something you would expect outside the Mother of all Parliaments.


Have JDate boobed?

By Marcus Dysch, June 5, 2009

I gather there have been complaints from residents in West Hampstead about JDate’s latest billboard.

The advert features a buxom woman holding a pint of beer and carries the tagline: “What’s more, she’s Jewish”.

Her head has been sliced off the top however, leaving her cleavage as the er, focal point, of the poster.

Sarah Kaiser has organised a letter of complaint from those supposedly offended by the image. She said: “It’s saying that her brain’s not important. All that matters, apparently, are the big boobs and her liking for alcohol.”


Madonna to end tour in Tel Aviv

By Marcus Dysch, June 4, 2009

Madonna is to end her “Sticky and Sweet” world tour with a concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on September 1.

It will be the Kabbalah student’s second performance in Israel. Her last appearance was in 1993.

On her website, she said: “I’m very excited about returning to Israel for my final show. I know it will be unforgettable.”

In 2004 Madonna, who has adopted the Hebrew name Esther, made a private pilgrimage to visit the graves of Jewish sages.

The announcement of the concert made front page news in Israel before tickets went on sale on Tuesday.


Aliyah soars as crunch bites

By Marcus Dysch, June 4, 2009

The recession has seen the largest influx of British Jews making aliyah for a quarter of a century.

The Jewish Agency for Israel and the immigration charity Nefesh B’Nefesh are predicting a “historic year” with the number of British olim expected to reach 800, the most since 1984.

Their forecast follows figures released this week showing that 201 people made aliyah from Britain between January and April, an increase of 53 per cent on the same period last year.


Table tennis champ jailed for sex abuse

By Marcus Dysch, June 4, 2009

A Jewish table tennis champion has been jailed for using his position in the sport to groom a 15-year-old girl for sex.

Former City banker Gary Tendler, 36, of Brentwood, Essex, met the teenager, one of Britain’s elite junior players, at a national tournament in 2007. After swapping mobile phone numbers he molested her several times.

The married father-of-two was a former nominee in the senior sportsperson of the year category in the Maccabi GB sports honours list and had been ranked as high as number 21 in the country by the English Table Tennis Association.


The drugs den next door

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2009

A cannabis factory capable of producing £800,000 worth of drugs a year has been uncovered at the heart of the north London community.

Around 1,000 plants were discovered during a police raid at a five-bedroom house in Downage, Hendon, last Friday morning. The road is home to dozens of Jewish families and properties regularly sell for more than £1 million.

It was the largest-ever find by officers in the borough of Barnet.

Two weeks ago officers uncovered 600 plants at a house in Mill Hill, and another raid took place in Edgware two months ago.


Downfall of Moshe’s mafia

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2009

Three Israelis, one of whom is 81 years old, have been convicted of running one of the biggest cannabis-smuggling operations ever intercepted by British police.

Grandfather Moshe Kedar, Yehezkel Srebro, 57, and 67-year-old Mordechai Hersh, were behind an elaborate plot to bring more than 12 tonnes of the drug, with a street value of £36 million, into the country using a tugboat.


Shechita meets Halal

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2009

A shechita expert is to advise a Muslim group that monitors restaurants and butchers for compliance with halal slaughtering practices.

Chanoch Kesselman, executive co-ordinator of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, will provide the Halal Monitoring Committee with information on pre-stunning animals.

Mr Kesselman said the link-up was an example of how different faiths could work together.


David Irving flees Norway

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2009

Convicted Holocaust denier David Irving had to leave Norway after police said they could not guarantee his safety.

Demonstrators from SOS Racism, a French anti-racism group, had attempted to block his entrance to an Oslo television station where he was due to give an interview on Tuesday last week. Irving had to use a back door to enter the building.


The real danger of the BNP

By Marcus Dysch, May 28, 2009

I’ve never liked Rotherham.

It was my first 'patch' as a trainee reporter in south Yorkshire. On the first day I was pounding the streets in search of news stories when a driver decided to purposely speed through a sizeable puddle at the side of the road, thus drenching me.

Also, on the first day of the 1998/99 season I travelled to the town to see Hull City take on Rotherham. It was the start of Mark Hateley’s second season as Hull manager. He’d been built up as the saviour, the ex-England striker who would fire us up the Football League. This was going to be our year.


And this is our dictator range...

By Marcus Dysch, May 28, 2009

I’ve found myself working on some bizarre stories in my short career.

Meeting a chap who had a full-size replica cow dumped in his garden, interviewing a dog which had been banned from a care home and meeting Billie Jean King are all fairly high on the list.

But this week's case of a man complaining that his underpants featured an image of Hitler could be my new favourite.


London student link to FBI fraud inquiry

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

An American family has warned that British Jews could unknowingly be the victims of an international fraud operation.

Deborah Stutman-Brickey and her husband David, of Columbus, Ohio, were forced to change their bank account after being targeted while attempting to let a student flat near Ohio State University.

Mrs Stutman-Brickey, a chemical engineer, said: “A very elaborate scheme of fraudulent cheques and getting bank routing numbers was launched, causing us many headaches.”


MP attacks shechitah in Commons debate

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

An anti-Shechitah MP has again called on the government to ban Jewish religious slaughter.

North West Leicestershire Labour MP David Taylor said the law which exempts shechitah from the practice of pre-stunning animals “cannot be allowed to continue”.

He asked Farming Minister Jane Kennedy to view a film which he said “shows the effects of such slaughter”.

“It cannot be allowed to continue and we must end those exemptions. It is cruel, unacceptable and antediluvian,” he said.

Ms Kennedy said she would watch the film “with a sinking heart”.


Edinburgh film woman hits back

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

The Israeli film director at the centre of an argument over film festival funding has hit back at anti-Israel campaigners.

Tali Shalom Ezer said she was “outraged” at comments made by controversial director Ken Loach, in which he claimed Israel had conducted “massacres and state terrorism in Gaza”.

Following Mr Loach’s remarks, organisers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival rejected a £300 donation from the Israeli Embassy.

The money was to be used to fly Ms Shalom Ezer to Scotland for the screening of her debut film, Surrogate.


New order for Asbo boy

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

A boy has been sentenced to community service for breaching an antisocial behaviour order imposed after he verbally abused Jewish schoolchildren.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a referral order in January after admitting charges of racially aggravated harassment and common assault.

Magistrates were told that he had approached pupils from JFS as they travelled home on a 183 bus through north west London. The youth threatened to stab them and shouted “Jewish scum” during the incident last November.


More MPs are caught in expenses firing-line as the scandal deepens

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

A Jewish MP is to stand down at the next election after becoming embroiled in the expenses row and claiming the public was “jealous” of his country house.

Tory MP Anthony Steen announced his retirement after earlier claiming taxpayers should not be allowed to see MPs’ claims and insisting his behaviour had been “impeccable”.

The 69-year-old former barrister was elected to represent Totnes in 1983. Previously he represented Liverpool Wavertree for nine years.