Marcus Dysch

Calls for the destruction of Israel in SOAS lecture

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has advocated suicide bombing, has told students he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.

Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, spoke to students at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) on Tuesday.

On Monday, he addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society and is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.


Universities Minister grilled on extremism on campus

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

Universities Minister David Lammy has been quizzed by Jewish students concerned about hate speakers on campus and academic boycotts of Israel.

He was speaking to delegates at the Union of Jewish Students’ Parliamentary lobby day.

Around 100 students from 17 campuses and two schools took part in the event last week.

Many arranged individual meetings with their MPs. One group even attempted to corner opposition leader David Cameron as he walked through Parliament’s Central Lobby.


Bnei Akiva offers students Brazil trip

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

British Bnei Akiva gap year students are to be offered the opportunity to work with Jewish communities in Brazil for the first time.

BA’s Hachshara programme, which prepares students for leadership roles, plans to send trainees to help run youth activities in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Around 30 participants are expected to spend a fortnight in Brazil, probably at the end of next year’s programme in June 2011.

There are around 96,000 Jews in the South American country.


Stamford Hill pub becomes yeshivah

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

A former Stamford Hill pub is reopening as a yeshivah after a lengthy rebuilding project.

The British Oak was bought by the Belz community in 2002 and has been transformed at a cost of around £1 million. Supporters took part in a range of celebratory and fundraising events to mark the centre’s opening ceremony.

Rabbi Aaron Rokeach travelled from Israel to represent his father, Belz Rebbe Rabbi Issachar Dov Rokeach.

He spent Shabbat at the Holiday Inn at Luton Airport, where he was joined by over 140 community members who had each donated £3,600 to the project.


Oxford student at Israeli minister: 'Kill the Jews'

By Marcus Dysch, February 9, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister was met by a protester screaming “slaughter the Jews” as he spoke at the Oxford Union.

Antisemitic and anti-Israel abuse was shouted throughout Danny Ayalon’s speech on Monday evening, with students causing numerous disruptions to the event.

During the hour-long session one student ran towards Mr Ayalon shouting the Arabic phrase “Itbah Al-Yahud” [Slaughter the Jews].

As many as 10 others, carrying Palestinian flags, made attempts to attack Mr Ayalon but were intercepted and removed by security.


David Bellamy urged: 'Pull out of Zionist talk'

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2010

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) has urged botanist David Bellamy to pull out of a Zionist Federation event at which he is expected to speak about Israel’s environmental achievements.

Mr Bellamy is due to appear at the ZF’s Israel Blue White and Green seminar alongside leading Israeli scientists on Tuesday.

The event, which is primarily aimed at non-Jewish schoolchildren, is a follow-up to last year’s Israel Science Day which Bricup also attempted to disrupt.


Gordon Brown 'troubled' by CST antisemitism report

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2010

The Community Security Trust recorded more antisemitic incidents in 2009 than in any other year since records began 26 years ago.

Releasing its annual figures for last year, the CST confirmed that 924 incidents were reported, including violent assaults, desecration of property and death threats.

The 69 per cent rise on 2008 followed an “unprecedented” number of antisemitic attacks recorded in January and February last year, during and after the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Around a quarter of cases included references to Gaza.


Craggy Island or Carrickmacross?

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Zion Evrony's chaotic visit to Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, had all the component parts of an episode of Father Ted.

For the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland to be heckled or 'welcomed' with a protest should perhaps (unfortunately) come as no great surprise.

The idea of ripping a page from the town's visitor book is, however, not only vile but absolutely ridiculous.


Warwick JSoc: Stepping out of Birmingham's shadow

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

The new president of Warwick University’s Jewish Society believes the time has come for the group to step out of the shadows of its neighbours in Birmingham.

Guy Israel and his eight-strong committee are working hard to establish Warwick JSoc as an independent force in the collective psyche of Jewish students, both in Britain and abroad.


UJS sends out roast chicken 'Shabbat packs'

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

The Union of Jewish Students will be sending out Shabbat “packs” to campuses across the country next month for a one-off cheap food day.

The Shabbat UK initiative is run jointly with JNF.

Each pack for the March 5 event includes a roast chicken, challah, candles, grape juice, potatoes, vegetables and a prayer booklet.

The essentials must be ordered through JSoc or your national development officer before February 12 and cost just £1 per person.

Apply for a pack at


Fake Judaica floods online auction sites

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Collectors of Judaica are being warned of a rise in fake items being sold online.

Internet market sites such as eBay advertise hundreds of items including yads, figurines, kiddush cups and havdalah spice boxes.

But buyers have reported incidents of pieces being advertised as 19th century Russian antiques which, when purchased, turn out to be cheap, modern replicas.

Jacob Nightburg, from Stamford Hill, north east London, bought a spice box set on eBay for 120 euros [£105] from a seller based in Germany.

When it was delivered to him, Mr Nightburg became suspicious.


Legal action from teacher sacked for challenging racism

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

A teacher who claims he was sacked for challenging his pupils’ racist and antisemitic views is due to have his case heard at an employment tribunal next week.

Nicholas Kafouris, a Christian, said some pupils at the predominantly Muslim Bigland Green Primary School in Tower Hamlets, east London, had made antisemitic remarks and praised Islamic extremists during classes.

Greek-born Mr Kafouris said remarks were regularly made in late 2006 and that pupils as young as nine had glorified the September 11 suicide bombers.


Sinn Fein call for boycott of ambassador to Ireland

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony, thought he was dropping in to the small town of Carrickmacross for a cup of tea and a chat with the mayor.

Instead, he walked into a massive political row in which Sinn Féin councillors even called for a page he signed in the visitors’ book to be removed.

Dr Evrony visited the town in County Monaghan last Friday and was greeted by more than 30 residents protesting alongside councillors and the deputy mayor.

The group blocked his route and demanded that mayor Mary Kerr-Conlon cancel her meeting with him.


British doctor Ian Miskin tells of hell in Haiti

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

A British doctor has described in detail for the first time the incredible effort made by Israeli medics to help victims of the Haitian earthquake.

Dr Ian Miskin and his team treated more than 1,100 survivors, conducting 400 operations and working round the clock to scour the devastated island for improvised supplies and equipment.

Colleagues were even forced to strip machinery found in collapsed buildings to retrieve screws for use in operations on damaged limbs.


Benny Morris talk cut by Cambridge Israel society

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Cambridge University’s Israel Society has been slammed for bowing to pressure from Muslim students to cancel a speech by a top Israeli historian.

Prof Benny Morris had been due to speak on Thursday, but the event was cancelled after complaints from, among others, the university’s Islamic and Pakistan societies who claimed he was an “Islamophobic hate speaker”.

Israel Society president Jake Witzenfeld called the cancellation “unfortunate but noble”, adding: “There was no intention to “give racism a platform”.


French cemetary vanadalised by neo-Nazis

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

Dozens of Jewish graves were found desecrated in a French cemetery on Holocaust Memorial Day.

At least 30 headstones in Strasbourg were daubed with antisemitic graffiti. Swastikas were painted on 18 graves, and 13 were overturned. The phrase “Juden Raus” [Jews Out] was written on one grave.

The umbrella group Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), which represents the French Jewish community and tackles antisemitism, said it was not clear whether the incident was linked to the memorial day.


Rabbi fills dinner gap

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

Students in Nottingham may have been stressed out during the exam period this month, but they have not been going hungry.

Chaplain Rabbi Yochanan Pereira and wife Jodie have been feeding students in record numbers — hosting up to 70 at a time as JSoc committee members took a break to concentrate on their studies.

Rabbi Pereira explained: “On two weekends we held Friday-night meals in our house and on one occasion managed to fit 72 people into our house, 10 more than our previous record.


Businessman 'shot burglar alarm to stop ringing'

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

A businessman is being investigated by police after a shotgun was fired at a neighbour’s burglar alarm late at night.

Peter Shalson, 52, was questioned following an incident at the property next to his detached home in St John’s Wood, north west London, earlier this month.

A butler at the neighbour’s house claimed CCTV footage had caught an intruder climbing a cast-iron fence, smashing a glass door and then shooting the alarm’s control box to stop it ringing.


£3.5m to convert pub to Bobov community centre

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

A strictly Orthodox community which hopes to turn a former pub into a centre for social and religious activities is aiming to raise £3.5million to complete the project.

Work is yet to begin on the conversion of The Swan more than a year after the building was bought by Stamford Hill’s Bobov community and four months after planning permission was granted by Hackney Council.


Blogger questioned on anti-Zionist 'harassment'

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

A university student who wrote blogs attacking anti-Zionists has accused police of acting on behalf of the Church after he was questioned in connection with a harassment complaint.

Joseph Weissman, 23, author of the Seismic Shock blog, revealed that two officers had visited him asking for comments he had made about Church of England pastor Stephen Sizer to be removed from the site.