Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chairman, Gideon Falter, and Director of Investigations and Enforcement, Stephen Silverman, have today testified against Alison Chabloz.

Ms Chabloz faces three charges under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 following a private prosecution brought by Campaign Against Antisemitism after the authorities failed to act. Once we had started the private prosecution and won a judicial review against against a decision not to prosecute a separate case, the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take over our private prosecution of Ms Chabloz. Due to strict deadlines for bringing prosecutions, had Campaign Against Antisemitism not brought a private prosecution, the Crown Prosecution Service would have missed its chance to take action against Ms Chabloz.

In the morning, the court was played Ms Chabloz’s songs which include lyrics such as:

  • “Did the Holocaust ever happen? Was it just a bunch of lies? Seems that some intend to pull the wool over our eyes. Eternal wandering liars haven’t got a clue, and when it comes to usury, victim’s always me and you.”
  • “Now Auschwitz, holy temple, is a theme park just for fools, the gassing zone a proven hoax, indoctrination rules.”
  • “Tell us another, come on, my brother, reap it, the cover, for tribal gain. Safe in our tower, now is the hour, money and power, we have no shame.”
  • “History repeats itself, no limit to our wealth, thanks to your debts we’re bleeding you dry. We control your media, control all your books and TV, with the daily lies we’re feeding, suffering victimisation. Sheeple have no realisation, you shall pay, all the way, until the break of day.”

The songs are partly set to Jewish music such as Hevenu Shalom Aleichem and Hava Nagila. As the songs were played, Ms Chabloz mouthed or sang along to them and her boisterous crowd of supporters cheered and applauded until District Judge John Zani warned that they would be ejected from the public gallery if they continued.

In the afternoon, Mr Falter and Mr Silverman separately gave testimony unpicking Ms Chabloz’s lyrics, explaining their antisemitic references, as well as explaining the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Adrian Davies, Ms Chabloz’s barrister, who also represented the antisemitic Holocaust denier David Irving and himself held leadership positions in two far-right parties, argued that Ms Chabloz was merely expressing an offensive but legitimate opinion on the veracity of the accounts of Holocaust survivors. Both witnesses from Campaign Against Antisemitism, who are the only prosecution witnesses, rebutted any notion that Ms Chabloz was attempting to query or “satirise” history, pointing out that that the songs claimed that Jews have fabricated the Holocaust in order to perpetrate an horrific fraud against mankind, causing many of the world’s ills for their own gain.

Whilst Campaign Against Antisemitism brought its private prosecution because the authorities had failed to act and due to a consistent failure by the Crown Prosecution Service to adequately tackle antisemitic crime, we could not be more satisfied with the professional excellence of the expert prosecuting team from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The trial will continue on 7th March. Until the trial concludes, Campaign Against Antisemitism and the media are limited in what we can report about the case.

American banking giant, JP Morgan, has embarrassed Google by developing a system for stopping its ads appearing alongside hate video on Google’s YouTube platform that is better than Google’s own solution.

JP Morgan pulled its advertising from YouTube in March 2017 after it discovered that its ads were appearing alongside inappropriate content.

Google-owned video sharing website YouTube has come under criticism from politicians and advertisers after American banking giant JP Morgan develops its own software to remove advertising from questionable material on the platform.

JP Morgan’s Executive Director of Media and Channel Strategy, Jake Davidow, said: “When news broke about ads finding their way next to horrific pieces of content, we paused our efforts and pulled our ads from YouTube.”

The bank has since developed its own algorithms that use YouTube’s own application programming interface (API) to filter channels on the platform based on comments, subscribers, video count, topics, language and more, using seventeen different filters in total.

Since using the algorithms, JP Morgan has identified 3,000 “safe” channels out of a potential five million on YouTube.

Since developing the technology, JP Morgan has reinstated its advertising with YouTube but the matter has generated controversy with journalists questioning why the company had to take matters into its own hands, highlighting the shortcomings of Google’s own safeguarding systems.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is currently collaborating with Google in efforts to clean up antisemitic hatred on YouTube. We are currently looking for a team to help us flag antisemitic videos using special tools provided by Google. If you would like to join the team, please go to antisemitism.uk/volunteer.

Image credit: Gideon Benari

The President of the National Union of Students (NUS), Shakira Martin, has apologised to Jewish students for the release of an NUS survey which asked respondents to select their religion from a long list of religions that omitted Judaism. This is not the first time that NUS has missed out its Jewish members and that Ms Martin has apologies: in July 2017, in a different survey of students, Judaism was also notably absent.

However, Ms Martin acknowledged the omission immediately, directly communicating with aggrieved students on Twitter before tweeting a heartfelt apology video, accepting that she was “accountable” and recognising “Jewish students should be pissed”. She assured students that this “would not be happening again”, “actions speak louder than words, when I said I was gonna stamp out all forms of antisemitism I’m not giving no lip service.” She acknowledged that this was a repeated issue, stating that “The first time it happened, I could tweet and say sorry,But the second time, it’s unacceptable, and I just want to reassure the whole Jewish community that I will be dealing with this.”

Ms Martin went on to discuss the context of these incidents, which came following an extremely difficult time for Jewish students under Ms Martin’s predecessor, the widely-scorned Malia Bouattia. Ms Martin was direct, saying: “I totally understand after the years – but especially last year, before my presidency, that Jewish students had – that this type of thing is not acceptable.”You will not not see Judaism on an NUS form again. I will be making sure that we will be reviewing all our forms, and that this is on everyone’s form, and that this [situation] will not happen again.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism thanks Ms Martin for her continued efforts to support Jewish students and rebuild relationships between NUS and the Jewish community. We recognise that Ms Martin has immediately responded to this latest incident with a strong and sincere apology, and we believe her when she says that this will be the last time that she has to apologise for this regrettable omission.

In a strange twist of events, a group set up to protest the expulsion of Labour members for alleged antisemitism has begun expelling members for, antisemitism.

Labour Against the Witch-Hunt (LAW) was launched in October 2017 as a group protesting expulsion of Labour party members following antisemitism claims. It swiftly won the support of the Labour Party Marxists group.

However, LAW has now reportedly expelled one of its founders, Gerry Downing, for antisemitism. Mr Downing is planning a protest meeting to coincide with a LAW meeting on Saturday this week in an effort to be readmitted. Both the protest meeting and the LAW meeting will take place in the same pub.

Mr Downing was suspended by Labour in 2016 after he tweeted a link to an article by the far-left group, Socialist Fight, a group he is involved with, which encouraged Marxist Labour members to “address the Jewish question” as well as claiming the “Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie” had “played a vanguard role for the capitalist offensive against the workers”. Shortly following this, he was expelled from the Labour party after David Cameron quoted a blog by Mr Downing during Prime Minister’s Questions, in which he had written about 9/11, suggesting violence against the United States is “progressive, no matter how distorted its actions are, and must never be ‘condemned’”.

Mr Downing was dismissed from LAW shortly after it was established and told not to attend meetings.

Mr Downing has now set up his own group called Reject Bogus Left Antisemitism, and used its Facebook claim to accuse LAW of wanting a “witch hunt [against] genuine anti-Zionists and revolutionary socialists”.

Some of LAW’s key aims include ending the practice of automatically ending or suspending Labour membership following claims of antisemitism and demanding “the Labour Party rejects the International Definition of Antisemitism, claiming that it “conflates antisemitism with anti-Zionism and support for the rights of the Palestinian people”.

At its meeting this Saturday, LAW will debate a motion demanding that anyone suspended by the Labour Party over claims of antisemitism have their membership reinstated. They will also be motioning that Labour’s own Compliance Unit, which investigates disciplinary matters including antisemitism, be abolished. The meeting will be addressed by Ken Loach, who declared on the BBC during last year’s Labour Party Conference that allegations of antisemitism in the Party were a fallacy “without validation or any evidence” despite the fact that Campaign Against Antisemitism had just published detailed evidence.

Amongst the foremost members of LAW are notorious antisemites including Jackie Walker, and also Tony Greenstein who has organised a petition calling for the Charity Commission to shut down Campaign Against Antisemitism by deregistering it as a charity and is currently crowdfunding in an attempt to sue us for calling him a “notorious antisemite”.

Counter-terrorism police in the West Midlands arrested six people today on suspicion of being members of the neo-Nazi terrorist organisation, National Action, a group with deep rooted antisemitic ideologies.

National action was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in December 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others. Under section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000, membership of a proscribed terrorist organisation is a criminal offence.

The suspects arrested were a 21-year-old man from Banbury, a 24-year-old man from Stockport, two 26-year-old men from Cambridge and Leicester, a 28-year-old man from Wolverhampton and a 37-year-old woman also from Banbury.

A number of properties are being searched in connection with the arrests and all suspects are currently in police custody.

Police have stated that all of the arrests were pre-planned and based on intelligence gathered by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit in conjunction with other counter-terrorism units around the country, and there was no threat to public safety.

In September last year, police arrested serving soldiers on suspicion of membership of National Action as well as arresting a number of civilians in a nationwide swoop. In November last year a martial arts instructor was dismissed on suspicion of involvement with National Action.

Witnesses are being sought after a Jewish man from Golders Green was verbally abused by another man on Brent Street, Hendon.

On Tuesday, 26th December 2017, at approximately 22:20, a man described as an adult black male approached a Jewish charedi man who was walking with his toddler, and asked him whether he was Jewish. When the victim replied that he was, the suspect said that he himself was Muslim. The victim said: “OK”, at which point the suspect shouted: “F***ing Jew.”

Shomrim North West London, a Jewish community volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, provided assistance to the victim and reported the incident to the police.

Anybody who witnessed the incident or has information which could aid the investigation should contact the Metropolitan Police Service by dialing 101, citing reference CAD6265/26/12/2017.

In an extraordinary speech at the Limmud festival on Tuesday, Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities and Science has urged universities to halt so-called no-platform policies which are used to deny extremists a platform at universities. Mr Johnson said: “However well-intentioned, the proliferation of such safe spaces, the rise of no-platforming, the removal of ‘offensive’ books from libraries and the drawing up of ever more extensive lists of banned ‘trigger’ words are undermining the principle of free speech in our universities.” Whilst we can sympathise, we are very concerned that Mr Johnson is taking action which will make it even harder to ban antisemitic extremists from our campuses.

Mr Johnson intends to enforce his view through the Office for Students (OfS), a new regulatory body for all universities being launched next week and already being touted by Mr Johnson as a body designed to take a strong approach to protecting free speech: “The Office for Students will in turn use its regulatory powers to hold them to account for ensuring that lawful freedom of speech is upheld by their staff and students.”

No-platforming is a policy adopted by the National Union of Students (NUS) to combat fascism and racism in the 1970s. At present only a small list of extreme groups are subject to no-platforming: Al-Muhajiroun, the British National Party, the English Defence League, Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK and National Action. Izzy Lenga, the NUS Vice President for Welfare told The Guardian that “These are the only organisations no-platformed by NUS. No individual person. These dangerous groups seek (and have done before) to threaten, demonise and attack the lives of students on campus. They have absolutely no place in our colleges and universities. We are not censoring free speech; we are protecting groups of students on campus who have as much of a right to be there as any other student from groups that wish to harm us physically and mentally because of our identity.” The Union of Jewish Students also expressed support for no-platforming policies.

At a time when antisemitic speakers are frequently finding a place on campus, Mr Johnson’s stated opposition to no-platforming risks encouraging universities to allow hate speakers to indoctrinate students. Campaign Against Antisemitism has been working with Jewish students across the UK to address that intolerance and hatred on campus.

Mr Johnson made note of the risks, acknowledging the rise in antisemitic hate on campus, saying: “A racist or antisemitic environment is by definition an illiberal one that is completely in opposition the liberal tradition of our universities.” He also cited an NUS study which found that less than half (49%) of the Jewish students surveyed were comfortable with attending NUS events. He warned that “Universities cannot afford to be complacent about complying either with their duties to protect freedom of speech, or anything less than vigilant against hate speech (or other unlawful activity) masquerading as the exercise of the right to freedom of speech.” However no new measures were unveiled to tackle hate speech, with Mr Johnson discussing the past action he has taken, writing to the Chief Executive of Universities UK, setting out the role the International Definition of Antisemitism has to play in countering campus antisemitism.

Whilst Mr Johnson has recognised the potential dangers involved in prioritising free speech without sensible limitations on hate speech, he has unfortunately not announced further measures, without which the message of this speech is likely to produce conditions which are ripe for the proliferation of antisemitic ideology by making it significantly harder for campaigners to ensure that antisemitic speakers are blocked from campuses.

The Office for Students will have a difficult and vital responsibility to clearly define the parameters of free speech and hate speech, and Jewish students and anti-racism campaigners will now look to the regulator to ensure that the issue of the incitement of hatred on campus is finally properly addressed. This cannot take place without a clear and objective guide to what constitutes antisemitic hate speech. Therefore, the regulator’s early endorsement and enforcement of the International Definition of Antisemitism, which we will actively seek, is critical to the success of Mr Johnson’s efforts to unblock free speech whilst more firmly suppressing hate speech.

Google and Campaign Against Antisemitism have agreed to collaborate on cleaning up antisemitic hatred on YouTube, with Google granting us access to special content flagging features.

Videos that we report to Google will go through a fast-track reviewing process, following which Google may take the video off YouTube or place a number of limitations on it, such as removing it from video suggestions and making it harder to find. Once a video has been identified as promoting antisemitism, Google will use its algorithms to recognise the video if it is uploaded to YouTube again using a different user account.

Whilst we have not always agreed with Google about what should be on YouTube, this is a very promising collaboration which we hope will enable us to work with Google to reduce the amount of antisemitic material appearing on YouTube.

We are now building a volunteer team to help us to flag videos which should be reported using the special reporting features provided to us by Google. If you would like to join the team, please go to antisemitism.uk/volunteer.

Beverly Krell, a Labour Party member based in Cheadle, and a prolific anti-Israel activist, has threatened Jews she has described as “Zio Nazis” with violence, called Israel a “leisure park based on killing Palestinians” and described Zionists as Nazis in recent social media comments, however she has told the Mail on Sunday that her social media accounts were “hacked”.

Ms Krell, who is Jewish herself but publicly shuns Judaism, lives in Manchester, a city with a large Jewish population that she described in one post as a “Zionist version of Hell’s Corner”. She is thought to be a member a group calling itself Jewish Voice for Labour which has been instrumental in disseminating antisemitic discourse and she has posted a series of antisemitic and threatening comments.

In Facebook posts circulated on Twitter by activists, screenshots show Ms Krell claiming that all Jews are bad as there was “zero difference” between Judaism and Zionism, adding, “Israel and America are the evil incarnate costing millions of lives for another coloniser project.” In a further post Ms Krell claimed that Jews see themselves as “chosen people” with a “superiority complex” and “elitism”, who treat Palestinians “appallingly” because of “white superiority”. She later claimed that both Judaism and Zionism are “white supremacist”.

Following Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry’s speech at the Labour Friends of Israel annual lunch at the end of November in which she urged the Palestinian Authority to end “officially sanctioned antisemitic incitement”, Ms Krell commented that “this message holds true for Zionists who built a leisure park based on killing Palestinians”. Ms Krell went on to imply that Emily Thornberry was forced under duress to show pro-Israel sentiment by making comparisons with the fate of Robin Cook, the Labour MP who opposed the Iraq war, and who died of a heart attack two years after resigning. Ms Krell wrote: “Ask yourself why did Robin Cook have a heart attack condemning Blair and speaking out for an ethical foreign policy. It is very easy to kill someone and make it look like a heart attack.” Ms Krell’s logic suggests that Jews orchestrate conflicts in the Middle East, and are able to assassinate politicians such as Robin Cook for their anti-war stance.

In early 2017, Ms Krell compared the Holocaust with the “Naqba”, the Arabic name for the the Arab defeat and subsequent refugee crisis in the war to obliterate the nascent State of Israel in 1948. She wrote: “I’ve had enough of the regurgitated Holocaust. Is it a singular event for us Jews, or does the extermination of American natives count, or the black holocaust when millions were wrenched from their land and sold into slavery? I guess the Naqba doesn’t count.”

Ms Krell also alarmingly, threatens violence against Jews. When some her comments were shared publicly, she changed her profile name to Sophie Golding and posted: “How do you deal with Zio Nazis other than deactivate the main account and find my AK47?”

Further evidence of her propensity for making violent threats was evidenced by her comments regarding Joan Ryan MP, in which she suggested lynching her, writing: “If anyone has rope and a tree, I’m free”. Ms Ryan was once the Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, and although not Jewish, is a prominent supporter of the Jewish Labour Movement, and a common subject of attack by Ms Krell and those with whom she identifies.

Ms Krell appears to be a member of Jewish Voice for Labour, a group founded and affiliated to the Labour Party in September this year. In a number of open letters she has signed herself as a member of the Cheadle Labour constituency branch. The Jewish Voice for Labour group was formed to contest claims of antisemitism in the Labour Party, deriding the claims as a “myth”. It takes particular umbrage at Labour’s adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism, claiming that it restricts criticism of Israel, despite the definition specifically stating that criticism of Israel does not engage the definition. At its infamous inaugural meeting at the recent Labour Party Conference, speakers voiced the opinion that Holocaust denial should be tolerated and that the Jewish Labour Movement should be expelled from the Party, A leaflet quoting leading Nazi Reinhard Heydrich was even circulated. Jewish Voice for Labour received support from Len McClusky, leader of the Unite union and ally of Ken Livingstone, who later described accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party as “mood music” created to “undermine” Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour Party must act immediately to expel Ms Krell from the Party and make a statement clearly distancing itself from groups such as Jewish Voice for Labour that have been instrumental in disseminating antisemitic discourse.

Ms Krell has not yet responded to Campaign Against Antisemitism’s request for comment.

Stamford Hill Shomrim has reported a van driver to the police after they were passed a video of an antisemitic road rage incident.

In the video, a man with a Caribbean accent can be heard shouting at a Jewish motorist: “Hitler was a great man, he knew what he was doing” before adding “You think you own the world? You don’t own the world. This is Stamford Hill, it’s not Israel”.

The incident occurred on Friday afternoon in Stamford Hill in London.

Anybody who witnessed the incident or believes they may know the man should call the Metropolitan Police Service on 101 citing reference CAD6289/23/12/17.

The CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council, Simon Johnson, has once again launched an attack on Campaign Against Antisemitism, this time berating us for privately prosecuting the leader of this summer’s pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” procession through London after the Crown Prosecution Service failed to act.

Mr Johnson, who claims to represent the British Jewish community, used Twitter to publicly decry our private prosecution, saying that it “risks making things worse” and we will “make yet more fear”, which he claimed is “par for the course” for Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Ironically, Mr Johnson, whose salary is double Campaign Against Antisemitism’s annual operating budget, claimed that our private prosecution, which is being conducted by expert lawyers who are donating their time pro bono, is a “waste of money”.

Mr Johnson was rounded on by Twitter users who fiercely defended Campaign Against Antisemitism and its volunteers, with one activist even setting up a petition demanding that Mr Johnson apologise or resign. We are very grateful to the many people who have spoken out in our support.

In August, Mr Johnson humiliated himself by making a video claiming that our volunteers engage in “hyperbolic scaremongering” as part of an “attempt to grab attention and appearances on television”. Sharing the video through the Jewish Leadership Council’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, he admonished us for highlighting antisemitism, which he said was an attempt to “create a situation of panic in this community”, and for daring to criticise the authorities for failing to take sufficient action.

At the time, we did all that we could to resolve the matter behind the scenes to avoid embarrassing the Jewish Leadership Council and they deleted the video, which had provoked revulsion within the Jewish community and won the praise of antisemites. That should have been the end of the matter, but instead, despite an agreement that neither side would comment, a day later the Jewish Leadership Council said that it stood by the video that it had deleted.

Mr Johnson, who is a former solicitor, should have realised that his repeated efforts to impugn our motives will likely be seized upon by defendants whom we privately prosecute. Other than that, what does his sniping achieve?

Yet despite repeatedly humiliating himself with his ill-conceived attacks, Mr Johnson has a long track record of publicly attacking Campaign Against Antisemitism. In February 2015 he gave his word that he would offer any criticism privately rather than engaging in public sniping. When he broke his word months later, we asked whether his word was worthless. His reply: “Well, so it was. I admit.” That is not Jewish leadership.

Antisemitic crime and the inadequate response to it by the authorities is a very serious concern that should be seen as an urgent priority for British society and our law enforcement authorities. Mr Johnson’s highly-personal attacks on our volunteers suggest that far from trying to address the situation by raising awareness and taking legal action when the authorities fail to act, we are in fact trying to “make yet more fear” so that we can “grab attention and appearances on television”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has a longstanding policy of refusing to engage in Jewish community politics. Our focus is on countering antisemites. However, Mr Johnson’s shameful interventions have become too persistent to ignore. Enough is enough.

The Jewish community has many enemies to contend with, and this public sniping by Mr Johnson at those of us trying to tackle antisemitism must now end. Campaign Against Antisemitism has done all that it can behind the scenes to try to stop Mr Johnson’s damaging smears, but since he will not honour his word and does not heed the opinion of our community, it now falls to the trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council to insist that he apologises and then falls silent.

Actress and fitness studio owner, Kelechi Okafor, has defended recent comments about Jews made by BBC presenter Reggie Yates in which he claimed it was “great” that the young generation of grime music artists is not “managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren”. Ms Okafor argued that Mr Yates was wrong to apologise for the comments and to step down as a host of the BBC’s Top of the Pops programme.

In her new 24-minute podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud, Ms Okafor addressed Yates’ comments, remarking that she “had a huge problem with people apologising for things that they meant”, adding that Yates’ apology statement was “well-manicured”. She remarked that Yates’ comments were “not problematic”, that he was speaking “the truth”, and that the whole affair demonstrated “the power of a specific community”. Ms Okafor challenged whether these Jewish music managers really are from North West London, adding “I just want to know where the fallacy is”, and that “stereotypes are based on an element on truth”.

Ms Okafor began describing how black entertainers had been “so short changed by the kind of people Reggie Yates describes”. She comments that “all sorts of ethnicities” can be capable of this but adds “the fact is, these men has dominated the industry for decades” and are “taking most of the profits”. She claimed that black artists “are having to work [their] entire arse off while they’re keeping everything”.

Ms Okafor remarks near the end of the podcast that grime, RnB, and hip-hop music have been “diluted” by these supposed Jewish music managers who “like blackness as long as it’s making them money”.

Ms Okafor appears to take umbrage at how the Holocaust receives public attention each year, but that the legacy of slave trade is seemingly ignored. She described how these historical events are responsible for the “power dynamic” she is discussing.

Ms Okafor then turned her attention to Harvey Weinstein, a Jewish figure in the entertainment industry recently accused of sexual assault. She remarks how accusations of inappropriate behaviour from the black actress Lupita Nyong’o were not taken seriously, but that “if you offend one of the more powerful sectors of the community, then off be with your head”. Ms Okafor claimed that what’s happening now is that “people are demanding their pound of flesh, and I am very specific about the reference I just made”. Ms Okafor mentions how the phrase is linked to Shakespeare. The “pound of flesh” is a central plot device in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in which the antagonist Shylock is portrayed as a stereotypical money-grabbing Jew. Shylock has become synonymous with the antisemitic trope that Jews control money and the banks.

It is not likely that Ms Okafor will be apologising for the remarks. Towards the end of the podcast she says that “if people don’t like what I said, they can drink some water and go to sleep”.

When approached privately by Rosa Doherty, a journalist for the JC, who first discovered the podcast, Ms Okafor responded via Twitter: “Hi @Rosa_Doherty thank you for your email regarding my podcast. I appreciate the time you took to reach out to me. What does the Jewish Chronicle do to tackle anti-blackness?”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has now filed a complaint with iTunes, which carries Ms Okafor’s podcast.

Mark Zahra has pleaded guilty to burgling a synagogue after being identified on CCTV by Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.

Last week he was convicted at Thames Magistrates’ Court and sentenced to 14 days in prison. He was also ordered to pay £115 to fund services for victims.

Mr Zahra has a previous conviction for an antisemitic hate crime, however since this burglary cannot said to be motivated by antisemitism with any certainty, we will not add this conviction to our log of prosecutions for antisemitism.

We commend Stamford Hill Shomrim and the Metropolitan Police Service for their vigilance.

In the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, conspiracy theorists busied themselves pinning the inferno on Jews or Zionists.

Tahra Ahmed, a volunteer coordinator for those helping the survivors of the fire, told her Facebook followers that the inferno was a “Jewish ritual sacrifice” by a scheming Jewish property developer. In June, days after the fire, Nazim Ali, the leader of the Al Quds Day march through London, bellowed through his megaphone that “It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks”.

The Britain that we know and love, where we can live proudly as Jews, is slipping slowly away as antisemitic crime surges. Future generations will not forgive us if we enjoyed the golden era for British Jews but watched complacently as it ended.

But how does one turn the tide?

Read more

Fitness First has denied that messages including a photograph of gym mats arranged in a swastika were motivated by antisemitism. David Amroon, a Jewish member of the sports chain told Campaign Against Antisemitism of his shock upon being sent a picture of his local gym’s training mats arranged into a swastika, together with jokes about Nazis from members via their WhatsApp group.

Mr Amroon, a martial arts instructor who trained in Jiu-Jitsu twice weekly at Fitness First’s branch in Ilford, told Campaign Against Antisemitism that he will not use the gym again.

According to Mr Amroon, it was common knowledge amongst members that he is Jewish. He told us that he had previously had to challenge antisemitic comments from other members at the health club including alleged statements about Jews ruling the world, “Zionists” being responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, all Jews being wealthy, and even being told by an instructor that “Jews killed Jesus”. However, Mr Amroon told us that he did not report these incidents to the club’s management, preferring to deal with them himself, but he felt that he could not stay silent after the latest incident, which occurred after he missed a training session through illness.

Upon receiving the WhatsApp messages, Mr Amroon said that he immediately sent a message of complaint to the group’s instructor, who apologised and said he had spoken with the perpetrators and that they had just been joking, before allegedly advising Mr Amroon to “move on”. Mr Amroon says that he then wrote a letter to the instructor in which he requested a meeting with the individuals involved in the incident to explain that it was not a joke, and the impact it had on him, only to be told that he should have a quiet word with the perpetrators himself. When he did so, he says that he was again informed that he “needed to get over it”.

Mr Amroon waited a further nine days for a satisfactory resolution, after which he wrote to Fitness First. A meeting was organised with the club’s manager, the Fitness Manager and the Area Manager. Despite being told that they oppose racism, Mr Amroon said that there was a complete failure to engage with the issue and that his request for disciplinary action against those involved was dismissed. When Mr Amroon threatened to go to the police, he alleges that the gym chain’s staff again told him to move on and told him that speaking to the police was not the right thing to do.

Mr Amroon, whose grandfather served in the RAF and lost his life fighting Nazi Germany, says he was shocked by the incident and that he was made to feel as though he had no voice and that he was invisible to the staff he met. He has now cancelled his membership, having been a loyal customer for sixteen years.

When we asked Fitness First to comment on Mr Amroon’s allegations, a spokesman emphasised the organisation’s pride in being a multicultural company and stated that it does not tolerate any form of discrimination. He said that the swastika created with the mats was intended to be a “Buddhist peace symbol”, not a Nazi swastika: “Fitness First took these allegations extremely seriously as soon as they were relayed and launched an immediate inquiry. Fitness First met with Mr Amroon and spoke to him several times. The class regularly made different shapes and symbols with the mats at the beginning of each class. The room was regularly hired by a third party to conduct a Jiu-Jitsu class and it was not connected with Fitness First. The class is no longer held at Fitness First. As it was a private hire, we advised that if Mr Amroon wanted to take the matter to the authorities, we would assist them in any way we could, including providing the CCTV footage of the mats being laid out. The police did look into the matter after they were contacted by Fitness First but dismissed Mr Amroon’s claims. We have been assured that the remarks on the WhatsApp group, specifically ‘Nazi salutes are great opportunities for hip toss’ refer to grabbing a Nazi’s arm as they salute and throwing them to the ground. The people you have highlighted in the Whatsapp group conversation were never members of Fitness First.”

Fitness First is owned by Dave Whelan, the owner of Wigan Athletic Football Club who was fined £50,000 by the Football Association and banned from football for six weeks for declaring that “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else”.

This is a very regrettable incident in which a Jewish man has felt hounded out of his local gym community. Nobody can be sure of the motives of those involved apart from those who did this.

Anybody experiencing antisemitism is encouraged to contact us at investigations@antisemitism.uk or on 0330 822 0321 as soon as possible after the incident if they would like advice.

The former prominent UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom, has taken to Twitter to condemn Goldman Sachs as an “international Jewish bank” over its CEO’s opposition to Brexit.

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, had suggested that the UK should hold a second referendum on Brexit, to which Mr Bloom responded: “International Jewish bank recommends second vote & we should vote Remain. mmmmmmmmmmmm.” As hundreds of Twitter users condemned him, Mr Bloom replied: “Pointing out Goldman Sachs is a Jewish bank as confirmed by Wikipedia makes me a NAZIS [sic] apparently. Funny old world.”

Goldman Sachs is a publicly-traded company and Mr Bloom’s suggestion that it is a “Jewish bank” engages what the International Definition of  Antisemitism refers to as “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

Mr Bloom left UKIP in disgrace after a series of comments including referring to countries receiving aid from Britain as “Bongo Bongon Land” and calling a female audience “sluts”.

This incident reaffirms that Mr Bloom should be an utterly unpalatable associate for any politician or political party, or indeed any decent person.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has opened an investigation into an event hosted by Tommy Sheppard MP, from the Scottish National Party, at the House of Commons, in which it is alleged that Jewish people were deliberately excluded.

The event in question was hosted by EuroPal two weeks ago and was billed as a lecture about Palestinian political aspirations and opposition to Israel. When a number of Jewish pro-Israel activists sought to attend, according to an article in Christian Today, they were denied admission, except for one activist, named Ambrosine Shitrite, who had booked under a Muslim-sounding name instead of a Christian-sounding name and was admitted. Christian Today also claimed that Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority representative in the UK, said of the British approach towards Israel: “They are still doing trade relations and still sympathising with the Jews as being the victims of the Holocaust. Enough of this rhetoric. We have made and paid for this historic concession when we have agreed to give 78 per cent of this historic Palestine on a golden platter…” Professor Hassassian told Christian Today that he had not intended to suggest that sympathy for Jewish Holocaust victims should end, but that “it should not be used to continue the relentless victimisation of the Palestinian people.”

While EuroPal did not respond when we approached them, Mr Sheppard told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “Invitations to the event were issued by Europal and, as with most events of this kind, they would have encouraged their supporters and members to attend. I know they also offered a limited number of tickets to the public through Eventbrite. These were issued on a first come, first served basis. When it became necessary to move to a smaller room (due to the House authorities displacing the booking for a committee) some tickets were withdrawn. I understand that the organisation wrote to them apologising and saying that they hoped they would come to future events. An allegation has been made that the distribution of tickets involved discriminating against people on the basis of their faith. I have checked with Europal and they completely refute this allegation and are alarmed that anyone would suggest it. I have fought against antisemitism all my life and I used the opportunity of [the] meeting to state unequivocally the need to resist it as a virulent form of racism.”

However, the activists concerned have disagreed with Mr Sheppard’s account, claiming that it was only those with Jewish-sounding names who were told that they could no longer attend, and that the room was far from full.

The allegations made are extremely disturbing and we await the conclusion of the investigation with interest.

Brighton and Hove City Council has been forced to ban members of the public from its Chanukah celebration over security fears. The celebration at Hove Town Hall had been due to be a public event, but it had to be held behind closed doors, reportedly due to threats from “anti-Israel” protesters.

The event was held behind closed doors just before the start of a Council meeting and the public gallery was kept closed. According to The Argus there was a security presence from Sussex Police but the ceremony was not interrupted and there was no demonstration.

It is extremely sad that the celebration of Chanukah, a festival which commemorates victory over antisemitism and is especially supposed to be celebrated publicly, had to be held in private.

A gang of 25 far-left thugs reportedly stormed a birthday party at a nightclub last night in London’s Notting Hill, declaring that there were “Jews and wealthy people inside”. The hooded gang is said to have begun by hurling bottles and eggs at people talking outside before overwhelming security. They then reportedly “threw out” the DJ and demanded that those gathered, who they allegedly referred to as “Tory Rothschild scum”, observe a one-minute silence “for Grenfell”.

The incident reportedly took place at the Maxilla Social Club, which has repeatedly held benefit evenings for the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and was a food distribution centre for survivors of the fire which killed 71 people.

This incident graphically shows the consequences of incitement and conspiracy theories targeting Jews being permitted to proliferate.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, it was repeatedly claimed that the fire was a Jewish or “Zionist” conspiracy, including by Grenfell Tower volunteer coordinator Tahra Ahmed and allegedly by the leader of the pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” march through London, Nazim Ali, who is now subject to a private prosecution by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The Metropolitan Police Service told the Daily Mail that its officers were called but made no arrests. Campaign Against Antisemitism is seeking clarification as to why no arrests were made. Those responsible must not escape the consequences of their actions. Britain must not tolerate this antisemitic thuggery.

Image credit: Duncan C

Campaign Against Antisemitism has today laid an information before magistrates to initiate a private prosecution against Nazim Ali, the leader of the “Al Quds Day” march through central London, after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) declined to prosecute him.

Our information alleges: “On the 18th day of June 2017, between Duchess Street and Grosvenor Square in London, Nazim Hussain Ali used threatening or abusive words or behaviour, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”

We allege that during the march, Mr Ali used a portable public address system to make various statements, including:

  • “Some of the biggest corporations who are supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party. Free, Free, Palestine…It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks. Free, Free, Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
  • “Careful of those Rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands, who agree with the killing of British soldiers. Do not allow them in your centres.”

In addition to this private prosecution, we have made a complaint about Mr Ali, who is the managing partner of a pharmacy, to the General Pharmaceutical Council and we have submitted a complaint about the charity that organised the march, the self-proclaimed Islamic Human Rights Commission, to the Charity Commission.

Last year was the worst year for antisemitic crime on record. Crime targeting Jews has surged by rising by 45% since 2014, however of the 14,480 hate crimes prosecuted by the CPS last year, only 20 are known to be cases of antisemitic hate crime.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is represented by Jonathan Goldberg QC, Jeffrey Israel and Senghin Kong (leading and junior counsel) and solicitor David Sonn.

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “We have called for zero tolerance enforcement of the law against antisemitism and that is what politicians have promised. After reporting Mr Ali to the police, we waited to see whether the Crown Prosecution Service would prosecute him, but they declined to do so. Campaign Against Antisemitism has been left with no choice but to expend its resources bringing a private prosecution. We do not know of any other minority which is being repeatedly abandoned by the Crown Prosecution Service and left alone to defend itself.”

The Deputy Leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, has claimed in a Facebook post that Palestinians are “effectively trapped in an open air concentration camp” and that “the government of Israel is only interested in the final solution”. The comments followed a previous post in which she claimed that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would “appease the wealthy Zionist backers who paid for Trump’s election campaign”.

Writing on 7th December, Ms Bartolotti posted an aerial view of Jerusalem’s Old City, commenting: “I think it’s important to explain that Jerusalem is not a Jewish city – any more than Israel is a Jewish country. Israel is in fact a western state, taken by force in 1948, in bloodshed and massacres of the unarmed and innocent indigenous population.” In the post to her almost 5,000 followers, Ms Bartolotti peddled the conspiracy that Israel is a “Western puppet state” and that wealthy Arab oil states are “in cahoots” with the British and western governments to to legitimise Israel’s claims to the land.

Ms Bartolotti went on to explicitly level two accusations at Israel of behaving like Nazis against towards the Palestinians. She wrote: “Palestinians in Gaza are effectively trapped in an open air concentration camp from which there is only slim means of escape”. She then invokes the Nazi language of the Holocaust in her claim that “The government of Israel is only interested in the final solution”. The Final Solution (Die Endloesung) is the name given by the Nazis to their programme to exterminate six million Jews during the Holocaust. Ms Barolotti’s statements qualify as antisemitic discourse under the terms of the International Definition of Antisemitism by “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”. When confronted on Facebook with the notion that “Comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis is grotesquely offensive and antisemitic”, she responded: “The Roma and disabled were similarly targeted by the Nazi regime, but they have not gone around demanding a state of their own”.

Ms Bartolotti, who stood as a Green Party parliamentary candidate in 2010 and then as an Assembly Member a year later, was once a leadership contender for the national Green Party. She seems to glory in her words, having said: “Some might call me antisemitic, but I don’t care”. Ms Bartolotti was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport and detained overnight at Givon Prison when participating in the ‘flytilla’ of activists attempting to enter Bethlehem in 2011. She objected to being represented by a UK diplomatic staff member who had a Jewish name, and questioned the loyalty of the UK ambassador to Israel (Britain’s first Jewish ambassador to the country). She said at the time: “The vice -consul was called Levi. From the university of life I have learned that Jews often have a conflict of interest in matters relating to Palestine.” In doing so, she was “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations”. In claiming Israel is “in cahoots” as part of a suggested international plot, and that “wealthy Zionists” determined President Trump’s presidential campaign pledges, she is making “stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as…the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

Ms Bartolotti has appeared on Channel 4’s culinary show Come Dine with Me, where she was described as a “peace activist”, but has appeared in photographs posing with the flag of the Syrian National Socialist Party, which bears an emblem resembling a Swastika and has been described as the the oldest terrorist organisation in existence today. The SNSP aspires to gain control of a Greater Syria including what is now Israel, and has been accused of having links to fascism.

Having clearly breached the International Definition of Antisemitism on multiple counts, Campaign Against Antisemitism now looks to the Green Party to expel Ms Bartolotti from the Party.

Image credit: Stand for Peace

Tahra Ahmed, who holds a prominent role as a Grenfell Tower volunteer coordinator, reportedly claimed the victims were “burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice.” The Times has today reported about Ms Ahmed’s many alleged antisemitic outbursts.

After the tragic fire that left 71 dead, Ms Ahmed said that she had been coordinating the work of volunteers, coaching them and running workshops with the aim of empowering them. She has reportedly discussed her beliefs with some of the people she has helped. When The Times confronted her about her views, she said that she did not care about other people’s opinions.

According to the paper, she reportedly said: “Watch the live footage of people trapped in the inferno with flames behind them. They were burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice. Grenfell is owned by a private Jewish property developer just like the twin towers. I wonder how much Goldman [Goldman Sachs, a bank often targeted by antisemites] is standing to make in the world’s most expensive real estate location [Kensington].”

Attending a town hall protest two days after the fire, she told reporters there that the fire was a “holocaust.” She has allegedly previously described the Holocaust as the “holohoax” and posted on Facebook: “Hitler and the Germans were the victims of the Jewish conspiracy to destroy Germany.” She is also a proponent of the antisemitic conspiracy theory that the 9/11 terror attacks were faked by Jews. In one Facebook comment found by Campaign Against Antisemitism after The Times published its article, she wrote: “All the leadership of ISIS is directly recruited by CIA and the leadership are all Arab Jews, trained by Mossad.”

Councillors in Kensington and Chelsea are reportedly so worried about unchecked volunteers’ involvement with Grenfell Tower survivors that they have written to the Secretary of State to complain.

Campaign Against Antisemitism calls for Ms Ahmed to be immediately stood down in her role assisting volunteers. To blame the unspeakable tragedy of Grenfell on a historically persecuted people is to let down those victims she claims to represent and support and exacerbate social division in Britain.

We have also revealed that Councillor Beinazir Lasharie, who reportedly said that “I’ve seen compelling evidence that links Zionists to ISIS”, was appointed Deputy Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea “to help the Council rebuild trust with residents following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.”

“Victory to the intifada” was chanted by protesters at a “Do not move the US Embassy to Jerusalem Trump!” rally outside the US Embassy in central London this afternoon.

A small crowd of about 40 demonstrators gathered in the snow to oppose US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announce plans to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The event page on Facebook listed Bashar Zeedan as the host.

Volunteers from our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit captured alarming footage of demonstrators chanting: “Victory to the intifada”, referring to violent Palestinian campaigns which included suicide bombings targeting Israeli Jewish civilians.

We also took video recordings of demonstrators chanting: “From the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, Palestine will be free”, a chant that only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state and its replacement with a Palestinian state. Under the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the UK Government, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is antisemitic.

Today’s rally follows on from the “Hands off Jerusalem” protest held at the same location on Friday evening where demonstrators chanted: “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud” translated in English as “Jews, remember the battle of Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.”

 

 

“Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud” translated in English as “Jews, remember the battle of Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning” was chanted at an “emergency” protest outside the US Embassy in central London on Friday evening where thousands rallied against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The “Hands off Jerusalem” protest was organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition and Muslim Association of Britain and supported by Muslim Voices, Stand up to Trump, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, War on Want, Association of Palestinian Communities in the UK, Olive and Europal Forum, some of which have been found to have antisemites amongst their supporters.

The “Khaybar” chant is a classic Arabic battle cry and taunt and reference to the Muslim massacre and expulsion of the Jews of the town of Khaybar in northwestern Arabia, now Saudi Arabia, in the year 628 CE. The political blog, Harry’s Place, captured the disturbing footage of the chant, which was then followed by cries of “Death to America, death to Israel”.

Volunteers from our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit went into the thick of the protesters to gather evidence.

Campaign Against Antisemitism took video recordings of demonstrators chanting: “From the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, Palestine will be free”, a chant that only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state and its replacement with a Palestinian state. This chant was heard repeatedly during the protest. Under the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the UK Government, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is antisemitic.

The widespread and blatant antisemitic chanting at the protest is a cause for considerable concern. Other “Hands off Jerusalem” demonstrations were held in Manchester, Nottingham and Cardiff.

Daniel Harris, a Labour Party housing campaigner in Brighton and Hove, has reportedly been suspended from the party pending an investigation after posting a Chanukah video on Facebook into which he allegedly added the faces of council leader Warren Morgan and his colleagues, Anne Meadows and Caroline Penn. They are seen wearing the tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl, and the black hats of charedi Jews, while animated Stars of David hang in the background and are visible on floor.

Former Hove MP Ivor Caplin told the Brighton and Hove News: “I was appalled that any member of the Labour Party could think that this is any way you could treat Labour councillors.” He said that two of the three councillors in question had significant Jewish connections, adding that this was a time for the Party to show zero tolerance “to this kind of antisemitism.”

After being accused of antisemitism, Mr Harris reportedly described the video as “a bit of fun”. He shared the news of his suspension in a Facebook post and reportedly said that he would fight his suspension.

A Labour Party spokeman reportedly told the JC: “The Party takes all complaints extremely seriously. A Labour Party member has been suspended from the Party pending an investigation.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism awaits to find out more details about Mr Harris’ apparent suspension and what further disciplinary action, if any, will be taken by Labour following the investigation. Following Baroness Chakrabarti’s whitewash report on antisemitism in the Labour Party, most disciplinary proceedings have been conducted in secrecy.

WH Smith’s CEO has apologised to Campaign Against Antisemitism a second time after another of its international outlets was found selling Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic diatribe, Mein Kampf.

WH Smith CEO Steve Clarke has instructed all ten WH Smith outlets in Singapore to immediately remove Mein Kampf, after a traveller passing through Singapore’s Changi Airport was shocked to discover a stack of Chinese translations of Adolf Hitler’s text amongst self-help books and light holiday reading.

In December 2015, WH Smith promised us firm action after Mein Kampf was found to be selling in the “Bestseller” shelves at WH Smith at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. That Mein Kampf is a bestseller in many Arab countries is a sad reminder of the deep-rooted antisemitism across the Middle East, but we were nonetheless shocked to find WH Smith apparently catering to demand. In that case the branch was operated by a franchised affiliate. At the time, we were told that ranging policies, which already prohibited sale of such books, were being reviewed.

This time, it is one of WH Smith’s wholly-owned outlets which has been found stocking Mein Kampf.

We immediately contacted Mr Clarke who explained that the shop in the airport was the first WH Smith to open in Singapore two weeks ago, and that, being a new operation in the country, WH Smith had relied on the local distributor to provide the initial range to the company’s newly-employed book buyers. The books were immediately removed from sale and none had in fact been sold yet. Mr Clarke has committed to reiterate in writing to all owned and franchised international stores that Mein Kampf must not be stocked under any circumstances.

We are grateful to those who wrote to us alerting us to this matter.

A burglar who has allegedly targeted multiple synagogues allegedly struck again on Saturday, according to Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.

The man, who Stamford Hill Shomrim says has committed burglary and theft at three synagogues in Stamford Hill, remains at liberty although he is known to the police and has a prior conviction for an antisemitic public order offence.

Saturday’s burglary, in which valuable items were stolen, is the third incident alleged to have been perpetrated by the same individual in the last two-and-a-half months. Stamford Hill Shomrim has notified the police. As yet no arrest has been made.

We commend Stamford Hill Shomrim for its vigilance and urge the Metropolitan Police Service to investigate this report urgently.

While participating in a parade welcoming the arrival of a new Torah scroll at a synagogue in Hackney, a gathering of Jews from the local charedi community was verbally abused by a passing motorist who wound down his window and shouted: “This parade should take place in Israel, not in London.”

The incident took place at approximately 19:30 on Saturday evening in Amhurst Park, Hackney. The perpetrator is described as an Asian man.

Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, attended and provided assistance.

The incident has been reported to the police. Anyone with information that might aid the investigation, should contact the Metropolitan Police by calling 101, citing reference CAD7119/02/12/2017

 

The BBC’s fallen star, Reggie Yates, has resigned from hosting special editions of the BBC’s flagship music programme, Top of the Pops, on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Mr Yates resigned following following pressure from Campaign Against Antisemitism and others after he remarked that it is “great” that the young generation is not “managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren”, adding that they were “idiots”, “dickheads” and not “your people”.

In a statement today, Mr Yates wrote: “On a recent podcast, during a discussion about grime artists, I made some ill-considered remarks which have hurt many people. I can see clearly that the words I used reinforced offensive stereotypes, and that there is no context which would justify such remarks. My comments are no reflection on how I truly feel, and I would like to apologise unreservedly to the Jewish community, people in the music industry and anyone else I have offended. This has been, and continues to be a huge learning experience for me, and on reflection I have taken the decision to step down from hosting Top of the Pops this year.”

A BBC spokesman added: “We take these issues very seriously and Reggie is in no doubt about the BBC’s view of his comments.”

This resignation is a major improvement on his previous apology for what he termed a “flippant comment” which “could have been interpreted” as being offensive. We had also criticised the BBC’s comment when Mr Yates’ remarks were exposed, after the BBC said that “we do not believe this is a matter for the BBC”.

The comments which caused such controversy came during a programme about grime music artists, which was recorded a month ago. He had said: “Like I said it’s about perspective. The thing that makes it great about this new generation of artists is that they ain’t signing to majors. They’re independent, they’re not managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren. Wretch, Stormzy, Skepta, its all – you know what I mean – these are all people that we’ve all known, that we’ve all come up with, from time. So it’s amazing to see now the example isn’t get hot and then give all of your publishing to these idiots. Or go and give all of your rights to these dickheads over here. It’s now get hot, bring the family in, keep the family close, and win with your people. That’s the example now in music.” For many, Mr Yates’ comments will evoke the ugly stereotype of Jews as untrustworthy and money-grabbing. The comment was brought to light by Telegraph journalist Camilla Turner.

It is unclear whether Mr Yates will simply miss out on two holiday special editions of Top of the Pops, or whether the BBC will now act to remove him from programmes such as his forthcoming documentary on the Grenfell Fire tragedy. Clearly someone who sees fit to voice such views and only apologises when caught out should not be presented by the BBC as a role model for young people.

Labour Party activist, Laura Stuart, a member of the Hendon Labour Party in north west London, has reportedly been suspended from the party pending an investigation after a local councillor linked her to antisemitic posts on Twitter and Facebook, including “All Jews are above the law.”

Adam Langleben, a Labour councillor for West Hendon, tweeted that he had complained about Ms Stuart in July but no action had been taken.

Ms Stuart has been accused of running the “Gaza Boat Convoy” Twitter account. Some of the appalling antisemitic tweets from the Gaza Boat Convoy account include: “Hear it from a Jewish grandmother how Jews love money and are a bunch of crooks”, “Must still be plenty shekels to be wrung out of the memory of the Holocaust. #HolocaustIndustry” and “All Jews are above the law – as in, they cheat the laws of Moses etc. G-d gives edicts, they set their Rabbis to find ways around them.”

However, the Gaza Boat Convoy account, which attempts to block Campaign Against Antisemitism from seeing its tweets, posted a message claiming that it is a “group account.” Its description reads: “We are a group of driven individuals working within the UK. We work with many different charities all with the same aim and goal. To free Palestine!” According to a report in the Times, tweets from the account have sometimes been signed “Laura” and encouraged donations to Ms Stuart’s bank account, to be distributed in Gaza.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party reportedly told the JC: “Laura Stuart has been suspended from Labour Party pending an investigation.” The Party then attempted to retract the identification of Ms Stuart and amended the statement to refer only to “A Labour Party member”. The Hendon branch of the Labour Party tweeted: “Our party should and will have no truck with any member, and their apologists, who peddle this poisonous antisemitic bile”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism commends Councillor Langleben for his principled stand in exposing these virulently antisemitic comments. We await to find out more details about Ms Stuart’s apparent suspension and what further disciplinary action, if any, will be taken following the investigation.

If true, it is utterly unacceptable that this matter was reported in July, but only acted upon now due to the pressure that Mr Langleben was able to create.

Yousef al-Kuwari, the Chairman of the registered charity, Qatar Charity UK, now renamed the Nectar Trust, reportedly founded a website, Islamweb, which allegedly called on readers to “hate [Jews and Christians] for the sake of Allah.”

According to The Telegraph, Islamweb issued edicts stating that it is “forbidden” to swear an oath to gain British citizenship. In June, it reportedly warned of Jews and Christians: “It is incumbent to hate them for the sake of Allah.”

Between 1998 and 2010, fatwas were reportedly posted on the website including calls on all citizens to “wage jihad by every means against the Zionist occupation and aggression” and stating that “living in non-Muslim countries is forbidden except for a dire need”.

The Mayfair-based Qatar Charity UK, which claims “To relieve poverty and provide assistance to the needy in all parts of the world affected by war, natural disasters or catastrophes,” is the British arm of Qatar Charity, a Doha charity which has reportedly been designated a proscribed organisation by neighbouring Gulf states. According to the Companies House database, the UK’s registrar of companies, on 23rd October, Qatar Charity UK changed its company name to become the Nectar Trust. Mr al-Kuwari is one of only four trustees. The charity’s website is no longer active.

Mr al-Kuwari was previously head of information technology at the Qatari Ministry of Endowments and reportedly set up Islamweb, which issues religious edicts or fatwas. The ministry is listed as registrant and administrator of the website. In a 2007 posting, Mr Al-Kuwari is referred to as chairman of its board of directors, a role he held until 2010.

Qatar Charity UK told The Telegraph that during Mr al-Kuwari’s time as Islamweb chairman “he was not involved in the development or moderation of the website’s content or in its daily management. The views and contents expressed in the website do not reflect the views of Mr al-Kawari and cannot be attributed to him. They certainly do not reflect the views of and cannot be attributed in any way to QCUK.”

In 2015, Qatar Charity UK reportedly provided a grant of £400,000 for a “multipurpose centre in the UK”, a project they worked on with the Emaan Trust in Sheffield in the north of England. The Telegraph reported in June that one of the trustees of the Emaan Trust, Dr Essam Al Fulajii, said Muslims and Christians should unite against the “monster” Jews. In October 2015, Dr Al Fulajii reportedly wrote in the Al-Watan newspaper: “I am still convinced that the international Zionists and Mossad were behind the September 11 attacks in the US. There were no Jews in the two buildings at the time of the incident.” He also reportedly wrote an article for the Al Anba newspaper this April, entitled “The spread of Jews in the world,” where he claimed that “the Jewish people are the ones controlling the world.” He said that “This was done with great subtlety, planning, deceit, conspiracy, extortion, women, money, “riba”[usury]  and organised crime and mafia.”

The Metropolitan Police Service is seeking help from members of the public to determine when a shocking trail of antisemitic graffiti was daubed along 400 metres of the canal towpath between Kensal Green and Wormwood Scrubs in London.

The graffiti included swastikas, calls for non-Jews to “wake up”, and claims that the Holocaust was a “hoax” and that six million Jews were not murdered.

A local resident, Ben Riddle, came across the graffiti whilst jogging and told Campaign Against Antisemitism that he was shocked at how “brazen” it was, and “how much graffiti had been written”.

Shortly after Mr Riddle found the graffiti, it was discovered by a police patrol which called the local council to remove it. A police investigation has now been opened and police officers would like to hear from anybody who saw the graffiti so that they can narrow down when the vandalism occurred.

The graffiti is along the west side of the Car Giant complex along the canal towpath between Old Oak Lane and Scrubs Lane.

PC Shawn Ross told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “This hideous graffiti was discovered by local police on foot patrol today and that has triggered an investigation by Hammersmith & Fulham Police’s Community Safety Unit to track down those involved. I appeal to anyone who saw this incident taking place to come forward with more details of when it happened; by whom and from which direction they came/went. You can contact us via 101 (police non-emergency number) or tweet @MetCC who will gather more details via a direct (private) message. If you know who has done this and don’t wish to give your details then you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The Metropolitan Police take this kind of incident very seriously and appreciate your assistance in the matter. There is no place for hate, especially in one of the most diverse cities in the world.”

The graffiti is sickening and affects a very large area, so we particularly hope that members of the public will step forward to assist.

An influential group of young leaders, including the Chair of UKIP’s youth wing have been exposed as members of a Facebook group which spews antisemitic content.

Hope not Hate, a controversial anti-racism group, has revealed that a 200-member Facebook group entitled “Young Right Society” (YRS) has been found to be awash with antisemitic, Holocaust denying and racist material.

According to Hope not Hate, the group boasts a membership including known fascists, neo-Nazis and figures on the alt-right, such as Colin Robertson, alongside mainstream Conservative Party activists and the Chair of UKIP’s youth wing, Jamie Ross McKenzie. YRS positions itself as “a place for those who are on the Right (basically anything right of centre) to discuss politics, philosophy, and general Right-wing stuff with as little censorship or government intervention as possible” but this investigation suggests that the group is being used by some to propagate white supremacy, antisemitism, homophobia and other forms of hate.

One of the group’s moderators, Michael Brooks, wrote that he was “14 and 88” a shorthand code for “Heil Hitler” and the 14-word Nazi phrase: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Mr Brooks has been pictured posing with notable politicians, including the former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, who has himself come under fire in recent weeks over comments on his radio station alleging Jewish disproportionate power over US politics. Mr Brooks was also allegedly part of a YRS contingent at a conference run by the far-right Traditional Britain Group (TBG). Three weeks earlier he had managed to have his photograph taken alongside Theresa May at the Conservative Party conference.

Mr Brooks’ disturbing views were on further display within the group in a series of racist comments he allegedly posted on the group, including a racist caption to a graph showing supposed population growth in sub-Saharan Africa stating: “Planet of the Apes isn’t science fiction, it’s a warning”. In another comment attributed to Mr Brooks by Hope not Hate, he allegedly wrote: “There is a riot happening in Dalston in North East London. In this thread we discuss the ethnicities and theories as to why they are biologically destined to engage in this behaviour :^)”. He also allegedly wrote that a “white identitarian, paramilitary organisation known as the ‘white shirts’ sounds kinda cool, even if it is larpy”, and posted supportive messages regarding the now infamous antisemitic, racist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in May.

Mr Brooks is further alleged to have argued for the changing of the YRS group banner into Nazi iconography to “weed out the weak and keep normies away” to which Jack Hadfield, a well known Breitbart writer and one of the group’s administrators reportedly replied: “Swastikas are unbritish [mate]. You’ve got the right aesthetic but it’s too autistic”. This is further supported by comments elsewhere within the group where he wrote: “you f***ing right wing faggots need to knock off the nazi/ethnonat stuff. It drives off Civics who I keep adding and are open to nationalistm [sic]”, further claiming: “I am 14 and 88, but even I know optics and recruiting normies.” “Normies” is often used as a word for people who are not yet fascists but might be targets for persuasion.

Another group administrator, Philip Donaghy, is also under fire. He is said to have posted an article from the Daily Stormer, a virulently antisemitic, far-right website, as well as giving tips to members on how to engage in racism and homophobia without detection from Facebook.

Another group administrator, Jack Hadfield reportedly described YRS as “a Fascist-Juggalo group with traditionalism interest”, claiming: “we tolerate other ideologies but make no mistake if you don’t like it, you know where the door is.” Mr Hadfield is alleged to have posted a picture of a book by Julius Evola, a keen admirer of the SS, with the caption: “Got me some good new summer reading.”

Posts within the group are alleged to have included Holocaust jokes, antisemitic conspiracy theories and open admiration for the late British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, alongside other offensive material, including sickening references to the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.

Some members are even alleged to have written in support of the extremist far right group Scottish Dawn, a faction of the proscribed neo-Nazi terrorist organisation, National Action, with one member said to have shared an article from a National Action-linked website.

Meanwhile, Cian Jones, who provides security for the Holocaust denying, far right London Forum, allegedly posted the prison letter of Lawrence Burns, a National Action member currently behind bars for inciting racial hatred, which was described by Mr Jones as “inspiring.”

Other alleged members of YRS included Tom Cormack, leader of the hardline racist group, British Imperative (BI).

These views were not limited to a fringe collection of users within YRS. For example, polls within YRS revealed the widespread support of racist views with 72% of respondents agreed that the “disparity between the average IQs of different races” was caused primarily by genetic factors. An additional poll showed 72% agreeing that a “racially diverse society is undesirable”. Over half (53%) of YRS poll respondents claimed that giving women the right to vote was “a mistake” and 78% voted positively when Mr Brooks posed the question: “would you unironically support the immediate liquidation of all communists, communists organisations and enablers of communist subversives”.

The group has organised several meetings in London, Manchester and Belfast. Meetings have been attended by Mr Brooks, Chris Ram and Paul Griffin, a Canadian-born far-right activist instrumental in the organisation of Legion MAC, a far-right “survival camp” which taught street-fighting training. Sorcha Ní Bhuaigh, who has attended meetings of the London Forum with Mr Griffin, also attended the YRS social events.

Campaign Against Antisemitism expects that the Conservative Party, UKIP and Facebook will all now take urgent action.

Two bricks and a glass bottle have reportedly been hurled at Jewish men in three antisemitic incidents over the weekend. The attacks were unprovoked and targeted orthodox charedi Jews.

At 19:30 on Friday, a Jewish man said that a white 10-year-old boy threw a brick at him and shouted antisemitic abuse at him, including something about Adolf Hitler. On Sunday at approximately 15:00, the same victim reported that he was attacked by the same suspect again, and that his time he hurled a glass bottle at him. Later on Sunday at 18:20, another Jewish man reported that a brick was hurled at his car, but he did not see the perpetrator as he did not leave his car for fear of being seriously injured by any more bricks.

All three incidents occurred on Leaside Road in Hackney, near where a Jewish man was told to “Get lost” by a police officer for reporting young children abusing Jewish girls.

Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, provided assistance to the victims, and reported the incidents to the police.

Anybody who witnessed any of the incidents or has information which could assist the investigation should contact the Metropolitan Police Service by dialing 101, citing references CAD5337/26/11/2017 and CAD6940/26/11/2017.

Baroness Warsi has reportedly made divisive comments claiming that Jews, Sikhs and black people do not do enough to speak out against the far-right and anti-Muslim hatred.

According to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, Baroness Warsi told a meeting: “While they represent a minority within a minority, it is extremely distasteful to see that the [English Defence League] have Sikh, Jewish, and black chapters. More leaders of those communities need to stand up with Muslims to challenge Islamophobia.”

To the extent of our knowledge, there are fewer than a dozen members of the English Defence League’s so-called “Jewish Division” which has not surfaced in the news since 2012. The Jewish Division’s leader left in 2011, citing “Nazis within” and when a replacement was found in 2012, the Jewish Division was revealed by the JC as having “around a dozen members, only a few of whom are actually Jewish.” Of course, no British Jew should be associated with the English Defence League, but in any community there will be a small number who will defy their community and engage with extremists, and such a small and inactive contingent is hardly a sign of a significant problem.

On the contrary, the Jewish community has been at the forefront of fighting the far-right throughout living memory, and various Jewish leaders and organisations have taken a leading role in fighting anti-Muslim hatred, even going so far as donating their own time and money to help set up organisations which combat anti-Muslim hate.

Baroness Warsi baited the Jewish community only months ago when she claimed in March that British Jews who volunteer for the Israeli Defence Force should be prosecuted as though they had been fighting for genocidal terrorist groups such as ISIS.

If Baroness Warsi’s latest comments have been reported accurately, then they are divisive baiting of the Jewish community showing total ingratitude and ignorance, and she should apologise for them. Both Baroness Warsi and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims should recognise the Jewish community’s outstanding and disproportionate contribution to opposing the far-right, including the English Defence League, and to assisting the fight against racism including anti-Muslim hatred.

The matter was brought to our attention by our friends at the Network of Sikh Organisations, which also took issue with Baroness Warsi’s reported comments, saying: “We are saddened and disappointed by these comments. We take the view that this issue is being inflated in a way to denigrate the Sikh community.”

We contacted Baroness Warsi five days ago to ask for clarification but have yet to receive a response.

Ken Livingstone is to star in an annual political comedy show at Leicester Square Theatre that has previously hosted Tony Blair, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Ed Balls, Ruth Davidson, Alastair Campbell, Michael Portillo, Harriet Harman, Nigel Farage, Neil Kinnock, Alan Johnson, Lord Prescott, Jack Straw and Dame Tessa Jowell.

This year, on 6th December, host Matt Forde will welcome Anny Soubry and Nick Clegg, followed by Ken Livingstone with his own show on 7th December. According to publicity material: “Both evenings promise to be a raucous end to the wildest year in British politics…yet.”

There is nothing remotely funny about Ken Livingstone’s unapologetic claim that “Hitler was supporting Zionism”. It is outrageous that he is now due to be given a platform along with senior figures such as Nick Clegg and Anna Soubry, at such a prestigious venue. No doubt they will wish to reconsider their participation rather than appear as a warmup the day before Ken Livingstone.

You may wish to contact the theatre through enquiries@leicestersquaretheatre.com and Matt Forde’s agent via management@avalonuk.com.

Ethan Saunders, a teacher at the Jewish Free School (JFS), is reportedly facing an inquiry following comments he is alleged to have made during a guest speaker’s lecture to sixth form pupils on Monday.

The comments were reportedly made during the question-and-answer part of a lecture on left-wing antisemitism by renowned sociologist Dr David Hirsh, who had been invited to speak to fifty sixth formers about his new book, Contemporary Left Antisemitism.

After telling students about comments made by figures such as Ken Livingstone and Professor Moshe Machover in which they compared Zionists to Nazis, Dr Hirsh told the JC that “a teacher stood up at the back and, in a fairly kind of belligerent way, said: ‘I don’t agree with anything you said.’ He said that I hadn’t told the whole story to the students; it was a pretty clear allegation not only that I kind of got it wrong, but that I was speaking in bad faith. He said: ‘You haven’t explained to the students about the Ha’avara Agreement and the real collaboration between the Nazis and the Zionists. You haven’t explained that it was Israel that was responsible for nurturing Hamas at the beginning, and Hamas is a creature of Israel.’” Dr Hirsh said that Mr Saunders also said that Ken Livingstone was “correct” to say that “Hitler was supporting Zionism” by agreeing to the Ha’avara Agreement, which allowed Jews to emigrate from Nazi Germany to what would become Israel, on condition that they forfeited most of their assets to the Nazis.

The notion that Adolf Hitler was in some way supporting the right of Jewish self-determination in Israel, despite having railed against it, it extremely offensive. The Ha’avara Agreement was nothing more than the formal robbery of German Jews fleeing for their lives.

Dr Hirsh noted: “I’ve no idea what he teaches his students, but I have to tell you that [at this event] what he was clearly trying to teach his students was something which I would worry about. What he was trying to teach them was certainly a cause for concern.”

Today’s Jewish pupils are the leaders of the future, and if this account is true, then it is highly disconcerting that teachers holding such views are given a platform at JFS and we welcome the swift decision to open an investigation.

Campaign Against Antisemitism recently spoke to 200 students at JFS about antisemitism, focussing on the growth of online antisemitism. If you are interested in hosting a speaker please e-mail outreach@antisemitism.uk.

A martial arts instructor in Toothill in south west England has reportedly lost his job for being a member of National Action, a deeply antisemitic, violent organisation whose fascist ideology and terrorist operations threaten British society.

National action was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in December 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others. Under section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000, membership of a proscribed terrorist organisation is a criminal offence.

According to the Swindon Advertiser, the man who taught children at Total Martial Arts Premier Academy in Toothill, has now been removed from his post at the academy. The paper understands that he was “closely involved with National Action”.

Wiltshire Police confirmed that the martial arts school recently sent a letter to parents addressing concerns over radicalisation. A spokesperson for the force said: “This letter was issued as part of a long term safeguarding strategy. The investigation is still ongoing and we are unable to comment further.”

A spokesman for Total Martial Arts Premier Academy (TMA) reportedly spoke of the school’s shock. In a statement, the academy said that the instructor was asked to leave TMA as soon as the issue was raised: “We have been co-operating with the police and the local authority in their investigation and in making the decision on how to inform our students. We were shocked and appalled to learn of the potential extremist views held by this individual and had absolutely no idea that they held these views or of their potential involvement in any organisation that share or promote them. We at TMA totally distance ourselves from such views and have no connection to them. We do not condone such ideologies and they couldn’t be further from our culture at TMA.” The spokesman added that they are committed to “the safety and security” of students and stressed their “zero tolerance policy on any behaviour that may promote the wrong image or bring our academy into disrepute.”

The Swindon Advertiser also reported that members of National Action have in the past held secret meetings in Swindon.

Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomes the decision by Total Martial Arts Premier Academy to remove the instructor. This sends a very strong message that antisemitism and hate will not be tolerated by principled employers.

Witnesses are being sought after a woman allegedly shouted abuse about at a Jewish shopper in an incident at Tottenham Hale Retail Park in Haringey at 13:55 this afternoon.

As an orthodox charedi Jewish man, who was accompanied by his wife, parked his car outside the Iceland store, the two women in a black Peugeot allegedly objected to him parking near their car, despite them being able to exit the vehicle with ease. They allegedly started shouting abuse at the Jewish man, with the female passenger shouting about “Hitler”. The female driver was described as white and approximately 20 years old, and her female passenger was described as white and approximately 60 years old.

Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, provided assistance to the victim, and reported the incident to the police.

Anybody who witnessed the incident or has information which could aid the investigation should contact the Metropolitan Police Service by dialing 101, citing reference CAD4687/22/11/17.

Witnesses are being sought after an orthodox charedi Jewish man was subjected to antisemitic verbal abuse whilst driving on Sunday evening. The victim was driving along Colney Hatch Lane in Haringey, when another car pulled out in front of him. When the driver of the other car saw the visibly Jewish man, he lowered his window and shouted: “Heil Hitler, heil Hitler”. He then drove away in the opposite direction.

The suspect is described as an Asian male aged between 35 and 40 years old. He had black hair and a short-trimmed beard.

Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, provided assistance to the victim, and reported the incident to the police.

Anybody who witnessed the incident or has information which could aid the investigation should contact the Metropolitan Police Service by dialing 101, citing reference CAD7826/19/11/2017.

Three orthodox charedi Jewish children, aged 11, 12 and 14, have been threatened and verbally abused whilst returning from school by the driver and two passengers of a white mini-delivery van. The incident occurred at approximately 12:55 on Friday 17th November at the junction of Spring Hill and Clapton Common in Stamford Hill.

The driver was described as an adult male, and also visible in the van were two passengers, an adult female and a boy aged approximately 10 years old. All three were described as white. The female passenger shouted: “If you cross the road, I’ll drive over you” and then added: “I’m going to kidnap you”. She then shouted: “You’re afraid”, then all three occupants of the vehicle laughed. The female passenger shouted: “Ugly Jew” before the vehicle drove further down the road.

Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, provided assistance to the victims, and reported the incident to the police.

Anybody who witnessed the incident or has information which could aid the investigation should contact the Metropolitan Police Service by dialing 101, citing reference CAD7145/19/11/2017.

In a sharp policy reversal, Twitter is set to begin doing something that it told Campaign Against Antisemitism it would never do: proactively removing extremists from the platform.

In December 2014, Sinéad McSweeney, Twitter’s Director of Public Policy for Europe told us in an e-mail: “Your emphasis on proactive monitoring and reporting is not compatible with our basic structure and policies as a platform. I therefore think it is not possible to take this any further.” We had been in discussions with senior personnel at Twitter, involving the then CEO, proposing that Twitter use algorithms to seek out and remove antisemitic users and content on their platform in the same way that they already remove child pornography and material that violates copyright. However, Ms McSweeney strongly resisted our request that Twitter begin proactively removing online hatred.

However, Twitter is now set to introduce changes to its rules that will permit it to trawl content, both on Twitter and on other websites, so that members of extremist organisations can be stopped from using Twitter. The new rule states: “You also may not affiliate with organizations [sic] that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.” Another new rule bans “hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header” or using a “username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior, such as targeted harassment or expressing hate towards a person, group, or protected category.” The rules will take effect from 18th December, reportedly due to EU laws affecting changes to companies’ terms and conditions.

Whereas Twitter has previously required users to post something that breaks the rules, which other users then have to report to Twitter, under the new rules, Twitter may ban users simply for having an affiliation to extremist groups.

Twitter has an extremely poor record on removing antisemitism, and in the past has made new announcements on the fight against online hatred only to fail to deliver any meaningful change, but we do consider Twitter’s rule change to be significant. Twitter has finally acknowledged that it is time for them to proactively remove users who are inciting violence, such as terrorism. How effectively they do so remains to be seen, but we are pleased that Ms McSweeney finally appears to have lost the argument against proactive monitoring.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has contributed to a BBC documentary exposing the rise of the far-right in Britain. The documentary examines new data and interviews experts and witnesses on how the far-right has become re-energised, latching onto topical political issues, such as rising Islamism, and assisted by the perception that the far-right was a spent force.

The File on 4 documentary, entitled “What’s new about the new far-right?”, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 yesterday, and can be listened to on BBC iPlayer.

The BBC’s rising star, Reggie Yates, has apologised after remarking that it is “great” that the young generation is not “managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren”, adding that they were “idiots”, “dickheads” and not “your people”.

Mr Yates was talking about grime music artists when he made the comments. During the programme, which was recorded a month ago, he said: “Like I said it’s about perspective. The thing that makes it great about this new generation of artists is that they ain’t signing to majors. They’re independent, they’re not managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren. Wretch, Stormzy, Skepta, its all – you know what I mean – these are all people that we’ve all known, that we’ve all come up with, from time. So it’s amazing to see now the example isn’t get hot and then give all of your publishing to these idiots. Or go and give all of your rights to these dickheads over here. It’s now get hot, bring the family in, keep the family close, and win with your people. That’s the example now in music.”

The comment was brought to light by Telegraph journalist Camilla Turner in an article yesterday. In response, Mr Yates said: “I am hugely apologetic for this flippant comment. It was not my intention to offend or reinforce stereotypes, but I’m aware that this could have been interpreted that way and for that I am also deeply sorry. What I was actually trying to say was how proud I am of the new generation of artists making their success independently on their own terms and without giving away control or their rights to major labels.”

Mr Yates, 34, made the comments while appearing as a guest on a show entitled “Take back the power”, hosted by DJ Chuckie Lothian. Mr Yates also spoke about his career, which has seen him rise from an impoverished council estate in Holloway to presenting children’s channel CBBC, Top of the Pops and The Voice UK, as well as hosting shows for BBC Radio 1 and presenting and directing documentaries. When approached by The Telegraph, the BBC declined to comment, but has since told us: “While we recognise the strength of people’s feelings, Reggie Yates is not a member of BBC staff and he was not speaking on behalf of the BBC. The interview itself was not broadcast by the BBC. For these reasons we do not believe this is a matter for the BBC and we will not be providing a comment.”

Mr Yates directed abuse at Jewish talent agents because he believes that they are unappetising, alien and corporate. He called them “idiots” and other insults simply because he considers them to not be “your people”. For many, Mr Yates’ comments will evoke the ugly stereotype of Jews as untrustworthy and money-grabbing. Apologies for any offence caused are easy to issue, but these bigoted remarks came from somewhere, and Mr Yates should reflect long and hard on his prejudice.

Clearly someone who sees fit to voice such views and only apologises when caught out should not be presented by the BBC as a role model for young people. It is not good enough for the BBC to try to shrug this off. If you believe that the BBC should investigate this matter properly, you may wish to make a complaint.

Police Scotland is investigating a series of swastikas that were painted on vehicles and a wall near McConechy’s garage and a butcher’s shop in Lockerbie between Remembrance Sunday and Monday morning.

PC David Noble appealed for witnesses and told the BBC that it was a “disgusting act” at a time of “remembrance and reflection”.

Councillor Adam Wilson added: “Yesterday I had the privilege to lay a wreath alongside veterans and townspeople to commemorate those who have fought in conflict since World War One, especially to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom and our democracy. The fallen that we have stood in silence for over the weekend protected us from the horrible ideology that the swastika represents. The people of Lockerbie along with me will be horrified by this graffiti because we stand with the fallen as they gave the ultimate sacrifice to give us our freedom.”

Timothy Rustige, a 68-year-old from Altrincham, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of criminal damage at Central Manchester Magistrates’ Court following a graffiti campaign between September 2016 and August this year that saw him scrawl slogans on the River Bollin Aqueduct in Dunham Massey. Mr Rustige’s graffiti included anti-Israel slogans such as “BDS” and “Gaza bleeds”, but also antisemitic slogans such as “ZioNazis”, accompanied by a Star of David. The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

Mr Rustige was caught after Greater Manchester Police installed a hidden camera on the bridge, pleaded guilty to the offences and on 11th October he was ordered by magistrates to pay £500 in compensation and sentenced to a 12-month community order with 140 hours of unpaid work.

Regrettably, it appears that Mr Rustige was not charged with a racially aggravated offence for his graffiti that was antisemitic.

We commend Greater Manchester Police for taking this graffiti seriously and bringing Mr Rustige to justice.

Image credit: Facebook and CST

It is “game over” for modern-day antisemitic hate preacher David Icke, as Manchester United has confirmed to Campaign Against Antisemitism that it has decided to cancel his event at Old Trafford this evening.

The venue of “An evening with David Icke” had been a closely guarded secret until two tickets with a face value of £85 each were spotted on eBay and reported to Campaign Against Antisemitism by actor Marlon Solomon and Sussex Friends of Israel.

We immediately wrote to the club alerting them to Mr Icke’s views, following which they cancelled the booking.

A reporter for the Jewish Telegraph learned that the event had been booked through an agency without mentioning that Mr Icke would be speaking, but as soon as management received the information that Mr Icke was the speaker, they stopped the event. This was then confirmed to us directly by a source at the football club, followed by an official statement that “The booking was made by a junior member of staff who was unaware of Icke and his objectionable views. The event has been cancelled.”

Mr Icke is a modern-day antisemitic hate preacher who uses social media, his books and his stage performances to incite hatred towards Jewish people. His preaching is so absurd that since the 1990s he has been dismissed as a crank, but because he is dismissed there has been no major opposition to him and he has built up a following of thousands upon thousands of disciples whom he has persuaded to adamantly believe that the world is in the grip of a conspiracy run by the “Rothschild Zionists”.

His repertoire includes conspiracy myths and tropes classified as antisemitic in the International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British Government, including: “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” and “accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.”

Mr Icke’s antisemitic views have resulted in some venues cancelling bookings for his show in 2018. Central Hall in Southampton and St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich have both taken a highly principled stand. North West Friends of Israel have also been successful in causing the cancellation of Mr Icke’s events at the Lowry Hotel in Salford, Sheffield City Hall and the Gladstone Theatre in Wirral.

We commend Manchester United for immediately reacting to our letter by cancelling Mr Icke’s event.

You may wish to join Campaign Against Antisemitism by sending thanks to Manchester United by e-mailing feedback@manutd.co.uk.

Josh Rivers has been sacked shortly after being appointed editor of the Gay Times, Britain’s oldest magazine for gay men, for a series of offensive tweets, including comments about Jews having large noses. Buzzfeed uncovered the tweets during research for an interview with Mr Rivers. He was suspended within hours of publication and fired a day later following a swift investigation.

In 2011, he tweeted: “I wonder if they cast that guy as ‘The Jew’ because of that f***ing ridiculously large honker of a nose. It must be prosthetic. Must be.” In another tweet, he repeated a soundbite from the animated show, Family Guy: “Jews are gross. It’s the only religion with ‘ew’ in it.” He also asked for film recommendations in a tweet but excluded films about the Holocaust. Further tweets directed offensive remarks at various other minorities.

Mr Rivers tweeted an apology on Tuesday: “To every single person who is hurt, offended and disappointed: I’m sorry. The tweets are horrible. They are abhorrent. They are ugly. They are so hateful.”

The Gay Times released a statement confirming that Mr Rivers has been sacked: “After an investigation of the facts surrounding historical tweets by Josh Rivers, the newly appointed Editor of Gay Times magazine; we announce that his employment has been terminated with immediate effect. We sincerely apologise for the offence that has been caused, particularly to those members of our wider community to whom such inappropriate and unacceptable commentary was the focus. Gay Times does not tolerate such views and will continue to strive to honour and promote inclusivity.” It added: All articles written by Josh Rivers have been removed.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomes the swift and firm approach taken by the Gay Times which has sent a strong message that antisemitic hatred will not be tolerated.

Central Saint Martins, a college of the University of the Arts London, has apologised after a red banner featuring swastikas was hung from its central hall. A student reportedly proposed the banner as a piece of “art” about prohibition, and was told not to go ahead on ethical grounds, but proceeded nonetheless.

Professor Jeremy Till, principal of the college, said: “As soon as we became aware of this, the work was removed. The installation of the banner was proposed by a student yesterday, and immediately and emphatically rejected.” He added that the university was “deeply sorry for the offence caused to our Jewish community and will be pursuing the matter…Central Saint Martins is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for our diverse students, and we are aghast that the banner was installed against our specific instructions.”

According to one report, there was no explanation around the banner and students were simply laughing about it. However when the banner was removed, Alex Schady, Programme Director for the Arts, said that students cheered: “The student proposed the piece of work to me, which was to be part of an exhibition about prohibition. I immediately said no. But then the student arrived on the day with his work. He showed it to me and I said we are not comfortable with it. He then hung it without permission. As soon as I saw it I took it down and the students watching cheered as it came down. When putting any work in public spaces you have to consider the ethics. It is important that as a university we put on work that is ethically sound.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism commends Central Saint Martins for its swift action in removing this imitation Nazi banner and calls for strong disciplinary action to be taken.

Students who encounter antisemitism can contact our dedicated team at campus@antisemitism.uk.

At the eleventh hour, it has emerged that tomorrow, Friday 17th November, Manchester United will welcome antisemitic conspiracy-theorist David Icke. The location for “An evening with David Icke” had been a closely guarded secret until two tickets with a face value of £85 each were spotted on eBay and reported to Campaign Against Antisemitism by actor Marlon Solomon and Sussex Friends of Israel.

David Icke is a modern-day antisemitic hate preacher who uses social media, his books and his stage performances to incite hatred towards Jewish people. His preaching is so absurd that since the 1990s he has been dismissed as a crank, but because he is dismissed there has been no major opposition to him and he has built up a following of thousands upon thousands of disciples whom he has persuaded to adamantly believe that the world is in the grip of a conspiracy run by the “Rothschild Zionists”.

His repertoire includes conspiracy myths and tropes classified as antisemitic in the International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British Government, including: “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” and “accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.”

David Icke’s antisemitic views have resulted in some venues cancelling bookings for his show in 2018. Central Hall in Southampton and St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich have both taken a highly principled stand. North West Friends of Israel have also been successful in causing the cancellation of Mr Icke’s events at the Lowry Hotel in Salford, Sheffield City Hall and the Gladstone Theatre in Wirral. It is disgraceful therefore that one of the country’s pre-eminent sporting institutions is willing to provide him with a platform. The Premier League is a funder of Kick It Out, professional football’s equality and inclusion organisation.

It is shocking that Manchester United, one of the country’s most iconic sporting institutions is willing to give Mr Icke a platform, whether he intends to use it to promote his repugnant views about Jews or not. The directors of Manchester United have claimed to back the Kick It Out campaign to kick racism out of football, and if their words are to be believed then they must now act to cancel this event.

Even at this late stage, it is not too late for Manchester United to make the right decision and cancel Mr Icke’s event. We call on the club’s directors to search their consciences and act accordingly.

You may wish to join Campaign Against Antisemitism in sending complaints to feedback@manutd.co.uk and info@kickitout.org.

The Labour Party has reportedly barred Nasreen Khan and Billy Wells from standing as councillors, following investigations into antisemitic comments.

Ms Khan has reportedly been barred from seeking office for the Labour Party following her comments that Hitler was not the “bad guy” and Jews are “playing victims”. She was shortlisted as one of two people to be selected as a Labour candidate for a safe council seat in Bradford. The Party is reported to have re-interviewed her after her remarks attracted a national furore and she was removed from the panel of two potential candidates because “Labour condemns all antisemitism in the strongest possible terms.” However the original interviewers were aware of Ms Khan’s antisemitic comments and simply chose to accept her previous apology for them. It seems that she has been interviewed again now about the same comments, but this time the apology was not deemed acceptable.

Ms Khan previously wrote on Facebook: “It’s such a shame that the history teachers in our school never taught us this but they are the first to start brainwashing us and our children into thinking the bad guy was Hitler. What have the Jews done good in this world??” When another user remonstrated with her, she retorted: “No, I’m not a Nazi, I’m an ordinary British Muslim that had an opinion and put it across. We have worse people than Hitler in this world now.” As her comments drew further opprobrium, she wrote: “Stop beating a dead horse. The Jews have reaped the rewards of playing victims. Enough is enough!!”

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has also reportedly withdrawn its backing f0r council candidate Billy Wells over a series of posts about “Zionists” controlling politics and the media.

Mr Wells had previously claimed: “…it’s the super rich families of the Zionist lobby that control the world. Our world leaders sell their souls for greed and do the bidding of Israel. They see the evil but their love for wealth makes them turn a blind eye.” He also asked on Twitter: “How much money and how much power is too much? The greed of the Rothschild family knows no bounds”. He made several claims that the media is controlled by the “Israeli lobby”, in one instance claiming: “The Zionist Lobby would not allow our puppet government and its media lapdogs to show the truth.”

Whilst we welcome the fact that neither Ms Khan nor Mr Wells are now being considered as candidates, the Labour Party should have vetted Mr Wells more carefully (this is hardly their first time), and in Ms Khan’s case they should have decided that antisemitism was a red line for them and not shortlisted her in the first place, rather than shortlisting her and only dropping her following severe criticism.

American-Israeli activist, Miko Peled, compared Zionists to Nazis in a controversial talk on Friday 10th November at University College London (UCL).

The talk was titled “Segregated and Unequal, Palestinian Life in Apartheid Israel”. Though it was organised by UCL Friends of Palestine Society, it had the backing of pro-Palestinian student societies at various London universities, namely City, Imperial, Kings College, Queen Mary and Westminster.

Following approaches from concerned Jewish students at UCL, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the UCL administration prior to the event to raise our concerns about Mr Peled and to call for the event to be cancelled. We demonstrated that Mr Peled’s views have, in the past, engaged the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government, and also engage the Prevent counter-extremism strategy.

In response, a university official assured us that: “In discussion with officers in the Union it has been agreed that the event will go ahead. Mr Peled has agreed to abide by the Union’s Code for speakers, and the event will be chaired by an independent student officer. I understand the concerns you express but we believe that the arrangements we have put in place strike the right balance between compliance with our legal obligations to secure freedom of speech, other legal obligations and our responsibilities towards our students.”

Sadly our concerns and those of the students were proven to be correct.

Volunteers from our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit went to the talk to gather evidence.

During the question and answer session, Mr Peled compared Zionists to Nazis. He said: “Would we allow members of the KKK to come and explain to us why racist laws are the right thing to do? Would we allow Nazis to come here and tell us that Jews belong in concentration camps and just explain themselves? On that same token, Zionism which is a racist, brutal ideology, has been involved in genocide for seven decades and has been responsible for the murder and suffering of an entire nation for seven decades. I believe they can talk all they want, they do not deserve a platform.” This was met with rapturous applause from the audience.

He mocked and disputed antisemitism in the Labour Party, saying that in the last two years there has been a “witchhunt against antisemites and Holocaust deniers, many, most, if not all of whom happen to be Corbyn supporters and sympathisers with the Palestinian cause. Interesting coincidence.” He added: “You put away the nonsense about Holocaust denying and the nonsense about the antisemitism. In cases like this, when they’re not, where it’s not made obviously.”

Mr Peled said that his 2016 tweet that “Jews have a reputation for being sleazy thieves” had been taken out of context. He said that he was not accusing Jews of this behaviour but in regards to this antisemitic trope, “the State of Israel is enforcing it.” He explained that the aid provided to Israel by the US Congress “was exactly why Jews have a reputation for being sleazy thieves.” He stated that “my criticism was against the State of Israel, which do [sic] behave like sleazy thieves and worse and because they claim that they represent Jews, the conclusion must be there.” He concluded that “you can’t complain that there is antisemitism and that people make all these, you know, sic characteristics about Jews, racist slurs about Jews, and then behave in this particular way.”

During the question and answer session, a member of the audience said that “Washington is colonised by AIPAC”, a comment which went unchallenged by the moderator, the independent student officer. AIPAC is a pro-Israel lobbying organisation.

In September, Mr Peled made national headlines by demanding at the Labour Party Conference that delegates should have the freedom to engage in debate as to whether the Holocaust actually happened at all. He said that people should be free to ask “Holocaust, yes or no” because “there should be no limits on the discussion.” He additionally reportedly proposed that Israelis should be treated like Nazis. He was widely condemned.

This event should not have gone ahead. If you wish to raise concerns with University College London, please use the university’s complaints process.

If you are aware of a problematic speaker being invited to speak at a university, please contact campus@antisemitism.uk.

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, has said that “We need a bit of movement on both sides”, while attempting to reach out to the Jewish community to counter antisemitism in the Labour Party.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Times of Israel during her visit to Israel last week, she said that: “There is clearly a lot of work to be done between the Labour Party and the British Jewish community. And I am prepared to do whatever it takes in order to be able to open channels again and to see if we can sort this out.” She added, however, that: “We need a bit of movement on both sides.”

Ms Thornberry also said that: “I don’t think that the antisemitism in the Labour Party is any worse than it is in our society generally. I want my Labour Party to be held to higher standards than the rest of British society.”

While we welcome her initiative to engage with the Jewish community and to confront antisemitism in the Labour Party, her request for “a bit of movement on both sides” is simply outrageous. It places responsibility on the Jewish community for the failure of the Labour Party to address its antisemitism problem, and implies that the Jewish community needs to change its ways.

Ms Thornberry was on a four day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, her first official trip to the region in her current role. Her schedule reportedly included a series of meetings with senior Israeli Labour Party MKs, a visit to a kibbutz on the Gazan border and attending a wreath-laying at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Her visit was organised by Labour Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.

Billy J Wells is an ex-Army musician from Swaffham, in Norfolk. On his Twitter profile he describes himself as a “Wedding and event clarinetist Democratic Socialist and writer Head of PR [at] Prolestar”. He has now expanded his repertoire further to add the role of Labour politician, having proudly announced on 2nd October that he had been selected to represent Bradwell South and Hopton in forthcoming borough elections. His Facebook profile announces that “Jeremy Corbyn got my vote”.

Mr Wells is convinced that there is no evidence for antisemitism in the Labour Party. He says: “This whole saga [antisemitism] has been staged in a bid to put people off voting labour” as well as telling the actress Frances Barber: “You are a bellend…there is no antisemitism it’s just right wing propaganda”. He even thinks that Labour MP John Mann should have been suspended from the Labour Party for remonstrating with Ken Livingstone, after he claimed that Hitler supported Zionism. To Mr Wells, the Labour Party is a pure and virtuous community, being attacked on all sides by enemies who disguise their true motives by accusing people of antisemitism.

Then, with no self-consciousness, he has claimed: “…it’s the super rich families of the Zionist lobby that control the world. Our world leaders sell their souls for greed and do the bidding of Israel. They see the evil but their love for wealth makes them turn a blind eye.” He also asked on Twitter: “How much money and how much power is too much? The greed of the Rothschild family knows no bounds”. He makes several claims that the media is controlled by the “Israeli lobby”, in one instance claiming: “The Zionist Lobby would not allow our puppet government and its media lapdogs to show the truth.”

He has, in addition, shared a post that said: “Don’t give your soul energy to the parasitical Rothschild-Zion-Jesuit-Vati-lunatic nonce controllers. If they want to invade, bomb, kill & Slaughter innocent men, women and children in far away lands for an insane maniacal agenda then let them and their puppet politicians do it, not you”. He believes, despite the disgust of the wider world and of 107 of his own party’s MPs that called out Ken Livingstone’s “insidious racism”, that Ken Livingstone was right to say that Hitler supported Zionism. He also believes that the social media posts that saw Labour MP Naz Shah suspended, and which she later admitted were indeed antisemitic, were not antisemitic; in doing so he quotes the blog of Labour Council Candidate Mike Sivier, who has been suspended for his antisemitic blog posts.

Mr Wells’ posts clearly qualify as antisemitic discourse under the terms of the International Definition of Antisemitism, which has been accepted by the Labour Party, on multiple counts.

As in the case of Nasreen Khan, exposed only a few days ago, it beggars belief that an individual so obvious and extreme in their use of antisemitic discourse should have been put forward by the Labour Party as a candidate for office, when his statements were broadcast for all to see. Further, as in the case of Moshe Machover, it is clear that the Labour Party itself is not only uninterested in suppressing antisemitism in its ranks, but openly welcomes those who indulge in antisemitic discourse as elected representatives.

What Mr Wells’ case also illustrates so well, however, is the sheer scale of denial that exists within the Labour Party: That an individual so clearly antisemitic under the terms laid down by that party is so passionate in the cause of claiming that there is – simultaneously – no antisemitism in his party, is an exercise of denial and doublespeak that takes the breath away.

Mr Wells’ profile underlines the dramatic way antisemitism has managed to reinvent itself, by posing in the minds of its own proponents, and in the wider community of the Left, as an expression of virtue in itself.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is grateful to sources within the Labour party for providing key information for this post.

In a letter exposed today in the Mail on Sunday, it was revealed that Prince Charles made deeply troubling comments about refugee Holocaust survivors and the power of the “Jewish lobby”. Following criticism by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others, Clarence House, Prince Charles’ residence and office, has now issued a statement dismissing the views he expressed in a letter over thirty years ago.

In a 1986 letter to explorer Laurens van der Post, the heir to the throne wrote: “Dear Laurens, Am on my way to Cyprus and Italy having passed through Suez Canal. Lovely having three days at sea. This tour has been fascinating and have learned a lot about Middle East and Arab outlook. Tried to read a bit of Koran on way out and it gave me some insight into the way they think and operate. Don’t think they could understand us by reading the Bible though. Much to admire some aspects of Islam – especially accent on hospitality and accessibility of rulers. Also begin to understand their point of view about Israel. Never realised they see it as a US colony. I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally and it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland they say) which has helped to cause great problems. I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated? Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in the US? I must be naïve, I suppose! Charles”

Following publication of the letter, Campaign Against Antisemitism issued a statement saying: “This letter is disturbing. It appears that our future king believed in 1986 that the ‘influx’ of Holocaust survivors to Israel were not ‘Semitic’, ‘cause great problems’ including terrorism, and should be ‘eliminated’, presumably through their removal. The letter also appears to endorse the view that Israel is not simply the result of Jewish self-determination in the historic Jewish homeland, but the result of bullying by an all-powerful ‘Jewish lobby’ which holds US presidents in its clutches. We view these comments as unmistakably antisemitic. However, since the letter was written, the Prince of Wales appears to have warmed to the Jewish community and we note his friendship with the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, as well as his attendance at the inauguration of the present Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis. In order to reassure the worldwide Jewish community, including Jews living in Israel, that the heir to the throne has changed his views, these historic remarks must urgently be repudiated by Prince Charles.”

When our criticism was put to Prince Charles’ staff at Clarence House by the Jewish News, a statement was issued saying: “The letter clearly states that these were not the Prince’s own views about Arab-Israeli issues but represented the opinions of some of those he met during his visit which he was keen to interrogate. He was sharing the arguments in private correspondence with a long standing friend in an attempt to improve his understanding of what he has always recognised is a deeply complex issue to which he was coming early on in his own analysis in 1986. Over the years, the Prince has continued his study of the complex and difficult themes he referenced here. He has built a proven track record of support for both Jewish and Arab communities around the world and has a long history of promoting interfaith dialogue and cultural understanding.”

Though we wish that the statement were clearer, it is obvious that the officials who issued it wish to show that Prince Charles now disavows the views expressed in his letter as a result of his continued “study” of the issues involved.

A protester has been sighted flying the flag of a Palestinian terrorist organisation outside the Royal Albert Hall during a concert celebrating the Balfour Declaration, which supported the establishment of the State of Israel.

While the concert took place on Tuesday evening, one protester brazenly flew the flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The group has committed numerous terrorist attacks, including the 2014 Jerusalem synagogue massacre in which four Jewish worshipers and a Druze Arab policeman were killed with axes, knives, and a gun, while seven were injured.

The protester was able to stand in full view of police, flying the flag and smiling, because the police officers did not have the powers to arrest him: a faction of the PFLP has been outlawed in Britain, but not the PFLP as a whole.

The fact that a protester can lawfully stand in central London in support of a terrorist organisation that seeks the slaughter of Jews makes an utter mockery of our counter-extremism and terrorism legislation. The PFLP as a whole should be proscribed as a terrorist organisation.

In a letter exposed today in the Mail on Sunday, it has been revealed that Prince Charles made deeply troubling comments about refugee Holocaust survivors and the power of the “Jewish lobby”.

In a 1986 letter to explorer Laurens van der Post, the heir to the throne wrote: “Dear Laurens, Am on my way to Cyprus and Italy having passed through Suez Canal. Lovely having three days at sea. This tour has been fascinating and have learned a lot about Middle East and Arab outlook. Tried to read a bit of Koran on way out and it gave me some insight into the way they think and operate. Don’t think they could understand us by reading the Bible though. Much to admire some aspects of Islam – especially accent on hospitality and accessibility of rulers. Also begin to understand their point of view about Israel. Never realised they see it as a US colony. I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally and it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland they say) which has helped to cause great problems. I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated? Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in the US? I must be naïve, I suppose! Charles”

This letter is disturbing. It appears that our future king believed in 1986 that the “influx” of Holocaust survivors to Israel were not “Semitic”, “cause great problems” including terrorism, and should be “eliminated”, presumably through their removal. The letter also appears to endorse the view that Israel is not simply the result of Jewish self-determination in the historic Jewish homeland, but the result of bullying by an all-powerful “Jewish lobby” which holds US presidents in its clutches. We view these comments as unmistakably antisemitic.

However, since the letter was written, the Prince of Wales appears to have warmed to the Jewish community and we note his friendship with the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, as well as his attendance at the inauguration of the present Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.

In order to reassure the worldwide Jewish community, including Jews living in Israel, that the heir to the throne has changed his views, these historic remarks must urgently be repudiated by Prince Charles.

The Labour Party has refused to comment on the shortlisting of Nasreen Khan as one of two people to be selected as a candidate for a safe council seat in Bradford.

Ms Khan previously wrote on Facebook: “It’s such a shame that the history teachers in our school never taught us this but they are the first to start brainwashing us and our children into thinking the bad guy was Hitler. What have the Jews done good in this world??” When another user remonstrated with her, she retorted: “No, I’m not a Nazi, I’m an ordinary British Muslim that had an opinion and put it across. We have worse people than Hitler in this world now.” As her comments drew further opprobrium, she wrote: “Stop beating a dead horse. The Jews have reaped the rewards of playing victims. Enough is enough!!”

At the time, she was a member of George Galloway’s now-defunct Respect Party, which said that she “deeply regrets and repudiates” the comments. She has now told the Telegraph and Argus, which broke the news of her shortlisting as a Labour Party candidate in the forthcoming council elections in Bradford. Ms Khan told the paper: “I have been honest, frank and held my hand up regarding comments I made on Facebook over five years ago. I was challenged immediately about my language and apologised straight away. I accept fully that it was inappropriate and unacceptable. I have travelled a long way since then and learned so much. I profoundly regret the comments I made in 2012 and any offence they caused.”

Some journalists were so shocked by the story that they doubted it could be true. Andrew Neil tweeted: “Is it really true she was adopted as a Labour candidate, even in full knowledge of this quote? Surely fake news.”

Extraordinarily, the Jewish News has now revealed that the Labour Party knew about Ms Khan’s past comments, and refused to take them into account unless new information emerged. The Labour Party refused to comment.

The Jewish News also reveals that Ms Khan had edited her comments to replace the word “Zionist” with “Jews” because she believed that “Zionist” is a “term of abuse”. In her defence, the Jewish News says that Ms Khan added that others in the party had said “as bad or worse”.

Once again, the Labour Party has shown that it is incapable of resisting the urge to find a place for those whose views on Jews, whether past or present, constitute vile antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

The resignation of Priti Patel as Secretary of State for International Development has unleashed some disturbing comments, including from politicians and journalists who have carelessly or deliberately evoked sinister stereotypes of powerful Jews.

In one article in The Times, Policy Editor, Oliver Wright and Political Editor, Francis Elliott, cited an unnamed senior Conservative MP writing: “Another senior Conservative MP claimed that Ms Patel was planning to use her ministerial position in DfID to support Israel to curry favour with Jewish Tory donors. ‘The Israel lobby in the Party is hugely influential and this was about Priti cynically trying to win their support. She thought she could be the next leader.”

In another article in The Times, Oliver Wright wrote: “She didn’t relish the DfID job and saw it as a staging post rather than a mission. And in that regard the meetings she secretly held in Israel were less interesting than the person she held them with. Lord Polak, as the former longstanding head of Conservative Friends of Israel, has always been a key power-broker within the Tory party — with the numbers and contacts of dozens of key Tory financial backers.”

In an unfortunate choice of words, Andrew Pierce claimed in the Daily Mail that Conservative Friends of Israel: “has tentacles in every corner”.

Meanwhile, Labour peer, barrister and former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, told the BBC’s Today Programme: “This has nothing to do with paranoia about any particular country or any particular group. You do not want a Prime Minister who is in hock to the United States of America. You do not want a Prime Minister who is in hock to any particular group.”

Under the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.

It is therefore incumbent upon those commenting on the Priti Patel affair to do so in a way that is proportionate and rational. It is a dangerous stretch to accuse Ms Patel of doing Israel’s bidding in order to please wealthy Jews who have the power to influence the selection of the next Conservative leader, and it is entirely absurd to suggest that the Prime Minister might be “in hock” to a lobby. Additionally, when politicians do make such comments, it is irresponsible journalism to repeat those comments without challenging them.

Last week, Nigel Farage told LBC listeners that he believes that American Jews wield disproportionate political power.

In an article for The Guardian about stereotyping Jews, Michele Hanson has peddled the stereotype that people are accused of antisemitism merely for “expressing a smidgin of concern about the Palestinians”.

In an article titled “Nigel Farage isn’t just crass, I find him dangerous and cruel” she wrote: “I notice Theresa May mentioned illegal settlements to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, but he wasn’t keen to chat about them, and instead started droning on about his commitment to peace and ‘the battle against militant Islam’. That was a pretty daring move by May, because some people might easily have called her antisemitic, as she was expressing a smidgin of concern about the Palestinians and questioning the Israeli government’s actions.”

It is ironic that Ms Hanson made this unpleasant and derisive remark in an article about “insidious stereotypes” in which she criticised Nigel Farage over his remarks to LBC listeners that he believes that American Jews wield disproportionate political power. Ms Hanson wrote that “I would like to write Farage’s statement in bold, 10ft-high letters to shame him, but it wouldn’t work.”

 

Instead of welcoming Ms Hanson’s criticism of Nigel Farage, which echoes our own thoughts on his remarks, we find ourselves faced with an article about stereotyping Jews which claims that antisemitism is wielded as a political weapon to stifle Israel’s critics. In so doing she deploys the so-called Livingstone formulation, named for the notorious Ken Livingstone.

The International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government, states that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” Campaign Against Antisemitism suggests that Ms Hanson takes a close look at the definition and retracts her comments that conflate criticism of Israeli government policy with accusations of antisemitism.

Whilst attempting to point out and isolate Nigel Farage for his remarks, she has simultaneously echoed the poisonous claims of Len McCluskey, Ken Loach and Ken Livingstone. She should be ashamed to keep such company.

We are now making a complaint to The Guardian which we will withdraw if Ms Hanson apologises.

We are grateful to UK Media Watch for bringing this matter to our attention.

A gang of between 30 to 50 children have reportedly caused police to issue a dispersal order over antisemitic behaviour during Halloween directed at the Jewish community on Canvey Island in Essex. A community of Orthodox charedi Jews from Stamford Hill in London have pioneered a move to establish a new community on the island.

According to the Echo News, on Tuesday evening last week, police invoked powers under the Anti-Social, Crime and Policing Act to issue a dispersal order after reports of a large gang of up to 50 children gathering near the Jewish Centre in Meppell Avenue, and other reports of children gathering in the town centre.

The children, believed to be aged between 11 and 15, all reportedly wore black hoodies and masks. One resident, Rebecca Vos, witnessed one member of the Jewish community trying to disperse the children, only to be met with a torrent of abuse. She told the Echo News: “It is a nightmare. I did go and apologise to the man because it was horrible. In all honesty, these children don’t even know what they are saying, they don’t understand, but they are creating a gang mentality where they feel safe to act this way.”

Essex Police posted a statement on Facebook warning: “Do you know where your children are?…On Canvey we have had a report of a large group congregating and intimidating local residents. As a result a dispersal order has been put in place for Canvey, this gives an officer in uniform the power to remove a young person to a place of safety. This is under s35 of the Anti-Social, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and lasts for 48 hours. Children under 16 but over the age of 10 will be taken home, if they return to the locality defined within the order and cause anti-social behaviour within 48 hours this will be considered a breach which is an arrestable offence.”

We commend Essex Police for their firm response to this incident.

Jewish newcomers to the island say that they have generally been welcomed, but there have been antisemitic incidents such as when in August a group of youths reportedly directed Nazi salutes at a charedi Jewish family.

Mohammed Sawalha, a trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, one of Britain’s most prominent mosques, is reportedly a member of the political bureau of Hamas, the terrorist organisation that seeks the genocide of Jews worldwide, including in Britain.

Hamas is was listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK in March 2001. It is also banned by the United States and the EU.

According to The Times, Mr Sawalha’s role with Hamas was revealed when it was announced that he was part of a Hamas delegation to Moscow in September which held a meeting with Mikhail Bogdanov, President Putin’s Middle East Envoy and a Deputy Foreign Minister. He was allegedly the former military commander of Hamas in the West Bank and was named in a 2004 indictment against another Hamas operative by the United States.

Last week, Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary, urged Hamas to cease its “violent antisemitic propaganda” and to “renounce terror”.

Mr Sawalha, aged 56, arrived in Britain from the West Bank as a refugee in the early 1990s. He was appointed a trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque in 2010, making him legally responsible for overseeing its management.

The Sunday Times reported in 2008 that he had been named in US court documents as having previously been “in charge of Hamas terrorist operations in the West Bank.”

The mosque said in statement that it is a “British charity and has no relationship with Hamas”. Mr Sawalha could not be contacted by The Times for comment.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to the Charity Commission asking that it investigate the matter urgently.

A 70-year-old woman had to be treated in hospital after a man aged 19-20 allegedly attacked her from behind and smashed her head into a brick wall, whilst shouting “Żyd”, which is Polish for “Jew”. The victim felt sick and frightened and required hospital treatment after suffering head pain from concussion. Stamford Hill Shomrim, a volunteer Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, are assisting the victim.

The attack occurred on Saturday at approximately 16:30 on St Kilda’s Road in Stamford Hill, north London. Anybody with information should call the police on 101.

This is a particularly repulsive incident and it is important that the perpetrator is brought to justice.

Channel 4’s flagship Dispatches investigative journalism programme has gone undercover with British Transport Police to showcase how they work to catch racist football fans on trains.

Using CCTV, the programme shows how football thugs on trains subject staff and passengers including children to a torrent of abuse as they travel to matches. For their victims, there is no way to escape as they are often blocked in their seats and even if they move carriage, they cannot leave a moving train.

Some of the most shocking footage shows an elderly Jewish man forced to move carriage as Chelsea fans shout that the “Yids” are “on their way to Auschwitz” and that “Hitler’s gonna gas ‘em again”. As the elderly man leaves, the thugs can be seen looking on “triumphantly”, according to a British Transport Police Inspector who is reviewing the footage following a complaint. Fortunately in this case, another passenger, journalist Tamanna Rahman, was sitting nearby and filmed the incident on her smartphone despite the danger to herself, then provided footage to the police. A plumber, Melvin Kerswell, was identified by police and sheepishly admitted his involvement in the repulsive thuggery, but to the frustration of the police, by the time they had identified him and tracked him down, the deadline for bringing a prosecution had passed.

The programme uses a number of cases to show the impressive lengths that British Transport Police are going to so that offenders can be identified. This tallies with Campaign Against Antisemitism’s experience of British Transport Police, whose record of investigating hate crimes tends to be stronger than that of many other police forces. For example, since passengers often fail to inform the police about hate crime on trains, police now send undercover officers posing as football fans on problematic routes. The programme shows how cases are transformed when police are provided with smartphone footage, as CCTV usually fails to capture the audio that is so crucial, especially in cases of hate crime. It also shows how far officers will go to track down individuals.

The Chief Constable of British Transport Police, Paul Crowther OBE, also shames the football clubs which all too often fail to ban fans who engage in abuse.

We commend British Transport Police for its exemplary zero tolerance approach to hate crime. Its example should be admired and replicated.

British Transport Police can be contacted by calling 0800 405040, or by sending a text message to 61016. In an emergency, always call 999.

A Jewish man has said that a police officer told him to “get lost” after he witnessed and reported an antisemitic incident targeting young Jewish girls.

The man witnessed an unprovoked incident on Sunday when children targeted young Jewish girls by shouting abuse at them, leaving them shocked and fearing for their safety. The witness believed this to be motivated by antisemitism and called the police to report the incident which occured in Warwick Grove in Hackney. As a police car arrived, the witness approached it and the window of the police car opened. A police officer allegedly asked the witness “Did you just call police for 10-year-old kids?” to which the witness replied “Yes.” The witness then says that the police officer aggressively replied “Get lost” and sped away from the scene.

There have been numerous incidents in which Jewish children have been attacked by other children, including one case in which a 16-year-old girl was left bloodied for hours after police failed to attend.

Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community neighbourhood watch patrol, is assisting the witness. They have made a formal complaint to the police and referred the case to Campaign Against Antisemitism for assistance.

Shadow Minister Chris Williamson has tweeted a blog article entitled “Revealed: The Labour Party activists behind the ‘antisemitism’ smears”, which he commended as “really interesting”. Despite its grand use of terms such as “raw data” and “the power of weak links”, the article does little more than to insinuate – on the flimsiest of evidence – that a small number of social media users constitute a “network of hate” and to accuse Councillor Warren Morgan – the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council whose brave stand against antisemitism we applauded in September – of lying, bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, and “regurgitating second-hand fabrications about alleged antisemitism”. It was written by internet millionaire and former Daily Mail journalist Greg Hadfield, whose membership of the Labour Party is currently suspended.

Although one might find it extraordinary that a member of the Shadow Cabinet should take to social media to promote a suspended party member’s attack on one of his own party’s elected representatives, it should be remembered that Mr Williamson has a track record when it comes to the dismissal of complaints of antisemitism as malicious smears (a track record that he shares with Scott Nelson, an expelled former Labour Party member whom he frequently retweets).

In the UK, it is accepted that an incident perceived as racist should be investigated as such. The idea that one particular ethnic group — and one particular ethnic group alone — cannot be trusted to recognise racism when directed against itself is incompatible with the Macpherson principle that underpins the British approach to racism. It would be regrettable indeed if the endorsement of Mr Hadfield’s article by such a senior politician as Mr Williamson were to have the effect of intimidating party members from coming forward with or responding to complaints about antisemitism. The Labour Party’s new rules on hate speech, adopted by near-unanimous vote after a highly controversial conference debate, cannot begin to have an impact on the Party’s undeniable antisemitism problem unless whistleblowers are able to speak out without fear of reprisals.

BBC presenter Andrew Marr has claimed in an interview with the visiting Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that “a lot of Jewish friends” and “a lot of Jewish community leaders have said that Israeli government policies are feeding antisemitism in Britain.

Mr Marr asked Mr Netanyahu: “Can I ask you about the condition of Jews in this country because I’ve got a lot of Jewish friends and there are a lot of Jewish community leaders who are very worried about your government and they say that particularly the settlements issue has made it much, much harder to defend Israel in this country.” However, Mr Marr then added: “We have always had antisemitism in Britain but it has been quite quiet for a long time and it is back on the rise.”

Mr Netanyahu correctly answered: “Well, you know, I wouldn’t blame Jews for antisemitism any more than I would blame blacks for racial hatred stirred against them, or anti-gay hatred. It’s because of what they are.” Mr Netanyahu appeared to have more to say, but Mr Marr interjected: “There’s a distinction between Jews and policies.” Mr Marr was correct to draw such a distinction, which makes his suggestion that many Jews think that rising antisemitism in Britain has been fuelled by the political positions adopted by the Israeli government so extremely clumsy.

There is no evidence that Israeli government policy, which has not changed terribly markedly in recent years, has had any impact on rising hate crime against British Jews, nor is there any evidence that there is any policy that the Israeli government could adopt to stem the tide of hatred aimed at British Jews by the neo-Nazis of the far-right, the extremists of the far-left, or Islamists inspired by groups such as ISIS.

Mr Netanyahu responded by paraphrasing a speech given by the Prime Minister at an event to commemorate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, a British statement which was a major milestone in the fight to establish the modern State of Israel. In her speech, the Prime Minister pointed out that calling for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state is antisemitic and not a legitimate political criticism.

Mr Marr then moved on to a question about whether Mr Netanyahu would expect good relations with Britain were it run by Jeremy Corbyn.

It is disappointing and concerning that an experienced broadcaster like Mr Marr, who was the editor of The Independent and then the BBC’s political editor, should see fit to conflate criticism of Israeli policies, which is not antisemitic, with rising antisemitic crime.

Nigel Farage has attempted to end the controversy over remarks he made earlier in the week when he told LBC listeners that he believes that American Jews exert disproportionate political power and even appeared to agree with a claim that they have financial control over American politics.

After Campaign Against Antisemitism made a formal complaint to broadcasting regulator Ofcom, Mr Farage has now stated that a “Jewish lobby” did not wield influence over the outcome of last year’s Presidential election. He told a caller to LBC this morning that he rejected claims that his remarks were antisemitic but then said: “the Jewish lobby in America is organised and powerful, but not for one moment do I think that they tried to influence the election, I think it’s ridiculous”.

Whilst we welcome Mr Farage’s statement that he does not believe that Jews “used their influence” to determine the outcome of the election, we remain concerned that he is clearly convinced that there is a “Jewish lobby” which is “organised and powerful”, again conflating the political lobby for Israel with Jews in general.

It is common for countries to lobby their allies, and Israel is no different, but in Mr Farage’s call on Monday, it was not merely alleged that Israel conducts lobbying, but that it is carried out by the entire Jewish population of the United States and that in doing so American politics are subverted. Counting all American Jews as lobbyists with disproportionate, subversive power and both major political parties in their financial grips is the stuff of antisemitic conspiracy theories, and whilst Mr Farage has now said that he does not believe that American Jews influenced the last year’s Presidential election, he has only reiterated his belief that there is a powerful “Jewish lobby” at work.

The controversy began when, during his regular primetime slot on Monday evening on popular talk radio station LBC, Mr Farage, who is the former leader of the UK Independence Party, discussed with callers whether Russian influence had really aided the election of President Donald Trump. When a caller named only as Ahmed told Mr Farage that he thought that the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States was no less dangerous than alleged Russian hacking, Mr Farage appeared to agree, and started talking about Jews: “Well the Israeli lobby, you know, that’s a reasonable point Ahmed, because there are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big.” When Ahmed said that Israel has both the Republicans and Democrats “in their pockets”, Mr Farage responded: “Well in terms of money and influence, yep, they are a very powerful lobby”. Summarising the call, Mr Farage once again made clear that he believes that a “Jewish lobby” is at work on behalf of a foreign Government, repeating Ahmed’s claim: “Ahmed, new caller from Leyton, I thank you. He makes the point that there are other very powerful foreign lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby, with its links with the Israeli Government is one of those strong voices.”

Mr Farage should delay no further in withdrawing his deplorable comments and apologising for them, or LBC should relieve him of his duties. We await Mr Farage’s urgent apology and the outcome of Ofcom’s investigation.


Campaign Against Antisemitism is determinedly apolitical, as should be the fight against antisemitism. Unfortunately, as our database of antisemitism in political parties shows, some parties fight antisemitism, and others let it rise, and even throw fuel into its ravenous flames.

This week, the contrasting approaches of our political parties were once again thrown into stark relief.

Britain celebrated her role in the creation of the State of Israel by marking 100 years since the Lord Balfour declared that “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object” with Government-sponsored events and a visit by the Israeli Prime Minister. The establishment of the State of Israel was a moment of salvation for the Jewish people in the wake of centuries of persecution reaching a murderous crescendo during the Holocaust. It was a rare occasion on which the United Nations lived up to its promise to foster peace “based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”. Had Israel been established sooner, it could have saved many of the millions of European Jews who were denied refuge by the nations of the world even as the fires of Nazi Germany’s crematoria consumed them.

As Britain celebrated the Balfour Declaration of 1917, it was against the backdrop of a 2017 in which the far-right has regained its furious confidence and powers of seduction, in which the anti-racist left has fallen into the clutches of the avowedly antisemitic far-left, and in which the new disease of radical Islam marches to the drumbeat of ancient Jew-hatred. Today, the establishment of the State of Israel is used as a battering ram with which to puncture the anti-racist fortifications built to protect society under the slogan “Never again” as the Nazi furnaces were doused and the consequences of their brutality cast an indelible stain on humanity. The damned enemy of society scheming in the shadows to bring about its downfall is euphemistically known as the “Zionist”. “Israelis” are sanctimoniously accused by false guardians of slaughtering babies and harvesting the body organs of innocents. Israel is hailed not as the ultimate protection against those who would revive the plans of Nazi Germany, but as the reincarnation of Nazi Germany. The Holocaust itself is regarded by too many not as humanity’s most important lesson, but as a fraud perpetrated by a vast Jewish conspiracy in order to justify the establishment of Israel as a base from which to exert their global hegemony.

It is no coincidence that extremists of the far-right, far-left and Islamists have in common their belief that “Zionists” are behind the world’s ills, and that Israel must be boycotted, bullied and battled against until it is wiped out “from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea”.

In these circumstances, Theresa May fought off opposition and insisted on celebrating the Balfour Declaration with a ceremony that Jeremy Corbyn snubbed, sending Emily Thornberry in his stead. When the Prime Minister took to the podium to deliver her remarks, she focused not merely on Israel and the quest for peace in the world’s least peaceful region, but she looked the new antisemitism in the eye and named it: “As we work together towards Balfour’s vision of a peaceful co-existence we must be equally clear that there can never be any excuses for boycotts, divestment or sanctions: they are unacceptable and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to them. Neither can there ever be any excuse for antisemitism in any form…this means recognising that there is today a new and pernicious form of antisemitism which uses criticism of the actions of the Israeli government as a despicable justification for questioning the very right of Israel to exist. This is abhorrent and we will not stand for it. That is why the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of an international effort to create a new definition of antisemitism which explicitly calls out this inexcusable attempt to justify hatred.”

As antisemitic crime surges in Britain, there is much to criticise in the authorities’ approach to fighting it, the fight can only be won if our Government leads with the clarity of purpose exhibited by the Prime Minister.

Simultaneously, this week an opposite political struggle played out. MEND, a Muslim organisation supposedly established to fight for the British values of tolerance and pluralism was comprehensively outed by the media and the Henry Jackson Society think-tank over its connections to extremism and antisemitism. The media berated MPs who planned to address an event by MEND, and all but the Labour Party’s MPs withdrew. As MPs Wes Streeting and Stephen Kinnock faced the wrath of the media for insisting on speaking at the event, many wondered at their allegiance to MEND, whose founder decried “300 years of the Israel lobby” (since Israel has only existed for 69 years, the statement only makes sense as a reference to the period that British Jews have been permitted to live in Britain following the expulsion of 1290) and which circulates articles claiming antisemitism is sometimes wielded as “a political tool to silence legitimate criticism of Israel policies”.

MEND looked to be truly on the brink but for the support of the increasingly embattled Messrs Streeting and Kinnock, until their steadfastness became comprehensible when the cavalry arrived: for MEND, rescue came at the hands of Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition. MEND’s isolated event in the Houses of Parliament was thrust into the approving embrace of what polls say is the most popular political party in Britain, when Mr Corbyn himself arrived to address those gathered in support of MEND, and to invite the organisation to help the Labour Party to develop policies on “race and faith”. As Mr Corbyn mumbled platitudes about opposing racism and division, he sent the clearest possible signal that he had no fear of protecting those very vices. An organisation with demonstrable links to extremism and antisemitism was on the verge of being ousted from polite society, when Mr Corbyn pushed through and gripped MEND to his bosom.

This week could not have been a clearer demonstration of the precariousness faced by British Jews. As the Prime Minister looked the new antisemitism in the eye and named it, the electorate’s favourite to replace her grabbed it by the hand and defended it from reason and opprobrium.

Gideon Falter is Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism

Two charedi Jewish men walking home were pursued by a car and pelted with onions by is occupants. The men were walking in the Amhurst Park area near Stamford Hill in north London when the first onion was thrown at them at approximately 21:55 by a passing car.

After the Jewish men parted company and went separate ways, the car repeatedly followed one of them and pelted him with onions, whilst shouting abuse. The victim described the attackers as a white male in his mid-thirties who was driving the car, and at least two white teenage male passengers. The car was described as small and light-coloured.

The victims are being assisted by Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol and the incident has been reported to the Metropolitan Police Service. Anybody with information should call the police on 101, quoting reference CAD2223/05/11/2017.

Central London was brought to a standstill today as thousands marched and rallied against Israel and the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, with antisemitic themes emerging from the protest.

The march was organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA), Stop the War Coalition (STW) and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), some of which have been found to have antisemites amongst their supporters. The march started outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, went via iconic Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square and finished with a rally in Parliament Square opposite the Houses of Parliament, the seat of British democracy.

Volunteers from our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit went into the thick of the protesters to gather evidence.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is pleased that an announcement was made over the loudspeaker by a member of the organising committee at Grosvenor Square stating that “The police have told us that people will commit an offence if you fly the Hizballah flag.” When we asked a police officer about the announcement they replied: “I’m glad he said that.”

Along the route, we photographed a disturbing banner claiming: “Zionist media covers up Palestinian Holocaust.” According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” and “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

We also took multiple video recordings of marchers chanting: “From the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, Palestine will be free”, a chant that only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state and its replacement with a Palestinian state. Under the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is antisemitic.

However, the marchers did not have the streets to themselves. As they continued through the heart of London, their path was blocked by pro-Israel demonstrators waving Israeli flags and singing Israeli songs, bringing the march to a standstill for a time.

At Parliament Square, in the shadow of Big Ben, the protesters heard a series of speeches, including a pre-recorded video message from the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who called for the recognition of Palestine. The crowd responded by singing “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” to the tune of White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army”.

Two speakers then led the crowd in the antisemitic chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa was a common theme in the many speeches, with speakers calling for the strengthening of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and demanding that the Prime Minister apologise for the Balfour Declaration, which was a milestone on the way to the establishment of the State of Israel.

The march was backed by major trade unions and addressed by politicians including Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott. Their support for an event which saw widespread antisemitic chanting should be a cause for considerable concern.

The Queen’s Park branch of the Labour Party has reportedly heard arguments that members of Hizballah, the genocidal antisemitic terrorist group that seeks the extermination of all Jews worldwide, should be allowed to remain as members of the Party.

According to a Labour Party member who tweeted about the debate, the branch was discussing whether Labour Party members who supported other political organisations deserved to be expelled from the Party, when a member stated: “I don’t think a member of Hizballah should be expelled from the Party.” When it was pointed out to them that Hizballah is a terrorist organisation, the member allegedly retorted that what Israel does is worse than what Hizballah does. When another member pointed out that such a comparison was specious and in any case moot because Hizballah murders Jews around the world simply for being Jews, the pro-Hizballah member was undaunted, nor were they challenged.

Writing on Twitter, a Labour Party member said: “Now Hizballah is a proscribed terrorist organisation that quite openly and deliberately kills civilians. Unequivocally condemning them shouldn’t be difficult. But I’m afraid that’s where we are in the modern Labour Party. Telling a Jew that people blowing up Jews because they’re Jews is justifiable because of the actions of the Jewish state. I’m bereft to be honest. It is incredibly sad that the wholesale slaughter of my people for the crime of being Jewish can’t be unequivocally condemned in Labour. There was also an oblique suggestion that I only raised objections as part of a deliberate effort to sow division in the Party.”

Twitter users swiftly chimed in. Bob James contributed: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”, presumably wishing to make the point that the murder of 85 Jews in Buenos Aires by Hizballah terrorists could be considered to be fighting for freedom. Labour Party Councillor Terry Couchman wrote: “Let’s keep it simple. Israel and Zionism, like any ‘invading’ terrorist entity, should be sanctioned and its supporters ejected. One rule for all.”

Veteran BBC presenter Andrew Neil was forced to tell former Labour Party Leader Harriet Harman to “be quiet” after she repeated a disgusting Holocaust ‘joke’ live on air.

Mr Neil was discussing offensive jokes with his guests on the BBC’s This Week, and the troubles of Michael Gove who apologised for joking about sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein. Ms Harman took the opportunity to tell Mr Neil about two offensive jokes she had previously protested about. She said: “I have long been accused of being a humourless feminist but I will give you two examples that I protested about because they were offensive and hurtful…People like Andrew [Neil] say that these things are perfectly alright. Two jokes. One was: ‘How do you get 100 Jews into a Mini? One in the drivering seat, and 99 in the ashtray.’ That is not funny.”

Ms Harman was about to tell the second ‘joke’ when Mr Neil interrupted: “Well we’ll stop with that one example and we won’t bother with the minute’s silence that you would dare to think what I would think about that because you have no knowledge of that at all.” Mr Neil then turned to another guest but Ms Harman tried to comment further, to which Mr Neil fumed: “Be quiet”.

Last month Mr Neil gave a speech at a fundraising dinner for the Holocaust Education Trust at which he spoke of the dangers of rising left-wing antisemitism.

We do not consider Ms Harman’s recounting of the Holocaust ‘joke’ to be antisemitic because she was trying to use it in order to illustrate a point about offensive jokes, but it does demonstrate shockingly poor judgement for a former Leader of the Labour Party that she chose to repeat the ‘joke’ on air and we applaud Mr Neil for his firm rebuke.

Moshe Machover, who had been expelled by the Labour Party, has now had that expulsion rescinded. A leaked e-mail from Jeremy Corbyn’s Stakeholder Manager, appears to confirm that this is the case, and moreover, it expresses pleasure in the outcome.

Professor Machover is a Holocaust revisionist, who, like Ken Livingstone (with whom he publicly sympathises), seeks to distort the history of the Jews under Hitler in order to characterise Zionists as cooperative partners of Nazism and imply that the Nazis were well disposed towards Zionists at the time. He did so at the recent Labour Party Conference, when a leaflet reprinting his article in Labour Party Marxists was circulated. He quotes none other than Reynhard Heydrich who said: “National socialism has no intention of attacking the Jewish people in any way” — as if, especially in retrospect, the lying promises of a genocidal Nazi are somehow to be taken in good faith. He imputes that Nazism only changed course and decided to kill Jews in 1942, despite the fact that at that time, Heydrich himself had been responsible for hundreds of thousands of Jewish deaths as Hitler’s armies marched through Eastern Europe in its war on Russia. His article also included the now standard claim that “the Jewish Labour Movement and the right wing media have been running a completely cynical campaign…with the help of the Israeli government and the far-right in the United States.”

However, the Labour Party has failed to reject those who twist the history and significance of the Holocaust. Ken Livingstone is still a member, albeit temporarily suspended from holding office, despite 107 MPs and 48 peers describing his as “insidious racism” that was “not done in our name and we will not allow it to go unchecked”. The Labour Party claims to have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism which clearly states that “Denying the …intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices…” is antisemitic, and yet here is Professor Machover, not only re-admitted, but warmly welcomed back to the fold.

Not only is this sinister, but it reveals yet another failure in Labour’s battle with antisemitism. When Professor Machover was first expelled, he published the letter he received. In it, Labour Party Head Office made abundantly clear that Professor Machover’s article, circulated at the Labour Party Conference “appears to meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by the Labour Party”. However, having established his apparent guilt, the letter goes on to say that in fact, it is his membership of another party that is the reason for his expulsion.

This technicality having been apparently proven to be erroneous, Mr Machover has now been readmitted, and Jeremy Corbyn’s Stakeholder Manager, Laura Murray, says she is “glad that he is now a Labour Party member again”. Ms Murray has told us that the e-mail was leaked and that she had no authority to make “official public statements”, but she did not retract her statement.

Professor Machover has form. He has previously been exposed for suggesting that Hamas should adopt tactics more akin to those of Hizballah. Both are genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisations which are proscribed under the Terrorism Act. He also reportedly accused Jewish students at an event at Queen Mary, University of London, of being under the control of the Israeli Embassy.

Professor Machover has never made a secret of his views.

The Labour Party has an arsenal of weapons with which to fight the antisemitism in its midst. It has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism, and at the Labour Party Conference, it voted to increase the severity of sanctions for indulging in antisemitic discourse, including expulsion from the Party.

However, it has demonstrated that all of that means precisely nothing, because the naked truth that Professor Machover’s case reveals is that the Labour Party simply does not want to expel antisemites.

American-Israeli activist, Miko Peled, is scheduled to speak on Friday 10th November at University College London (UCL) at an event organised by the UCL Friends of Palestine Society.

Mr Peled’s views have, in the past, engaged the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government and also engage the Prevent counter-extremism strategy.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is writing to UCL to raise our concerns about Mr Peled and to call for the event to be cancelled.

In September, Mr Peled made national headlines by demanding at the Labour Party Conference that delegates should have the freedom to engage in debate as to whether the Holocaust actually happened at all. He said that people should be free to ask “Holocaust, yes or no” because “there should be no limits on the discussion.” He additionally reportedly proposed that Israelis should be treated like Nazis. He was widely condemned.

Mr Peled has form. For example, on 23rd May 2016, speaking at an art gallery in Euston, London, Mr Peled alleged that the Labour Party’s antisemitism furore is being fabricated by “Zionists”. He said: “Everyone knows this entire antisemitism thing is nonsense”. At the same event, Mr Peled also alleged that Islamophobia is a strategic invention of “Zionists”. He said: “If anyone has any doubt, that this entire Islamophobia thing isn’t coming directly from pro-Israeli groups, then excuse me you are out of your mind.  Absolutely. And when you look at each case, individually you will see, the hand, the fingerprints of some Israeli lobby, some pro-Zionist groups.”

On 14th September 2016, Mr Peled tweeted about a new aid package granted to Israel by the United States: “Then theyr surprised Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves. #apartheidisrael doesn’t need or deserve these $$.” In response, his forthcoming event hosted by the Princeton Committee on Palestine was cancelled on the basis that: “The last string of tweets are antisemitic and hateful, which are counterproductive to an educational event on the conflict.”

The event is advertised to take place from 17:00-20:30 in Cruciform LT1 and is titled “Segregated and Unequal, Palestinian Life in Apartheid Israel”. Though it has been organised by UCL Friends of Palestine Society, it has the backing of pro-Palestinian student societies at various London universities, namely City, Imperial, Kings College, Queen Mary and Westminster.

Miko Peled’s views engage the International Definition of Antisemitism and his invective is threatening to the safety of Jewish students. In the wake of antisemitic violence at UCL and an internal inquiry which found severe failures in the university’s response to antisemitism, UCL should cancel this event and ensure that theirs is a campus that does not give antisemitism the space to thrive.

Cancelling Mr Peled’s event will ensure that Jewish students feel welcome at UCL and have a safe and positive experience. If you are aware of an antisemitic speaker being invited to speak at a university, please contact campus@antisemitism.uk.

 

A man allegedly stopped his car outside Jewish schools this morning and shouted “Palestine” and “F***ing Jews”, amongst other antisemitic insults, at young Jewish children. A witness described the alleged suspect as a 35-40-year-old man of Middle Eastern appearance with a black beard, driving a Citron Berlingo van. The incident occurred on Amhurst Park in Stamford Hill, in North East London.

Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community neighbourhood watch patrol, has reported the incident to the police and referred the case to Campaign Against Antisemitism for assistance.

Anybody with information should contact the Metropolitan Police Service on 101, citing reference CAD3765/31/10/2017.

A prominent member of London’s charedi Jewish community was called an “F***ing Jew” and “the Devil” yesterday afternoon, when he came to the aid of a taxi driver who was being attacked by the roadside.

The Jewish man was driving through Kilburn when he saw a man attempting to drag a taxi driver from his vehicle. The Jewish man pulled over to assist and was immediately verbally abused by the driver of the car behind him called him a “F***ing Jew” for stopping his car.

The man who had been attacking the taxi driver then approached and hugged the Jewish man, before becoming violent and calling him “the Devil”. The taxi driver and the Jewish man then assisted two police officers in restraining the attacker, described only as a black male, who was lashing out at police officers who had arrived on the scene.

The Jewish man was able to film the verbal abuse by the driver of the car behind him, described only as an Asian male, and has reported that incident to the police.

If anybody witnessed the incident or has information that could aid the investigation, they should contact the police by dialing 101.

Notorious antisemite Gilad Atzmon, has reportedly claimed that the Grenfell Tower tragedy was the responsibility of “Jerusalemites” who were “following mitzvot” and blamed the Jews for the collapse of traditional left-wing politics. Mitzvot means commandments, and is a word normally used to describe the biblical rules that Jews obey.

The alleged comments were made at a launch for his new book, Being in Time — A Post-Political Manifesto. Organised by Reading Friends of Palestine, the event was part of the Reading International Festival and took place on 22nd October at the Reading International Solidarity Centre.

Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the Reading International Solidarity Centre before the event to alert them that Gilad Atzmon is a notorious antisemite. We also lodged a formal complaint with the Charity Commission following the event.

According to a report in the JC, during the 90-minute speech, Mr Atzmon attempted to blame the Grenfell Tower tragedy “on people who could be characterised as those who followed ‘commandments’”. He reportedly discussed what he described as a difference between critical thinkers whom he labelled “Athenites” and the “Jerusalemites” who followed “mitzvot.”

He explained how it was related to the Grenfell Tower tragedy: “Very simple. People who think things through, who understand about responsibility and morality and ethics don’t clad buildings all over the country with flammable materials. But when it happens, it is ‘We were following regulations, we were following mitzvot.’” He reportedly continued: “Athens and Jerusalem is not Jews versus goyim [non-Jews] or Jews versus gentiles. Athens and Jerusalem is thinking things through as opposed to following regulations, mitzvot, commandments, laws. The Ten Commandments is Jerusalem. I don’t need you to tell me I should not kill. Athens is ethics, Jerusalem is anti-ethics.”

“Jerusalemites” were not necessarily Jews, Mr Atzmon said, claiming: “It’s not Jews and gentiles because Tony Blair is not a Jew and he’s a Jerusalemite.”

Mr Atzmon reportedly talked about Zionist power and control, alleging that a global pro-Israel lobby dominates politics: “Even the democratic process does not really matter. If you vote Labour, the policies are shaped by Labour Friends of Israel, if you vote Conservative it’s CFI [Conservative Friends of Israel]. The same thing happens in America, in France, and even Turkey is pro-Israeli now.”

He blamed “the Jews” for the collapse of the traditional left-wing politics that he said once appealed to him. He said “The Jewish lobby is a cosmopolitan lobby. It has turned every person in the universe [into] a tribe who operates like a Jew. Look at it: the gays are doing fine, the blacks are doing fine, the women are doing fine, but the Jews are doing really fine. They have a state, hundreds of atomic bombs, they have F16s, F35s [fighter aircraft]. How many gays have a state, an atomic bomb,  an army? How many blacks have a lobby that shapes American foreign policy so everyone is tribal like a Jew? But the Jews are doing way better than everyone else.”

In March this year, Mr Atzmon attended a talk at the London School of Economics with Richard Falk, the discredited and disgraced fringe antisemitic conspiracy theorist and the former UN envoy, where he reportedly told those around him that “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving.” Stunned audience members asked him to repeat what he had said and he did. Mr Atzmon was also reportedly heard recommending the works of disgraced historian David Irving, who in 2000 was proven in court to be an antisemite, a Holocaust denier and an admirer of Hitler. It is also reported that Mr Atzmon later said: “Jews are always expelled for a reason.”

In December 2014, he told a Jewish Twitter user, “I am not a Jew any more. I indeed despise the Jew in me (whatever is left). I absolutely detest the Jew in you.”

Another of his books, The Wandering Who, was described in 2011 as “quite probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years.”

He has stated that Jews were responsible for their persecution by the Nazis, Jews should apologise for making gentiles hate them, burning synagogues is “a rational act”, Jews are trying to control the world, Jews are harming the planet, Jews caused the credit crunch, and Israel is worse than Nazi Germany. He has also trivialised the scale and impact of the Holocaust.

The International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British government, states, among other things, that the following are antisemitic:

  • Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

In March 2012, a collective of Palestinian writers and activists disavowed Mr Atzmon for his attacks on Jews and Judaism, as well as his denial of the Holocaust.

Mr Atzmon also performanced this past weekend at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho in Central London. Before the event, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the Chief Executive of Pizza Express, Jinlong Wang, to inform him that Mr Atzmon is a notorious antisemite.

Mr Atzmon should be shunned by any self-respecting decent venue and audience.

Having already written to the Charity Commission and donors to the Reading International Solidarity Centre, we will now do so again to bring these allegations to their attention.

You may wish to contact the Charity Commission, as well as the Reading International Solidarity Centre’s donors, Reading Borough Council, the Earley Charity, the European Union, the Naturesave Trust, Food 4 Families and the Big Lottery Fund.

Nigel Farage has told LBC listeners that he believes that American Jews exert disproportionate political power and even appeared to agree with a claim that they have financial control over American politics.

During his regular primetime slot on popular talk radio station LBC, Mr Farage, who is the former leader of the UK Independence Party, discussed with callers whether Russian influence had really aided the election of President Donald Trump. When a caller named only as Ahmed told Mr Farage that he thought that the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States was no less dangerous than alleged Russian hacking, Mr Farage appeared to agree, and started talking about Jews: “Well the Israeli lobby, you know, that’s a reasonable point Ahmed, because there are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big.”

When Ahmed said that Israel has both the Republicans and Democrats “in their pockets”, Mr Farage responded: “Well in terms of money and influence, yep, they are a very powerful lobby”.

Summarising the call, Mr Farage once again made clear that he believes that a “Jewish lobby” is at work on behalf of a foreign Government, repeating Ahmed’s claim: “Ahmed, new caller from Leyton, I thank you. He makes the point that there are other very powerful foreign lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby, with its links with the Israeli Government is one of those strong voices.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism was immediately contacted by listeners, one of whom said that they had contacted an LBC producer after Mr Farage first made the comments about a “Jewish lobby”, only for him to then repeat them again.

It is common for countries to lobby their allies, and Israel is no different, but in Mr Farage’s call with Ahmed, it was not merely alleged that Israel conducts lobbying, but that it is carried out by the entire Jewish population of the United States and that in doing so American politics are subverted. Counting all American Jews as lobbyists with disproportionate, subversive power and both major political parties in their financial grips is the stuff of antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Mr Farage should immediately withdraw his deplorable comments and apologise for them, or LBC should relieve him of his duties. We await Mr Farage’s urgent apology and in the meantime we will be asking Ofcom to open an investigation.

How can we secure a future for British Jews? As antisemitic crime rises and antisemitism becomes increasingly normalised in politics, Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, takes you inside the fight for British Jewry.

The event will begin at 20:15 on 9th November at a North Manchester venue, and there will be time for questions.

Tickets cost £5 and can be booked by calling 0161 766 3732.

A man from north east London’s charedi Jewish community, has said that he was approached by a gang of black males, one of whom shouted “F***ing Jew” before knocking the victim’s religious hat (shtreimel) from his head. Frightened and fearing for his safety, the man ran away immediately. The alleged assault occurred at approximately 19:00 on 20th October as the victim walked through Berkeley Homes in Woodberry Down in Hackney, London.

As the incident took place during the Jewish sabbath, the victim did not report it to the police immediately as he was not carrying a mobile telephone for religious reasons.

Instead he contacted Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish community neighbourhood watch patrol, which has reported the incident to the police. Anybody who witnessed the incident, or who has information that could aid the investigation should contact the police by dialing 101, citing CAD7809/28/10/17.

The European Forum for Ethnic Minority Individuals, Communities and Organizations (EFEMICO) is ostensibly an EU body that claims to represent all minority “migrant settlers to the EU” but which, at its launch, explicitly excluded Jews.

An investigation by Campaign Against Antisemitism last December revealed that EFEMICO is, in fact a bedroom-based operation run by Jason Schumann, a known antisemite and convicted criminal who once told a Jewish Facebook user: “It is Jews who are the real nazis. [sic] No group of people more insidious, more evil, or more pernicious. An eternal curse upon them.”

Remarkably, ten months later, Mr Schumann continues to maintain the charade that he is at the head of an EU-wide organisation that champions anti-racism. However, it appears that Mr Schumann is finding the charade hard to maintain, especially since his personal Twitter account was suspended.

Earlier this month, we were told that the EFEMICO Twitter account had published a poll urging followers to agree that British Jews who support Israel are traitors, followed by a further tweet stating: “Any Jewish person who supports Israel more than his/her own country of birth, residence or citizenship is a traitor and should be gassed.” We were provided with screenshots by a member of the public, but the tweet cannot currently be found on Twitter. When we asked Mr Schumann to comment, he denied that he had deleted it, claiming that the tweet had never been posted at all.

A few weeks later, Mr Schumann appeared to call for a second Holocaust when he tweeted: “A given that Zionists fund & seek to support White supremacisy [sic]. All in effort to aid Greater Israel. Final solution needed.” Another tweet accused Israel of starting all wars since the 1970s, ending with the hashtag #FinalSolution. When we contacted him, Mr Schumann claimed that he had “clarified” his remarks but he did not explain why he had used the term “final solution”, nor did he apologise for doing so. He also claimed that he sought a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians and said that “The Jewish community are wonderful people”.

This week, following the launch of the British Council for Combating Antisemitism (BCCA), we were told that the EFEMICO Twitter account had tweeted: “Let us be clear. You are Stasis [referring to the infamous former East German secret police force]. You have no legitimacy, and we will hunt you down. Nazis.” This antisemitic threat was reportedly tweeted at the Jewish Police Association, one of the founding members of BCCA, but the tweet is not currently on Twitter. A screenshot was sent to us by a member of the public, but again, Mr Schumann denied that the tweet was either posted or deleted.

Though Mr Schumann claims that EFEMICO is a champion for minority rights, it still appears to be nothing more than a platform for promoting the disturbing views of its sole officer.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has now lodged a complaint with the police. Mr Schumann already has a criminal record after he was convicted of assaulting a police officer, but when we asked him, he claimed that his conviction was an injustice and that he should never have been convicted.

The EFEMICO website may look credible enough to convince some that it is an anti-racist organisation set up to help them, but nobody should be under any illusions that it is a front for Mr Schumann and his disturbing views.

Pizza Express has refused to respond to calls to cancel performances this evening and over the weekend at its Soho jazz club by notorious antisemite Gilad Atzmon.

Earlier this week, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the Chief Executive of Pizza Express, Jinlong Wang, to alert him to the fact that Mr Atzmon is a notorious antisemite who has, for a number of years, used social media as a vehicle to harass and bait Jewish people.

We have received no response.

Tickets to Mr Atzmon’s performances were selling at £20 each and have now sold out.

In March this year, Mr Atzmon attended a talk at the London School of Economics with Richard Falk, the discredited and disgraced fringe antisemitic conspiracy theorist and the former UN envoy, where he reportedly told those around him that “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving.” Stunned audience members asked him to repeat what he had said and he did. Mr Atzmon also was heard recommending the works of disgraced historian David Irving, who in 2000 was proven in court to be an antisemite, a Holocaust denier and an admirer of Hitler. It is also reported that Mr Atzmon later said, “Jews are always expelled for a reason.”

In December 2014, he told a Jewish Twitter user, “I am not a Jew any more. I indeed despise the Jew in me (whatever is left). I absolutely detest the Jew in you.”

Another of his books, The Wandering Who, was described in 2011 as “quite probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years.”

He has stated that Jews were responsible for their persecution by the Nazis, Jews should apologise for making gentiles hate them, burning synagogues is “a rational act”, Jews are trying to control the world, Jews are harming the planet, Jews caused the credit crunch, and Israel is worse than Nazi Germany. He has also trivialised the scale and impact of the Holocaust.

The International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British government, states, among other things, that the following are antisemitic:

  • Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

In March 2012, a collective of Palestinian writers and activists disavowed Mr Atzmon for his attacks on Jews and Judaism, as well as his denial of the Holocaust.

It is disgraceful that Pizza Express is willing to profit from hosting an antisemite.

If you agree, please feel free to contact Jinlong Wang’s office to tell them your views on 020 3798 9000.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign should immediately sever all ties with its patron, Alexei Sayle, following an interview with Sky News in which he claimed that all allegations of antisemitism “amongst supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are a complete fabrication”.

There are many clear cases of vile antisemitism amongst supporters of Mr Corbyn, many of which have been forensically documented by the media and in our database of antisemitism in political parties.

For Mr Sayle to take to the airwaves to now claim that the victims of antisemitism at the hands of Mr Corbyn’s supporters are in fact liars is contemptible and enables antisemitism to flourish.

Mr Sayle has a track record, after claiming in 2014 that BBC presenter Emma Barnett supported the murder of children following an article and radio interview in which she had decried antisemitism amongst anti-Israel activists.

In March last year, Mr Sayle wrote that having performed comedy sketches about the Labour Party, he would refrain from making any jokes about the Party under Mr Corbyn.

Research conducted by Campaign Against Antisemitism revealed widespread antisemitism amongst supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. A speaker at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign rally earlier this year told activists that Jews must “overcome” the trauma of the Holocaust.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has acted to close a loophole following the collapse of a disciplinary case instigated by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

We complained to the Solicitors Regulation Authority after our Online Monitoring and Investigations Unit found multiple antisemitic posts on the Facebook account of solicitor Saleem Afsar, but due to difficulties ascertaining who had posted the material on Mr Afsar’s Facebook account, the Solicitors Regulation Authority could not take the case further.

Now, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has introduced rules stating that: “If it comes to your attention that a third party has accessed your computer and posted an inappropriate comment in your name on a social media network, you should take immediate steps to go online to refute the comment. It is advisable in any event to regularly audit your site to remove any material which makes you uncomfortable.”

It is extremely regrettable that whoever posted the antisemitic material on Mr Afsar’s Facebook page will now likely go unpunished, however we are very pleased that the Solicitors Regulation Authority has taken this matter extremely seriously and we commend them for ensuring that in the future, solicitors will be held accountable for antisemitic material appearing on their social media accounts unless they refute it.

In this case, the material itself was highly disturbing. For example, on 26th November 2015, Mr Afsar’s Facebook account was used to post a link to a picture referring to the US military being controlled by Israel, along with the comment: “Know that is saying something! More research needed.”

On 25th February 2016, Mr Afsar’s Facebook account was used to share a video with the caption “Interesting!” The video asserts that the number of victims during the Holocaust was exaggerated. It claims only 100,000 – 600,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis. The video then asks: “What did the Jews do to deserve this?” The answer given is that Jews control the media, law and academia, Jews were responsible for the financial crash during the 1930s, and Jews are sexually immoral.

On 12th March 2016, Mr Afsar’s Facebook account was used to share a video and newspaper headline claiming that Mossad was behind the 7/7 London terror attacks.

On 23rd March and 7th April 2016, Mr Afsar’s Facebook account was used to share a video from “The Free Thought Project” which was entitled: “The Rothschild Conspiracy Explained in 4 minutes.” As the title suggests, the video argues of a worldwide conspiracy by the Rothschild family to organise 9/11, the invasion of the Middle East and a monopoly of the world banks. The Rothschild family has often been used as a mask for Jewish conspiracy theories and this video captures this sentiment.

On 9th April 2016, Mr Afsar’s Facebook account was used to share a video entitled: “9/11 Real Truth in 2 minutes!! Wake up and Know the Real Enemy.” The video came from a page called “From Darkness To Light” which is antisemitic. The video asserts that that Mossad was behind the attacks on 9/11. The narrator makes offensive statements such as: “Israel will flat-ass disappear from this earth”, and that Israel will be “scrubbed off the earth and they are not going to give a rat’s arse what the cost is”.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority recently met with Campaign Against Antisemitism to learn more about antisemitism and discuss how we can help educate their solicitors about the complexities of antisemitism.

Mr Afsar did not respond to a request for his comments.

Ummariyat Mirza, aged 21, his wife Madihah Taheer, also aged 21, and his sister Zainub Mirza, aged 23, have all been convicted of terrorism offences. Mr Mirza and his sister, Ms Mirza, pleaded guilty, but Ms Taheer pleaded not guilty and was convicted by a jury today at Woolwich Crown Court.

Mr Mirza procured knives with the help of his wife, and used a martial arts dummy to practice stabbing people to death. The court heard that the couple bonded over their plans to fight with ISIS in Syria and raise a family of jihadis, with Ms Taheer repeatedly telling Mr Mirza that they could execute their plans once they were married. They would watch videos of beheadings and terrorist attacks and laugh at them, constantly sending each other messages about their future as a terrorist couple, and the murders they would commit.

Ms Taheer reportedly told the court that the couple’s extensive messages and preparations for acts of terrorism were just their “humour”.

The couple’s attention shifted from Syria to the UK however, with Ms Taheer telling Mr Mirza that she had a list of people for him to kill after their wedding, which he said he would act upon for her. Ms Taheer even provided him with her bank details so that he could purchase a knife. Ms Taheer’s only concern appeared to be the cost of weapons. In one message she told her husband, when he asked for her bank details so that he could buy a £300 knife: “Can’t we wait until I get paid. Got bills to pay — baby things to buy. It doesn’t have to be bloody state of the art.” To this, Mr Mirza replied: “This isn’t a fantasy, it’s real. We are living like kuffar [a derogatory term for non-Muslims].” Eventually Ms Taheer bought him a knife for £120.

Following their wedding, they instead turned their attention to targets in Birmingham, including the RAF careers office and Birmingham Central Synagogue.

Mr Mirza and his sister were arrested by plain-clothes counter-terrorism officers on 29th March, the day after the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack, after Mr Mirza sent an emoticon of a knife via WhatsApp, which officers feared could be a signal for an attack.

Mr Mirza admitted his crimes, as did Ms Mirza, who had been sending her brother a stream of extremist material, including footage of a man holding two severed heads.

Ms Taheer was arrested on 24th April after officers seized electronic devices and analysed the messages that had been exchanged between her and her husband.

Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, head of West Midlands Counter-Terrorist Unit, said: “Ummariyat Mirza’s plan was escalating quickly so the decision to carry out arrests in a busy Birmingham street at rush hour was not taken lightly. The planning had begun in 2015 but quickly gathered momentum in terms of the volume and especially the nature of the shared material with the majority of videos shared by Zainub Mirza to her brother. The constant stream of material and supportive comments sent were, we believed, to encourage Ummariyat Mirza to begin acts of preparation for terrorism. When Ummariyat Mirza and his sister were arrested, mobile phones were found in the car and at their respective addresses, as well as at other family addresses. Their devices were examined and a significant quantity of relevant mind-set material was found on them. The communications between Ummariyat Mirza and his sister reveal that they shared extremist material and praised killings carried out by Daesh. It is thought Mirza and his wife, encouraged by Zainub, were planning to carry out an attack in the UK, it is not known where this attack would have been, but we discovered research into potential targets, including military sites in the area.”

We are grateful to the police officers and intelligence officers for their life-saving vigilance.

A 16-year-old Jewish girl has allegedly been told by a shopkeeper in Stamford Hill in North East London to “be patient, Jews come last.”

The alleged incident took place on Wednesday between 17:30 and 18:00 at a shop which has a drop-off service for parcels, acting as an agent for online shops. The Jewish schoolgirl was dropping off items with the female shopkeeper, but in the middle of serving her the shopkeeper allegedly stopped and started serving another customer. The Jewish schoolgirl asked politely if she could just have her receipt so that she could leave, to which the shopkeeper allegedly replied: “be patient, Jews come last.”

Stamford Hill Shomrim, the volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, is assisting the young girl who was shocked and felt very hurt by the alleged antisemitic comment. Stamford Hill Shomrim has reported the incident to the police and referred the case to Campaign Against Antisemitism for assistance.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has lodged a formal complaint with the Charity Commission and written to donors to the Reading International Solidarity Centre after it hosted a launch for antisemite Gilad Atzmon’s new book, Being in Time — A Post-Political Manifesto. Organised by Reading Friends of Palestine, the event was part of the Reading International Festival and took place yesterday evening.

Campaign Against Antisemitism had already written to the Reading International Solidarity Centre to alert them that Gilad Atzmon is a notorious antisemite who has, for a number of years, used social media as a vehicle to harass and bait Jewish people.

The Centre responded by blocking us on Twitter and apparently upgrading the event to the largest room in the building.

In March this year, Mr Atzmon attended a talk at the London School of Economics with Richard Falk, the discredited and disgraced fringe antisemitic conspiracy theorist and the former UN envoy, where he reportedly told those around him that “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving.” Stunned audience members asked him to repeat what he had said and he did. Mr Atzmon also was heard recommending the works of disgraced historian David Irving, who in 2000 was proven in court to be an antisemite, a Holocaust denier and an admirer of Hitler. It is also reported that Mr Atzmon later said, “Jews are always expelled for a reason.”

In December 2014, he told a Jewish Twitter user, “I am not a Jew any more. I indeed despise the Jew in me (whatever is left). I absolutely detest the Jew in you.”

Another of his books, The Wandering Who, was described in 2011 as “quite probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years.”

He has stated that Jews were responsible for their persecution by the Nazis, Jews should apologise for making gentiles hate them, burning synagogues is “a rational act”, Jews are trying to control the world, Jews are harming the planet, Jews caused the credit crunch, and Israel is worse than Nazi Germany. He has also trivialised the scale and impact of the Holocaust.

The International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British government, states, among other things, that the following are antisemitic:

  • Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

In March 2012, a collective of Palestinian writers and activists disavowed Mr Atzmon for his attacks on Jews and Judaism, as well as his denial of the Holocaust.

You may wish to make your own complaints to the Charity Commission, as well as the Reading International Solidarity Centre’s donors, Reading Borough Council, the Earley Charity, the European Union, the Naturesave Trust, Food 4 Families and the Big Lottery Fund.

Campaign Against Antisemitism was pleased to welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) charged with overseeing the police response to hate crime for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners last week.

Hardyal Dhindsa is the PCC for Derbyshire and has been appointed the national lead on hate crime. Last week, Campaign Against Antisemitism hosted him in London to discuss antisemitic hate crime, and the police response.

The Holocaust Survivors’ Centre kindly hosted a meeting for us and Mr Dhindsa with a group of Holocaust survivors who told Mr Dhindsa that in addition to more education about antisemitism, they expected to see more prosecutions for antisemitism, expressing frustration that antisemitism disguised as political discourse against Israel and antisemitic hate speech often goes unpunished.

We then arranged for Mr Dhindsa to meet members of the newly-launched British Council for Countering Antisemitism who told Mr Dhindsa about their work on the front lines protecting Jews from antisemitic hatred on the streets.

To round off Mr Dhindsa’s visit, we took him to the School of African and Oriental Studies, SOAS, which has sometimes been nicknamed the “School of Antisemitism”, to meet Jewish students from across the UK who we brought to London to talk about their experiences as Jews on modern campuses.

Mr Dhindsa said: “I’m shocked. Like many, I believed that antisemitic behaviour had been consigned to the past and clearly that is not the case. I will do whatever I can, with my fellow PCCs and the wider policing family, to see this unacceptable bigotry replaced by tolerance and respect.”

The Bulgarian Cabinet has formally adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism. It has also appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Georg Georgiev as National Coordinator for the Fight Against Antisemitism. The definition is clear and detailed, leaving no doubt as to what antisemitism is. In particular, the definition tackles the full spectrum of antisemitism, from ancient slurs to conspiracy myths to antisemitism in discourse about Israel.

In a statement, the Bulgarian Jewish community’s Shalom Organisation said: “For the Bulgarian Jewish community, this is a serious call for an uncompromising attitude towards all actions that overwhelm common values such as tolerance, humanism and respect for human rights. We strongly support the Cabinet decision and wish Georg Georgiev success in his new mission.”

Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism, Sir Eric Pickles and others worked hard over many meetings. Austria became the next national government to adopt the definition, followed by the Romanian government, then the German government, and now the Bulgarian government has done the same.

During the Second World War, Bulgaria was a member of Nazi Germany’s Axis and passed antisemitic legislation which barred Jews in territories under Bulgarian control in northern Greece and parts of Yugoslavia from holding citizenship. 11,000 Jews in those territories were handed over to Nazi Germany by the Bulgarian government, prompting a popular outcry throughout Bulgarian society, led by the Orthodox Church, opposition politicians and intellectuals. The outcry from Bulgarians was so fierce that the Bulgarian government stopped dead plans to round up and hand over Jews in Bulgaria-proper.

Image credit: Edward Crompton

Swastikas and the Star of David were found day after day between 28th September and 3rd October at a student residence at the London School of Economics (LSE), reappearing each time they were removed. The LSE student newspaper, The Beaver, reported that the first instance occurred in Carr-Saunders Hall on 28th September, in which a swastika was found drawn on a sign in the lifts. The defaced sign was replaced the next day. However, two more swastikas were discovered that Sunday, one of which was found alongside a Star of David.

Residents within the student halls quickly transformed these antisemitic hate symbols into drawings of houses and peace signs. The Halls Committee and warden team then met to discuss this before yet another swastika was discovered on 3rd October on the newly replaced sign.

The President of the Halls Committee condemned this antisemitic graffiti which he stated was “trying to be divisive and separate us as a community”. He emphasised that the “way to overcome it is to come together”.  Support has been offered to “anyone who had been affected in any way by these acts.”

The Metropolitan Police Service has been informed and measures are in place to ensure these incidents do not occur again in the future. No further reoccurrence has been reported.

LSE stated that “hate speech and deliberate provocation of this manner are abhorrent and completely contrary to LSE’s values of openness and inclusion”, adding that “any student caught engaging in this behaviour would face severe disciplinary actions, including expulsion from the residence”.

The Halls Committee is seeking to organise a series of events promoting tolerance and inclusivity as a result of this incident. However, the Halls Committee President has stated that the collective experience of dealing with such an upsetting series of events has made the community “better than it was before”.

We commend the Halls Committee and LSE’s warden team for their fast response to these incidents. Unfortunately, antisemitic graffiti has been a frequent occurence at campuses with incidents reported at various universities, including University of Sussex and University of Exeter.

Stamford Hill Shomrim was called this afternoon following the discovery by Jewish residents of a swastika drawn on the road outside their home. Stamford Hill Shomrim has reported the graffiti to the Metropolitan Police Service and the local Council so that evidence can be captured and the graffiti can be removed.

Anybody with information should call the Metropolitan Police Service on 101, or Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123.

Detectives from City of London Police are asking for help identifying two men wanted in connection with an incident on 16th August in which a neo-Nazi propaganda poster and a yellow Star of David were placed on a sign at Bevis Marks Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Britain.

Police Constable Adam Bond, who is leading the investigation, said: “Any form of hate crime is not acceptable and will not be tolerated by the City of London Police. We are committed to tackling this sort of crime and want people to feel they can go about their daily business in the City, no matter who they are, without fear of violence or threat. If you recognise these men, please get in touch.”

Alison Rosen, Executive Director of The S&P Sephardi Community added: “This incident is a very serious concern for our regular members and visitors and we would be grateful if anyone can identify the culprits.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism commends City of London Police for its zero-tolerance approach to antisemitic crime.

Anybody with information should contact City of London Police by calling 0207 601 2999, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, which takes anonymous tip-offs on 0800 555 111.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has today co-founded the British Council for Countering Antisemitism, with the Jewish Police Association, the Kehilah Security and Protection Association (KASPA), Shomrim Broughton Park, Shomrim North West London and Stamford Hill Shomrim. The organisation will have no staff or offices, the secretariat being provided by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

In a joint statement, the co-founders said: “In response to mounting antisemitism, organisations responsible for fighting antisemitism in the United Kingdom have come together to establish the British Council for Countering Antisemitism (BCCA). The BCCA aims to foster cooperation between its founding members, enabling them to speak with a single voice on important matters and providing a forum through which to devise and deliver new strategies and frameworks for countering antisemitism in the United Kingdom.”

In the past two years, antisemitic crime has surged by 45%, and 39% of British Jews now conceal their religion in public.

We are delighted to be co-founding this initiative with partners who share our dedication to keeping British Jews safe. It is absolutely crucial for Campaign Against Antisemitism and other organisations which counter antisemitism in Britain to work together closely for the good of the Jewish community and British society as a whole. Establishing the BCCA is an important step in ensuring that we challenge antisemitism from a position of unity and strength.

You can follow the BCCA’s work on its website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has released statistics, stating that in 2016/17 it prosecuted 14,480 hate crimes.

Whilst the CPS says that it is prosecuting hate crime ferociously, we have yet to see a single year in which more than a couple of dozen antisemitic hate crimes were prosecuted. So far in 2017, we are aware of a paltry 21 prosecutions, in 2016 there were 20, and in 2015 there were just 12.

So serious are the failures by the CPS to take action that we have had to privately prosecute alleged antisemites ourselves and challenge the CPS through judicial review, the first of which we won in March.

Last year only 1.9% of hate crime against Jews was prosecuted, signalling to police forces that their effort in investigating hate crimes against Jews might be wasted, and sending the strong message to antisemites that they need not fear the law.

Set against a backdrop of rising antisemitic crime, this is especially unacceptable. In 2014, antisemitic crime broke all records, but rather than being met with the full force of the law, antisemites have been able to target the Jewish community with relative impunity. Each year since 2014 has been a record-breaking year for antisemitic crime: between 2014 and 2016, antisemitic crime surged by 45%.

The failure to prosecute cases of antisemitism appears to be making police reluctant to put effort into investigating antisemitism in certain cases because of fears that despite their work, the CPS may drop the case. Despite the rapid rise in antisemitic hate crime, charging of antisemitic crime dropped by 36% between 2014 and 2016.

The message sent to antisemites and British Jews is chilling. According to our 2017 polling, only 39% of British Jews feel confident that antisemitic hate crimes against them would be prosecuted, and 52% believe that the CPS is doing too little to fight antisemitism. Almost one in three British Jews considered leaving Britain due to antisemitism in the past two years.

The CPS must start to seriously address hate crime against Jews. If it is so proud of its record, why does it refuse to break down its hate crime prosecutions in the same way as police forces, to show how many antisemitism cases were referred and how many were prosecuted?

 

 

Scott Nelson, a Labour Party activist with almost 50,000 followers on Twitter, was reportedly “removed” from the Labour Party over a series of tweets about “Jewish companies” in 2015, but he has now told Campaign Against Antisemitism that he can apply to rejoin the Party “whether you like it or not”.

In a conversation on Twitter on 8th October, he was asked by another Twitter user: “Still expelled from the party, Scott?”. Mr Nelson responded “Nope”, prompting Campaign Against Antisemitism to approach him for clarification.

Now, Mr Nelson has claimed that he was not expelled over antisemitism at all, despite indications to the contrary. He told us that his membership was terminated because of his opposition to the selection of a Council candidate which he considered to be motivated by nepotism.

Yet Mr Nelson, who is also known as “Socialist Voice” and describes himself on his Twitter profile as a “Jeremy Corbyn supporter”, was “removed” from the Party after he tweeted about the “Jewish blood” of companies including Marks and Spencer and Tesco in 2015. On 17th December 2015, he tweeted: “Deaths of workers abroad caused by appalling conditions working for Jewish companies”. On 18th December 2015, he tweeted: “Jewish ancestors created those companies. These companies have Jewish blood. My ancestors were Irish, so I have Irish blood”. He added that: “Pointing out the Jewish ancestors of Tesco and M&S and the human rights abuses of workers abroad doesn’t make me an antisemite.”

On the same day, the Labour Party Press Team tweeted in response to a complaint about Mr Nelson’s tweets: “The tweets are unacceptable and he has already been removed from the Party”. A letter of the same date from the Labour Party, shown to us by Mr Nelson, informed him that “Comments posted to social media by you have given us grounds to believe that you do not share Labour’s aims and values.”

Mr Nelson’s claims that he was not removed from the Party due to antisemitism are further cast into doubt due to the statement that he himself issued on 19th December 2015, in which he wrote: “Today I received written confirmation from the Labour Party informing me that my membership has been terminated. I will be lodging an appeal on Monday. Having thought about this matter, I accept that I used clumsy and inappropriate wording concerning the Jewish heritage of Tesco and M&S by mentioning Jewish blood and my comments about Blairites being purged for disloyalty to Jeremy Corbyn.”

In respons to our enquiries, Mr Nelson told us: “My tweets about Jewish blood were badly worded and were taken out of context, I did not intend to cause offence to the Jewish community. However, my tweet depicting the star of David with a swastika was not only stupid, it was disrespectful and I accept that it did cause offence…My other tweets likening Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the actions of Nazis were in response to horrific reports that Palestinian children had been burned alive, women had been raped and tortured and innocent men, women and children had been shot dead by IDF soldiers. Most of these reports were by Middle Eastern news sources; they were not being widely reported by Western media sources. Similar barbaric actions were committed by the Nazis; however, I am not suggesting that IDF soldiers are Nazis and nor am I comparing Israel to Nazis. I have Jewish friends and I know many Jewish people and they are horrified at the atrocities being committed by both Israel and Palestine.”

Notwithstanding his attempts to apologise, Mr Nelson has continued to cause offence. For example, he has accused what he calls “Israel supporters” or “the Israel Lobby” of concocting allegations of antisemitism, and he has used Nazi-era antisemitic metaphors such as “vermin” and “parasites” to refer to those who complain about antisemitism.

For example, on 3rd October 2016, he published a blog post accusing Israel of actions “similar to the crimes committed by the Nazis during the Second World War” and arguing that antisemitism in Britain is “partly caused by people who are falsely accusing others of antisemitism.” On 9th January 2017, he published a blog post alleging that “the Israel Lobby were [sic] behind the witch hunts against Jeremy Corbyn, his supporters and people like me”, describing “pro-Israel supporters” as “scum – and lower than vermin”and stating that “the Israel Lobby… have [sic] one objective and that is to take down Jeremy Corbyn.” Three days later, he republished an anonymous defence of the Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz and — instead of condemning it — approvingly stated that it “sums up the Israel Lobby and the influence and control it has over Britain’s press.”

On 4th April 2017, Mr Nelson responded to statements by the leader of Labour’s Jewish grouping with the words: “I’d sooner have Ken Livingstone in the Labour Party than these [sic] bunch of toxic parasites who think they can control people’s lives.” Two days afterwards, he published a blog post in support of Mr Livingstone, alleging that “The Israel Lobby uses antisemitism to destroy people’s lives” and “will stoop to any level to vilify and falsely accuse a person of antisemitism.” In that same post, he also insisted that “Ken should not have to apologise for quoting a historical fact and nor should he be silenced by the Israel Lobby, Blairites and by people who found his comments to be offensive” and declared: “I stand in solidarity with Ken Livingstone and I will continue to defend him because he has done absolutely nothing wrong, but the people who are vilifying and attacking him for quoting a historical fact are lower than vermin.”

Ironically, the best account of the matter comes from Mr Nelson himself, because Baroness Chakrabarti’s whitewash report into antisemitism in the Labour Party introduced procedures to keep the outcome of any disciplinary procedures secret.

Mr Nelson has told us that he may now rejoin the Labour Party, writing: “I can reapply to rejoin the party later this year and may consider rejoining next year — whether you like it or not.” He may well be right, as following other readmissions, we have no reason to expect that Mr Nelson will be treated differently.

The exterior of the Etz Chaim Synagogue in Leeds has been defaced with threatening graffiti overnight. A sign for the synagogue’s hall was defaced with a swastika and the word “K***s” and the driveway of the synagogue was daubed with an apparent threat to congregants: “K***s get out”.

Police are investigating. We are following the case with interest.

Antisemitic crime surged by 45% between 2014 and 2016, making 2016 the worst year on record. It is expected that 2017 might be worse still when police forces release their statistics. Despite this, police were found to have charged 35% fewer cases of antisemitic hate crime in 2016 than they did in 2014, and the Crown Prosecution Service has yet to prosecute more than two dozen hate crimes per year. It is vital that antisemites are brought to justice and made to fear the law.

The Reading International Solidarity Centre will be hosting a the launch of notorious antisemite Gilad Atzmon’s new book, Being in Time — A Post-Political Manifesto. Organised by Reading Friends of Palestine, the event is part of the Reading International Festival and will take place at 7:30pm on 22nd October.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to the Reading International Solidarity Centre to alert them that Gilad Atzmon is a notorious antisemite who has, for a number of years, used social media as a vehicle to harass and bait Jewish people. If they insist on holding the event, we will contact organisations which donate to the Centre, as well as the Charity Commission.

In March this year, Mr Atzmon attended a talk at the London School of Economics with Richard Falk, the discredited and disgraced fringe antisemitic conspiracy theorist and the former UN envoy, where he reportedly told those around him that “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving.” Stunned audience members asked him to repeat what he had said and he did. Mr Atzmon also was heard recommending the works of disgraced historian David Irving, who in 2000 was proven in court to be an antisemite, a Holocaust denier and an admirer of Hitler. It is also reported that Mr Atzmon later said, “Jews are always expelled for a reason.”

In December 2014, he told a Jewish Twitter user, “I am not a Jew any more. I indeed despise the Jew in me (whatever is left). I absolutely detest the Jew in you.”

Another of his books, The Wandering Who, was described in 2011 as “quite probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years.”

He has stated that Jews were responsible for their persecution by the Nazis, Jews should apologise for making gentiles hate them, burning synagogues is “a rational act”, Jews are trying to control the world, Jews are harming the planet, Jews caused the credit crunch, and Israel is worse than Nazi Germany. He has also trivialised the scale and impact of the Holocaust.

The International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British government, states, among other things, that the following are antisemitic:

  • Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

In March 2012, a collective of Palestinian writers and activists disavowed Mr Atzmon for his attacks on Jews and Judaism, as well as his denial of the Holocaust.

You may wish to contact the Reading International Solidarity Centre to politely add your voice to calls for the launch to be cancelled by e-mailing admin@risc.org.uk or calling 01189 586 692.

The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, reportedly gave a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament to Labour Party member Tapash Abu Shaim, who has a history of allegedly promoting antisemitic conspiracies. Representatives from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) were also reportedly on the tour, which took place on 17th May 2012.

In a tweet of thanks, Mr Abu Shaim wrote: “You are best tourist guide Mr @JeremyCorbyn . Your knowledge about your history so deep and clear.” Mr Corbyn responded in a tweet the next day, writing: “@TapashAbuShaim @PSCupdates It was a pleasure showing PSC supporters round the vagaries of Parliament & British history last night; thanks!” Both tweets are still on Twitter.

In February, we released a report which exposed antisemitism inside the PSC.

The Labour Party was apparently informed about Mr Abu Shaim’s social media activity in August but it appears that no action was taken. Concerns were reportedly raised last year over his attendance at the Labour Conference in 2016. Guido Fawkes also revealed that Mr Abu Shaim manned a Palestine Solidarity Campaign stall at the recent Labour Party conference. The exhibition stall and desk was apparently inside the conference centre secure zone. According to Guido Fawkes, Labour has now launched an investigation into Mr Abu Shaim’s behaviour.

Mr Abu Shaim’s promotion of antisemitic conspiracies on social media has been well documented. According to political website, Guido Fawkes, just four months before Mr Corbyn gave Mr Abu Shaim the guided tour of Parliament, Mr Abu Shaim reportedly posted on Facebook: “9/11 Truth could be the answer to the Israel/Palestine conflict”, along with a link to an article by Veterans Today, a far-right US website which publishes antisemitic conspiracy myths.

In the wake of the January 2015 Paris terror attack, in which people were murdered at the office of Charlie Hebdo and at a kosher supermarket, Mr Abu Shaim reportedly posted: “US politician Jack Lindblad claims Charlie Hebdo killings were ‘by US and Mossad’ to keep Israel’s Netanyahu in power.” In another post, he reportedly claimed that ISIS really stands for “International Solidarity for Israeli Sentiment”. He shared yet another which read: “confirmed ISIS is a Mossad united state of IsraHELL creation.”

The Labour Party introduced new rules at its conference making it easier to expel antisemites from the Party, however the Conference saw ugly scenes including a room applauding a call to be allowed to deny that the Holocaust happened, and shouting “Throw them out” in response to a speaker urging the expulsion of the Party’s Jewish grouping. Despite this, Jeremy Corbyn failed to mention antisemitism at all in his Conference speech.

A Labour Party spokesperson is quoted by Guido Fawkes as saying: “We are an anti-racist party and condemn in the strongest possible terms antisemitism and all forms of discrimination – they have no place in our Party. Our recent rule change at [our] Annual Conference shows the Party is taking a proactive approach to tackling antisemitism. This rule change will strengthen our disciplinary proceedings and help the Party uphold its core values of equality, solidarity and inclusion.”

Justice, justice, you shall pursue - צדק צדק תרדף
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