In landmark case on Israel and Jewish identity, British tribunal says anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism

Israel/Palestine

An important case in Britain, pointed out to me by Abdeen Jabara and Antony Loewenstein, who writes,

“Memo to British Zionists; being anti-Zionist [is] as human as oxygen: Witness the debacle within the British Zionist establishment, via Haaretz, and the increasingly desperate ways that so-called leaders there will do anything to defend Israeli policies without for a minute actually considering what the Jewish state has become; a brutish occupier.”

The case involves a suit brought against an academic union by an Israel-supporting professor who wanted the tribunal to condemn anti-Israel speech as anti-Semitism because, he claimed, an affinity to Israel was an intrinsic part of his and others’ Jewish identity.  Anshel Pfeffer in Haaretz says the ruling that such speech does not constitute anti-Semitism has produced “turmoil” in the ranks of British Jewry. I particularly like the bit at the end, where the judge told the plaintiff if he doesn’t want to get his feelings hurt, he should avoid political debate:

The case was to have been the culmination of 11 years of pro-Israel activism by [Ronnie] Fraser, a mathematics lecturer who had been fighting against what he saw as a virulently anti-Israel tide, with a distinct tinge of anti-Semitism, rising in the union to which he belongs.

Alongside him was Anthony Julius, one of the most prominent Jewish lawyers in Britain and a tireless opponent of anti-Semitism. Supporting the two were a cast of witnesses including Jewish and sympathetic non-Jewish activists, academics and politicians….

The lawsuit was backed both financially and in terms of considerable research resources by organizations linked to the central British Jewry leadership forums, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council.

But beyond the factual disputes in the case, the fundamental basis of the Fraser’s accusations was that Jews possess a strong feeling of affinity toward Israel that is an intrinsic part of their Jewish identity. Therefore, he claimed, when an organization to which they belong constantly attacks Israel in a manner they deem unfair, it constitutes a direct attack on their identity…
 
The defendants also had their own Jewish supporters. Fifty Jewish UCU [University and College Union] members signed an open letter praising their union and denying that there was any sort of institutional anti-Semitism within its ranks. Julius responded that it was simply a standard anti-Semitic ploy of dividing Jews into good-Jew/bad-Jew categories.
But the well-built and detailed case was shattered by the tribunal’s ruling. The panel, headed by Judge A.M. Snelson, accepted UCU’s version of all the events in question, and found that most of the claims were no longer valid in any case, due to a change in the laws.
Beyond that, it fundamentally disagreed with the central claim underpinning the complaints. The tribunal wrote in its judgment that “a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel or any similar sentiment cannot amount to a protected characteristic. It is not intrinsically a part of Jewishness.”
And while many Jews would agree with that ruling, the tribunal did not stop there. At the end of its 45-page ruling, it launched into an extraordinarily hostile invective against the very nature of the case brought before it. Though the panel was generally sympathetic to Fraser himself, it stated that as an activist “he must accept his fair share of minor injuries. … A political activist accepts the risk of being offended or hurt on occasions.”

In addition, Ben White reports the case may have been supported by the Israeli government:

Was the Israeli government involved too? A senior official at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently revealed that, “over the last six months Israel has taken on two (court) cases in partnership with UK Jewry” in fighting Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS). This very likely includes Fraser’s case, yet Anthony Julius had previously denied any such links, saying that to assume the case was “being supported by the Israeli government” is a “fantasy”.

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67 Responses

  1. mikeo
    April 9, 2013, 8:56 am

    I have been following the case closely here in the UK. It has had hardly any major press coverage. The Haaretz article misrepresents the facts quite substantially.

    “But the well-built and detailed case was shattered by the tribunal’s ruling. The panel, headed by Judge A.M. Snelson, accepted UCU’s version of all the events in question, and found that most of the claims were no longer valid in any case, due to a change in the laws.”

    The change in the law actually favoured the case, however the case was not well built as is demonstrated by the commentary by other Zionists in the legal profession. (From an article in the JC link to thejc.com )
    ————————————————————-
    One lawyer active in Jewish affairs, Jonathan Goldberg QC, commented: “This enormous but legally flawed lawsuit was an act of epic folly by all concerned which will negatively impact our community for a long time to come. You only bring such showcase litigation if you are certain to win.”

    The chairman of UK Lawyers for Israel, Jonathan Turner, also questioned the wisdom of bringing the action. “I had deep misgivings and feared it would fail,” he said. But he called it “a reverse, not a disaster”, suggesting that lessons could be learned on “which cases to fight and how”.
    ———————————————————–

    “Julius responded that it was simply a standard anti-Semitic ploy of dividing Jews into good-Jew/bad-Jew categories.”

    How heinous! Zionists would never do such a thing…

    Here is the UCU statement:

    ————————————————————-
    UCU cleared of harassment in landmark tribunal

    25 March 2013
    An Employment Tribunal has found in favour of UCU on all ten complaints of harassment brought by a UCU member who opposed the union’s policy on Palestine.

    The claimant had been supported in his claim by leading lawyer Anthony Julius. In giving their reasoning the Tribunal stated that ‘the proceedings are dismissed in their totality’ and ‘we greatly regret that the case was ever brought. At heart it represents an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means.’

    The Tribunal also described themselves as troubled by the implications of the claim, stating that ‘underlying it we sense a worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression, principles which the courts and tribunals are, and must be, vigilant to protect’.

    While witnesses for UCU were described in the tribunal’s decision as ‘careful and accurate’, some witnesses for the claimant were described as appearing to ‘misunderstand the nature of the proceedings and more disposed to score points or play to the gallery rather than providing straightforward answers to the clear questions put to them’.

    John Mann MP and former MP Denis MacShane were collectively described as giving ‘glib evidence, while testimony of another key witness for the claimant was described as ‘extraordinarily arrogant but also disturbing’.

    UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: ‘I am delighted that the Tribunal has made such a clear and overwhelming judgement in UCU’s favour. There are many different views within UCU and wider society about Israel and Palestine and this decision upholds our and others’ right to freedom of expression and to continue to properly debate these and other difficult questions.

    ‘This has been an extremely difficult period for the UCU staff and members involved in defending the union’s position and I am especially pleased therefore that the Tribunal found our witnesses to be careful and accurate.

    ‘The claimant, while unsuccessful, of course had the right to challenge the union in the courts and will be treated with respect within the union as will his views on this question. Now that a decision has been made I hope in turn that he, and others who share his views, will play an active part in the union and its debates rather than seek recourse to the law.

    ‘For our part, UCU will look at our own processes to see if improvements can be made in line with the advice given to us within the decision. We remain opposed to discrimination of any kind including anti-Semitism and we will work with energy and determination with all who will work with us to oppose it in the workplace and society at large.’
    —————————————————-

    Lots of coverage of this at Mark Elf’s site: link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.co.uk

    • FreddyV
      April 9, 2013, 10:29 am

      From the JC article:

      ‘He expressed particular concern over a statement in the judgment that “a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel” was “not intrinsically a part of Jewishness”.

      Mr Fraser commented: “For the court to say that as Jews we do not have an attachment to Israel is disappointing considering we have been yearning for Israel for 2000 years and it has been in our prayers all that time.”‘

      You may well have yearned for Israel, but you went about it all wrong. Instead of abusing and raping, you should have tried to court her and demonstrate your love for everything in her, including her indigenous people.

      • phacepalm
        April 11, 2013, 5:55 am

        So this Fraser dude says : “Jews [..] we have been yearning for Israel”. So if he has such a yearning for Israel why doesn’t he move there to be among his brethren? Seriously, this comes up all the time. These zionists will literally break into tears if Israel comes up yet they never answer the call of zionism and move to Israel. They do nothing but protest that they are surrounded by antisemites who want to harm them but they never go anywhere.

    • braciole
      April 9, 2013, 7:06 pm

      FWIW, Denis MacShane is a former MP because he resigned when he was suspended by the Labour party after the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee found that he had submitted 19 false invoices “plainly intended to deceive” the parliamentary expenses authority.

  2. Citizen
    April 9, 2013, 8:58 am

    Good for that Brit court!
    Now, here’s another happening involving a joint letter by various highly-educated American Indian tribal folks to the leader of one tribe who seeks to “partner” with Israel–it shows native Americans have now entered the fray re cowboys & indians, Israeli Jews and Palestinians: link to indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com

    • Kathleen
      April 9, 2013, 12:05 pm

      “Good for that Brit court!” Indeed!

      • Bumblebye
        April 9, 2013, 5:29 pm

        Kathleen, you might be interested in this – Glenn Greenwald podcast with the Leveretts:
        link to guardian.co.uk

        (10 mins)

      • Kathleen
        April 10, 2013, 6:42 pm

        BumbleB. Saw that but have not listened yet. Posted Flynt and Hillary’s latest on this thread yesterday. Amazing piece. Posted down below in this thread

    • Rusty Pipes
      April 9, 2013, 3:16 pm

      Native Americans introducing a term, like pinkwashing and greenwashing: redwashing

      J. Kehaulani Kauanui (Kanaka Maoli), associate professor of American Studies and Anthropology at Wesleyan University and the producer and host of the public affairs radio program, “Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond,” is currently engaged in comparative research on Palestine and Hawai’i – both vivid and violent cases of settler colonialism and occupation, she told ICTMN. “The contested State of Israel perpetuates the violent domination and removal of the Palestinian people from their homeland, much like the U.S. settler colonial state’s treatment of Native nations. Why any tribal leader would want to partner-up with Netanyahu is beyond curious; it is morally repugnant,” Kauanui said. “Tribal presidents and chairpersons, like all other official government leaders, should not be surprised to be called out for colluding with an apartheid state.”

      Kauanui said, that “the Israeli government’s courting of Shelley is a form of ‘Redwashing’ – the promotion of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas as a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of the Palestinian people.”

      • seafoid
        April 9, 2013, 11:27 pm

        “J. Kehaulani Kauanui (Kanaka Maoli) on the contested state of Israel. ”

        Awesome khaalis. Take your ‘disputed territories” and turn it around 180 degrees and stick it up your hasbara, baby. Coming from a native authority from halfway around the planet. John Trudell style.

        The native American insight into US settler colonialism and what it means in the context of Palestine is so valuable.

        “We weren’t lost and we didn’t need any book. They lied to us. They lied to themselves about lying to us.

        The rule of law is the law of rule. Their ego empire. Their cruelty of class. They look like treaty makers to us. Another promise to break. ”

        The Palestinians are Jesus, hanging from the cross . The Zionists are the Romans.

    • American
      April 9, 2013, 5:08 pm

      Yea, I was following that some time back…..Shelly, the current Navajo president, won’t last long…..all kind of groups in the tribe are coming out against him.

  3. talknic
    April 9, 2013, 9:49 am

    The State of Israel and its illegal activities outside of its Internationally recognized sovereign extent are surely the most divisive issues to have ever been driven between the Jewish people.

    That the state of the Jewish people and the Zionist movement tries at every step to circumvent and then ignores the Laws, UN Charter and relative conventions which were adopted in large part because of the treatment of Jews under the Nazi regime, should have been setting off VERY LOUD alarm bells long ago

    That it hasn’t is sadly reminiscent of the influence the Nazis had over the people of Germany

  4. eGuard
    April 9, 2013, 9:52 am

    Here is the Employment Tribunal’s judgement: link to judiciary.gov.uk (45 pages).

    In short: the complaints were brought before an Employment Tribunal, as they were claims of harassment by an ‘employer’ (that is, by the Union of which Fraser is a member).

    The Tribunal threw all ten complaints out, most of them because Fraser was found not being harassed (he was merely disappointed — as can happen in politics, or he was not even related to (!) or present at (!) the act of supposed harassment). The complaints were judged to be political discussion in a open society. Not a single fact of anti-Semitism was established.

    In the paragraphs the Tribunal indeed made some devastating comments about the low quality of witnesses (29 were called by Fraser), about using law for political ends, about the gargantuan scale of the case, about the dubious behaviour of star-lawyer Julius, etcetera. It is good reading.

    • hophmi
      April 9, 2013, 10:59 am

      “Memo to British Zionists; being anti-Zionist [is] as human as oxygen”

      That’s not what the decision says. The tribunal took pains to remind the parties that it was adjudicating a legal claim, not conducting an inquiry into antisemitism. The legal claim failed. It does not mean antisemitism isn’t present in the Union and in British society.

      • eGuard
        April 10, 2013, 5:44 pm

        hophmi: The legal claim failed.

        It did.

      • Djinn
        April 12, 2013, 2:27 am

        It failed because the ONLY evidence that this moron could come up with (despite exy legal representation) that the union displayed ANY anti-semitism was that it discussed boycotting ISRAEL (not Jews). The testimony provided by those supporting this nonsense was castigated as utterly false & misleading.

        Had he been able to actually point to any discrimination then it wouldn’t have failed.

        Hopefully a member of the union will put forward a motion to expel him now. If you don’t like a political position taken by your union you campaign against it, you don’t waste a shitload of members money on a bullshit lawsuit.

      • eGuard
        April 12, 2013, 5:23 am

        hophmi, you are obfuscating. The legal claim was: “harassment based on his protected characteristics of race (Jewish) and religion or belief (Jewish)” (para 11).

        The judgement was: none of the ten claims constitutes such harassment. Anti-Zionism or criticising Israel is not dicriminating, it is part of a democratic process.

        Conveniantly, you missed that point of the title. But if you know a case of anti-Semitism in the Union you could win, please step up. Star-lawyer Julius and his 29 witnesses could not.

  5. seafoid
    April 9, 2013, 10:37 am

    “But beyond the factual disputes in the case, the fundamental basis of the Fraser’s accusations was that Jews possess a strong feeling of affinity toward Israel that is an intrinsic part of their Jewish identity. Therefore, he claimed, when an organization to which they belong constantly attacks Israel in a manner they deem unfair, it constitutes a direct attack on their identity…”

    None of this would have happened if Israel was run as a democracy on the basis of the rule of law , within the 48 borders with zero colonialism.
    The settlers have destroyed this. And there is nobody in Galut to blame.

  6. seafoid
    April 9, 2013, 10:45 am

    This kind of exposure , with all of the effort Zionism has put into this case for so little reward, raises serious questions about the default Zionist business model. It’s not enough to silence people, destroy their careers or scream antisemitism . There is just too much bad news coming out of Israel for the old crap to work any longer.

    The memes are severely depleted although some may function in Hebrew and in the red states of the US . But they can really forget about Europe.

    Losing the UK is serious.

  7. Citizen
    April 9, 2013, 10:49 am

    I suggest readers here follow eGuard’s hot link to the Employment Tribunal’s judgement and read it in full.
    However, for those lacking time, here are a few key excerpts:

    48 Although, as we have explained, we do not regard jurisprudence under the 1997 Act as an aid to the interpretation of s26, some decisions under it contain valuable observations on wider points of principle. One such is the judgment of Tugendhat J in Trimingham-v-Associated Newspapers [2012] 4 All ER 717. At para 265, the learned judge said this:
    … pluralism requires members of society to tolerate the dissemination of information and views which they believe to be false and wrong. This can be difficult for people to understand, especially if the subject is an important one and they are so convinced of the rightness of their views that they believe that any different view can only be the result of prejudice. Welcoming pluralism cannot be justified by logic. But in a society where people in fact hold inconsistent views about important matters, pluralism is a practical necessity if that society is to be free.

    The debate on anti-Semitism and the Israel/Palestinian issue
    51 So long and terrible has been the persecution of the Jewish people through history that much learning has developed on the subject. The study of anti- Semitism has to an extent acquired its own terminology (for example, stereotypes tend to be referred to as ‘tropes’). Naturally, scholars in this discipline, as in any other, disagree. There is even a debate, which raises serious points, about how the term ‘anti-Semitism’ should be spelt. One controversial question much explored in this case is whether, and if so in what circumstances, criticism of the actions and policies of the modern State of Israel can properly be regarded as anti- Semitic. At one extreme, such criticism could be seen as intrinsically anti-Semitic simply because Israel is the Jewish State. The polar opposite view is that the actions and policies of a state are by their nature political, and accordingly criticism of acts by or at the behest of the Israeli government and institutions cannot be anti- Semitic. Between lie many intermediate positions. For some sympathetic to Israel, what is seen as disproportionate or excessive attention to the Israel/Palestine conflict may constitute or evidence anti-Semitism, conscious or unconscious. For others, the determining factor is the tone or content of the language used, in particular where what are seen as anti-Semitic tropes are employed. Many sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, while not excluding the possibility that some criticism of Israel may be actuated by anti-Jewish prejudice, complain that the charge of anti-Semitism is largely raised as a device to distract attention from injustices (as they see them) perpetrated in the name of Israel. Among the vast field of witnesses on the Claimant’s side, there was an interesting spread of opinions on where the line is, or should be, drawn. So, to take one of many examples, Mr Whine of the Community Security Trust, an organisation which provides security, training and advice for British Jews, did not consider that comparisons between Israel and apartheid South Africa were inherently anti- Semitic, whereas the Claimant did.
    18
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    52 The obvious difficulty confronting anyone seeking to grapple with this controversy is that the arguments cannot meet each other head on unless and until participants agree on what is meant by ‘anti-Semitism’. Without such common ground, questions put to witnesses for the Respondents seeking to elicit a view as to whether such-and-such a comment ‘was’ or ‘was not’ anti-Semitic lacked any meaning. As we have mentioned (and will more fully explain in due course), the Claimant bases his case in part on the rejection by the Respondents’ Congress (in 2011) of the ‘Working Definition’ of anti-Semitism produced by what was then the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (referred to above and below as the EUMC). He was content with that definition. Others disagreed, regarding it as exposing critics of Israel to the unfair accusation of anti-Semitic conduct. They pointed to the fact that the definition might be read as branding attacks on Zionism as anti-Semitic and precluding criticism of Israel save where ‘similar’ to that levelled against any other country. We cannot escape the gloomy thought that a definition acceptable to all interested parties may never be achieved and count ourselves fortunate that it does not fall to us to attempt to devise one.
    53 In his written opening Mr Julius identified a feature of modern anti-Semitic discourse as ‘good Jew / bad Jew’ analysis. This separates ‘bad’ Jews from ‘good’ Jews, the former being ‘bad’ because of some trait or characteristic associated with Jewishness, the latter being ‘good’ for their rejection of the former. No doubt Mr Julius is right that this device is employed, but it is certainly not limited to anti- Semitic discourse. It is the old ‘divide and rule’ trick which campaigners against racism in all forms have long warned against. That, as a debating tactic, it is alive and well was illustrated before us. When it was put to the Claimant that many Jewish members of the Respondents disagreed with his views, he protested that the ‘bad’ Jew label was being applied to him. Of course it was not: Mr White was simply fulfilling his professional duty of putting material facts. But at other points in his evidence, no doubt unwittingly, the Claimant was to be found employing the very device of which he complained, disparaging pro-Palestinian Jewish speakers as ‘not mainstream’. Professor Hillel-Ruben appeared to say something similar. No doubt a dispassionate analysis of the arguments and techniques of those who speak for the Palestinian cause within the union would rapidly turn up similar flaws in their reasoning. It is the stuff of political debate.
    54 Mr White made no apology for putting to one witness after another the proposition that there was a ‘range of views’ on the issues thrown up by the Israel/Palestine conflict and the limits of acceptable comment arising from it. Few could disagree, and none plausibly. That diversity of opinion is to be found within the Respondents’ Jewish membership, across their membership as a whole and in society at large. It was nowhere better illustrated than in the heated exchanges in the Guardian and Sunday Times newspapers following their publication of cartoons in November 2012 and January 2013 respectively. The former suggested that Israel enjoyed disproportionate influence in world politics; the latter denounced her treatment of Palestinians. Some attacked the cartoons as anti-Semitic; others replied that the critics were merely trying to silence legitimate political comment.

    55 Political engagement, within the Respondents as outside, is organised. Groups are formed to pursue particular interests. Coalitions develop in support of shared causes. We heard evidence about the work of three pressure groups
    19
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    concerned with the proposals for an academic boycott of Israel, one supportive and two against. The Claimant does much of his campaigning through the ‘Academic Friends of Israel’ (‘AFI’), an impressively-presented organisation with a PO Box address, a mission statement and a letterhead showing its patron as the Chief Rabbi and its advisory board as comprising a list of dignitaries including the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Despite appearances, as the Claimant engagingly told us, AFI consists of him, his wife and a computer. Like any experienced political activist, he is alive to the PR benefits of disseminating his own views in such a way as to seem to be speaking for a significant number of others.
    56 In union politics as elsewhere, effective use of the media is nowadays understood to be an important weapon. We will make one or two references below to the use of the press and the Internet by the Claimant and his supporters. Their opponents also perceive tactical advantage in managing publicity. In the course of the hearing before us, a letter was circulated on the Internet voicing support for the Respondents in this litigation, signed by over 50 Jewish members.

    74 Motion 70, which was also passed, expressed the view that the EUMC ‘Working Definition of anti-Semitism’ confused criticism of Israeli government policy and actions with “genuine” anti-Semitism and was being used to silence debate about Israel and Palestine on university and college campuses. Accordingly, the motion resolved that the union should make no further use of the Working Definition and dissociate itself from it, campaigning for open debate concerning Israel’s past history and current policy while continuing to combat all forms of racial or religious discrimination. We will return to this subject when dealing with complaint (9) below.

    125 In addition, it was not in dispute that the Respondents consulted the EHRC in connection with a leaflet on anti-Semitism which they produced in or about January 2012.
    Complaint (8): Behaviour at union meetings, conferences and committees
    126 The Claimant’s pleaded case was that a “culture of institutional anti- Semitism” had been manifest at meetings and conferences of the Respondents and their predecessors and that he and others had experienced public bullying, harassment and humiliation by reason of their Jewish identify (grounds of claim para 130). The pleaded case then lists three specific examples. The Respondents (grounds of resistance, paras 70-74) deny the general charge and deal one by one with the particular instances.
    127 The first example is of heckling said to have been experienced by Mr Stephen Soskin, a member, during a debate on Gaza and Palestine at the 2008 conference. It is alleged further that Mr Soskin was called a “racist” by another delegate as they were leaving the conference hall. The Claimant pleads that he was present and was appalled by the treatment of Mr Soskin. We find that Mr Soskin was, briefly, heckled. That intervention happened immediately after he had characterised the motion (proposed by a fellow member) as itself “racist”. The meeting was brought to order. We are unable on the evidence to make any finding as to whether the alleged further remark was made. Nor do we regard it as necessary to do so.
    128 The second pleaded event took place on Friday 4 December 2009 at a meeting at which Mr Masuku was a speaker. Mr Jonathan Hoffman, Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation, attempted to challenge Mr Masuku over the SAHRC ‘Finding’. The meeting was organised by BRICUP (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine). It was not a UCU meeting. Mr Tom Hickey (to whom we have already referred) was, as we understand it, the chairman. There was no suggestion that he was acting for, or in the name of the Respondents. The Claimant was not present. Mr Hoffman’s intervention resulted in loud booing and Mr Hickey made it clear that further contributions on the subject which he had attempted to raise would not be welcome.
    129 The third matter relied on by the Claimant arose at a one-day conference held at Brighton on 18 January 2010 entitled, “The Legacy of Hope: Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Resistance, Yesterday and Today”. The event marked National Holocaust Day. The conference was chaired by Ms Hunt and speakers included
    32
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    pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian voices. Among them was Dr Hirsh (already mentioned). He departed from the subject which he had agreed to address, and spoke instead about what he perceived as anti-Semitism within the Respondents and their predecessors, making specific allegations against a number of individuals (members and non-members) who were not present to respond and had no warning of what was going to be said about them. He alleged that the union was not concerned about anti-Semitism and was “the most complacent public institution in Britain” in that regard. Mr Hickey responded to Mr Hirsh’s remarks. He denounced them as unwarranted and false. The Claimant was not present at the meeting but received a report of it subsequently.

    135 The ‘Working Definition’ reads:
    Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
    These observations are added:
    In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity … examples of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel in taking into account the overall context could include:
     Denying their Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.
     Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
     Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.
     Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
     Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.
    However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic …

    Protected characteristics
    150 It seems to us that a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel or any similar sentiment cannot amount to a protected characteristic. It is not intrinsically a part of Jewishness and, even if it was, it could not be substituted for the pleaded characteristics, which are race and religion or belief. Accordingly, if and in so far as the Claimant seeks to base his claim on what might be termed a sub-characteristic (we are bound to say that we remain uncertain as to Mr Julius’s position on this point), we find that it is not open to him to do so. A separate matter, which we will address in relation to the individual claims, is whether the treatment complained of, or any of it, was ‘related to’ his Jewish race or his Jewish religion or belief.

    178 Lessons should be learned from this sorry saga. We greatly regret that the case was ever brought. At heart, it represents an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means. It would be very unfortunate if an exercise of this sort were ever repeated.
    179 We are also troubled by the implications of the claim. Underlying it we sense a worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression, principles which the courts and tribunals are, and must be, vigilant to protect (for a recent example, see Smith-v-Trafford Housing Trust [2012] EWHC 3221 (Ch)). The Claimant and his advisors would have done well to heed the observations of Mr Beloff and Mr Saini concerning the importance which the law attaches to political freedom of expression.
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    180 What makes this litigation doubly regrettable is its gargantuan scale. Given the case management history, the preparations of the parties and the sensitivity of the subject-matter, we thought (rightly or wrongly) that it was proper to permit the evidence to take the course mapped out for it, provided that the hearing did not overrun its allocation. But we reminded ourselves frequently that, despite appearances, we were not conducting a public inquiry into anti-Semitism but considering a legal claim for unlawful harassment. Viewed in that way, a hearing with a host of witnesses, a 20-day allocation and a trial bundle of 23 volumes can only be seen as manifestly excessive and disproportionate. The Employment Tribunals are a hard-pressed public service and it is not right that their limited resources should be squandered as they have been in this case. Nor, if (contrary to our view) it was proper to face them with any claim at all, should the Respondents have been put to the trouble and expense of defending proceedings of this order or anything like it.

    • Rusty Pipes
      April 10, 2013, 9:38 pm

      Thanks for the excepts, Citizen. A few sections caught my notice:

      1)

      In his written opening Mr Julius identified a feature of modern anti-Semitic discourse as ‘good Jew / bad Jew’ analysis. This separates ‘bad’ Jews from ‘good’ Jews, the former being ‘bad’ because of some trait or characteristic associated with Jewishness, the latter being ‘good’ for their rejection of the former. No doubt Mr Julius is right that this device is employed, but it is certainly not limited to anti- Semitic discourse. It is the old ‘divide and rule’ trick which campaigners against racism in all forms have long warned against. That, as a debating tactic, it is alive and well was illustrated before us. When it was put to the Claimant that many Jewish members of the Respondents disagreed with his views, he protested that the ‘bad’ Jew label was being applied to him. Of course it was not: Mr White was simply fulfilling his professional duty of putting material facts. But at other points in his evidence, no doubt unwittingly, the Claimant was to be found employing the very device of which he complained, disparaging pro-Palestinian Jewish speakers as ‘not mainstream’. Professor Hillel-Ruben appeared to say something similar. No doubt a dispassionate analysis of the arguments and techniques of those who speak for the Palestinian cause within the union would rapidly turn up similar flaws in their reasoning. It is the stuff of political debate.

      2)

      We heard evidence about the work of three pressure groups [] concerned with the proposals for an academic boycott of Israel, one supportive and two against. The Claimant does much of his campaigning through the ‘Academic Friends of Israel’ (‘AFI’), an impressively-presented organisation with a PO Box address, a mission statement and a letterhead showing its patron as the Chief Rabbi and its advisory board as comprising a list of dignitaries including the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Despite appearances, as the Claimant engagingly told us, AFI consists of him, his wife and a computer. Like any experienced political activist, he is alive to the PR benefits of disseminating his own views in such a way as to seem to be speaking for a significant number of others.

      3)

      Complaint (8): Behaviour at union meetings, conferences and committees
      126 The Claimant’s pleaded case was that a “culture of institutional anti- Semitism” had been manifest at meetings and conferences of the Respondents and their predecessors and that he and others had experienced public bullying, harassment and humiliation by reason of their Jewish identify (grounds of claim para 130). The pleaded case then lists three specific examples. The Respondents (grounds of resistance, paras 70-74) deny the general charge and deal one by one with the particular instances.
      127 The first example is of heckling said to have been experienced by Mr Stephen Soskin, a member, during a debate on Gaza and Palestine at the 2008 conference. It is alleged further that Mr Soskin was called a “racist” by another delegate as they were leaving the conference hall. The Claimant pleads that he was present and was appalled by the treatment of Mr Soskin. We find that Mr Soskin was, briefly, heckled. That intervention happened immediately after he had characterised the motion (proposed by a fellow member) as itself “racist”. The meeting was brought to order. We are unable on the evidence to make any finding as to whether the alleged further remark was made. Nor do we regard it as necessary to do so.
      128 The second pleaded event took place on Friday 4 December 2009 at a meeting at which Mr Masuku was a speaker. Mr Jonathan Hoffman, Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation, attempted to challenge Mr Masuku over the SAHRC ‘Finding’. The meeting was organised by BRICUP (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine). It was not a UCU meeting. Mr Tom Hickey (to whom we have already referred) was, as we understand it, the chairman. There was no suggestion that he was acting for, or in the name of the Respondents. The Claimant was not present. Mr Hoffman’s intervention resulted in loud booing and Mr Hickey made it clear that further contributions on the subject which he had attempted to raise would not be welcome.
      129 The third matter relied on by the Claimant arose at a one-day conference held at Brighton on 18 January 2010 entitled, “The Legacy of Hope: Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Resistance, Yesterday and Today”. The event marked National Holocaust Day. The conference was chaired by Ms Hunt and speakers included [] pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian voices. Among them was Dr Hirsh (already mentioned). He departed from the subject which he had agreed to address, and spoke instead about what he perceived as anti-Semitism within the Respondents and their predecessors, making specific allegations against a number of individuals (members and non-members) who were not present to respond and had no warning of what was going to be said about them. He alleged that the union was not concerned about anti-Semitism and was “the most complacent public institution in Britain” in that regard. Mr Hickey responded to Mr Hirsh’s remarks. He denounced them as unwarranted and false. The Claimant was not present at the meeting but received a report of it subsequently.

      4)

      What makes this litigation doubly regrettable is its gargantuan scale. Given the case management history, the preparations of the parties and the sensitivity of the subject-matter, we thought (rightly or wrongly) that it was proper to permit the evidence to take the course mapped out for it, provided that the hearing did not overrun its allocation. But we reminded ourselves frequently that, despite appearances, we were not conducting a public inquiry into anti-Semitism but considering a legal claim for unlawful harassment. Viewed in that way, a hearing with a host of witnesses, a 20-day allocation and a trial bundle of 23 volumes can only be seen as manifestly excessive and disproportionate. The Employment Tribunals are a hard-pressed public service and it is not right that their limited resources should be squandered as they have been in this case. Nor, if (contrary to our view) it was proper to face them with any claim at all, should the Respondents have been put to the trouble and expense of defending proceedings of this order or anything like it.

      On the final point I am reminded that part of the strategy of Zionist Lawfare actions is not only gaining legal punitive measures against Israel’s critics, but also to wear them down by wasting their time and resources. When this kind of action is pursued through the American courts, there is a possibility of penalizing pro-Israel groups by applying SLAP suit laws. Unfortunately, when Zionists bring these frivolous actions through government or civic organizations, like this British Union or like American universities (e.g. the numerous baseless complaints lodged by a Zionist UC lecturer), there are no consequences for their wasting the time and resources of an overtaxed organization.

      • Citizen
        April 13, 2013, 8:47 am

        @ Rusty Pipes
        All your points are on the mark. I once worked as a practicing trial lawyer. The cost of defending a lawsuit was always part of any consideration, and at all points along the judicial process from initial legal claim to ultimate appeal. Lawfare applies this consideration. In civil law, for example, in the USA, both the PI attorneys and the Insurance defense lawyers work on the principle of what is financially practical to pursue or not. Both industries make their bread and butter this way. The reality is a legal right or duty always has a price tag to bring to fruition.

  8. charlesfrith
    April 9, 2013, 10:59 am

    A rational decision. The insanity of smearing good people with anti Semitism has ruined the Jewish peoples claims to unfairness, and no longer means all that much. It used to. Not any more.

  9. piotr
    April 9, 2013, 11:11 am

    I was wondering about that: >>The tribunal wrote in its judgment that “a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel or any similar sentiment cannot amount to a protected characteristic. It is not intrinsically a part of Jewishness.”<<

    This is slightly weird. What IS an intrinsic part of Jewishness? And should it matter what is and what is not? Suppose that bull fighting is an intrinsic part of Spanishness. It was close to truth not so long time ago. Or fox hunting an intrinsic part of "rural Englishness". Actually, according to a program I have seen on TV, inhabitants of Faeroe Islands view annual hunt on pilot whales as an intrinsic part of their heritage. And of course there is plenty of activism opposing all those.

    By the way, Brits are quite crazy about animal rights, to the point that perhaps anti-Israeli activists should document that chicken in Israel are treated way below EU standards. And if we apply the rationale to those standard to Palestinians, hm. You see, the old standards on chicken cages were altered because a panel established that these cages did not allow the chicken to engage in a list of several behaviors that are essentials for chicken to be happy. Israel claims that various activities (like aspects of Gaza blockade) are OK because they do not create "humanitarian crisis". But they fail the "chicken standard".

    • MHughes976
      April 10, 2013, 12:45 pm

      Yes, I was like piotr slightly disturbed by the fact that our (I a retired UCU member) lawyer often pressed the other side’s witnesses to acknowledge that there are many anti-Zionist Jewish people in this world. I can’t say I blame him for making this true and obvious point but there is a slight hint, no more, that if there is an idea around which everyone of a certain racial or religious group is united there is a limit to the degree to which that idea can be denounced.
      Another worrying feature is the enormous cost inflicted on UCU even when it has done nothing wrong. Where there are unlimited funds on one side of litigation the other side can sometimes be browbeaten into submission even by attacks that have no chance of succeeding.
      Mikeo is right to say that the Haaretz article misinforms Israeli readers, making them think that British law has been changed to give more scope to anti-Semitism. In fact it has been changed to tighten the noose – you can be clobbered for activity that is not intentionally ‘on the grounds of’ your group affiliation but is merely ‘related to’ it.

  10. eGuard
    April 9, 2013, 11:25 am

    Haaretz: The panel [...] accepted UCU’s version of all the events in question, and found that most of the claims were no longer valid in any case, due to a change in the laws.

    Wrong, in fact it is opposite. First there was the Race Relations Act 1976 (which would check for direct or indirect discrimination, “on grounds of’” race etc.). It was replaced by Equality Act 2010 (which would test for acts “related to” race etc, so this is a less strict requirement, and it helps Fraser’s case).

    First of all, the change of law in 2010 did not “invalidate” older complained acts. Complaints of harassment happening before 2010 would have to be checked against the earlier law. Now only complaint no. 5, happening in 2009, survived the earlier shift of actually possibly being harasssment for the Next step taw. That complaint failed under the old law, and could survive under the 2010 law had that one be applicable.

    The Tribunal then stated that complaint no. 5 was entered late without reason (18 months where 3 months was the limit). See paragraphs 170-176 in the judgement.

  11. Kathleen
    April 9, 2013, 12:09 pm

    ot Adam, Phil think you will be interested in the latest by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett over at Going to Tehran about how they have been pulverized by the US MSM for their newest book, views and efforts to inform the American public about the facts on the ground with Iran. Incredible piece
    Suppressing Reality-Based Analysis: Chomsky, the Leveretts, and America’s Iran Debate
    link to goingtotehran.com
    “What is at play here is this destructive dynamic that the more one dissents from political orthodoxies, the more personalized, style-focused and substance-free the attacks become. That’s because once someone becomes sufficiently critical of establishment pieties, the goal is not merely to dispute their claims but to silence them. That’s accomplished by demonizing the person on personality and style grounds to the point where huge numbers of people decide that nothing they say should even be considered, let alone accepted.”

    By referencing Glenn’s article here, we do not mean to compare ourselves to Noam Chomsky—among other reasons, whatever abuse we have suffered from our critics hardly comes close to the accumulated ad hominem vituperation directed at Prof. Chomsky for decades. But we want to make the analytically crucial point that much of the critical reaction to Going to Tehran and our other work on Iran and U.S.-Iranian relations—including attacks on our character, our motivations, our personalities, our “style”—is, in important respects, reminiscent of the assaults launched against Prof. Chomsky over the years. And such attacks are directed against us for much the same reason that they have been directed against Chomsky—as Glenn puts it so well, to enable “the substance of [our] critique to be avoided in lieu of alleged personality flaws.”

    Consider just a few examples of mainstream media treatment of us and our book:

    –Expatriate Iran “experts” whose own analytic records are marked by serial misreadings of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy and internal politics are given platforms in mainstream outlets like The New Republic, Survival (the journal of the International Institute for Strategic Studies), and the Wall Street Journal—not to take on, in any intellectually serious way, our historically documented, thoroughly referenced assessments of these matters, but to dismiss us as “morally deformed” and “apologists” for evil. (Anti-Islamic Republic Iranian expatriates aren’t the only ones to label us as “apologists.” No less than Dennis Ross describes us this way—and, to be fair, what American knows more about explaining away another country’s crimes than Dennis Ross—as has The New Republic in its own editorials.)”

  12. quercus
    April 9, 2013, 12:09 pm

    Do these very foolish people realize, or perhaps they do and do not care, what something so very stupid and silly such as this would mean in the future? You could presumably have black folks claiming it’s racist to speak about the state of countries in Africa, people of Irish ancestry, claiming the same about criticism of Ireland, and on and on.

    I’ve just today watched the 1997 interview of George Carlin by Jon Stewart. Carlin speaks about how he likes individuals but dislikes groups, and I agree with that sentiment. This kind of stupidity is an excellent example of “group think” mentality and it is an unctuous and despicable characteristic at its best. When does all this becomes tyrannical?

    • MK_Ultra
      April 10, 2013, 6:47 pm

      When does all this becomes tyrannical?

      If you ask the Palestinians, I’m pretty sure they’d tell you that it already did. About 70 years ago.

  13. Kathleen
    April 9, 2013, 12:17 pm

    What a powerful image above for breaking the silence

  14. seafoid
    April 9, 2013, 12:24 pm

    Things are all upside down in the US

    link to electronicintifada.net

  15. David Samel
    April 9, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Can you imagine a UK Palestinian group seeking to ban any pro-Israel language or activity on the ground that an affinity to full and equal rights in their homeland is an intrinsic part of their identity as Palestinians, and that support for Israel necessarily denies such rights? They’d have a much better case than these jokers, but still would be laughed out of court. It’s nice to see this judge arriving at such a common sense decision, but it’s also lucky – judges make really dumb decisions all the time, and who knows what another one would have ruled.

  16. RJL
    April 9, 2013, 1:02 pm

    Whatever the details of that court ruling, the fact is anti-semitism and anti-zionism are overlapping circles. Where? Denying the historical ties of Jews to the Holy Land, denying there were 2 Temples on Mt. Moriah (temple mount), denying today’s Jews have ancestral links to each other (sephardim and ashkenazim)and to the ancient Israelites, denying the Jewish prayer books mention a return to zion and Jerusalem, and the Temple, repeatedly. Never mind the Holocaust denial which permeates arab societies, and some European ones, as well as the blood libels. Oh yes, Israeli Jews harvest the organs of innocent Palestinians, and then they use their blood for baking matzos. No, this isn’t directly tied into the BDS movement, of course, but many of the Palestinians who are involved in BDS do believe these screeds, if you’d ask them. They aren’t the revered liberals you pretend they are. LOL, guys.

    • Talkback
      April 10, 2013, 2:26 pm

      RJL says: “anti-semitism and anti-zionism are overlapping circles. Where? Denying the historical ties of Jews to the Holy Land, denying there were 2 Temples on Mt. Moriah (temple mount), denying today’s Jews have ancestral links to each other (sephardim and ashkenazim)and to the ancient Israelites, denying the Jewish prayer books mention a return to zion and Jerusalem, and the Temple, repeatedly. Never mind the Holocaust denial which permeates arab societies, and some European ones, …”

      Wunderful. Let me try this, too:
      Denying the historical and legal ties of Palestinians to historic Palestine. Denying that the citizens of Palestine had the right to determine their future goverment in 1947-1948 by majority decision and that it doesn’t include more than half of the Jews who weren’t citizens. Denying that the international community mentions the Palestinians right to return, repeatedly. Never mind the Nakba denial which permeates the Israeli society and some Jewish diaspora communities.

      So are you the antipalestinian equivalent to an “antisemite”, RJL? Or are your examples of antisemitism just laughable and you – like so many others – can’t even explain why they are examples for antisemitism?

      “as well as the blood libels. … and then they use their blood for baking matzos … but many of the Palestinians who are involved in BDS do believe these screeds, if you’d ask them. They aren’t the revered liberals you pretend they are.”

      Libel is libel, right?

      “Oh yes, Israeli Jews harvest the organs of innocent Palestinians,”

      Prof. Yehuda Hiss – former head of Israel’s forensic institute – did. See
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Eva Smagacz
        April 10, 2013, 6:37 pm

        I seem to remember that Yehuda Hiss has been re-instated?…..

      • Talkback
        April 11, 2013, 8:00 pm

        Eva Smagacz says: “I seem to remember that Yehuda Hiss has been re-instated?…..”

        “He REMAINED the chief pathologist of the Institute and REGAINED his position as director before being dismissed by the Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman on Oct 15 2012.”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

    • MK_Ultra
      April 10, 2013, 6:43 pm

      … denying the Jewish prayer books mention a return to zion and Jerusalem, and the Temple, repeatedly. …

      According to Rabbi Yirmiyahu Cohen, a true Torah Jew for whom I have a great deal of respect unlike ~hint, hint~ AIPAC trolls, y’all are going to hell and here’s why:

      It was through reading Rabbi Teitelbaum’s books that I became aware of the true contradiction between Zionism and Judaism. The Talmud says that ever since the beginning of exile, Jews are forbidden to conquer the Holy Land, or to fight wars against the non-Jewish nations. They are also forbidden to take physical action toward their redemption. Thus, according to Jewish law a Jewish state is forbidden to exist. It must be dismantled and the land must be ruled by a non-Jewish government.

      Granted, I’m no god (although my dog thinks I am) but if I were, I’d damn y’all to hell for all eternity for your blatant disobedience of my will. So, just in case you’re afraid of your deity’s wrathful vengeance, you may want to check this out and educate yourself before it’s too late. It’s all here:

      http://www.truetorahjews.com

    • eGuard
      April 11, 2013, 6:36 am

      RJL: Whatever the details of that court ruling, … — you still don’t get it, do you?

      The court (Tribunal) explicitly says that those “Jewish” ties to Israel are not part of Jewish religion or race, so they are not protected by harassment law or discrimination law. They are part of political (free) speech.

    • mikeo
      April 11, 2013, 6:49 am

      “Denying the historical ties of Jews to the Holy Land”

      link to american-buddha.com

      “denying there were 2 Temples on Mt. Moriah (temple mount)”

      link to wrmea.org

      “denying today’s Jews have ancestral links to each other (sephardim and ashkenazim)and to the ancient Israelites”

      link to haaretz.com

      Archaeology and genetic science are Anti-Semitic! Who knew :)

  17. amigo
    April 9, 2013, 1:31 pm

    Now, just wait for the inevitable accusations of all brits are anti semites.

    Yawn. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  18. yourstruly
    April 9, 2013, 1:51 pm

    so a belief in the zionist project or an attachment to israel is not intrinsically a part of jewishness

    antizionism, therefore?

    not antisemitic

  19. amigo
    April 9, 2013, 1:53 pm

    One lawyer active in Jewish affairs, Jonathan Goldberg QC, commented: “This enormous but legally flawed lawsuit was an act of epic folly by all concerned which will negatively impact our community for a long time to come. You only bring such showcase litigation if you are certain to win.”

    Two points,

    1, These actions are serving to open up the whole debate about Zionism and it,s ugly face.

    2, Be certain, you will never win.You are trying to defend the indefensible.

  20. James Canning
    April 9, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Common sense would tell one that opposing Zionist drive to oppress the Palestinians is not “anti-Semitic”. Or even “anti-Israel”, for that matter.

  21. pabelmont
    April 9, 2013, 2:08 pm

    Among other fragments above: “without for a minute actually considering what the Jewish state has become; a brutish occupier.” Yes, Zionists who also believe in the tooth fairy are likely to put their heads (and their teeth) under a pillow rather than see what Israel has become.

    But — sputter, sputter — how about what Israel was from the very start? Was it not also, then, already, a brutish occupier (and a brutish expeller and exiler)? The tooth-fairy-Zionists don’t know (or won’t admit) any of these relevant facts, either, I dare say, and WHY? Because Israel has become part of the very fabrik of their Jewish lives, etc., ad naus., and one does not admit great wrongs about part of one’s community’s very fabrik, heaven forfend.

    • MK_Ultra
      April 10, 2013, 6:33 pm

      I’ll dare to advance the theory that what Isreal has become is not by accident but by deliberate, well-calculated design. Like you, I can’t see the difference between what it was at the beginning and what it is now. It appears to be a seamless progression of a well-crafted plan of deceit, theft and treachery. If anything, they should be proud of their accomplishments. No other group — ethnic, religious or otherwise — has ever been able to accomplish what these con artists have.

  22. DICKERSON3870
    April 9, 2013, 4:36 pm

    RE: Witness the debacle within the British Zionist establishment, via Haaretz, and the increasingly desperate ways that so-called leaders there will do anything to defend Israeli policies [i.e. they will do anything to defend their "comforting fantasies/illusions"*, "myths"**, and/or "comforting lies"*** - see below, J.L.D.] without for a minute actually considering what the Jewish state has become; a brutish occupier.“ ~ Antony Loewenstein

    *JASON HIRTHLER:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Gustave Le Bon, a pioneer of mass psychology, once noted that the masses are especially susceptible to comforting fantasies, and that, “Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.” . . .

    SOURCE – link to counterpunch.org

    ** IRA CHERNUS:

    [EXCERPT] . . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around, that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
    But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.”
    Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all this. . .

    SOURCE – link to commondreams.org
    ALSO SEE – “Iranophobia: The Panic of the Hegemons”, by Ira Chernus, Tikkun magazine, November/December 2010
    LINK – link to tikkun.org

    *** PHIL ROCKSTROH:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Often, a comforting lie can be as insidious as an outright prevarication. Building a worldview based on comforting lies translates into a habitual muting of the senses — a white noise of the mind takes hold… We claim we know who we are. We believe the fictions we spin regarding our identity and our interactions with the world. . .
    . . . Propagandists, corporate and political, know this: They know how to manipulate those resistant to self-awareness, by plying them with flattering lies and pummeling them with contrived fears. . .
    . . . Yet, you cannot force truth upon the deceived. If a deluded soul is fortunate enough to stumble upon it, he will have found it beneath the rubble of his collapsed convictions. His most treasured, now shattered, verities will glint like shards in moonlight, as irascible circumstance has forced him to question all he insisted was true.
    This is the means by which wars are avoided. Here is located the point of departure where a subversion of a corrupt order begins. . .

    SOURCE – link to commondreams.org

  23. American
    April 9, 2013, 5:04 pm

    ”I particularly like the bit at the end, where the judge told the plaintiff if he doesn’t want to get his feelings hurt, he should avoid political debate:”

    LOL….so did I.
    The whole basis of the lawsuit was ridiculous…..if you’re a Jew and subject to hearing or even more ridiculous, even knowing about political criticism of Israel it’s a anti semitic assault on your Jewish self and feelings?
    How about N Koreans, is their N Korean identity under bigot assault by hearing all this criticism of N Korea going around?
    Hopefully this ruling will put an end to this kind of nonsense in UK courts at least.

  24. Keith
    April 9, 2013, 6:04 pm

    Perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Zionism. Zionists aggressively seek it out, and when unable to locate sufficient quantities, foment it through actions like this lawsuit. Zionism is to Jewish tribalism what Classical Judaism once was.

    “Therefore, the real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past. The most important part of such a critique must be detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.” (Israel Shahak, 1994)

  25. Blank State
    April 9, 2013, 7:18 pm

    “British tribunal says anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism”

    Good. Perhaps they’ll clue-in Rosenberg on that fact.

  26. ToivoS
    April 9, 2013, 8:02 pm

    Gabriel at JSF has been covering this story extensively for the last week. This is really significant in Great Britain. It is a serious defeat of the Israeli supporters there. There is something else that gives it international significance. This has to do with the definition of antisemitism. The Zionists were trying to get what they claimed was the EU definition incorporated. (Electronic Intifada has gone into great detail debunking the claim that there is any such thing as an EU definition). Anyway this case helps put that nonsense to rest.

    It is important here because something close to the so called EU definition has made some progress in the California legislature and in the official DoS definition (as formulated by the SPECIAL ENVOY TO MONITOR AND COMBAT ANTI-SEMITISM: link to state.gov). These different stories have been the subject of a number of stories here at MW.

    Hopefully this precedent from GB may give some political traction to purge these definitions from official endorsement here in the US.

  27. RoHa
    April 9, 2013, 9:42 pm

    “Jews possess a strong feeling of affinity toward Israel that is an intrinsic part of their Jewish identity. Therefore, he claimed, when an organization to which they belong constantly attacks Israel in a manner they deem unfair, it constitutes a direct attack on their identity…”

    My response to such a claim is “Tough sh!t. Either suck it up or change your identity.”

    (And does “identity” have a legal meaning, such that it is illegal to “attack” and “identity”?)

    “a standard anti-Semitic ploy of dividing Jews into good-Jew/bad-Jew categories”

    So is it anti-Semitic to say that some Jews are good, or is it anti-Semitic to say that some Jews are bad?

  28. gingershot
    April 10, 2013, 12:00 am

    Zionism needs to die the death of a thousand legal deaths

  29. K Renner
    April 10, 2013, 12:04 am

    “Anti Zionism is not anti-Semitism”.
    Well it took them long enough to rule that officially. Good on them, regardless.

  30. yourstruly
    April 10, 2013, 2:37 am

    since perpetuating the violent domination & removal of the palestinian people from their homeland

    like what the european settler colonials did to native americans

    examples, each, of ongoing genocide

    the former, for over a century

    the latter, for more than 500 years

    & given, former tribal presidents & chairpersons are going to be put on trial for colluding with the occupiers –

    members of the jury, on the charge of colluding with the former occupiers in their attempt to erase palestine from the map

    how do you find the defendents?

    guilty as charged, your honor

  31. Ramzi Jaber
    April 10, 2013, 9:07 am

    That is great news indeed. Our struggel for freedom and independence is against Zionism, not Jews. In fact, a continuously increasing number of Jews are pro Palestinian.

    Change is coming. the question is: will Israel allow for peace to take hold based on 2SS or, as I now believe, is it a tad too late for that leaving 1S1P1V (one state, one person, one vote) as the only solution?

  32. mirnamiranda
    April 10, 2013, 9:58 am

    Truly great news! One step at a time, Zionists are unmasked as they hide behind the facade of Judaism & true torah Jews. Zionism has no place in a free civil society & in the world of humanity. The time for open debate is now or never!

  33. EUR1069
    April 10, 2013, 1:15 pm

    “Jews possess a strong feeling of affinity toward Israel that is an intrinsic part of their Jewish identity.” How laughable. The true Jewish identity is decidedly anti-Zionist.

    Here’s my man Chief Rabbi Beck on the subject:

    • Citizen
      April 10, 2013, 6:07 pm

      Well, what other state, let alone nuclear-armed state in the whole wide world, brands itself as the present and future nation state of a singular religio-ethnic group–no matter where they were born, reared, etc? What are the other states suppose to do with such a state, a state which advertises that any Jews born outside its borderless land are claimed as that land’s once, present, and future citizens?

      I see no end to this tension, do you?

  34. RJL
    April 10, 2013, 1:58 pm

    Keith-the late professor Shahak. He wasn’t the first or last Israeli, or Jewish, professor, and one who didn’t cut himself off from his people, to examine Jewish attitudes towards non-Jews. I will add one relevant comment, which you couldn’t understand, that today’s attitudes of traditional Jews towards the non-Jewish world, though not to individuals, is shaped by the post Holocaust ( and post arab countries eviction of Jewish citizens starting even before 1948) realities. As my late east European, Holocaust survivor mom explained to me, she grew up with non-Jews, some with whom she was very close (my late hassidic aunt from Brooklyn sent money for many years to one such neighbor who was very poor living under communism), but after the war, such relationships were no longer natural. My late dad, also a survivor, had a “friend from birth” report on his hiding place (my dad had always trusted this neighbor)to the local nazis/collaborators when they came to round up all the Jewish men from his town, and he threatened to use his pistol if my dad didn’t hurry up. Shock didn’t begin to explain his surprise. Sorry, I think there are many fine people out there, of any faith (or non faith), but to trust implicitly? Who said, trust everyone, but cut the deck of cards yourself? Good day, y’all.

  35. thetumta
    April 10, 2013, 8:39 pm

    If I was a Zionist in the West, I would be packing my bags to make “Aliya” and not look back. But I’m some other “ist” and I am packing my bags because being an American Patriot has become a losing proposition.

    So sad, time to move on.

    Hej! Tumta

  36. EUR1069
    April 10, 2013, 11:01 pm

    Now this is what I call Jewish identity vs. a Zionist one.

  37. eGuard
    April 11, 2013, 6:26 am

    Indeed the statement is about this case. But its meaning is wider: it also says that the claimants could not make that distinction themselves.

    Neither can you. The JCPA link you give has this opening line: Anti-Zionism has become the most dangerous and effective form of anti-Semitism in our time. Exactly that is what the Tribunal has rejected, exactly that is what the Zionist claimants got wrong. Good luck in English court.

  38. Talkback
    April 11, 2013, 8:52 am

    “Israel that is an intrinsic part of their Jewish identity”

    Antisemites work with the assumption that something is an “intrinsic part of Jewish identity” (and that it is bad). They don’t attack Israel for its crimes primarily, but to prove an “intrinsic” badness of Jews as such. Fraser uses the same antisemitic logic. Rather than seeing that Israel’s crimes are attacked by people (who are not antisemitic), he equates Israel including its crimes with Jewish identity – Jews as such.

    • ryan-o
      April 12, 2013, 3:26 pm

      Let’s pretend that a statement like that could be true (and it’s not true, but let’s pretend). If a nation state really was an intrinsic part of somebody’s identity, does that somehow make it immune to criticism? This looks more like a legal tactic to me. Because by using the “identity” excuse from a legal standpoint, they are trying to re-direct rational criticism of a nation state toward Jewish identity. Therefore it would fall under the discrimination legal umbrella and all criticism would be against the law.

      It’s not a true statement at all and I doubt they believe it themselves or even care if it’s what haters are guilty of. This is all about legal definitions and attempting to make criticism of Israel a form of discrimination in order to silence it.

  39. Sumud
    April 11, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I don’t Robert Wistrich to be a credible character. He effectively prohibits BDS as a tactic because it reminds some people of the Nazi boycott in 1933.

    From your 2004 link:
    Nevertheless, I believe that the more radical forms of anti-Zionism that have emerged with renewed force in recent years do display unmistakable analogies to European anti-Semitism immediately preceding the Holocaust. One of the more striking symptoms has been the call for a scientific, cultural, and economic boycott of Israel that arouses some grim associations and memories among Jews of the Nazi boycott that began in 1933.

    Sorry – boycott, divestment and sanctions are widely used non-violent tactics and dainty zionists deserve no special consideration here, especially not as they have their jackboot planted firmly on a Palestinian neck.

    Wistrich’s argument is as ridiculous as wanting to ban trains since jews were transported to concentrations camps by train. Obviously, absurd.

    • Talkback
      April 14, 2013, 7:40 am

      Sumud says: “I don’t Robert Wistrich to be a credible character. He effectively prohibits BDS as a tactic because it reminds some people of the Nazi boycott in 1933..”

      According to Wistrich’s pseudologic the Jewish boycott against Germany was only a form of Anti-Germanism and expression of hatred against Germans as such and not a protest against their racist policy towards Jews.

  40. hammersmith
    April 12, 2013, 9:05 am

    The court decision is a relief, but that the court had to should worry us all. If the Zionist could bring it off–equating anti-Zionism and anti-Israel sentiment with antisemitism and bring the force of law down on whoever–they would not hesitate to do it.

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