Campaign Against Antisemitism received a report that on 9th December 2015, a Jewish man was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a petrol station in Stamford Hill, London, when he went to pay for his petrol. According to the report, as he finished paying for his petrol, the cashier said, “I hate you guys,” to which the victim responded, “What do you mean?” The cashier then allegedly answered: “I hate you and all you Jewish people.”
We have discussed the matter with the Metropolitan Police Service, which has confirmed that they attended the incident and treated it as a racially or religiously aggravated incident intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress, which is an offence under the Public Order Act. However, the victim declined to give police a statement and no evidence was found to substantiate the allegation, so the police were left with no option other than to have a discussion with the alleged offender and close the case.
Shomrim, the volunteer Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, was introduced to the victim and helped him to make a statement to the police, but due to the absence of a corroborating second witness statement, police action was still not possible.
The police can only act when allegations are supported by evidence, including evidence from victims themselves wherever possible. Anybody who experiences antisemitism in person should first call the police, and then if it is safe to do so, they should try to capture video evidence using a smartphone and take the contact details of anyone else who witnessed the incident.
Twitter has announced tougher rules against hatred and incitement on the platform. In a statement, the company wrote: “We believe that protection from abuse and harassment is a vital part of empowering people to freely express themselves on Twitter.”
Whereas the old rules would often require that a user threaten or promote violence before Twitter took action, the new rules state that users “may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease”. The rules also prohibit the promotion of terrorism, targeted abuse of harassment, posting another user’s private information or creating multiple accounts with which to abuse others.
We welcome these changes, as well as the investment in enforcement that the company says it has made. In particular, we hope to see much firmer action against users who promote antisemitic conspiracy myths using the word “Zionists” instead of “Jews”, and the removal of terrorist sympathisers from the platform.
Much more importantly though, we hope that Twitter will become more proactively helpful in removing antisemitism from its platform. Removing antisemitic content should not fall to the victims of antisemitic Twitter trolls; there is no reason why Twitter cannot proactively seek out antisemitic content and remove it, as we have called for repeatedly.
Twitter should also be working more proactively with British police forces. Police forces often require data from social networks for use in evidence, but obtaining it can dramatically slow down or even thwart police investigations. In the worst cases, Twitter should be proactively reporting users to the police for investigation.
Ultimately, removing Twitter accounts only hampers antisemites as they can create a new account moments after having their account removed, even though they must rebuild their Twitter following. That is why, when we find that an antisemitic Twitter user is based in the UK, we will always seek prosecution, as criminal sanctions are harder to ignore than sanctions Twitter can enforce, and arrest sends a stronger message to other antisemites on Twitter than the disappearance of an account.
Though we encourage Twitter users to report to Twitter antisemitic accounts which appear to be based overseas, we believe that UK-based accounts should be reported to the police, and our volunteer team will continue to work with our supporters and the police to ensure that British antisemites on Twitter are brought to justice.
Last week on BBC London Radio, during a phone-in, a BBC presenter and a caller discussed Jews.
The caller was given over thirteen minutes of airtime, spewing vile antisemitism, with many of his arguments left unchecked. Though it was clear from the outset that the caller was an unrepentant antisemite, the presenter allowed him to opine at length on the subject of Jewish world domination, even telling his caller: “I’m giving you more than I have done anyone.”
In addition to providing the full recording, we have produced the following excerpts for inclusion in any complaints that our supporters might wish to make to the BBC. Complaints can be made online at or by telephone on 03700 100 222. The comments were made during the Simon Lederman talkshow on BBC London Radio on Tuesday 22nd December at 5:07am.
“There is a debate, listen I’m not saying there is no debate, clearly there is a debate about whether Israel in its current form should be where it is.”
“They are trying to control us more and more and more. They want to put a chip up our backsides, a ring through our noses, and a vizor for our horizons… the elite… the Rothschilds”
“It’s not just about old money, it’a about the Zionists”
“Most of the Jews of the world come from eastern Europe, from a place called originally, an empire called Khazaria… The Rothschilds, the people who own the Bank of England, the people who own the Federal Reserve, they’re all Zionist Jews. The people who own corporate America, the media, you’ll find if you just do a little bit of research, they’re all Zionist Jews. We are ruled by Zionist Jews.”
“The history of Jews from Palestine, that area of Judaism, it’s a long long history of thousands of years, has nothing to do with Zionism.”
“True Judaism… they’re against Zionism, those guys with the hats and the curly hair.”
“They control the money, the money, finance… 80% of corporate America, of the media, is owned by Jews. And they’re Zionist Jews.”
“We are dominated by the Jews’ system, the financial Jewish system.”
“We keep going on about the Jews… mainstream media, they keep banging on about the Jews and the Holocaust… we keep going on about six million Jews.”
The Charity Commission for England and Wales has announced that it is launching a statutory inquiry into alleged misconduct and mismanagement by the Ghulam Mustafa Trust.
The decision follows a complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Full statutory inquiries into charities are relatively rare. In 2012-13 there were just fifteen inquiries.
Campaign Against Antisemitism originally reported the Ghulam Mustafa Trust to the Charity Commission in September after a video was posted on the charity’s official Facebook page. The video was made by a trustee of the charity and showed viewers how to remove a supposed tracking device planted by “the f***ing Jews” in Samsung smartphones. The video urged viewers to check their smartphones for the tracking device, which is in fact the circuit that handles near-field communication. A young child was present during the filming of the video and can be heard speaking off camera.
Following an investigation by the Charity Commission, the video was removed and the charity was instructed to put in place a social media policy and code of conduct for trustees, but the trustee was left in his post, no apology was issued and the video had already been online for months, during which the charity had ignored complaints by Facebook users that it was antisemitic.
Campaign Against Antisemitism supplied detailed documentation to the Charity Commission in support of a statutory inquiry, and following this, the Charity Commission has decided that a statutory inquiry is warranted.
The Charity Commission can only use its powers to remove and permanently disqualify a trustee if recommended to do so by a statutory inquiry.
We commend the Charity Commission for taking the decision to launch a statutory inquiry into this serious misconduct and mismanagement by a trustee of the Ghulam Mustafa Trust. This step allows the Charity Commission to use the full extent of its powers, including removing and disqualifying the trustee, and that is what we hope the inquiry will decide is the appropriate measure in this matter.
When charities engage in inciting hatred, it is vital that the firmest regulatory action is taken and we are very pleased to note the Charity Commission’s decision to use powers reserved for the most serious concerns in dealing with this vile antisemitic incident. We await the outcome of the inquiry with interest.
In April last year, the Government commissioned a review of the Muslim Brotherhood. Whilst the full review is classified, the major findings were published last Thursday.
The review found that the Muslim Brotherhood:
Is linked to Hamas, which is the “Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Brotherhood treat them as such”;
Conducted terrorist attacks against “both British and Jewish interests”;
Is the origin of ideology which “has inspired many terrorist organisations, including…Al Qaida and its offshoots”;
Leaders “routinely use virulent, antisemitic language”;
“Played an important role in establishing and then running the Muslim Council of Britain” with which the Government severed ties “after an office holder signed a public document which appeared to condone violence against any country supporting an arms blockade against Gaza”;
Requires its members to keep their membership “a secret”;
Has built “a complex network of charities…linked to Hamas”;
“Held out the prospect and ambition of an Islamic state in this country as elsewhere”;
“Applauded suicide bombing by Hamas”; and
“Selectively used violence and sometimes terror in pursuit of their institutional goals.”
The review is a portrait of an insidious, clandestine, centralised network which has used front organisations, especially charities, to encourage and finance extremism, antisemitism and terrorism.
The conclusion of the review is that “aspects of Muslim Brotherhood ideology and tactics, in this country and overseas, are contrary to our values and have been contrary to our national interests and our national security,” however the Prime Minister has astonishingly decided not to ban the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.
In recent months the Prime Minister has clearly stated that the Government’s Counter Extremism Strategy must involve not only fighting those who commit extremist acts, but also those who support and encourage extremism. In July the Prime Minister explained: “When you look in detail at the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were first influenced by what some would call non-violent extremists.”
It is clear from the review that while “the Muslim Brotherhood has not been linked to terrorist-related activity in and against the UK”, it promotes extremism. In his response to the review, the Prime Minister said that “membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism…Parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism.”
In October the Government published its Counter-Extremism Strategy, promising to counter extremist ideology, build partnerships with all those opposed to extremism, disrupt extremists, and build more cohesive communities. At the time, we warned that “success will be measured by action.” We welcome the Prime Minister’s promise to consider action under the Counter-Extremism Strategy.
The Muslim Brotherhood in the UK should be banned under the Terrorism Act.
The review of the Muslim Brotherhood details its longstanding record of antisemitism, intolerance and support for terrorism, not least by Hamas which is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recognising this but failing to ban the Brotherhood shows that the Government’s red lines on extremism are blurred beyond all useful purpose.
The full review can be downloaded. You can also download our full response including the most relevant excerpts from the review.
A report by the left-wing anti-racism campaigning organisation Hope Not Hate has caused consternation for listing prominent critics of Islamic extremism and decrying them as anti-Muslim.
Entitled “The Counter-Jihad Movement: Anti-Muslim hatred from the margins to the mainstream”, the 180-page report listed over 900 people and organisations which Hope Not Hate considers to be “dedicated to anti-Muslim hatred and prejudice,” claiming that they represented the “new face of the far-right.”
Some of those included in the report are not “anti-Muslim” at all, but are in fact simply critics of Islamic extremism. For example, Melanie Phillips, a prominent Jewish journalist, has apparently been listed due to her continued calls for a firmer stance against Islamists. Raquel Saraswati, a headscarf-wearing, devout female Muslim was even included, because she campaigns against so-called honour-based violence within her religion.
Last summer, as neo-Nazis announced their plan to demonstrate against the presence of Jews in Golders Green, we decided to firmly oppose them, simultaneously preparing a demonstration which gained the support of thousands of you who planned to attend, whilst also negotiating with the police. Our counter-demonstration strengthened our hand in negotiations with the police, and the police took the action we called for and excluded the neo-Nazis from Golders Green on pain of arrest. There have been no neo-Nazi demonstrations against Jews since. By contrast, Hope Not Hate had called for the neo-Nazis to be left alone to hold an anti-Jewish rally with dangerous and potentially violent members of far-right groups in an area full of Jewish people, on Shabbat.
As campaigners against antisemitism, we know all too well that some “anti-racist” organisations have in fact allowed themselves to become facilitators for extremism. They advocate ignoring extremists to avoid “drawing attention” to them, and they berate critics of religious extremism as racists.
It is necessary to confront Islamism and Hope Not Hate discredit themselves by standing against those who take a firm stand, lumping them together with those who may indeed have anti-Muslim views. Hatred of Muslims has no place in our society and we will always stand against it, but fierce opposition to Islamism, violent extremism, and the pathways towards that violence are necessary for the survival of our society.
We commend the Jewish Chronicle for its reaction to Hope not Hate’s report, and hope that other Jewish organisations who previously partnered with Hope Not Hate will follow suit.
Joshua Bonehill-Paine, has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison for his antisemitic incitement. In a sentencing hearing this morning at Southwark Crown Court, His Honour Judge Leonard QC sentenced Bonehill-Paine to three years and four months in prison, taking into account his past offences and track record of incitement, however under sentencing rules Bonehill-Paine might be released on licence after serving half of his sentence if he is deemed to have behaved well in prison. The six months he has so far spent in custody awaiting trial will also be deducted from his overall sentence.
Remarking on the case, Judge Leonard called materials produced by Bonehill-Paine “about the most inflammatory documents I will ever see,” adding, “With time I hope you can mature and see the harm you are doing.”
The race hate internet troll, was unanimously convicted by a jury yesterday of incitement to racial hatred for calling for “anti-Jewification” demonstrations in neighbourhoods with large Jewish populations this summer.
Bonehill-Paine has been in police custody since June, when he was arrested in a dawn raid. At a hearing in July, he pleaded “absolutely not guilty” and he has now been convicted at a trial which made for an uncomfortable spectacle for our volunteers.
The trial centred on advertisements Bonehill-Paine produced for the “anti-Jewification” demonstrations and though calm, articulate and confident, Bonehill-Paine’s testimony was simply not credible.
In one exchange with prosecutor Mark Weekes, Weekes said: “You describe yourself as a facist,” to which Bonehill-Paine replied: “I am a freedom fighter. If that means I’m a facist, then yes.” Weekes sought to clarify: “You accept the description of yourself as a facist, yes?” Bonehill-Paine replied: “No.”
At one point, Bonehill-Paine claimed that he was not an antisemite when asked about a ‘joke’ on his website in which he asked “How do you fit six million Jews in a car? In the ashtray.”
The trigger for Bonehill-Paine’s arrest and prosecution was his production of two advertisements for the “anti-Jewification” demonstration in Golders Green in July. One advertisement featured Adolf Hitler rendered as a smiley face captioned “#SummerOfHate”, with text claiming that the demonstration would be “an absolute gas”. The other advertisement featured an antisemitic caricature of a Jew being sprayed with weedkiller behind the entrance to Auschwitz, with a caption declaring: “We’ve become complacent and allowed for weeds to grow in the cracks of London. It’s time to clear them up with Round-Up and Liberate Golders Green for future generations of White People.”
Giving evidence, about the advertisements, Bonehill-Paine was asked by Weekes about the comment in the ads that the demonstrations would be “an absolute gas”. Bonehill-Paine claimed that the comment was a joke “for a younger generation”. Weekes asked why it was funny, to which Bonehill-Paine remarked simply: “I have a dark sense of humour.” He went on to claim that every single antisemitic element of the ads was an example of “dark humour” aimed at “younger generations”, including the imagery suggesting that Jews were weeds which should be eliminated with weedkiller.
Weekes was impressively dogged, painstakingly taking Bonehill-Paine through the evidence. When he came to the smiley face rendered as Adolf Hitler, Weekes said: “You used a smiley face with a Hitler face.” Bonehill-Paine gave his stock response: “I think it’s absolutely funny.” Weekes retorted: “You think people in Golders Green would think this is funny?” When Bonehill-Paine replied “Yes I do”, Weekes sharply enquired: “Even with the ‘Summer of Hate’ written underneath?” Bonehill-Paine weakly responded: “That was the theme.”
At one point Weekes asked incredulously about the demonstration: “This is supposed to benefit Golders Green?” Bonehill-Paine replied that he “wanted to cooperate with the community.”
Bonehill-Paine’s defence was utterly shredded as private correspondence recovered from his computer by police data forensics officers came to light.
In one e-mail, Bonehill-Paine had written: “Perhaps a civil war is looming or a world war. If we don’t take action we can say goodbye to independence. Pointing the finger at the Jew has proven to be suicide for many aspiring nationalists but I must take a stand as I see Jews taking dominion over white folk.”
In a Skype conversation, Bonehill-Paine wrote: “Apparently Israel has condemned the marches. We are shaking them to the very core…The Jews are absolutely outraged.”
Whilst Bonehill-Paine has no significant far right following, it was his online activity that started the “anti-Jewification” demonstrations and prompted Campaign Against Antisemitism and others to repeatedly bring his activity to the attention of the police.
Although Bonehill-Paine did not successfully organise any demonstrations due to police bail conditions banning him from London, another neo-Nazi, Eddie Stampton, picked up the idea and organised demonstrations, but dropped “anti-Jewification”, instead claiming to be demonstrating against the Shomrim Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol which works with the police. This change of theme may have caused Bonehill-Paine and Stampton to fall out. In an argument in the comments section of the Daily Stormer neo-Nazi website, a user purporting to be Stampton angrily wrote to Bonehill-Paine: “An [sic] demo in Stamford Hill billed as ‘anti-Jewification’ will be banned by the Home Office as ‘likely to stir up racial hatred’. That is why we have done the next best thing. Use your brain.”
Bonehill-Paine attempted to blame Stampton for incriminating comments made in a video in which Bonehill-Paine says: “Jews are a foreign enemy.” Bonehill-Paine claimed Stampton had sent him text to read out and even though Bonehill-Paine said he “didn’t agree with it” he claimed “it was a favour for a friend and I never agreed to have it published.” The idea was openly mocked by Weekes during his summing up, asking: “Why would he read a text that he disagrees with for 31 minutes?…It is clearly racial hatred.”
The defence was left arguing that Bonehill-Paine was an aspiring comedian and even quoted jokes by Jimmy Carr, claiming that Bonehill-Paine’s comments were “for publicity, attention, self-advertisement”. The defence also tried to argue that the legal threshold for incitement had not been met because Bonehill-Paine had issued no “call for blood”.
As Bonehill-Paine awaited the verdict, his demeanour changed and he started to fidget nervously, grasping a wooden crucifix that he had been wearing around his neck earlier. Finally the jury emerged from its deliberations and delivered its unanimous verdict: guilty.
During today’s sentencing hearing Bonehill-Paine seemed cold and detached.
Commenting on the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Barnes, who led the investigation, said: “As this case demonstrates, there is no place for people inciting racial hatred under the guise of protest and those that do this will be investigated and brought before the courts to answer for this crime.”
The anti-Jewification demonstrations were firmly put to a stop after a demonstration planned for 4th July was forcefully opposed by Campaign Against Antisemitism. We prepared to bring thousands of counter-demonstrators out to oppose the neo-Nazis in Golders Green whilst simultaneously negotiating with the police. It was our counter-demonstration and firm negotiating position which the Metropolitan Police Service said prompted the use of powers under the Public Order Act to exclude the neo-Nazis from Golders Green, instead kettling them in Westminster and limiting their demonstration to an hour spent surrounded by police. No further demonstrations have taken place.
We are pleased that Bonehill-Paine has been convicted of this serious crime and is no longer at liberty to incite racial hatred. We are also very pleased that the severity of his sentence reflects the severity of his actions and sends a strong message to others like him.
We would like to thank our volunteer team which worked tirelessly to successfully oppose the antisemitic demonstrations, and the volunteers who have attended court proceedings so that Bonehill-Paine’s pathetic reality can be brought to light.
Following a report by Campaign Against Antisemitism, Hertfordshire Constabulary has launched an appeal for witnesses to antisemitic singing by hooligans at Hertford Town FC’s home ground, Hertingfordbury Park.
CAA became aware of the incident after a contributor to Everyday Antisemitism posted a local newspaper’s match report on Everyday Antisemitism. Everyday Antisemitism is run by Campaign Against Antisemitism and allows anyone to register to post about their experiences of antisemitism.
According to the report,at a match on Tuesday, 1st December between Hertford Town and Welwyn Garden City, antisemitic singing broke out amongst Hertford Town fans, which they directed towards their opponent’s fans. According to the report, a “mindless minority” started the antisemitic singing, repeating the song twice.
After CAA brought the incident to the attention of Hertfordshire Constabulary, the force has opened an investigation and police are working to trace those responsible.
PC Sam Bailey, Hate Crime Officer for East Hertfordshire, said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary does not tolerate racism. We will take every report of such behaviour seriously and will seek to take action against those who are responsible. I am appealing for anyone with information about this incident to contact me.”
Anyone with information should contact PC Bailey on 01992 533 651, quoting crime reference A1/15/3507. Alternatively, information can be anonymously passed to Crimestoppers, the independent crime-fighting charity, on 0800 555 111 or through www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
We commend Hertfordshire Constabulary for opening an investigation as soon as we reported the incident to them, and for taking a firm zero tolerance approach to this antisemitic hooliganism.
Hertford Town FC’s Code of Conduct stipulates that supporters and their guests must “Promote ethical and non-racist, non-sexist principles” and “Show due respect to the players, coaches and supporters of all teams.” We are enquiring what action Hertford Town FC took in relation to this incident.
A week after condemning a campus exhibition celebrating Palestinians who had stabbed Jews, the London School of Economics has published and then removed an antisemitic blog post.
The blog was published on the LSE website and claimed that, as a matter of religious belief, Jews consider non-Jews to be inferior to the extent that Jews are permitted to “exterminate” non-Jews.
One extract read:
Notions of ‘racial’ superiority are contained in Jewish scriptures and Rabbinical pronouncements have the effect of relegating ‘the other’ to a standard which is sub-human and, therefore, not deserving of the same considerations that are reserved for one’s ‘own kind’.
The blog post entitled “Delegitimising through Dehumanisation: Palestinian ‘human’ rights denied”, was written by Australian academic Dr Sandra Nasr and caused outrage on social media. Jonathan Hoffman contributed a post about the blog on Everyday Antisemitism which encouraged Everyday Antisemitism’s social media followers to write to the LSE’s Director.
Everyday Antisemitism is run by Campaign Against Antisemitism and allows anyone to register to post about their experiences of antisemitism.
LSE has now removed the offensive blog post but has not apologised, saying simply that “editorial guidelines were not followed” in the racist post they have now removed.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is investigating after Campaign Against Antisemitism filed a complaint against a retired University of Cambridge academic who allegedly told an Israeli schoolgirl that she will not answer her question about horses until “there is peace and justice for Palestinians”. Asked about her motivation, she reportedly said that the “Jews have become the Nazis”. The case caused uproar on social media and in the national press, but no police investigation was opened until Campaign Against Antisemitism took action.
Dr Marsha Levine, an expert on the domestication and history of horses, was reportedly approached by 13-year-old Shachar Rabinovitch by e-mail. Shachar was undertaking a school project and sent Levine an e-mail in her best, most polite English. Levine allegedly responded coldly that “You might be a child, but if you are old enough to write to me, you are old enough to learn about Israeli history and how it has impacted on the lives of Palestinian people. Maybe your family has the same views as I do, but I doubt it.”
Interviewed by the JC after the alleged e-mail exchange was posted on Facebook, Levine reportedly said: “Jews have turned themselves into monsters. I want this girl not to worry about horses…I don’t see any obligation to further her ego or make her feel better about herself. I don’t think it’s about her – I think it’s about her parents. I gave her useful information which might help her for the rest of her life. I have to stand up for what I believe in…The Jews have become the Nazis. Jews are behaving just like the people who treated them. It’s not all Israelis or all Jews.”
Speaking to the Telegraph, Shamir Rabinovitch, Shachar’s father, said he was “shocked” by the reply. He said: “You have to ask yourself: what is there to gain from not talking to a 13-year-old girl? How does that solve anything? She asked a very polite question about horses, something she is interested in. Why do you reply with such anger? It really crossed the boundary. I think it’s ok to have different opinions about Israel…But it’s not OK to involve children in this stuff.”
We will now leave the case in the hands of the police and follow its progress with interest.
On 27th October 2015, Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, Father of the House of Commons, delivered an antisemitic speech on parliamentary premises to the Shadow Minister for Justice and other MPs.
He claimed that British Jews use “Jewish money” to subvert the British government so that Israeli Jews can “execute Arab-looking people”.
One month later:
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has told us she will not investigate because the speech “did not bring Parliament or MPs into disrepute”
Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have expressed “deep concern” but have taken no action.
The Opposition Chief Whip continues to ignore our calls to take disciplinary action.
Racism must be fought by all political parties, but the Labour Party and Parliament as a whole have taken no action to address Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitism in the month since his speech. Please remind your MP that one month after Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, we still demand justice.
A report in today’s Herald reveals the fears of Jewish students at Scottish universities. Students have reportedly said that they were “hounded” for failing to attend lectures during Shabbat, and one student even told the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (ScoJeC): “I was told by my university that either I sit exams on Shabbat or I fail.” In another case, a Jewish student said that she no longer went to the business school or library and was worried about attending classes “due to fear of being harassed or attacked.”
In a letter voicing concerns about a new definition of academic freedom, which ScoJeC worried could make it even harder to protect Jewish students’ rights, ScoJeC wrote: “It is troubling that when the Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland has intervened with the support of ScoJeC to assist Jewish students who find themselves subject to abuse, our concerns have been dismissed by senior university staff who appear not to recognise that there have been failures.”
ScoJeC blamed much of the intimidation of Jewish students on the tenor of political discourse about Israel, writing: “We have evidence that the manner in which some academic and research staff have expressed views about the situation in the Middle East has contributed to both Jewish and Israeli students feeling compelled to deny or hide their Jewish identity at the very time in their lives when they should have the freedom to explore it. The issue is not that some academic and research staff hold views about the situation in the Middle East — that is their right. Nor is it simply that they have expressed those views in public — what concerns us greatly is the manner in which some staff have done so.”
Universities are supposed to be places of tolerance and respect, but for Jewish students across the UK university is often not the broadening experience that it should be. Any Jewish student who voices support for Israel, where half of the world’s Jews live, is liable to face a wall of extreme, unabating hatred, which is the opposite of what university should be. The victimisation of Jewish students in this way appears to allow more traditional forms of discrimination to flourish.
We encourage students to make use of laws against hate crime. Please contact us if you are unsatisfied with the way that a university or the police has handled your complaint. Victims of antisemitism can also raise awareness of the problem by posting their experiences on Everyday Antisemitism.
According to the Guido Fawkes political blog, the Green Party’s spokesman, former Labour MP Tony Clarke, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “There are British oil companies such as Genel Energy, run by Nathaniel Rothschild, one of George Osborne’s friends, who are making money, who are buying oil from ISIS, who are putting money into the pot, allowing ISIS therefore to fuel their evil across the world.”
It is worryingly common to hear antisemitic conspiracy theorists claim that ISIS is funded by the Rothschild Jewish banking family, a shorthand reference to nefarious Jewish financial influence.
City AM has reported that the Green Party has retracted their spokesman’s statement: “The Green Party and Tony Clarke apologise to Genel Energy for this false statement, which they have withdrawn and have undertaken not to repeat. The Green Party and Tony Clarke wish to publicly retract this statement and accept it to be untrue and without foundation. Genel Energy…is not, and never has been, a purchaser of oil from anyone.”
The Green Party has disgraced itself. It is clear that this apology was wrung from the Party by the possibility of action for defamation by Genel Energy.
In the run-up to this year’s general election, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett showed that she had no idea how to combat antisemitism when asked what she would do to protect British Jews. The Party has long been criticised for its failure to tackle antisemitism within its own ranks.
A trustee of the Ghulam Mustafa Trust has been allowed to continue to run the charity by the Charity Commission, despite having made a home video with instructions to stop the “f***ing Jews” from “tracking every photo” on Samsung smartphones, which he posted on the charity’s Facebook page.
Following Campaign Against Antisemitism’s complaint to the Charity Commission, the Commission visited the Ghulam Mustafa Trust and established that it was indeed a trustee who had made and posted the video. In spite of the vile antisemitic myth proposed in the video, that Jews use secret microchips in Samsung smartphones to track users’ photographs, the Charity Commission merely demanded that the video be removed from Facebook and that the charity improve its bureaucracy by:
Adopting a social media policy;
Reviewing and removing any other offensive social media postings; and
Adopting a code of conduct for the charity’s trustees.
In an e-mail to Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chairman, the Charity Commission, said: “The Commission did establish that the video had been made by one of the trustees of the Charity… The Commission assessed the content of the video as ‘wholly unacceptable’”. Yet the Commission did not remove the trustee from his position on the charity, instead opting only to impose “remedial regulatory action”.
The Charity Commission will be amongst the beneficiaries of tough new counter-extremism powers proposed by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary. But these new powers will be of no use whatsoever unless the bodies responsible for enforcing the law use the powers they are granted.
David Cameron has spoken about how “ideas based on conspiracy that Jews exercise malevolent power” contribute towards dangerous extremism, yet here we see the Charity Commission leaving a trustee in place running a charity, when he has personally made and spread exactly such a conspiracy theory via online video and social media. We also know that more and more extremists are influenced by social media videos and other content. Regulatory bodies like the Charity Commission have to use the powers they have to show this behaviour is totally unacceptable, rather than feebly giving actively antisemitic trustees a free pass.
We are referring the Charity Commission’s decision on this matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which has jurisdiction in this matter.
We also understand that the Charity Commission was advised by the police that the video did not constitute a crime, which is contrary to advice that we have received. We will be discussing this further with the police.
Following a meeting between the Opposition Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton, and Sir Gerald Kaufman, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned Sir Gerald Kaufman’s comments.
One week after Sir Gerald Kaufman accused British Jews of subverting the government with ‘Jewish money’ so that Israeli Jews could shoot ‘innocent’ people, Jeremy Corbyn has spoken out and the Opposition Chief Whip has expressed ‘deep concern’. That’s positive, but it’s a week late and falls far short of what is warranted. We have been calling for a week for the Labour Party to take formal, firm disciplinary action against Sir Gerald Kaufman. Nothing less will do if Jewish people are to have any faith that the Labour Party’s ‘implacable opposition’ to racism is anything more than a soundbite.
Corbyn’s condemnation comes as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, told Campaign Against Antisemitism that she would not investigate the matter because Kaufman’s comments did not draw the House of Commons or its members into disrepute. Kaufman is formally known as “Father of the House” because he is the longest serving and oldest MP, and he was speaking on Parliamentary premises to a group which included MPs such as Andy Slaughter, the Shadow Minister for Justice.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, has written to Campaign Against Antisemitism to say that she will not investigate the antisemitic comments made by Sir Gerald Kaufman in a speech because she does not believe that they bring the House of Commons or its members into disrepute.
Campaign Against Antisemitism had sent a complaint to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards under clause 16 of the Parliamentary Rules of Conduct for MPs which states: “Members shall never undertake any action which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally.”
At a meeting last week at 1 Parliament Street, David Collier, a blogger who attended a meeting of the Palestine Return Centre, said that Kaufman claimed that “Jewish money, Jewish donations” dictate government policy on Israel. Kaufman reportedly began his speech by claiming that the wave of antisemitic stabbings in Israel which has seen Jews stabbed, axed, run over and shot in the streets for being Jews, was “fabricated”.
Kaufman’s claim that British Jews use “Jewish money” to subvert the government so that Israeli Jews may shoot innocent people combines antisemitic conspiracy theory with antisemitic blood libel. The fact that Kaufman, who is known as the Father of the House as the longest standing MP, made such comments and the fact that other MPs sat in taciturn acceptance of those comments patently brings the House into disrepute. How are Jewish people supposed to have faith in an institution whose members engage in such conduct?
We are appalled that the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has examined the evidence put before her and found that the offence is not sufficiently grave to merit action.
All eyes must now return to the Labour Party itself, which we and others have asked to take disciplinary action. We remain in contact with the Labour Party which has so far only confirmed that the Opposition Chief Whip has met Kaufman today to “discuss” his comments, but not that disciplinary action is being taken.
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards’ Letter
Dear Mr Falter,
Mrs Harrison has forwarded to me her email exchanges with you. I have reviewed them very carefully and can confirm that she is correct. Generally, I may not look into complaints about the expression of a Member’s views and opinions and the bar for bringing such complaints into my remit is a high one.
I understand the distinction you seek to draw between the expression of views and opinions on the Middle East conflict and the words used by Sir Gerald to explain the position of the UK government. However, I agree with Mrs Harrison that this was an expression of his views and opinions – reflecting his interpretation of events – and so your allegation is caught by the general bar on my investigating complaints about the expression of views and opinions.
While many will disagree profoundly with Sir Gerald’s words, I do not consider that that in itself means they reflect either on the House as a whole or on its Members generally.
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
Last week, local paper Ham & High published a letter by John McPartlin demanding that the UK Jewish Film Festival not be permitted in the borough. Campaign Against Antisemitism joined a call by North London Friends of Israel to write letters to the paper which was inundated with so many that almost a page of this week’s edition is devoted to letters rebutting the bigoted notion that Jewish cultural events should be boycotted. Congratulations to everyone who wrote in, and to North London Friends of Israel!
Boujis, a popular nightclub in Kensington has been ordered to close for two weeks following a brawl which erupted into the street after customers were subjected to antisemitic abuse.
Video footage showed between fifteen and twenty people engaged in a fight during which one person was thrown across the bonnet of a taxi with such force that it was dented, whilst an assailant shouted “f***ing Jews”. The club has reportedly told journalists that the fight began after a customer made an antisemitic remark towards a group of Jewish people and was asked to leave.
When the club reopens, it will be required to exclude anybody younger than 21 and must close by 2am every night. Six men and a woman, all aged between 18 and 21, were arrested and issued with fixed penalty notices.
Media accounts of the incident seem to indicate that racially-aggravated offences occurred, making the use of fixed penalty notices by the police inexplicably lenient.
On the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican declaration which put an end to the centuries-old official antisemitic theology of the Catholic church, the Pope has condemned antisemitism, including that which masquerades as political discourse about Israel.
Pope Francis said: “To attack Jews is antisemitism, but an outright attack on the State of Israel is also antisemitism. There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the State of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity.”
The statement echoes the globally-recognised EUMC definition of antisemitism which states that “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour” is antisemitic.
Our Antisemitism Barometer survey earlier this year found that 77% of British Jews “have witnessed antisemitism that was disguised as a political comment about Israel”.
Police in Birmingham are treating as a hate crime the discovery of “a number of antisemitic posters” including one of Adolf Hitler captioned “Hitler was right” at the University of Birmingham.
The posters were discovered by Students’ Guild Education Officer Izzy Lenga who tweeted: “For those who don’t think antisemitism is a serious issue, these were plastered over campus on Tues”.
We immediately contacted the police who have confirmed that they have now removed a number of antisemitic posters found on campus at the University of Birmingham. This is a worrying and disturbing thing to see at a British university at a time when the number of recorded antisemitic incidents is rising, and when Jewish people are actively being targeted and killed in Europe and beyond. We have heard from a Jewish student organisation that they’ve had students express their discomfort and alarm at seeing a poster of Hitler suggesting support for Nazism. The reaction of the police and university must be serious and tough in order to reassure Jews and non-Jews alike that this will not be tolerated. The perpetrators of his hate crime must be found and brought to justice with zero tolerance.
West Midlands Police told Campaign Against Antisemitism that the posters have now been removed and will be forensically examined to try and identify who was responsible. Officers will also be trawling CCTV and speaking to students and staff from the university as part of their investigation.
Sergeant David Cotter from West Midlands Police told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “We take reports of hate crime extremely seriously and are working closely with the university to make it a safe place for everyone who works and studies there. This kind of behaviour is offensive and completely unacceptable and our investigation to identify those responsible is already progressing.”
Deborah Walker, Head of Communications at the University of Birmingham told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “We unreservedly condemn racist graffiti on campus. We have reported the matter to West Midlands Police and are working with them to identify those involved. Our University is a community of 150 nations and we are proud to be situated in a vibrant multi-cultural city. Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. We are therefore actively working with a range of groups to bring people together and ensure that our university is a place where diversity is celebrated and everyone plays their part in creating a vibrant and welcoming community.”
If anyone has any information about who is responsible for the posters they should call Sergeant Cotter from Birmingham South Police on 101.
Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman has reportedly claimed that “Jewish money, Jewish donations” dictate government policy on Israel. Kaufman was speaking at a meeting of the “Palestine Return Council” which was attended by other MPs, as well as by the blogger David Collier, who has posted an account of Kaufman’s speech.
Speaking after former MP Martin Linton, Kaufman is reported to have said: “It’s Jewish money, Jewish donations, to the Conservative Party as in the general election in May, support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives. There is now a big group of conservative members of Parliament, who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does.”
Kaufman had reportedly begun his speech by claiming that half of the antisemitic stabbings in Israel (which has recently seen Jews stabbed, axed, run over and shot in the streets), were “fabricated”.
The globally-recognised EUMC definition of antisemitism clearly states that it is antisemitic to make “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.”
The speech delivered by Sir Gerald Kaufman, as reported by David Collier, is antisemitic and the Labour Party must investigate immediately.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is in contact with the Opposition Chief Whip.
Local paper Ham & High has published a letter by John McPartlin demanding that the UK Jewish Film Festival not be permitted in the borough. Writing in response to an article in the paper about the UK Jewish Film Festival, McPartlin refers to the festival as the “Israeli Film Festival” possibly because he is confused, or perhaps because he wants to make the bigoted suggestion of banning a Jewish cultural event seem more acceptable. If you would like to respond with your own letter, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, the government unveiled its new counter-extremism strategy. The strategy is the reflection of visions set out by the Home Secretary in March and the Prime Minister in July.
The strategy is primarily designed to address Islamic extremism, but also other extreme ideologies, including neo-Nazi extremism. Both, especially the former, are on the rise in Britain, and both target Jews for racist abuse or terrorist violence. As antisemitism soars to the highest levels since records began, the future safety of British Jews rests to a large extent on the success of this strategy.
Under the new strategy, the government plans to counter extremist ideology, build partnerships with all those opposed to extremism, disrupt extremists and build more cohesive communities.
Much of the strategy relies upon British society itself to fight extremism, and so it should. Extremism is born of ideology, and deleterious ideologies are better countered by societies than by governments. We are therefore pleased to see the promised initiatives to harness forces in British society which oppose extremism.
However, as many other countries have learned to their cost, social forces alone are insufficient to defeat determined and well-organised extremists, which is where the state must lead. It is here that we see the greatest threat to the counter-extremism strategy.
The strategy calls for new powers and measures to be made available to the police, and civil enforcement bodies such as Ofcom and the Charity Commission. We welcome this. But experience has shown that where extremist antisemitism is concerned, there is a dangerous gap between the powers available to the authorities, and authorities’ exercise of those powers.
CAA has witnessed firsthand the struggles that take place between the government and its agencies. Enforcement agencies, such as the police or Ofcom, are often reluctant to use their powers to enforce the law. This takes two forms: sometimes agencies recognise that the law has been broken, but decide not to enforce it, and sometimes agencies distort the definition of the law or mischaracterise the offence and thereby deny that there is any enforcement to be done.
The new government strategy will succeed or die on those two points above all others: enforcement and definition. We know about this; a large part of CAA’s work focuses on ensuring that the law is enforced with zero tolerance, and ensuring that definitions of antisemitism are understood and properly used.
Success will be measured by action. Next time Hezbollah flags are flown outside Downing Street, will it take intervention by CAA for criminal charges to be brought, or will the police be proactive? Next time neo-Nazis plan to march through a Jewish community, will CAA still have to negotiate before the police take action? When a BBC newsreader next opines about nefarious “Jewish faces” and “Jewish hands”, will CAA once again complain to Ofcom only to have our complaints dismissed or will Ofcom investigate this time, and hold the BBC to account? When a teacher is convicted for praising the Holocaust, will CAA need to bring proceedings for him to be banned from teaching, or will it happen automatically next time? When a charity posts a video claiming that “the Jews” are tracking everyone’s smartphones, will they receive more than just rapped knuckles?
We are fully prepared to maintain and expand our campaign for the firmest possible action against antisemites under the law, but we also hope that this counter-extremism strategy marks a turning point in the way that the authorities exercise the powers, old and new, that the government grants them.
Issa Khazaal was today found guilty at City of London Magistrates’ Court of executing a Nazi salute directed at a group of Jewish people outside Selfridges on Oxford Street, London. The incident took place in September 2014 at a demonstration.
City of London Magistrates’ Court imposed financial penalties totalling £1,587, comprising a £660 fine (including £220 due to the racially-aggravated nature of the crime), £150 in compensation and £777 costs to the CPS.
This conviction sends the message that antisemitism will not be tolerated in the UK. Jewish people feel threatened and intimidated by such acts, and it is vital that all of society stands up against this sort of hatred. Over six million Jews were murdered in the Nazi holocaust, and it is telling that Khazaal, chose to taunt Jewish people with a Nazi salute during an anti-Israel demonstration; too often antisemites feel they can dress-up their hatred of Jews as debate relating to Israel. This must not be allowed to happen, and today’s verdict shows that antisemitism can and will be pursued with the full force of the law.
Following Campaign Against Antisemitism and MP’s discussions with Metropolitan Police Service and Home Office, demonstrators allegedly flying Hezbollah flags have been charged. The Metropolitan Police Service has acted to arrest anti-Israel demonstrators who allegedly flew Hezbollah flags outside Downing Street on 9th September, following discussions with Campaign Against Antisemitism and also Matthew Offord MP.
On 9th September, anti-Israel protesters and pro-Israel protesters confronted each other outside Downing Street. Several antisemitic incidents took place which CAA is continuing to discuss with the police.
Of major concern, was the failure of the police to take any action against anti-Israel demonstrators flying Hezbollah flags. Section 13(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act says that “A person in a public place commits an offence if he wears, carries or displays an article, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed [terrorist] organisation.”
Protesters from the Zionist Federation, Sussex Friends of Israel and Israel Advocacy Movement, were told however that the Hezbollah flags were not exactly faithful to the design of the original Hezbollah flag and therefore action would not be taken.
CAA raised this with senior police officers, submitted a Freedom of Information request seeking clarity on the Metropolitan Police Service’s stance on flying terrorist flags and also circulated a video. We also raised this with the Home Office whose official guidance confirms the interpretation of section 13 of the Terrorism Act.
We have long been concerned by policing policy on the flying of terrorist flags, with police having failed to take action on other occasions, such as a man parading an ISIS flag outside Parliament and a vehicle emblazoned with the Hezbollah logo and a Syrian flag. In both cases the Metropolitan Police Service is quoted as saying: “Wearing, carrying or displaying of an emblem or flag, by itself, is not an offence unless; the way in which, or the circumstance in which, the emblem is worn, carried or displayed is such as to cause reasonable suspicion that the person is a supporter or member of a proscribed organisation.”
We are therefore pleased to confirm that following our discussions and those of Matthew Offord MP, the Metropolitan Police Service has decided to charge two individuals under section 13 of the Terrorism Act.
We are very pleased to announce that Campaign Against Antisemitism is now registered as a charity. The Charity Commission has granted CAA charitable status in recognition of our mission to expose and counter antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law.
Our transition to operating as a charity firmly establishes CAA as an ongoing and serious force in the arena of combatting antisemitism. Thanks to the work of our volunteers, in just one year we have grown into a well-organised high-profile grassroots campaign with a rapidly-growing team of volunteers, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
At our rally at the Royal Courts of Justice we called for ‘zero tolerance law enforcement’ and these words now feature in every politician’s speech on antisemitism. Our Antisemitism Barometer survey showed how British Jews were feeling and highlighted antisemitism as a national challenge in the wake of the Paris attacks.
We are now working closely with the police, CPS and government after launching our five-point plan to strengthen enforcement against antisemites at a meeting with the Home Secretary, Director of Public Prosecutions and Chief Executive of the College of Policing. We have intervened in numerous matters, without seeking publicity, to ensure that justice is done.
All this is being achieved without a single paid employee and comparatively little funding. We are empowering individual members of the community to contribute their considerable talents to the fight against antisemitism.
We have exciting projects that cover education, outreach, awareness, training and public affairs. Our goal is to tackle antisemitism through education and enforcement, with the agility of a start-up, the expertise of established professionals in various fields and where needed, a dash of chutzpah. Our newly-confirmed charitable status will help people to support our work.
As a charity, we are staying true to our grassroots mission. Our work is powered by our committed and talented team of volunteers, and donations by ordinary people like you. Please do volunteer and offer your skills, or donate to help cover our costs. By completing a Gift Aid declaration, your donations will now go even further towards the fight against racist Jew-hatred.
We would particularly like to take this opportunity to thank Adam Levin and James Stonehill, our lawyers from Dechert LLP, who have worked pro-bono for several months to expertly steward us through the complex charity application process.
On 6th February this year, IT teacher Mahmudul Choudhury was convicted of racially aggravated harassment alarm or distress for using his Facebook page to praise Hitler for murdering Jews.
Former students including Jewish students were among his Facebook friends and reported him to the Police. The image of Hitler (see below) was posted on 11th July 2014 and bore the caption “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them… YES MAN, YOU WERE RIGHT… Share this picture to the the truth a whole world.” Choudhury added an additional caption saying: “Yes now we could see why.” Choudhury was convicted and fined by South East London Magistrates’ Court.
Following Choudhury’s conviction, Campaign Against Antisemitism, was astonished that Choudhury remained free to return to the classroom and teach children. We therefore initiated formal proceedings with the Department for Education’s National College for Teaching and Leadership, and applied to the Secretary of State for Education for a Prohibition Order.
A professional conduct hearing was convened on 5th October at our behest, which Choudhury failed to attend. Following the hearing, the Secretary of State has now issued a Prohibition Order banning Choudhury from teaching, for life, with immediate effect.
The professional conduct hearing found that “prohibition is both proportionate and appropriate,” noting that “Mr Choudhury not only re-posted an image supporting the holocaust; he added a comment in support of that message. This was a significant factor in the panel forming the opinion that prohibition is proportionate and appropriate. Accordingly, the panel makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State that a prohibition order should be imposed with immediate effect.” The panel also said it had “seen little evidence that Mr Choudhury has any insight into or remorse for his actions.”
On behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, Paul Heathcote of the National College of Teaching and Leadership wrote: ”Mr Mahmudul Choudhury is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegation found proved against him, I have decided that Mr Mahmudul Choudhury shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”
Teachers have a special responsibility in society to educate and nurture our children. Mahmudul Choudhury specifically shared a post on Facebook which tried to justify the mass murder of over six million Jewish people by the Nazis. He did this knowing that others would see it, including former students. Someone with these views should never be allowed to teach Britain’s children, or be in any position where they could potentially shape and influence young minds. At a time when Jews are being specifically targeted and murdered by extremist killers in Europe and beyond, this is even more distressing. In all of our discussions with the government we have called for zero tolerance of antisemitism under the law. We therefore commend the Secretary of State for Education for this decision.
A 44-year-old man from Northampton has been arrested and four others are awaiting interrogation after five West Ham fans were reported to British Transport Police for antisemitic chanting on a train. After Campaign Against Antisemitism and others disseminated CCTV images of the suspects, British Transport Police have said they have identified the men. The man who was arrested has been bailed until Monday 26th October and the other four men will be spoken to “in due course” according to the police statement.
PC Michael Botterill, who had issued the appeal for the public to help identify the men said: “I would like to thank the public and the media for their help with this appeal.”
According to an earlier police statement, five West Ham fans were began to sing antisemitic songs on the train following a match and were asked to stop by another passenger, but they refused to stop and continued changing antisemitic slurs. British Transport Police promised firm action, saying “We will not tolerate your mobbish behaviour.” They have been as good as their word and we commend them for their extremely swift and firm response to this incident. We will follow the case with interest.
Thank you to everyone who helped by sharing the CCTV images we posted.
The incidents began when a group described as “young Asian men” in a car shouted antisemitic abuse at the driver of a school bus whilst children were on board. Shortly afterwards, a black male shouted “We need to kill all the Jews” at a Jewish man leaving a synagogue in a London neighbourhood with a large Jewish population. He then broke the man’s car window. Later, two women were subjected to antisemitic abuse and threats in the street, possibly by the same man, who may also be linked to additional incidents in the area. In the late evening, an Eastern European man shouted “You f***ing Jewish c***s” at Jewish passersby and was followed by volunteers from Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol until police arrested him. Shomrim responded to the three incidents earlier in the day as well and police are now understood to be investigating.
Due to the work of Shomrim, in close coordination with the local police, the area of north London affected has a relatively good rate of detection for antisemitic hate crime. If you witnessed any of these incidents, please contact the Metropolitan Police Service on 101 or Shomrim North East at email@example.com.
British Transport Police have issued CCTV images showing five men sought for questioning following antisemitic chanting on a train travelling between Watford Junction and Milton Keynes.
PC Michael Botterill said in a statement: “A man, who boarded the train at Watford Junction, took his seat in the first class carriage. A group of West Ham fans were already seated and, as the train pulled away, they began to sing antisemitic songs. The man, quite rightly, took offence to these vile songs and challenged the group over their language. However, they refused to stop and continued with their chanting.”
Police received reports from several other witnesses to the behaviour of the men, who are believed to have left the train at Northampton. The train was the 19:03 service from Watford Junction to Birmingham New Street on Saturday 15th August, the day West Ham played Leicester City at Upton Park.
PC Botterill continued: “This sort of casual racism has gone unchallenged for too long. We know the vast majority of football fans are decent people, but for those who continue to make life unpleasant for the travelling public, our message is clear: we will not tolerate your yobbish behaviour. I think the men in the pictures we are issuing today, have information about this incident. Please let us know who they are.”
Do you recognise these men? If so, please contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference MSUB/B4 of 12/10/2015. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
We commend British Transport Police for their firm, proactive response to this all too common incident of antisemitism amongst football fans.
Jewish delegates to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester have reportedly been subjected to antisemitic abuse by anti-Conservative protesters. Stephen Woods, Chairman of the Conservative Sale East and Wythenshawe Association, told the Jewish News: “The abuse we had to endure was despicable, with a number of protestors screaming ‘Jewish Tory scum, get back to Auschwitz.’ I have never heard such vile language. The whole incident left us all shaken up.” Woods told the Times: “This was definitely in the earshot of the police but they did nothing. It was disgusting.”
In response, Greater Manchester Police told the Jewish Newsthat it has “not received any reports in relation to this matter…If anyone has been a victim of any such incident, they are encouraged to please report this to the police and we will investigate.” This is akin to the police saying that they witnessed someone being assaulted but did not intervene because nobody came and reported the assault to them.
We continue to see government ministers including the Prime Minister issue strong calls for firm action against antisemitism, but we are increasingly concerned that the expected firm police stance is not materialising.
Another example of antisemitism amongst protesters outside the conference was an antisemitic banner made by a 13-year-old boy. It seems that no action was taken by the police in that case either.
The Prime Minister has publicly identified antisemitism as a major societal problem and a gateway to extremism. Antisemites must be shown no quarter by the police; the law must be enforced.
13 year old Morgan from Blackpool spent two days making this banner. Says if he could vote he wouldn't. pic.twitter.com/HtjpMQw3zf
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the Prime Minister announced new powers to inspect “intensive” religious schools and to shut down any that teach antisemitic views.
The Prime Minister said: “In some madrasas we’ve got children being taught that they shouldn’t mix with people of other religions; being beaten; swallowing conspiracy theories about Jewish people…So I can announce this today: if an institution is teaching children intensively, then whatever its religion, we will, like any other school, make it register so it can be inspected. And be in no doubt: if you are teaching intolerance, we will shut you down.”
Mr Cameron continued: “For too long, we’ve been so frightened of causing offence that we haven’t looked hard enough at what is going on in our communities…This passive tolerance has turned us into a less integrated country; it’s put our children in danger. It is unforgivable. So let me say it right here: no more passive tolerance in Britain. We’ve passed the laws – now I want them enforced.”
The announcement follows a major speech delivered by David Cameron in July in which he identified antisemitic conspiracy theories as a gateway to Islamic extremist ideology.
We welcome the Prime Minister’s call for firm enforcement of the law. We have found that in many cases we have had to press far too hard for the police to investigate, and been dismayed by the outcomes in a number of cases.
We will continue to work with the authorities to improve the way that they handle antisemitic crime. If you would like to help with this work, please volunteer with us, or donate to support our work.
Two 17-year-olds have been convicted of an attack on four Jewish boys in Manchester on 5th September. Joseph Kelly and Zach Birch pleaded guilty after being arrested by Great Manchester Police which launched an extensive forensic operation in the wake of the incident.
Moshe Fuerst, aged 17, was the most seriously injured. He was knocked unconscious with a blow to the head and continued to be assaulted as he lay helpless on the ground. He suffered a fractured skull and had to be placed in a medically-induced coma.
The boys, from Prestwich and Whitefield, pleaded guilty to multiple offences. One pleaded guilty to one count of section 18 assault, one count of section 47 assault and two counts of section 39 assault and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The other pleaded guilty to one count of section 47 assault and two counts of section 39 assault and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
The incident began at 23:25 on Saturday 5th September as the four Jewish boys waited for a tram at Bowker Vale Metrolink stop in Manchester. They were engaged in conversation by a group of three youths on the opposite platform which turned aggressive. The three youths crossed to the other platform in order to confront the four Jewish boys.
The group of Jewish boys said that they did not want to fight but were subjected to a sustained assault which began with punches and kicks to the head and upper body of one of the victims. As the other Jewish boys stepped in to try and stop the attack, they too came under attack. They were able to flee into a nearby road but were chased by their assailants who punched Moshe Fuerst in the face, knocking him unconscious. They then kicked him as he lay prone on the pavement, before the attackers ran away. Moshe was left fighting for his life in hospital. He has since returned home, where he is recovering from his injuries.
We understand that the police logged the incident as a hate crime but it was not prosecuted as such, and the judge made clear that the conviction was not affected by allegations that the attack was motivated by antisemitism. Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry of North Manchester division said: “This was a vicious and unprovoked attack which has left a young man with a serious head injury and with on-going psychological issues…At the start of this investigation Greater Manchester Police recorded this as a hate crime and investigated it as such. Greater Manchester Police take any such allegation extremely seriously. However, after our experienced detectives and senior figures within the Crown Prosecution Service examined the evidence closely, it was decided that this assault did not meet the threshold to be treated as a racially aggravated crime.”
Despite the fact that there are only 5,887 Jewish people in Scotland, comprising a mere 0.1% of the population, they bear the brunt of 4% of racist crimes.
As in the rest of the UK, a growing proportion of racist crime takes place online, so we welcome Police Scotland’s use of its new cybercrime hub announced in May, to track down and arrest the operators of antisemitic social media accounts based in Scotland.
Other UK police forces could learn a great deal from this approach.
The official programme for the BBC’s flagship Proms summer music festival contained an antisemitic caricature.
Leopold Auer was a famous Hungarian Jewish violinist to who numerous pieces of music were dedicated, including a piece by Tchaikovsky. The BBC Proms programme included Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and to illustrate it, the BBC used a caricature of Auer — Tchaikovsky dedicated his Violin Concerto to Auer but changed it to Brodsky after Auer suggested revisions. The caricature featured Auer as a ghoulish figure with an enormous hooked nose.
The caricature used may well have been licensed from the Lebrecht Library, which lists the drawing as an “antisemitic caricature”. If the BBC did indeed purchase the rights to use the image from the Lebrecht collection, it is hard to imagine that they could have missed the description of the caricature.
In response to Twitter users who demanded answers, the BBC said: “We use a range of caricatures and illustrations in our concert programmes and wanted one of Leopold Auer. We’re sorry to anyone who was offended by the image choice — this was never our intention.”
This is a mealy-mouthed half apology which does not acknowledge that the caricature is antisemitic in nature and should never have been used. The BBC has not explained how this happened or how they will discipline those involved.
Please make a complaint to the BBC and write to the press asking the BBC explain how this happened, who was responsible and how they will ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Moshe Fuerst suffered a fractured skull and a brain injury in a violent attack in Manchester on Saturday 5th September. He and three friends (two teenagers and a 20-year-old) were wounded when they were assaulted by thugs whilst waiting at the Bowker Vale tram stop.
Forensics experts from Greater Manchester Police scoured the scene of the crime, followed by dawn arrests.
We can now confirm that two teenagers from Bury, both aged 17, pleaded guilty to assault charges at Manchester Youth Court yesterday.
One defendant pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of assault by beating, whilst the other pleaded guilty to wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating. According to Manchester Evening News, each defendant spoke only to confirm his name, address, date of birth and plea.
The court heard that the attackers shouted insults at the Jewish boys while they pursued them before the attack. Moshe was trapped in a corner and knocked out with a punch to the head. His assailant continued to kick him in the head and body while he lay defenceless on the floor. The defendants reportedly told the police that they were drunk at the time of the attack.
No further action will be taken against a third boy, also 17, who was arrested in connection with the attack and then released.
We commend Greater Manchester Police for its firm and swift response to this vile attack. We will be following the case with interest. The defendants will next be in court on 20th October.
Following intensive treatment, which included a medically-induced coma, Moshe has now been released from hospital. We wish Moshe a shana tova (happy Jewish new year) and a refuah shlema (complete recovery).
Moshe Fuerst suffered a fractured skull and a brain injury in a violent attack in Manchester on Saturday. He and three friends (two teenagers and a 20-year-old) were wounded when they were assaulted by three thugs whilst waiting at the Bowker Vale tram stop.
Following intensive treatment, which included a medically-induced coma, Moshe has now been released from hospital. We wish Moshe a shana tova (happy Jewish new year) and a refuah shlema (complete recovery).
Police swooped this morning on addresses in Whitefield and Derbyshire, arresting two 17-year-olds on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and violent disorder.
This afternoon, Greater Manchester Police arrested a third suspect.
Police swooped this morning on addresses in Whitefield and Derbyshire, arresting two 17-year-olds on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and violent disorder.
Moshe Fuerst suffered a fractured skull and a brain injury in a violent attack in Manchester on Saturday. He and three friends (two teenagers and a 20-year-old) were wounded when they were assaulted whilst waiting at the Bowker Vale tram stop.
Following this morning’s dawn arrests, Greater Manchester Police issued a call for witnesses to come forward. It is hoped that passersby may have witnessed the verbal abuse on the platform at Bowker Vale or on Middleton Road which is where the boys fled to and where the violent assault took place. Police hope that drivers on the busy road may have seen the incident.
Detective Inspector Liam Boden said: “We have had a team of officers working closely with our partners to recover and examine evidence since the offence took place, which has revealed a sustained and unprovoked attack on the victims who were waiting for a tram on the opposite platform. Detectives investigating this case will be interviewing two suspects later today, but we are still appealing for any witnesses to come forward.
“There are two distinct scenes, as we believe the victims were chased from the platform to Middleton Road and that is where the most serious assault took place.
“We would therefore like to ask anyone who may have been travelling along Middleton Road at around 11.25pm on Saturday, or anyone who believes they may have witnessed the attack, to come forward.
“Similarly, we believe the offenders then alighted the Metrolink towards Bury at around 11.35pm, travelling between Bowker Vale and Radcliffe. We know there were people on this tram and that they would have noticed these offenders travelling between carriages, as it would have been obvious that at least one of them had been involved in an assault.
“I know this crime has caused upset and anxiety in the Jewish community, particularly as this has happened just prior to the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, and I want to offer reassurance that hate crime will not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to stop it.”
Moshe Fuerst’s father Michael said: “Moshe is just your average kid who went out with his friends to enjoy a movie at the cinema. These fellows had no reason or justification for what they did. He also wants to thank everyone one for their positive words and prayers that he should get better. And he also wants to thank the GMP who are working hard to bring the attackers to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Moshe Fuerst, the 17-year-old Jewish boy knocked unconscious and beaten whilst lying helpless on the ground awoke from a coma yesterday. Fuerst suffered a fractured skull and a brain injury on Saturday in a violent antisemitic attack in Manchester. He and three friends (two teenagers and a 20-year-old) were wounded when they were assaulted whilst waiting at the Bowker Vale tram stop.
A photograph released by his father, Rabbi Michael Fuerst, shows the extent of his potentially life-changing injuries.
Greater Manchester Police forensics teams have scoured the site of the attack for clues and the force is now hunting three suspects whose descriptions have not been released.
An anti-Israel demonstration outside Downing Street today predictably degenerated as antisemitic slurs were hurled at a mostly Jewish crowd gathered to honour the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit. Police made at least one arrest and took away a man who reportedly made antisemitic comments about Jews “loving money”.
In an increasingly common sight, anti-Israel demonstrators flew the flag of proscribed terrorist group Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a genocidal terrorist organisation which calls for the murder of Jews everywhere. Inviting support for a proscribed terrorist group is illegal under section 13(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act. The Home Office has made it completely clear that flying terrorist flags is illegal, but no action seems to have been taken by the police.
It does not appear that the law has been enforced with zero tolerance in this case and we will be making enquiries as to the Metropolitan Police Service’s stance on the flying of terrorist flags.
This week the Metropolitan Police Service released figures showing that antisemitic incidents in London have surged by 93% in the past 12 months.
Figures released by the Metropolitan Police Service showed that antisemitic incidents in London surged by 93% over the past 12 months. The figures are also broken down by borough.
Meanwhile Greater Manchester Police continues to hunt three suspects after four Jewish boys were brutally attacked at a tram station by three men. A 17-year-old boy was knocked unconscious in the attack and remains in hospital with suspected bleeding to the brain. He came out of a coma this morning. The three other boys with him, aged 18, 18 and 20, were also injured.
The new figures came as Business Secretary Sajid Javid MP delivered a speech entitled: “It can happen again: the danger of rising antisemitism”. Javid used the speech to issue a stark warning over social indifference and complacency as levels of antisemitism continue to climb year after year, saying:
“But we also need to tackle the root of the problem, the often violent extremism that is on the rise around the world. And I’m not just talking about the butchers of ISIL or Al Qaeda, thousands of miles away in foreign lands. There’s plenty of intolerance much closer to home, intolerance that is disproportionately directed at the Jewish community. Some is explicit. The hate preachers, the extremist mosques, the far-Right groups.
Some is more oblique. A search on Google produces more than half a million hits for ‘Holocaust Hoax’. Thousands more pages will tell you that a greedy Otto Frank forged his daughter’s diary in a cunning scheme to make money. Then there are the ‘dinner party anti-Semites’. Respectable, middle-class people who would recoil in horror if you accused them of racism, but are quite happy to repeat modern takes on age-old myths and slanders about Jews. Who can’t condemn the murder of Jewish children in France without a caveat criticising the Israeli government. Who demand that a Jewish American artist sign a declaration of support for Palestine if he wants to perform at a festival in Spain.
I can’t remember the last time I spoke to a Jewish friend or colleague who hasn’t, at some point, found themselves sitting awkwardly at a dinner party while a fellow guest railed against the international ‘Kosher Conspiracy’.
Together, these attitudes create a climate in which anti-Semitism is seen as ‘less bad’ than other forms of discrimination. And in that climate, the most violent extremism can take root and it can thrive. It happened, therefore it can happen again.”
Separately, figures released by football anti-racism campaign Kick It Out revealed that most of the racist incidents they recorded were antisemitic in nature. According to the figures, antisemitic incidents in football rose 14% over the past year.
“Khan grew up in the same street as Abdul Miah, one of the ringleaders of a foiled terror plot that intended to unleash a Mumbai style attack on London. Miah, 27, his brother Gurukanth Desai, 32, and fellow accomplice, Omar Latif, 30, were among nine terrorists arrested in December 2010 as they prepared to carry out a string of deadly attacks.
During the police operation Desai, a father of three who once owned a Cardiff takeaway, and Miah were bugged claiming that fewer than 100,000 Jews died in the Holocaust and talking about how Hitler ‘had been on the same side as the Muslims’ because he understood that ‘the Jews were dangerous’.
Khan’s uncle confirmed that his nephew knew the terror cell when he was growing up. He said: ‘Reyaad knew the men from the neighbourhood. One of them lived very close by, just a few doors away on the same street.’”
Four Jewish boys aged 17, 18, 18 and 20 have reportedly been badly beaten in an antisemitic attack at a tram stop in Manchester. The four Jewish boys were approached by three thugs who started verbally and physically assaulting them on Saturday night at around 23:30. The worst affected was the youngest boy, who was knocked unconscious and has been hospitalised with suspected bleeding to his brain.
Greater Manchester Police are treating the incident as an antisemitic hate crime and seeking suspects for grievous bodily harm with intent. Forensics teams remained at the site until Monday morning.
Anyone with information should contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
UPDATE 08/09/15 11:30: Moshe Fuerst is still unwell following suspected bleeding to the brain. He awoke from an induced coma this morning. His family have asked that well-wishers pray for the speedy recovery of “Moshe Ben Sharon” by reciting Psalm 121.
Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen, better known as “Tila Tequila”, has been removed from Celebrity Big Brother. Nguyen has described herself as “Hitler reborn” and has a history of antisemitic and pro-Nazi rants.
As soon as the channel announced her participation during the launch of the series, we contacted Channel 5 and asked them to explain their decision. We briefed the media and set up an online petition which hundreds of you signed in the first couple of hours. Channel 5 opened an investigation and the media shone its spotlight on the issue.
The same day, Channel 5 contacted us to explain that they hadn’t known about Nguyen’s past, and they then removed her from the programme with minimal fuss, as we and you had demanded in the petition, without her $175,000 payout.
Thanks to everyone who signed our petition, and to our media network, a woman with well-documented, nasty antisemitic views has been removed from prime time television.
Questions remain. When searching for “Tila Tequila”, the top search results include her antisemitic and pro-Nazi rants. It is hard to believe that Channel 5 and Endemol’s team of researchers, bookers, producers and commissioning editors missed this well known part of Nguyen’s background. Even her Wikipedia entry mentioned her Nazi sympathies. However, we commend Channel 5 for removing her from the programme once we brought her views to their attention.
British values demand zero tolerance for antisemitism and that is why we sought and achieved this result.
We hope that Nguyen will now be shunned by the media and look forward to her swift return from whence she came.
In response to Campaign Against Antisemitism’s questions, Channel 5 claims that it did not know about the Nazi views of contestant “Tila Tequila”.
“Tila Tequila”, whose real name is Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen, has a history of antisemitism. She has described herself as “Hitler reborn”, and also posted a picture (see above) on Facebook showing her dressed in hot pants holding a gun, wearing a swastika armband and Nazi uniform hat, standing in front of Auschwitz concentration camp.
In a statement, Channel 5 told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “These comments did not come to the attention of either or Channel 5 or Endemol prior to the entry of the celebrity into the Big Brother house. We are currently investigating these comments.”
We are pleased to have brought this issue to the attention of the channel and alerted them to the problem. We hope that the channel and the programme makers will now take the correct action, swiftly, and remove “Tila” from the show with minimum attention being given to her and her repulsive views. We deeply regret that things went this far. We hope that they will commit to better research of future participants, especially those with well documented antisemitic and pro-Nazi views, easily found through basic online searches.
While we wait for Channel 5 and Endemol to “investigate”, please click here to add your name to our petition demanding that this Nazi sympathiser be removed from the programme.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a petition to have an antisemitic Nazi sympathiser removed from the popular television show “Big Brother”.
The latest series of Big Brother on Channel 5 includes the participation of Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen, better known by her stage name “Tila Tequila”.
Nguyen has previously expressed her admiration for Adolf Hitler, and also posted a picture (see above) on Facebook showing her holding a gun, wearing a swastika armband and Nazi uniform hat, standing in front of Auschwitz concentration camp, where an estimate 1.1 million people were killed. Approximately 1 in 6 of the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust died at the camp.
Nguyen has written on social media that Hitler was a “special and sweet kid” who was rejected by art schools and later “bullied”. She said she similarly felt “mocked” and “rejected” when she tried to convert to Judaism in 2012. She claimed that “Hitler was NOT as bad as he was painted out to be”. Her blog entry “Why I Sympathize With Hitler Part 1: True History Unveiled” has been removed, but is still available through Internet cache sites. Nguyen has also written on Facebook that she considers herself to be “Hitler reborn” which she followed with a smiley face emoji.
Facebook has blocked Nguyen’s profile in the past as a result of her extremist and anti-Semitic posts. She complained that she had been banned “a total of 8 times! For nothing except for maybe the fact that they are owned by the ZIONISTS!” She went on to say: “I find it quite absurd that jewbook bans me for yet another 30 days then warns me that they will delete my page totally if I do not ‘FOLLOW THEIR RULES AND BE A GOOD GOYIM!’ – Jewbook bans me constantly for nothing… the second I write a blog about how I sympathize with Hitler, I immediately get banned for 30 days AND they have removed majority of my posts. So now their jewbook shills and other mainstream media news outlets, which has now spread like wildfire, are saying that I deleted my posts!!!! I smell something fishy and it’s coming from jewbook shills!… I understand the Jewish people went through some shit too, but hey guess what?? SO DID THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED IN EVERY SINGLE WAR THST TOOK PLACE! You were NOT the only ones! So please, if the rest of us can forgive and forget maybe it’s time you do also!!!”
The British public has little time for attention seeking Nazi sympathisers like ‘Tila Tequila’. Channel 5 and Endemol Shine UK ought to be ashamed of themselves for promoting such a deeply offensive and nasty person on prime time television. Her repulsive writings on Hitler, the Holocaust and on Jewish people make her a totally unacceptable participant for this programme. Channel 5 must remove her immediately from the programme, and apologise fully for their enormous error of judgement. She should then be given the exact amount of public attention she deserves: none.
Add your name to the petition to remove Nguyen from Big Brother.
Since last summer, #EverydayAntisemitism has been sharing the increasing number of antisemitic attacks against Jews around the world, many of which go unreported. Campaign Against Antisemitism has given the site a new design and we’d like your help keeping it up to date.
If you learn of an antisemitic attack, instead of suffering in silence and allowing some to question whether antisemitism is a real problem, you can post the details on everyday.antisemitism.uk. Posts are automatically shared across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and e-mail once they have been approved.
You can get involved by sharing your experiences of antisemitism or helping to run the site.
Alison Chabloz, a performer at the Edinburgh Festival, has been reported to the police by a concerned member of the public, after she tweeted a photo of her performing the neo-Nazi ‘quenelle’ salute outside Edinburgh Castle (see below). In a blog post, she also praised ‘research’ by Robert Faurisson disputing the use of gas chambers by the Nazis and referred readers to Ernst Zündel’s paper entitled “Did six million really die?”
Shocked festival-goers were astounded when Chabloz claimed that the backlash from those offended by her action constitutes a “smear campaign” because of her views regarding Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
The quenelle is an inverted Nazi salute, a gesture involving one outstretched hand pointing to the ground with the other touching the same arm. It is widely accepted as being aimed at Jewish people. The quenelle was made popular by the controversial French performer Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala who said he would like to put a quenelle up the backside of Zionists, and believes Jews control the world to their own advantage. Last year Diedonné was banned by the Home Office from entering Britain and several of his shows have been cancelled in France amid fears that his stereotypical portrayal of Jews and mocking of the Holocaust were a risk to public order.
In 2013, French President François Hollande said of Diedonné “We will fight against the sarcasm of those who purport to be humourists but are actually professional antisemites.” The International League Against Racism and Antisemitism has called the quenelle: “an inverted Nazi salute representing the sodomy of the victims of the Holocaust”.
West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka was banned for five matches and fined £80,000 by the Football Association for his quenelle gesture last year.
Over the weekend, Matisyahu, a Jewish American reggae artist was booted from Spain’s Rototom Sunsplash music festival after refusing to issue a statement endorsing a Palestinian state; There is no reason that a Jewish performer should be forced to make political statements before being permitted to perform at a festival. Last year the Tricycle Theatre in London refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival, and Israeli performers withdrew from The Edinburgh Festival after threats to their safety.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has declared that the levels of Scottish antisemitism are “unacceptable” as the number of antisemitic attacks in Scotland doubled last year. In May, the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities voiced fears that some Scottish Jews were considering leaving the country.
The Edinburgh Festival has told members of the public: “The Fringe Society do not select or programme the Festival Fringe, nor do we curate or censor the behaviour or actions of performers. It is not within our remit or our open access ethos to allow or refuse performers a platform for their work that is within the law.”
The quenelle is a neo-Nazi symbol of Jew-hatred used by antisemites who claim that they oppose ‘Zionists’ but openly espouse Holocaust denial and other antisemitic views. Alison Chabloz routinely ends her tweets with ‘#quenelle’ and this latest photograph of her, along with her defence of papers questioning the scale of the Holocaust, should be of grave concern to any venue hosting her at the Festival and to Nicola Sturgeon who has rightly promised zero tolerance of antisemitism.
When asked for comment, Police Scotland said: “We would urge anyone with concerns about online content to contact Police Scotland on 101 where your report will be treated with the utmost seriousness.”
Critics of Jeremy Corbyn, who is frontrunner to lead the Labour Party, are being smeared as extremists who are trying to stifle criticism of Israel. Mainstream Jewry’s concerns are neither “extreme” nor anything to do with Israel. As we have written before, we are concerned both by Corbyn’s associations and his many supporters’ apparent indifference to them.
Writing in yesterday’s Independent, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown implored readers to ignore the concerns raised by “extreme Zionists” and “the forces of darkness”, writing that “the overreactions of some extreme Zionists these days is tantamount to an attempt to censor all criticism of Israel’s political and military tactics”.
Labour MP John Mann, who Chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, has complained to the Labour Party after his criticism of Corbyn resulted in a volley of abuse from Corbyn’s supporters, who called him “utter filth” and a “Zionist stooge”. Speaking to the Sunday Express, Mann said: “I have been described as a servant of the Israeli Prime Minister, a Nazi Zionist, a Zionist scumbag. This is all because I chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism.”
The concerns are numerous and well-founded. Hamas and Hezbollah call for a worldwide genocide of Jews but Corbyn called them “friends” and invited them to Parliament. Ra’ed Salah promoted the antisemitic blood libel but Corbyn said “Salah is a voice that must be heard” and invited him to tea at Parliament. Rev Stephen Sizer was censured by the Church for posting a “clearly antisemitic” conspiracy myth about 9/11 on Facebook, but Corbyn protested that he had been “victimised” because he “dares to speak out against Zionism”. Paul Eisen is a self-professed Holocaust denier but we still have no explanation for the photographs of Corbyn at Eisen’s events – Eisen claims that Corbyn has attended “every single one” and even donated.
In response to our previous post on the subject, we received a number of comments on Facebook and Twitter. Some were civil but dismissive, such as the response from Luke Cresswell, a Labour Councillor on Sudbury Town Council who tweeted “He’s anti State of Israel, not anti Jew”. Other comments were vulgar and antisemitic, such as the contribution from Paul Norrison in Kingston upon Hull who commented on our Facebook page: “Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister…no one gives a s*** about the Jews, just get on with your lives and stop playing the victims all of the time. Go make something beautiful, contribute to a better tomorrow instead of feeding of the guilt and horror of the past like morose Golem vampires.” We have reported Norrison’s comment to the police.
The grave concern, expressed with rare unanimity by mainstream British Jewry about Jeremy Corbyn’s associations is well-founded and must be addressed. Partisan attempts to smear and whitewash should be seen for what they are. Britain’s Jews have good reason to be worried.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism will always be apolitical and non-partisan. However, we also must not fear to call out antisemitism wherever we see it. Jeremy Corbyn hails from the far-left, and whereas far-right antisemitism is anathema to the far-left, Jewish conspiracy myths and Islamist antisemitism are often accommodated.
A neo-Nazi march organised by fascist group National Action was cancelled today. The neo-Nazis had planned to march through Liverpool but in the end the 20 neo-Nazis who turned up were unable to leave the train station.
Liverpudlians turned out in force to protest the neo-Nazis’ presence, holding their own anti-Nazi marches through the city. When the National Action contingent arrived at Lime Street Station they were pelted with bananas by a crowd chanting “Master race? You’re having a laugh!” Police moved the neo-Nazis to the left luggage room for their own safety. National Action cancelled the march after the crowds in the station laid siege to the room.
A letter bearing the National Action logo addressed to the Mayor of Liverpool had previously threatened that “your city will go up in flames”, but National Action blamed the letter on an “agent provocateur”.
In June National Action vandalised the menorah in Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, posting the video on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. Despite our requests, none of these companies have removed National Action’s accounts. We understand that there have been no arrests by West Midlands Police, which is investigating.
National Action has reportedly been viewed by Scotland Yard as a potential threat to National Security. Its ‘official strategy’ documents feature photos of a smiling Adolf Hitler and masked activists performing Nazi salutes. The group has previously described itself as “the fascists your nan warned you about.” An investigation by the Daily Mirror reported that National Action was sending its members to paramilitary bootcamps, featuring knife fighting lessons. Earlier in the week, Terence Miles, who runs National Action’s training, reportedly posted a photo on Instagram of his “not entirely legal” pocket knife.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism will always be apolitical and non-partisan. However, we also must not fear to call out antisemitism wherever we see it. Jeremy Corbyn hails from the far-left, and whereas far-right antisemitism is anathema to the far-left, Jewish conspiracy myths and Islamist antisemitism are often accommodated.
In the past week we have been approached by the Daily Mail to comment on two separate stories revealing Corbyn’s association with antisemites. We wonder why Corbyn has failed to distance himself from antisemites and in some cases has even praised them. For a prospective Labour Party leader, we would have thought that any proximity to antisemites would be toxic. Left unaddressed, it would surely prove fatal to their candidacy; not so for Jeremy Corbyn, frontrunner to become Leader of the Opposition according to recent polls.
Paul Eisen, a self-professed Holocaust denier, claims close association with Corbyn over several years and even that Corbyn has donated to his work. When confronted by the Daily Mail last week, Corbyn’s spokesman condemned Eisen’s views, but declined to comment on Eisen’s claims that Corbyn has attended “every single” one of his events and donated towards his work.
In February, the reverend Stephen Sizer, was ordered by the Church of England to stop using social media after posting an antisemitic conspiracy myth that Israel planned 9/11. While the Church said the material Sizer posted was “clearly antisemitic”, on Sunday the Mail revealed that Corbyn wrote to the Church defending Sizer, saying that he was being victimised because he “dared to speak out against Zionism”.
In April 2012, Corbyn warmly praised Ra’ed Salah, a prolific antisemite who claims that Israel planned 9/11 and who has, according to the Court of Appeal, even promoted the antisemitic blood libel that Jews bake bread using the blood of non-Jewish children. Yet Corbyn has said “Salah’s is a voice that must be heard” and publicly told Salah: “I look forward to giving you tea on the terrace because you deserve it!”
In July, the Telegraph revealed that Corbyn has accepted thousands of pounds in gifts from organisations closely-related to Hamas. This was particularly concerning following Corbyn’s 2009 speech to a conference at the House of Commons in which he said: “And I’ve also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well. Unfortunately the Israelis would not allow them to travel here. The idea that [Hamas] should be labelled as a terrorist organisation by the British government is really a big, big historical mistake and I would invite the government to reconsider its position on this matter and start talking directly to Hamas and Hezbollah.”
In its charter, Hamas openly calls for the genocide of all Jews: “our fight with the Jews is very extensive and very grave, and it requires all the sincere efforts… The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.” The Hamas charter also rejects any form of negotiation intended to lead to a peace deal: “[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement,” it states. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah has been quoted by the New York Times saying: “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”
Perhaps more worrying than Corbyn’s association with antisemites is that this appears not to bother his supporters.
We have been watching for a month as the two dozen neo-Nazis we stopped from demonstrating in Golders Green in July tried to organise another demonstration against Jews in Finchley.
We have been in contact with the police throughout, but this time we did not have to take action to stop the neo-Nazis. They were defeated by lack of support from other neo-Nazis.
After the last demonstration, the neo-Nazis complained about “massive, negative and wholly untrue publicity” and the way that their “truthful opposition” had been “stifled”. Instead of looking like heroes, they looked like fools.
By standing firm instead of heeding calls to ignore the neo-Nazis we showed them that we are not an easy target, and we also showed the police that we will accept nothing less than zero tolerance.
It is possible that the neo-Nazis will try again. We are working with lawyers on means of crippling future attempts and also pursuing police complaints against two of their leaders.
Meanwhile, we continue our work against Islamist and far-left antisemitism as well as far-right antisemitism.
Police are looking for a man in connection with an antisemitic incident outside the Alfred Arms on Shenley Road in Borehamwood on Friday 12th June at 11:15pm.
Two families (four adults and five children) were passing the pub when a man began rubbing his fingers together in a money gesture and made derogatory comments about “filthy rich Jews”. As each member of the families passed, he made exaggerated sneezing gestures and said “Ah Jew”.
Hertfordshire Constabulary would like to identify and speak with the man pictured as he may have information which could prove useful to the investigation. If you know the man pictured please contact PC Golding Egbuniwe by calling 101 and quoting crime reference number J1/15/2125.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law. Everything that we do is done by people who volunteer their time, using donations contributed by members of the public. Join the fight against antisemitism by subscribing to our updates, volunteering, or donating.