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CAA calls on new NUS President to retract comments, condemn terrorism and endorse the NUS policy on antisemitism

Today, the National Union of Students has plumbed a new low, electing as its President a candidate who has been prominently revealed in recent weeks as having extremely troubling views about Jews. Malia Bouattia has called Birmingham University a “Zionist outpost in higher education” because it has “the largest Jsoc [Jewish student society] in the country.” She has railed against “Zionist-led media outlets”, defended Palestinian terrorism as “resistance” and voted against condemning ISIS.

Shortly before her election, the National Union of Students Conference debated whether to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, with fierce applause for the students who argued against joining in with the national memorial for the genocide which wiped out more than one third of the world’s Jewish population. Though the Conference voted to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in the end, it was abundantly clear that those opposing the move had the backing of a very large number of delegates.

The National Union of Students has positioned itself as a fierce opponent of racism, with a ‘no platform’ policy which prevents racists from speaking. However today, the new President of the union is someone whose actions contravene the definition of antisemitism adopted as policy by the union.

Today Campaign Against Antisemitism calls on Malia Bouattia to retract her comments; condemn Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS (all of which espouse the most extreme antisemitic ideology possible); and endorse the definition of antisemitism used by the union, including antisemitism which masquerades as political discourse about Israel.

Please add your name to our petition.

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CAA complains over Goebbels quote in refugee advert

Campaign Against Antisemitism has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority and the Evening Standard over the inclusion this week of an advert about refugees.

The advert is headlined “Millions of refugees have fled war and persecution last year”, followed by a quotation from Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels: “The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them.” The advert then ends: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, with the hashtag #WhatWillWeDo.

The advert, sponsored by online organic food company Etefy, apparently tries to equate the Holocaust with the current migrant crisis, however the inclusion of the quotation, without context, explanation or rebuttal, is inexcusable.

Some have interpreted the advert as agreeing with Goebbels and others have even interpreted it as blaming Jews for the crisis.

You may wish to contact the Advertising Standards Authority and the Evening Standard.

We would like to thank everyone who has reported this ill-considered advert to us.

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Confusion over suspension of ‘antisemitic’ Conservative Councillor

Abdul Zaman, the deputy chairman of the Bradford Conservative Association, has been suspended after making ‘antisemitic’ comments in support of local Conservative council candidate Sajid Akhtar.

Bradford politics has been heavily affected by the Biradri clan-based system of politics under which the selection and election of candidates and politicians can be influenced by their belonging or promises to a particular clan. The Biradri has been implicated in George Galloway’s election as MP for Bradford West for the Respect Party, leading the Labour Party to remove the local party’s ability to select its own candidates.

Zaman delivered a speech in the Mirpuri dialect which defended the Biradri system, ending in a statement about Jews and Christians. The speech ends with a call for the whole community to talk to their neighbours and friends and tell them to vote for Akhtar “so that the Jews and Christians know that we are one Biradri.”

This has been interpreted as either a message of unity, or as one of division, telling the local community to show Jews and Christians that they will adhere to the Biradri system and not be divided. Interpretation is made more difficult by the fact that Mirpuri is a purely oral dialect, and various phrases used in the speech can have different literal translations.

Local Labour MP Naz Shah has complained about the speech in a letter to the Prime Minister.

Zaman was immediately suspended pending investigations by the local Conservative Party as well as the national Conservative Party. We are following the case with interest.

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National Secular Society suggests Jews are responsible for antisemitism

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, has told LBC radio that the Jewish community has corrupted the political system and subverted due process in order to build unregistered schools in London. The presence of unregistered Jewish schools has been criticised heavily by many in the Jewish community.

Porteous Wood told LBC on 3rd April: “It’s far worse than what you’re reporting. There is a very very strong Jewish Lobby that actually undermines — of which the government appear to be frightened — and allows the rule of law to be undermined. Whether we are talking about education or indeed as is another open secret effectively in places like Stamford Hill planning rules just don’t apply. If the Jewish community wants to build — massively overbuild — and extend their houses, then they just get away with it. It’s another open secret. It’s less of a surprise that local authorities feel intimidated — as I think they do — and no doubt there are an awful lot of Jewish Councillors elected who are going to be very happy to look in the other direction, but when it gets to central government just thinking ‘Well actually we won’t do anything about it’, then it is a national disgrace.”

Not only does he think there is a “very very strong Jewish Lobby” which is successfully stopping the Department of Education from regulating Jewish schools, he also believes that Jews are successfully intimidating local authorities into failing to enforce planning regulations. Most appallingly, he thinks that Jewish Councillors ‘look the other way’ when it comes to enforcing planning regulations. Such language is straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Porteous Wood has yet to personally publicly apologise. A National Secular Society official said that “no malice was intended”, which is strange because the statement was extremely malicious.

The National Secular Society has also been criticised this week after the discovery on its website of an article about Jewish schools which claims that Jewish schools are responsible for rising antisemitism: “As more Jewish kids are taken into faith schools and fewer are taught alongside non Jews should we be surprised that the horror of antisemitism is prospering in Britain, with more attacks in 2014 than for decades?”

Opposing all religion is not discriminatory, nor should the National Secular Society be criticised for objecting to lawbreaking unregistered schools, but this week an antisemitic subtext has burst to the surface.

Please feel free to contact the National Secular Society’s Honorary Associates about this, however amongst the names of the great and the good you may also notice the names of the infamous, such as Baroness Jenny Tonge.

You may even wish to add your voice to the calls for Keith Porteous Wood to resign. One of Stamford Hill’s most senior rabbis, Rabbi Avrohom Pinter has commented: “The National Secular Society has now moved from promoting a secular lifestyle to blatant antisemitism. With Mr Porteous Wood at its CEO the NSS can no longer claim any form of legitimacy in the political sphere when we know their opinions are based on prejudice and hate. We have long wondered what fascinated the NSS about Jewish schools. We now know that their bias is against Jews and not schools. I trust that Government ministers and the media will take this on board when analysing NSS campaigns in future. There are some very decent people associated with the NSS and although we don’t see eye to eye on many matters, I am sure that a number of the NSS’s Honorary Associates will wish to cease their association with an organisation run by an individual who is actively promoting classic antisemitic myths and stereotypes.”

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Campaign Against Antisemitism issues report on British Muslims and antisemitism

For at least twenty years, the British Jewish community has been out in front when it comes to interfaith work. As Britain’s Muslim population has grown, British Jews assumed that interfaith models that led to huge advances in relations with British Christians, could apply just as well to relations with British Muslims. Indeed building bridges with British Muslims has become the focus of outreach work by British Jews.

Today, our analysis of the ICM survey of British Muslims for Channel 4 and Juniper Television shows that the gradual buildup of understanding and friendship between Britain’s Jews and Muslims has been utterly eclipsed by growing antisemitism amongst British Muslims.

On every single count, British Muslims were more likely by far than the general British population to hold deeply antisemitic views. It is clear that many British Muslims reserve a special hatred for British Jews, rating Jews much less favourably than people of other religions or no religion, yet astonishingly British Muslims largely do not recognise antisemitism as a major problem.

It has long been suspected that sections of the British Muslim population harboured hatred towards British Jews. This survey goes some way to identifying pockets of prejudice, but it also shows that the prejudice is horrifyingly widespread.

From the ICM survey data made available by Channel 4 and Juniper Television, we have been able to identify some of the worst pockets of prejudice. Antisemitic British Muslims are more likely to be men, to be older than 35, to be social renters, to be in employment, to have been born outside Britain, to live south of the Midlands in England, or in Scotland, and they are overwhelmingly likely to sympathise with terrorism, violence and extremism.

The data is frustratingly limited in one some respects, and one in particular: it does not delve into the various political and religious movements that comprise the British Muslim population.

This data shows that Jews remain the ‘canary in the coal mine’, as they have been throughout history: those who harbour hatred of Jews also hate British society and sympathise with our most deadly enemies. Britain must confront rampant antisemitism within its Muslim population, but also amongst the general population, whose shocking views should be no less concerning simply because the views of British Muslims are worse.

The full report is available on our website.

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Shomrim rush to scene in London as man shouts death threats at Jewish boys

In the early hours of this morning, three young Orthodox Jewish boys were walking along Manor Road in the Stamford Hill area of London when a man started shouting allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar! F***ing Jews! Kill the Jews!”

The boys called Shomrim which responded immediately, the suspect was still in the area, threatening pedestrians and shouting antisemitic abuse. Shomrim liaised with the Police and assisted the victims until the police arrived, at which point the man was arrested.

Chaim Hochhauser, Supervisor at Stamford Hill Shomrim, said “Antisemitism and all types of hate crime are unacceptable. I urge victims and witnesses to report such incidents immediately. Such incidents should never be accepted as the norm, no matter how regularly these incidents sadly happen.”

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Labour Councillor’s Twitter account praises “my man Hitler” for Holocaust

Aysegul Gurbuz is the youngest ever Councillor in Luton, representing High Town Ward for the Labour Party since 7th May 2015. She also sits on a panel supervising Bedfordshire Police. Her support for Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to lead the Labour Party was published on his campaign website.

But tweets on her Twitter account also show strong support for Adolf Hitler who is referred to as “my man Hitler” and the “greatest man in history”. Another tweet hoped that Iran would use a “nuclear weapon” to “wipe Israel off the map”. Other tweets expressed “disgust” that “Jews are so powerful”, and one even stated “Ed Miliband is Jewish. He will never become prime minister of Britain.”

One tweet said: “If it wasn’t for my man Hitler these Jews would’ve wiped Palestine years ago. Sorry but it’s a fact.” The tweet’s author added “Not hating on Jews btw”, presumably concerned that someone might think they had some kind of problem with Jews. Among the most shocking tweets was one that began: “Jews cannot expect us to sympathise with their history under Hitler”.

Gurbuz was also a candidate for Warwick Student Union’s Ethnic Minorities Officer, listing in her manifesto a commitment to “Increase awareness of Holocaust Memorial Day”, as well as serving on the Executive Committee of the Warwick Friends of Palestine Society.

When we approached Gurbuz for comment, she said that her sister had probably tweeted the tweets, and that she had no recollection of them.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has reported the matter to the Labour Party, the University of Warwick, the University of Warwick Students’ Union and the police. We also provided details of the story to the media.

We understand that she has been suspended by the Labour Party and has deleted her Twitter account.

Our investigations team found these antisemitic tweets on Aysegul Gurbuz’s personal account. There is no defence for that. The Holocaust was a uniquely dark chapter of our recent history, when more than six million Jews were murdered as part of a plan put in place by Adolf Hitler. Not only do the tweets glorify Hitler, they also express hope that Iran will wipe out another six million Jews in Israel with a nuclear weapon.

Antisemitism is rising in Europe and in the UK, and the regular revelations of antisemitic tweets and opinions emanating even from senior Labour party figures such as Sir Gerald Kaufman MP has failed to elicit any meaningful response from Jeremy Corbyn. How many more cases must we see before the Labour Party takes action?

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Four arrested after London Jewish family’s car egged by attackers shouting antisemitic abuse

Shomrim has reported that a car carrying a Jewish couple and their baby has been attacked with eggs, whilst the perpetrators shouted “F***ing Jews” and “Kill the Jews” amongst other antisemitic abuse. The incident took place at 02:00 this morning in London’s Blackwall Tunnel. There was no prior contact or incident between the two cars.

Officers from Tower Hamlets Police stopped a vehicle and arrested its four male occupants shortly after the incident, and investigations are ongoing. Shomrim are assisting the victims.

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Labour Party activist reported to party and police over pro-Hitler antisemitic tweets

Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to the Labour Party and the police to report activist Choudhry Shahzad, after antisemitic tweets were found by our investigators.

On 14th July 2014, Shahzad tweeted a fabricated Adolf Hitler quotation which has become an antisemitic meme “I could have annihilated all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was annihilated them. – Aldof Hitler #GazaUnderAttack”. He then returned to Twitter 35 minutes later to correct his grammar and spelling, writing a second tweet saying “I could have annihilated all the Jews, but I left some of them to let the World know why I was annihilating them. – Hitler”.

On 2nd August 2014, Shahzad tweeted the meme again, writing: “Hitler Well Said: I could have annihilated all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was annihilated them. – Adolf Hitler”. He returned to Twitter five hours later to tweet photographs of Gaza captioned: “I could have annihilated all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was annihilated them. Hitler”.

On other occasions, Shahzad has tweeted quotations from Hitler, despite styling himself as a “progressive” patriot whose Twitter profile photo is overlaid with a Union Jack and whose cover photo shows the Houses of Parliament by night.

Shahzad is a keen supporter of the Labour Party, appears to be on good terms with Ruth Cadbury MP, and has recently campaigned for Sadiq Khan MP, however there is no evidence that they were aware of his admiration for Adolf Hitler, or that he occupied any official position.

The Labour Party has been dogged by daily revelations of antisemitism amongst its activists, but has yet to take meaningful action.

Last year, teacher Mahmudhul Choudhury was convicted after tweeting the same fabricated Hitler quotation. Choudhury was also banned from teaching for life by the Secretary of State for Education after Campaign Against Antisemitism instigated professional misconduct proceedings against him.

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With Sadiq Khan MP

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Neo-Nazis demonstrate against Jews at war memorial in Golders Green

A group of nine neo-Nazis demonstrated for half an hour against Jews during the Jewish Sabbath at the foot of the war memorial in Golders Green.

Last summer, the same group of neo-Nazis, led by Eddie Stampton, attempted to hold a larger demonstration in Golders Green on 4th July. The Metropolitan Police Service used their powers under the Public Order Act to move the demonstration to a kettling pen in Westminster and limited its duration to one hour. The move by the police was seen as a very public defeat by the neo-Nazis and came as a result of the large counter-demonstration planned by Campaign Against Antisemitism and a month of negotiations with the Metropolitan Police Service’s Public Order Branch.

The neo-Nazis were forced to organise any future demonstrations in total secrecy, to avoid giving us the ability to organise against them. They arranged their demonstration on Saturday by inviting only a small group of committed neo-Nazi individuals and we had no advance warning of their presence. The Metropolitan Police Service received notification the day before the demonstration.

The sole speaker on Saturday was Jeremy Bedford-Turner, whom we reported to the police last July for his antisemitic speech in the kettling pen. He delivered a similar speech to his speech last July, accusing Jews of everything from subverting Roman justice resulting in the crucifixion of Jesus, through to subverting many of the world’s governments in modern times.

Three weeks ago, Campaign Against Antisemitism took measures which we hope will significantly impact this particular neo-Nazi group in the weeks to come. Antisemitism must always be met with zero tolerance, whether it comes from the far left, Islamists, or the far right.

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Greater Manchester Police officer keeps job after Hitler post

Police constable Shahid Shah has won a fight to keep his job after being caught out posting an image of the Israeli Prime Minister superimposed on Adolf Hitler. “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is explicitly specified as antisemitic according to the definition of antisemitism used by the UK College of Policing.

Shah apologised and admitted that he had breached professional standards, but his lawyer, Julian King, successfully argued that he should merely receive a formal written warning and take part in diversity and social media training.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Shah posted the image during a debate on Facebook in a private group for police officers. The image superimposed an image of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu on a picture of Hitler pointing at a map with Nazi colleagues. The debate apparently turned antisemitic, with one officer commenting to ask whether the “execution of six million Jews is OK too?”

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan told the disciplinary hearing: “He did cause offence to members of the Jewish community, failed to show initially that he accepted what he had done was wrong and showed he had failed to learn lessons from a previous warning about what he had posted on Facebook.” The hearing also heard that Shah “only apologised when he was interviewed” about the post.

Shah responded: “If this has caused people upset, I’m sorry. It was never my intention to offend, only to prompt debate about the situation in Gaza. I saw innocent women and children being killed and wounded and I wanted people to think long and hard about the situation.”

Shah’s lawyer told the hearing that the Professional Standards Branch of Greater Manchester Police had initially recommended the PC should face misconduct rather rather gross misconduct proceedings, which would have meant that he could not be dismissed, however Assistant Chief Constable Shewan overruled the decision and instigated gross misconduct proceedings which could result in dismissal.

The chair of the hearing panel said that Shah had made an “early admission, apologised in his interview and accepted it was an error of judgment.”

We commend Assistant Chief Constable Shewan for his decision to overrule the decision of the Professional Standards Branch to merely bring misconduct proceedings, however many Jews will feel that they have been failed this disciplinary process.

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David Cameron tells Jeremy Corbyn to ‘sort out’ Labour’s antisemitism problem

As the scandal of rampant antisemitism in the Labour Party continues, the Prime Minister today told Jeremy Corbyn that his party must “sort it out”.

The statement, made in response to a question from Mike Freer MP, came on the heels of revelations today that the Labour Party readmitted a councillor suspended for saying that “Jews” are behind ISIS, while another councillor was caught out sharing Facebook posts making a similar claim. The revelations come as a video by Campaign Against Antisemitism about antisemitism in the Labour Party was viewed 20,000 times within 24 hours of its release.

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Labour reinstates councillor who said “Jews” behind ISIS, as another makes similar claim

The ongoing scandal of rampant antisemitism in the Labour Party continues as it emerges that Labour’s councillor for Kensington and Chelsea, Benazir Lasharie, has been reinstated by her local party after being suspended in October last year for her claim that “Jews” might be behind ISIS. Meanwhile, a Labour councillor and former Lord Mayor, Khadim Hussain, has been exposed for promoting a similar theory.

Lasharie had reportedly posted a video on Facebook entitled: “ISIS: Israeli Secret Intelligence Service”, commenting on it: “Many people know about who was behind 9/11 and also who is behind ISIS. I’ve nothing against Jews..just sharing it.” She then added “I’ve heard some compelling evidence about ISIS being originated from Zionists!” When Everyday Antisemitism wrote the story up, it was shared thousands of times on Facebook by people who agreed with Lasharie and were astonished that Labour had suspended her. For example Asian Shout-Out lamented the assault on Lasharie’s “freedom of speech” with commenters on Facebook claiming that she was “telling the truth”.

Hussain has today been exposed by the Jewish News for sharing Facebook posts saying Hitler killed “six million Zionists”.  He also shared an article entitled “Greater Israel courtesy of ISIS”, above which he added: “There is no doubyt who created the so called ISIS and who is arming those vile terrorists!”

The revelations come as a video by Campaign Against Antisemitism about antisemitism in the Labour Party was viewed 20,000 times within 24 hours of its release.

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British Transport Police seek man in connection with antisemitic abuse on a train

British Transport Police are seeking a man they think might have information about an incident of antisemitic abuse.

On Sunday, 31st January, a group of men believed to be Chelsea fans singled out an Orthodox Jewish man on a train and started to chant antisemitic abuse at him. The men boarded a Euston-bound train at 19:50 at Milton Keynes, following a match between Chelsea and the Milton Keynes Dons.

Detective Constable David Peek, from British Transport Police, said: “The carriage was crowded and they began using foul language. One of them singled out an Orthodox Jewish man and all of the men began chanting antisemitic abuse at him. The victim moved carriage as a result of this disgraceful behaviour. Nobody should have to put up with abuse just because of their race or religion, and we take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously. I think the man in the image I am issuing today will have information about the incident. Please tell us who he is?”

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference 210 of 21/03/2016. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

British Transport Police generally has a strong record dealing with incidents of antisemitic racism and we hope that the public will provide the information that they need. At the beginning of the month, two West Ham fans were convicted for antisemitic chanting on a train after being identified by the public following an appeal for witnesses by British Transport Police, with which we were pleased to be able to assist.

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CAA video on antisemitism in Labour viewed by 20,000 people in 24 hours

Campaign Against Antisemitism has released a new video entitled “Does the Labour Party have an antisemitism problem?”. The video was watched by over 20,000 people within 24 hours of its release and continues to spread through social media. The video lays bare some of the more grotesque antisemitic quotes from Labour party members, from a peer through to MPs through to local party members.

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What do you have when antisemitism in your ranks is no longer surprising, and complaints from Jews are a daily nuisance?

It is a simple checklist for a political party, really:

  • Do not call antisemitic terrorist groups your “friends”
  • Do not just say you’ll “reflect” when challenged about it
  • Do not associate with Holocaust deniers
  • Do not give a free pass to your senior MPs when they suggest Jews are using their “Jewish money” to facilitate murder
  • Do not cover up investigations into student members who harassed Jews, for example by calling Auschwitz a “cash cow”
  • Do not promote to positions of power people who think that Hitler is the “Zionist God”
  • Do not readmit and then re-expel members who want to solve the “Jewish question”

It is a checklist that the Labour Party has had a great deal of trouble following.

The catalogue of antisemitic acts committed by Labour Party members is growing at an alarming rate. Since making the case for a wholesale investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party just over a week ago, new revelations have come to light.

  • As the Oxford University Labour Club is investigated, Labour students at other universities have been revealed to also have “some kind of problem with Jews”, as Alex Chalmers bravely put it as he resigned as Co-Chair of OULC.
  • It was discovered that Gerry Downing, who wants to solve the “Jewish question”, was readmitted to and then re-expelled from the Labour Party, before being quizzed on his views by Andrew Neil in an interview.
  • Today we learned that Vicki Kirby, who thinks that Hitler is the “Zionist God” and that Jews have “big noses” and “slaughter the oppressed” has been elected Vice Chair of the Woking branch of the Party, and that nothing will be done unless there is “new evidence”.

The decline of the Labour Party has been worryingly swift. This time last year, the Party largely shrugged off accusations of antisemitism by pointing out that its leader was Jewish, but that excuse vanished when Jeremy Corbyn became Leader of the Opposition and showed early on that he could tolerate some pretty extreme antisemitism. Since then, the intermittent trickle of evidence has become a steady stream.

Back in October, we were horrified by Labour’s utterly determined refusal to take action against Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, but we read today’s announcement by the Labour Party that they will do nothing about Vicki Kirby because there is no “new evidence” with resignation.

Jews must feel welcome in any political party. It is extremely dangerous when they do not. Every Party has embarrassing lunatics who are not picked up by vetting procedures until they stumble into the limelight, but when that happens we expect that their Party will firmly and swiftly reject them.

Many Labour members are speaking out bravely against the antisemitic rot that is devouring their political home, but far too many seem not to be terribly bothered.

When antisemitism in your party’s ranks is no longer surprising, and complaints from Jews are a daily nuisance, your party has pervasive antisemitism and a broken system for rooting it out.

The Labour Party is starting to look institutionally antisemitic, and that is dangerous for Jews, dangerous for democracy and dangerous for Britain.

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Criminal record and £1,240 bill for two West Ham fans who sang antisemitic song on a train

Two men have been convicted under the Crime and Disorder Act of racially aggravated harassment alarm and distress for singing antisemitic football songs on a train.

The two West Ham fans, Richard Prendiville and a man identified only as R. Peacock were both convicted at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on 2nd March. The case against a third man was dropped. Prendeville was fined £220 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £23 plus £350 costs, whilst Peacock was fined £270 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £27 and £350 costs.

The men were identified after British Transport Police issued an appeal for witnesses, which Campaign Against Antisemitism and others circulated widely.

In a statement issued at the time, investigating officer PC Michael Botterill said: “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.”

We have been watching the case closely and liaising with British Transport Police. We commend the victim for reporting this, and British Transport Police for acting quickly to identify and punish Prendeville and Peacock.

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Arsenal fans caught on camera singing antisemitic songs

Arsenal fans have disgraced themselves by singing an antisemitic song on their way to a match against rival team Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. As they rode the London Underground to the stadium, a group of Arsenal supporters can be heard loudly singing “I’ve got a foreskin, haven’t you? F***ing Jew!”

The witness who filmed the incident told the Daily Mail: “I got off at Seven Sisters [Station] and spoke to the police about it but they didn’t really do anything about it. The video I shot isn’t the half of it – they were singing about the Holocaust and Aushwitz – I’ve heard that kind of thing before but it doesn’t normally happen with Arsenal. There weren’t really any other Spurs fans on the train, but there were normal commuters. No one seemed shock, some people were actually laughing. I was really offended by it.”

British Transport Police told us: “We have been made aware of a video on social media showing antisemitic behaviour on board a Tube train BTP takes these matters very seriously. The matter is currently being investigated and enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with any information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting reference 131 of 08/03/16.”

We have asked why it seems that no action was taken when the witness spoke to police at Seven Sisters Station.

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Derbyshire antisemitic drunk convicted, ordered to do 150 hours’ community service and pay £145

A drunk man has been convicted and ordered to perform 150 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge after he hurled antisemitic insults in the street of Derby after last year’s Paris terrorist attacks.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how David Gregory, 46, of Gerard Street, Derby, had been angered by the terrorist attacks in Paris and went out drinking the following day. He was walking down Etwall Road in Derby at about 16:30 on 14th November 2015 when he saw a man jogging towards him. Gregory launched a string of obscene, racist insults at the man, who ran away and called police.

Lynne Bickley, prosecuting, said: “He thought the things he was saying weren’t nice things to hear and the last salute he had in his hand was in the shape of a fist. Police saw him standing on the pavement swaying, believed to be drunk. He said the female police officers looked young enough to be his daughters.”

Mrs Bickley said he then made numerous antisemitic comments and other remarks about people with dark skin.

After Gregory’s arrest for racially aggravated aggressive behaviour, he continued to make offensive remarks in the back of the police car, officers said.

Jaz Soodi, in mitigation, said Gregory had apologised for his outbursts and was embarrassed by his actions, which he could not remember. “He basically told the police what he told me – he couldn’t believe he had done it,” Mr Soodi said. “He was angry about what had happened in Paris. His partner had phoned police and said he was annoyed by it.”

Suicide bombers and gunmen killed 130 people during the attacks in the French capital on 13th November 2015.

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First four arrests as CAA announces new unit to track and punish antisemites on Twitter

Campaign Against Antisemitism has established a new specialist team which monitors antisemitism on Twitter, builds up evidence and works with police forces across the UK to bring those responsible to justice. Today, we announce the first arrests as a result of these investigations.

Jew-hatred on Twitter made headlines in 2014 when the “#HitlerWasRight” hashtag trended worldwide, but since then the issue has dropped from the public eye despite the problem continuing to worsen.

Campaign Against Antisemitism made efforts to work with Twitter to proactively remove antisemitic accounts from the platform, but those efforts ended when Twitter told us that “proactive monitoring and reporting is not compatible with our basic structure and policies as a platform.” We also worked with victims of antisemitic incitement on Twitter, helping them to report their cases to the police, but found that police forces threw up obstacles which victims did not know how to overcome.

With Twitter and police forces leaving the problem unsolved, we created a social media investigations team, specialising in monitoring social media, gathering evidence, and ensuring that the police take action, with the help of our existing legal team comprising some of the UK’s top criminal lawyers.

These efforts have borne fruit; despite difficulties with police forces, four arrests have now been made. In all cases, those arrested disguised their Jew-hatred as criticism of “Zionists”, but through extensive monitoring, we were able to gather evidence showing that their incitement was in fact targeting Jews.

Freedom of speech comes with obligations, not just rights. When people choose to incite hatred or intimidate others in public, they must face the consequences of their choices under the law of the land.

It is sad that the job of tackling antisemitism on Twitter is being left to our volunteers, but we refuse to allow the daily barrage of online intimidation of Jews to continue unabated. The message to UK-based antisemites on Twitter is clear: continue to publish anti-Jewish racism and you will be brought to justice.

We would like to thank and pay tribute to the extremely dedicated team of volunteers which has secured these arrests, with more to follow.

  • A man has been arrested by South Wales police and released on bail over allegations that he tweeted messages such as: “We need to root out the fifth column American/British Jews who’s loyalty is to Netanyahu and racist Israel.”, “Massacre, slaughter and revenge are deeply ingrained in the collective Jewish psyche from the moment of birth onwards.” and “Very rich powerful Jews can get away with being paedophiles, while Jewish journalists/bloggers can get away by simply not writing about it.”
  • A man has been arrested by Sussex Police and released on bail over allegations that he tweeted messages such as: “Jews are nasty murdering bastards”, “We don’t want a Jew [Ed Miliband] to lead our country”, and “Let me be clear. If all Jews died today I’d be happy. Would I do it? No. Would I applaud? Yes”
  • A man has been arrested by Thames Valley Police and released on bail over allegations that he tweeted messages such as: “We evicted the Jews in the past and we took their property because of their thievery. So not a problem. Excise the cancer.” and “When we chucked the Jews out we prospered hugely, they weedled their way back and it turned to s***.”
  • A woman has been arrested by Police Scotland over allegations that she tweeted messages such as: “Pedophilia is all about having power to humiliate someone smaller… The Jewish Talmud positively endorses it” and “I want the Jews in exile as they have been thrown out of every country so far for their bulls***”
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The Labour Party’s antisemitism problem is festering: treat the disease, not just the symptoms, or the patient is doomed

Allegations in today’s Sunday Times and Thursday’s Telegraph have confirmed what we already suspected about the Labour Party’s response to allegations of antisemitism: the party is refusing to deal with the disease. Instead, allegations of antisemitism are ignored, or covered up.

Take the case of Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, for example. On 27th October 2015, Kaufman, whose seniority earns him the title of Father of the House of Commons, delivered an antisemitic speech on parliamentary premises to Labour’s 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”. At first, the party tried to ignore the matter. Eventually, Jeremy Corbyn expressed “deep concern” but  both Corbyn and the Opposition Chief Whip continue to ignore our calls to take disciplinary action. All they did was to call for Kaufman to apologise, and even an apology was not forthcoming. Case closed, as far as Labour is concerned.

The latest allegations come in the wake of the brave decision by Oxford University Labour Club Co-Chair Alex Chalmers to resign, citing as the reason that “a large proportion” of the Club and student left “have some kind of problem with Jews”. Oxford’s Jewish Society gave some examples and Labour Students, to which Oxford’s Labour Club is affiliated, opened an investigation. Campaign Against Antisemitism immediately offered the help of two of our best investigators, but days after the investigation had opened, it had been shut down: the Labour Party did not want to investigate the problem of antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club, they instead wanted to investigate the antisemitic conduct of some individual members. As part of a wider investigation into alleged vote rigging in student elections.

Now we know why. According to today’s Sunday Times, the initial investigation by Labour Students uncovered allegations that the Club’s members had condoned antisemitic attacks on synagogues in Paris in 2014, and mocked Jewish mourners of last January’s massacre at a Jewish supermarket in Paris when they appeared on television. They called Auschwitz “a cash cow” and called Jewish students “Zios”. There were plenty more examples, pointing to a “poisonous” atmosphere which would lead to the “long and proud tradition of centre-left Jews in the Labour party” to be “lost for a generation”. Now the investigation by Labour Students has been subsumed into another investigation run by the Labour Party, and its report has been buried.

Labour MPs Michael Dugher and Rachel Reeves have called for the initial report by Labour Students to be published immediately, telling the Telegraph that it “isn’t acceptable for the Party to now wrap serious allegations about antisemitism inside Labour Students into a wider inquiry”. The Telegraph quotes a source within Labour as saying: “The original report was handed to Corbyn’s office and circulated among senior Labour staff but they wanted it to be buried…It plays to a wider issue: everyone knows there is a problem with antisemitism on the left but they continue with impunity, they have a carte blanche under Corbyn. There was an understanding that the Party would endorse the Labour Students’ findings and build on them. But that is not what has happened. They did not like the findings so shut it down.”

What we are seeing is a buildup of very disturbing evidence. Jeremy Corbyn has his own past associations with antisemites. Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman was able to make an antisemitic speech to other Labour MPs, including the Shadow Minister for Justice, without even being interrupted. Labour student activists have turned the cradle of the Party’s leadership, the Oxford University Labour Club, into an antisemitic cesspool which the Club’s own Co-Chair could no longer stand. And in response, Kaufman has been protected instead of being disciplined, and the investigation by Labour Students has been buried because it revealed the true extent of the problem.

Antisemitism is a form of rot. It is no good painting over its grotesque symptoms: the disease must be cut out, and that takes bravery and resolve. Those speaking out have shown their bravery, but Labour’s leadership has shown no resolve at all.

Jewish people should feel comfortable in any political party, but in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, Jews are likely to become an endangered species.

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Community service, £900 costs and suspended prison sentence for antisemitic abuse

Rashal Miah, an Uber driver from Tottenham in North London, has been found guilty of racially and religiously aggravated harassment, and sentenced to a six month suspended prison sentence. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and attend 15 days of ‘anger management’ training, as well as covering the prosecution costs of £900.

In September 2014 Miah abused the Jewish driver of a school bus full of children who asked him to reverse his car which was travelling the wrong way down a one-way street. Miah left his black Mercedes and threatened the Jewish man who was identifiable as Jewish from his clothing. Miah had pleaded “not guilty” to shouting: “Shut the f*** up, you f***ing Jew. I will slit your throat.” He went on to refer to the school van driver as “Yehudi” (Jew) and said: “I’m going to kill all the Jews.”

Uber has said that it has banned Miah, and we have asked Transport for London to comment.

Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, provided support to the victim through the lengthy court process.

We commend Shomrim, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service for their firm response to this incident.

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Remove “institutionally antisemitic” BBC’s right to self-regulate, says CAA, as independent review criticises “flawed” BBC Trust

Sir David Clementi has concluded his government-backed independent review of the BBC by calling for “fundamental reform of the system of governance and regulation,” suggesting that the BBC Trust be relieved of its regulatory duties, with Ofcom taking over instead.

In the past year, the BBC has rejected several complaints from Campaign Against Antisemitism including about:

  1. The assertion by newsreader Tim Willcox that “Jewish faces” and a “Jewish lobby” oppose the mooted ‘mansion tax’;
  2. The assertion by newsreader Tim Willcox that the murder of Jewish shoppers in Paris last January might be caused because “Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands”;
  3. A thirteen-minute antisemitic diatribe on BBC Radio London in December during which a caller was allowed to deliver a lengthy discourse about a supposed Jewish conspiracy, with barely a challenge from the presenter throughout; and
  4. A completely gratuitous line during a drama: “Jews, whenever there’s a problem, there’s Jews at the bottom of it”

The BBC routinely dismissed our complaints by issuing press releases claiming that there had been no antisemitism, before any internal investigation had taken place. After a particularly reprehensible BBC broadcast in January, Campaign Against Antisemitism Chairman Gideon Falter wrote to the BBC’s Director-General, Lord Hall: “I do not know of any other minority group so routinely told that its concerns are meritless by the BBC. Your organisation treats the concerns of Jewish licence fee payers with glib contempt, feigning to investigate but from the outset contriving to dismiss complaints at the earliest opportunity, and strenuously avoiding any meaningful public or private discussion.”

Referring to the MacPherson principle used by the police and other public bodies when investigating allegations of racism, Falter continued: “In a country where the MacPherson principle is the gold standard for dealing with complaints of racism, I know of no other public body that, when faced with accusations of racism immediately retorts in the media that the accusations are groundless, the victims are not victims and that the matter is clear-cut. Normally one would expect a commitment to review the accusations in the most transparent and dispassionate manner possible, for example by means of an independent review, and public statements would be expected to reflect the fact that a review has been opened and no statement can be made that would prejudice it.”

Falter’s letter concludes: “Lord Hall, the BBC is part of British culture, but under your leadership and that of your predecessors, the BBC has become a blight for British Jews — a relic of the old-fashioned institutional antisemitism of the British establishment that has been excised from almost every sphere of public life, only to find sanctuary at your unaccountable, unrepentant BBC. You preside over an institution that is antisemitic both by act and concealment. The BBC that British Jews wish they could love and be proud of instead shames our country by shielding bigots.”

Lord Hall’s office responded to “reject your allegation”, but offered no constructive measures to improve the investigation of widespread concerns of a culture of impunity at the BBC, which are felt particularly by many in the Jewish community. Despite welcoming the call for independent regulation today, the BBC did not accept our call for independent investigation of our complaints of antisemitism.

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CAA reports Islamic Research Foundation International to the Charity Commission over “cursed race” antisemitic diatribe

Following a litany of antisemitic statements made on Peace TV Urdu, which draws its funding from a charity, Campaign Against Antisemitism has complained to the Charity Commission, calling for a statutory inquiry.

During routine monitoring of the channel, Ofcom reported that Jews were described as “being ‘this cursed people…this cursed race’; possessing ‘evil genius’…filling Europe during history ‘with their poison’…‘hatching conspiracies’…considering ‘non-Jews’ to be ‘not human’…considering it acceptable to ‘cheat non-Jews, to rob them and to deceive them’…that during the twentieth century ‘Jewish bankers…lay down their roots like a cancer… [to take] the whole of Europe in their grip’, and in the present day that Jewish people ‘want to bring the world to heel through the global banking network’…and presented [the Protocols of the Elders of zion[ as a factual document containing ‘in great detail’ the plans of ‘some very powerful Jews’.”

Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI) is a registered charity which exists to “Operate Peace TV successfully and broadcast a variety of programmes for the public benefit”, but Peace TV has repeatedly been caught out by Ofcom for broadcasting programmes which breach the Broadcasting Code and the latest incident may amount to criminal conduct. CAA has discovered that IRFI’s President, Dr Zakir Naik, is also Chairman of the company whose subsidiaries own the broadcasting licences for Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu.

Previously, Peace TV was caught airing a programme which advocated that Muslim men should beat their wives, and gave specific guidance as to how they should do so, and in 2012, Ofcom found Dr Naik himself repeating in two separate broadcasts that non-Muslims should be put to death.

These breaches were all detected during routine monitoring by Ofcom and it would be an almost impossible coincidence if the only occasions on which Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu broadcast such content were on the occasions that Ofcom happened to be monitoring those channels.

Since the activities of IRFI, Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu are inseparable, and Ofcom has repeatedly caught Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu broadcasting programmes which breach the Broadcasting Code and are not for the public benefit, it follows that some, if not most, of IRFI’s funds are not being used for charitable purposes.

Due to the gravity of the breaches identified by Ofcom and the complicity of IRFI’s President in at least two such breaches, we have called for a full statutory inquiry so that the Charity Commission may avail itself of the full range of statutory sanctions set out in the Charities Act 2011.

We are also referring the broadcaster to the police as it is a criminal offence to broadcast programmes which constitute incitement to racial or religious hatred.

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University of Kent refuses to take action over “Elders of Zion” conspiracy speaker because she is “a bona fide journalist”

Following a speech to students at the University of Kent in which journalist Amira Hass reportedly claimed that the “Elders of Zion” planned “colonial” hegemony over Palestinians, the Head of the Office of the Vice Chancellor has told Campaign Against Antisemitism that no action will be taken.

“Elders of Zion” is a phrase used absolutely exclusively in the context of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, the antisemitic fabrication first published in 1903 which alleges the existence of a Jewish conspiracy to further the interests of Jewish people to the detriment of mankind, and forms the basis for many antisemitic conspiracy myths. Neither the organisers nor attendees appear to have spoken out.

Hass is quoted by blogger David Colier as saying: “And I ask myself did the Elders of Zion really sit together at the beginning of the seventies and then during the nineties, and plan, and have all these military orders, all these changes?” The remark was allegedly made on 28th January at a conference entitled “Israel and the Palestinians: Colonialism and Prospects for Justice” which was a joint event by University of Kent and SOAS.

Asked to clarify the University’s position and what action will now be taken to prevent the use of further antisemitic rhetoric at the University under the guise of political discourse about Israel, David Powell, Head of the Office of the Vice Chancellor confirmed to us that no action would be taken, writing:

“A debate may doubtless be had about the precise point that Ms Hass may have been making in her own presentation but we would note that she is a bona fide (and award winning) journalist working for a respected Israeli newspaper.”

Claiming that the “Elders of Zion” plotted the subjugation of Arabs is not free speech; it is hate speech.

Using that phrase is inexcusable, especially when the person using it is doing so advisedly to an audience of students, knowing the full connotations of her words, both as a Jew and as an “award-winning” journalist.

It is a disgrace that the University of Kent has decided that no action will be taken against the organisers, and that no change in policy is required to prevent antisemitic rhetoric disguised as political discourse in the future.

You may wish to contact the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at enquiries@bis.gsi.gov.uk to ask what action will be taken to protect Jewish students. You may also wish to express your views to David Powell on 01227 826 596.

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Antisemitic book at unauthorised school referred to police after CAA intervention

The schools inspectorate, Ofsted, discovered “a narrow Islamic-focused curriculum” and “inappropriate books and other texts including…antisemitic material” in unregistered schools in Birmingham, during a surprise inspection in November last year.

The discovery was noted in a letter from Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools to the Secretary of State for Education.

Campaign Against Antisemitism was adamant that the police should investigate the antisemitic material found by the Ofsted inspectors, as well as Ofsted taking regulatory action against the schools and potentially prosecuting those who operated them.

We immediately made enquiries of Ofsted to ask whether they would refer the matter to West Midlands Police and hand over their evidence, but Ofsted ignored our approaches completely, while West Midlands Police responded that: “There is no trace of any such referral from Ofsted being made to West Midlands Police.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s specialist Freedom of Information Team then made a mandatory application to Ofsted requiring it to disclose what they had or had not done in response to the discovery of the antisemitic material. Ofsted has today responded to our team, writing:

“This matter was not referred to West Midlands Police at the time of the inspection, as inspectors felt there was insufficient evidence to suggest that a criminal offence had been committed. We subsequently reviewed this decision, and Ofsted’s Regional Director for the West Midlands agreed that a referral to West Midlands Police should be made. This has now been done.”

Incitement to racial and religious hatred is a serious crime, and it is made only more serious if the perpetrators are teachers and those being indoctrinated are the children in their care.

We now hope that West Midlands Police will be able to compile a case against those responsible for the presence of the book in a school. We are following the case with interest.

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Twitter troll fined only £450 for sustained racist abuse against Jews and Muslims

A Twitter troll in Scotland has been fined only £450 for tweeting racist abuse against Jews, Muslims, black people and homosexuals, including: “I hate Jews, homos, blacks (slaves) and am all against Islam. I say kick the f****** out”.

Robert Rankin, 52, was convicted of sending abusive or threatening communications at Paisley Sheriff Court, but in spite of a previous conviction for racially abusing a neighbour, he received a comparatively small fine. However, Sheriff Simon Fraser warned: “This is pretty unpleasant stuff and if you repeat this, you are going to find yourself going to prison.”

We regret that such sustained and vitriolic abuse from a man with an existing criminal record has been so lightly punished. Zero tolerance only works if the courts play their part.

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Former Labour MP links antisemitism to “brutal” Israelis

Former Labour MP for Derby North, Chris Williamson, has reacted to the exposure of rampant antisemitism at the Oxford University Labour Club by tweeting, “I hope they won’t find any such evidence. Did you see this [Channel 4] News item; brutal”. Williamson appears to both suggest that antisemitism had not been taking place at Oxford University Labour Club, despite numerous reports, not least from the Co-Chair who resigned in disgust at it, and that it is somehow linked to perceived “brutal” actions by Israel.

The most widely-accepted definition of antisemitism states that “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” is antisemitic.

We have asked the Labour Party to investigate Chris Williamson over his tweet.

Labour Students and the University of Oxford are now understood to be investigating the Oxford University Labour Club.

Thanks to Sussex Friends of Israel for alerting us to this.

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Rampant antisemitism exposed at Oxford University Labour Club

Campaign Against Antisemitism commends the Co-Chair of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, for his principled decision to stand up against antisemitism amongst his fellow students. If only there were more people prepared to recognise antisemitism when they see it, and refuse to ignore it.

Chalmers decided to resign after the club voted to embrace “Israel Apartheid Week”. Chalmers wrote about his resignation in a hard-hitting Facebook post, saying: “Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former Co-Chair claiming that ‘most accusations of antisemitism are just the Zionists crying wolf’, a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews. The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targeting and harassing Jewish students and inviting antisemitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is when it comes to liberation.”

Oxford University Labour Club is a member organisation of Labour Students, which said that they were “deeply troubled” and that they “unequivocally condemn any form of antisemitism”. Without offering any specifics, Labour Students promised to investigate and take action.

Since Chalmers announced his resignation, Oxford Jewish Society has published further allegations in a Facebook post of their own, shedding further light on the rampant antisemitism at the heart of the Labour Club.

According to Oxford Jewish Society:

  • Members of the Labour Club’s committee have been known to sing the song “Rockets over Tel Aviv” and have specifically expressed support for Hamas’ tactic of launching indiscriminate attacks against Israel’s Jewish citizens.
  • One Labour Club member stated specifically that it was “not antisemitic” to allege the existence of a “New York – Tel Aviv axis” that rigs elections, and said that “we should be aware of the influence wielded over elections by high net-worth Jewish individuals”. He also stated that it was “not antisemitic” to allege the existence of an international Jewish conspiracy, even though he did not endorse the idea himself.
  • One Labour Club committee member stated that all Jews should be expected to publicly denounce Zionism and the State of Israel, and that nobody should associate with any Jew who fails to do so.
  • Several individuals, some who have been on the Labour Club committee, repeatedly used the word “Zio” (a word normally only found on neo-Nazi websites) to refer to Jewish students.
  • Several Labour Club members have alleged that US foreign policy is under the control of the “Zionist Lobby” and when asked if by “Zionist” they simply meant “Jewish” they did not answer.
  • One member of the Labour Club was formally disciplined by their College for organising a group of students to harass a Jewish student and to shout “filthy Zionist” whenever they saw her.
  • In a public discussion on the Labour Club’s Facebook group, one member argued that Hamas was justified in its policy of killing Jewish civilians and claimed that all Jews were legitimate targets. Several other members, including two former Labour Club co-chairs and one then on committee, defended the member as making “a legitimate point clumsily expressed”.
  • Two Labour Club members argued that Jenny Tonge, a peer expelled from the Liberal Democrats over antisemitism, should be encouraged to join the Labour Party.

Jewish people should feel comfortable in any political party. Many of the pivotal figures in Labour have been Jewish, but we have also received increasing reports from Jewish Labour supporters who no longer feel welcome in their party.

It has been more than three months since Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded to an antisemitic outburst by Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman by voicing “deep concern” and assuring us that he was “implacably opposed to racism” before deciding to take no disciplinary action whatsoever against the MP.

We call for the Labour Party and Oxford University to investigate this matter fully and take the strongest possible action to demonstrate to Jewish students that antisemitism will not continue to be tolerated. Where the law has been broken, this matter must be referred to the police; these students are supposed to be amongst our nation’s brightest and cannot be excused.

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Jewish man and girlfriend called “F***ing Jews” and murderers on London Underground

A 23-year-old Jewish man and his girlfriend have reportedly been subjected to antisemitic abuse from a fellow passenger on the London Underground. The victims were allegedly called “F***ing Jews” by the aggressor, who was described as Muslim, and told that they and their “people” were killing “my people”. Other passengers in the carriage apparently studiously ignored the incident, which is now being investigated by the police.

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Police must act against antisemitic speaker in London’s Hyde Park

We have heard reports of antisemitic ranting at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park on a number of occasions, but none matched the brazen ferocity of the speaker captured in a video circulating online.

Claiming to be against all religion, on the two occasions caught on video, the speaker issued a non-stop tirade against Jews, shouting at any identifiably-Jewish person who passed.

To one orthodox Jewish man he said: “You’re a very f***ing dirty Jew. Don’t take it personally, take it to hell,” continuing to passersby, “His cock has been brutalised by a rabbi paedophile who cut his foreskin off. That’s how f***ed up the Jews are.”

He told another orthodox Jewish male who was passing: “Look at the Nazi Jew and see him for what he is…Your time is coming as it did in my father’s country, Deutschland…Why do you think our ancestors kicked you out of Deutschland? You learn nothing, you smug, fat Jew. Smug, fat, bearded Jew! Scum!”

The speaker referred to Jews as “Twelve tribes of head-banging schizophrenics praying to a wailing wall.” He also repeatedly claimed that Jews were Nazis as well as being their victims, for example: “They started Nazi Germany, and they got it back, Adolf Hitler style.”

As Joseph Cohen recorded him, the speaker shouted: “The day the Jew becomes a human being will be the day the Jew becomes free of the s*** of Judaism! Simple. Record it and tell your f***ing rabbi to stop molesting boys.”

No police action appears to have been taken and we are helping one victim to make a criminal complaint.

Most disturbing was that the video showed not a single member of the public remonstrating with the speaker. On the contrary, one man approached him and shook him by the hand, and a woman was recorded defending the speaker, saying: “What the Jews are doing to Gaza, to the Arabs, I think it’s a nightmare…This does not mean I don’t have friends that are Jews.”

Contrary to common perception, Speakers’ Corner is covered by no special laws and incitement to racial and religious hatred by a bigot standing on a ladder at Speakers’ Corner is just as illegal as it would be  anywhere else.

Speakers’ Corner is famous for freedom of speech, but that threatening and illegal hate speech is not permitted anywhere in our country. While we are for freedom of speech we do not believe that anyone has the absolute right to abuse freedom of speech to threaten and intimidate minorities. The law agrees with us.

We are keen to identify the speaker in the video. If you can help, please contact monitoring@antisemitism.uk.

Darren Mark Lumb, who has pleaded guilty to directing antisemitic abuse at Jon Trickett MP. Image source: EDL News
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Ex-BNP thug pleads guilty to directing antisemitic abuse at MP

A former BNP regional organiser has reportedly pleaded guilty to making an antisemitic verbal attack against his MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities Secretary, Jon Trickett.

Darren Mark Lumb, who has previous links to the English Defence League and National Front, was accused of accosting the MP for Hemsworth in West Yorkshire in the street on 23rd January 2015 and launching into an antisemitic rant.

During the trial last Thursday at Leeds Crown Court, Lumb, who is 47 and lives in South Elmsall, changed his plea to guilty to one count of religiously aggravated harassment and stalking with fear of violence, and one count of breaching an Antisocial Behaviour Order.

A friend of Trickett’s said the MP had been left shocked and shaken by the incident and that “he hasn’t experienced rage like it in his life”.

Lumb has previous convictions for assault and disorder, and in 2011 was found guilty of using racially aggravated threatening or insulting words and behaviour after he reportedly called a petrol station worker “a black bastard”. He stood as a BNP candidate for South Elmsall and South Kirkby in the Wakefield Metropolitan district council election in 2011.

Lumb was bailed on the condition that he did not approach the MP or his staff, and will return to court on 3rd March for sentencing. We await the verdict with interest.

Mr Trickett, who has been MP for Hemsworth since 1996, was former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s parliamentary private secretary for two years and was then promoted to the shadow cabinet by Ed Miliband. He was one of 36 MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election.
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Labour Party Middle East group cancels event to have been chaired by “Jewish lobby” journalist

Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East has reportedly cancelled an event due to be chaired by Abdel Bari Atwan, who has allegedly made antisemitic comments in the past about Israel and “the Jewish lobby”.

Joan Ryan MP, who had campaigned to stop the event told Jewish News: “We welcome LFPME’s recognition of the legitimate concerns about Mr Atwan’s inclusion in this event.”

In 2007, Atwan is reported to have said: “If Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.” In 2010, it is claimed that Atwan told an audience at the London School of Economics that “the Jewish lobby… [is] endangering the whole world”.

We congratulate Joan Ryan MP on her successful campaign, but the fact that it was necessary in the first place is utterly shameful.

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Ha’aretz correspondent allegedly tells Kent students “Elders of Zion” planned “colonisation”

Israeli journalist Amira Hass has reportedly told students at the University of Kent that the “Elders of Zion” planned “colonial” hegemony over Palestinians. Blogger David Collier attended a conference entitled “Israel and the Palestinians: Colonialism and Prospects for Justice” which was a joint event by University of Kent and the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Writing in his blog, Collier recalled: “I tried to make sense of what I was hearing. Hass was discussing a hidden agenda, a secret group of Jews, plotting and planning beyond the reach of Israeli democracy – by extension, this secret group were to blame for the ‘war crimes’, for the death of innocent Palestinian children. Hass was spinning tales of a Jewish cabal, of shady secretive control, of unworldly plots and sinister deeds. A road that leads to dead children. Hass was resurrecting a classic historic antisemitic blood libel in a British university.”

He then quotes Hass as saying: “And I ask myself did the Elders of Zion really sit together at the beginning of the seventies and then during the nineties, and plan, and have all these military orders, all these changes?”

The “Elders of Zion” refers to a fictitious Jewish cabal that supposedly controls world affairs to the detriment of mankind and forms the basis for most antisemitic conspiracy myths.

We have asked the University of Kent to make clear its position and take action to prevent the use of antisemitic rhetoric under the guise of political discourse about Israel.

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Magistrate quits as Judicial Conduct Investigations Office rules he should be removed for antisemitic comments

Abul “Abz” Hussain has resigned from the magistracy before he could be removed from office by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, following proceedings instigated by Campaign Against Antisemitism. In December 2014, the Sunday Telegraph published an exposé revealing that Hussain, was a serving magistrate, despite having published antisemitic comments on Facebook.

Campaign Against Antisemitism immediately contacted the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office which agreed with Hussain that he could not continue to serve as a magistrate until their investigation concluded. The investigation has taken more than a year, but the result is the right one, even though Hussain resigned from office before he could be removed by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice.

The comments were first brought to light by Ted Jeory, who blogs about politics in the East End of London. Jeory’s revelation in 2010 of Hussain’s antisemitic views led to him being expelled from his senior position in George Galloway’s Respect Party, but it was not until the Sunday Telegraph exposé that we found out that he was still passing sentence as a Justice of the Peace.

The Facebook comments related to Abul Hussain’s facial hair and degenerated into slurs against Jews, including “u know the worlds coming to an end when a jew accuses another of being his kind!” and “jews like u are boring so find everything lame, here’s a penny go put it in the bank and u just might get a pound after ten years interest!”

We commend the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office for its ruling that antisemitism must be treated with zero tolerance, our only regret being the protracted nature of this investigation.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “Mr Abul Hussain, a magistrate appointed to the North East London Area, has resigned from judicial office following an investigation into an allegation that he had posted racist and antisemitic comments on social media. A Disciplinary Panel recommended that Mr Hussain be removed from the judiciary, but he resigned before the disciplinary process had been formally concluded. His resignation took effect from 26 August 2015. Had he not resigned, the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice would have removed him from judicial office.”

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Graffiti in London says “Holocaust is a lie” and attempts to blame bankers

A Jewish man from London sent in the following report to our Everyday Antisemitism service:

I was walking home the usual way through from grotty Acton to peaceful Turnham Green and its station, when I saw graffiti on a wall of the alleyway — the main walking route between the two areas. It reads: “Goyim, the Holocaust is a lie. Google bankers the fact”.

Goyim means non-Jew or gentile in Yiddish, but it has been usurped by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers as a means of demonstrating Jewish ‘otherness’, and is frequently used to suggest that Jews have a derogatory view of non-Jews.

The reference to bankers appears to be a badly written attempt to exhort passersby to search for “Bankers: the facts” on the internet. Jews are often accused by antisemites and neo-Nazis of exercising supposed financial dominance to hide ‘evidence’ of a Jewish conspiracy, such as a conspiracy to exaggerate or invent the Holocaust.

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14-year-old detained by Shomrim and arrested by police for attacking Jews with fireworks

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in Hackney after a group of youths attempted to place lit fireworks in the pockets of Jewish pedestrians. Volunteers from Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, arrived almost immediately and witnessed the boy chasing one victim and hurling a lit firework towards him. The Shomrim volunteer chased and detained the boy, then called the police who arrested him.

The Metropolitan Police Service said: “A 14-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and possession of a firework in the street. He was taken to a north London police station and subsequently released on police bail to a date in early March. No one was injured during the incident.”

We commend Shomrim and the Metropolitan Police Service for their swift and effective response to this incident.

Gerald Kaufman and Jeremy Corbyn
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Three months after Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, Labour continues to ignore calls for disciplinary action

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.

Today is three months since Sir Gerald Kaufman’s speech. Jeremy Corbyn has told us that he is “implacably opposed” to racism, and today he has delivered further words about the importance of fighting antisemitism, including signing the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s Book of Commitment, but it is all meaningless unless the words are backed by 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 three months since his speech.

  1. Please remind your MP that three months after Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, we still demand justice.
  2. Please write to the Opposition Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton MP at rosie.winterton.mp@parliament.uk.
  3. Please tweet @jeremycorbyn and @uklabour, tagging @antisemitism.
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Man and child on London bus call Jewish passengers “F***ing Jews…Disgusting Jews” whilst making throat-slitting gesture

A group of young Jewish people have told Jewish News that they were confronted by a man with a child, on a bus travelling through Golders Green, London. A female victim told the paper: “We were at the back on the top deck not showing any signs of disruptive behaviour. When we arrived at our stop, we walked down the stairs when I heard a man mutter ‘These f***ing Jews’. I asked him why he thought what he was saying was necessary. He looked directly at me with no response but told his son that we are ‘disgusting Jews’. At this point the rest of the group I was traveling with got off the bus but three of us remained.”

The witness added that the man and the boy later “placed their fingers across their throats while smiling at us” as she and her companions walked away from the bus.

A Police spokesperson told Jewish News: “Detectives in Barnet are investigating an allegation of antisemitic abuse. The incident is said to have taken place on a route 102 bus near Golders Green station. At about 22.30, a man who was with a young child, subjected three victims, in their early 20s to anti-Semitic abuse. The investigation is ongoing and officers are working with Transport for London to obtain any CCTV that is available. The suspect is described as a man of Middle Eastern appearance, approximately 5 foot 8 with slight stubble. Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101, or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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Just before Holocaust Memorial Day, Nazis parade “Hitler was right” banner in centre of Newcastle

A group of neo-Nazis from “National Action” paraded in the centre of Newcastle at the foot of Grey’s Monument with a “Hitler was right” banner on Saturday. Members of the group performed Nazi salutes in the centre of the square. Some local people remonstrated with them but at least one onlooker returned their Nazi salute (see photo below). When a musician in the square attempted to play saxophone music, one of the neo-Nazis violently attacked him. In addition to the assault, the use of the banner and Nazi salutes constitute offences of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress under section 4A of the Public Order Act, as well as other possible offences.

The group previously attempted to demonstrate in Liverpool in August and September 2015, causing widespread public disorder and the cancellation of their demonstrations, with the group humiliated in August when they were unable to leave Liverpool Central train station. They then returned unannounced in November 2015 and delivered short speeches outside various public buildings and monuments in Liverpool, including speeches against Jews saying that: “Jews don’t care about me. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about any of us. All they care about is money and power.” Their video of the event contained additional antisemitic graphics and quoted from Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic diatribe, Mein Kampf. There have been no arrests.

In June 2015, “National Action” filmed themselves desecrating a menorah in Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park by spraying graffiti and hanging a Nazi flag from it. There have been no arrests.

National Action’s blog contains 282 references to the word “Jew”, including accusations that Jews:

  • Use the blood of non-Jews in rituals
  • Usurp power through financial and political conspiracies
  • “Terrorise” the non-Jewish population through usury
  • Dilute Aryan races by operating the slave trade, then campaigning for civil rights in order to weaken Aryan races

It is very clear that “National Action” is an antisemitic neo-Nazi organisation which is trying to propagate fascist ideology and sees as its role models some of the most hideous figures in history. The group’s purpose is incitement to racial and religious hatred and its activities range from vandalism to violence. Unfurling a banner proclaiming “Hitler was right” and performing Nazi salutes for less than ten minutes in a public square is cowardly and a deliberate effort to provoke disorder.

This group is not a dying vestige of British neo-Nazism but a new, young movement and we are pleased that Northumbria Police are taking this incident so seriously. Enough is enough and this brazenly criminal group must be brought to justice.

That young British people are openly idolising Adolf Hitler in Britain in the days before Holocaust Memorial Day is a reminder that for us to say “Never again” with any confidence, we must be vigilant and fight antisemitic racism ruthlessly.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “Northumbria Police is carrying out enquiries into the protest that was held at Monument in Newcastle City centre at 1:55pm on Saturday, January 23. We had no prior warning that the protest was due to take place and city centre officers attended immediately after receiving information that it was happening. Upon officers’ arrival the demonstration had ended and we believe it lasted less than 10 minutes. We have received one report of assault and we are in the process of investigating this along with looking into whether any other offences may have taken place. Detectives are checking CCTV footage from the city centre area and material posted on social media and enquiries are ongoing.”

We would like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, Vera Baird QC, and Northumbria Police for their efforts to ensure that these criminals are brought to justice. We are following this case with interest.

National Action attack busker in Newcastle, January 2016

National Action corralled in train station in Liverpool, August 2015

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Police open investigation into swastikas found in residential London neighbourhood

The Metropolitan Police Service has opened an investigation after two swastikas were daubed on a wall in Kentish Town, London. Police went to the scene before the swastikas were cleaned off. A police spokesperson told Jewish News: “Attending officers found offensive graffiti drawn onto a wall of the building and informed the local authority who removed it. No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Conservative councillor for Housing and Community Safety, Oliver Cooper, reported the graffiti to the police. He said: “This appalling incident is only the latest in a sad escalation of hate crimes and hate speech: whether it’s graffiti swastikas, or hatred on social media. It’s important that everyone tackles this head-on. I will be asking Camden Council what’s being done to reverse this rising tide of hate locally, and make sure we keep the community safe.”

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Journalist forces antisemite to disembark from train for claiming “ISIS was created by the Jews”

British journalist James Bloodworth has posted on Facebook that he forced a man to disembark from a train after he made antisemitic comments.

Bloodworth said that he had an altercation with the man after he refused to remove his bags from Bloodworth’s seat at the start of the journey. After he had eventually agreed to remove the bags, Bloodworth took his seat and settled down to read is book, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.

His fellow passenger asked what Bloodworth was reading, to which he replied that it is a book about ISIS. The man replied: “You mean the Israeli intelligence services.” Bloodworth said he ignored the comment until the man pressed: “You do know that ISIS was created by the Jews? Who is the book by?” When Bloodworth told him that the book was by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, the man allegedly responded “Weiss is a Jewish name.” Bloodworth says he then asked the man to stop talking to him, but the man insisted, claiming that “No Jews died in the Holocaust. It’s a hoax. The gas chambers and all that. You’re just uninformed.” Bloodworth said he kept repeating the point and when he used the word “Sheeple,” Bloodworth lost his temper, telling the man that he would forcibly eject him at the next stop.

According to Bloodworth’s account, he allowed the man to gather his belongings before marching him to the door, saying: “You’re getting off this f***ing train” to a small round of applause from fellow passengers.

Bloodworth ended his Facebook post saying: “I’m a nice guy who’s kind to animals, children and my grandmother. But don’t slander the Jews in the quiet coach.”

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Facebook COO shirks fight against online hate

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday and delivered an astonishing message: fight hate on Facebook by ‘liking’ hate pages and posting positive messages on them.

For a company with an extremely poor track record in fighting online hatred, we expected that the company’s next announcement might be for technology that detects and removes common content that incites and intimidates, such as Islamist or neo-Nazi links, memes and hashtags.

Instead, Sandberg’s ridiculous suggestion places the burden once again on Facebook’s users.

Already the company requires users to report “hate speech” such as antisemitic content, but then Facebook invariably tells users that the content they reported did not breach “community standards”. We continue to see everything from modern day antisemitic conspiracy myths that Jews are funding ISIS, to mediaeval blood libels, spread like wildfire on the social network, with Facebook’s reporting system failing abysmally to have any effect.

Sandberg’s new idea that users should spend their time ‘liking’ pages that incite hatred and trying to post positive content on them is the most ludicrous non-solution imaginable. ‘Liking’ and commenting on pages increases their visibility on users’ news feeds, and thereby exposes more people to the page’s message. The idea that positive comments would have any effect is also nonsensical as comments can be deleted faster than they can be written, which is why antisemitic comments posted on our own Facebook page rarely stay there longer than a few minutes.

The sole evidence Sandberg offered in support of her idea was a story about the ‘successful’ targeting of the German National Democratic Party’s page on Facebook. Extolling the benefits of what she called a “like attack”, Sandberg took Facebook users for fools, patronisingly saying: “Rather than scream and protest, they got 100,000 people to like the page, who did not like the page and put messages of tolerance on the page, so when you got to the page, it changed the content and what was a page filled with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance and messages of hope. The best antidote to bad speech is good speech and the best antidote to hate is tolerance.” Except that what really happened is 100,000 people wasted their time because not long after the “like attack”, NPD’s Facebook page was back to normal, except that now it had a lot more ‘likes’ and appeared more often on Facebook users’ news feeds and higher in search results.

Instead of coming up with increasingly pointless ways of distracting users from Facebook’s failure to robustly tackle incitement and intimidation on its platform, it is time for Facebook to innovate. Facebook must develop means of detecting and removing hatred in exactly the same way that it proactively removes child pornography and copyright music and video from the platform.

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Thug who threatened to “kill all the Jews” convicted by Crown Court

Rashal Miah was convicted today by a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court despite pleading “not guilty” to telling a Jewish man: “Shut the f*** up, you f***ing Jew. I will slit your throat.”

The incident took place on 29th September 2014 in Stamford Hill in London. An orthodox Jewish man who was recognisably Jewish from his clothes was driving a school van full of children through traffic. Miah was driving a black Mercedes towards the school van on the wrong side of the road, which caused traffic to build up and block the road.

The driver of the school van asked Miah to reverse his car to let traffic pass, at which point Miah exited his car, “aggressively” approached the van and said: “Shut the f*** up, you f***ing Jew. I will slit your throat.” He went on to refer to the school van driver as “Yehudi” (Jew) and said: “I’m going to kill all the Jews.”

Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol provided support to the victim through the lengthy court process.

We commend the victim, Shomrim and the Metropolitan Police Service for working together to ensure that this antisemitic individual was brought to justice. We await news of the sentence with interest.

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Arrested! Three suspects in custody after Jewish shoppers allegedly pelted with gas canisters by neo-Nazis

Yesterday evening, the Metropolitan Police Service arrested three men, aged 18, 22 and 24, each on suspicion of a religiously aggravated public order offence.

The arrests follow an incident on Wednesday evening in which three Jewish shoppers were allegedly subjected to antisemitic abuse in Tottenham Hale by three white men in a pickup truck.

The three men reportedly shouted “Hitler is on the way to you, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler” and threw small gas refill canisters towards the victims, two men and a woman. None of the victims were injured, but they were badly shaken by the experience.

Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, was called by the victims and liaised with the police.

Cowardly attacks on Jews are becoming too frequent. Following reports of three men throwing small gas canisters at Jews and shouting neo-Nazi abuse, we are pleased that the police have acted quickly and made three arrests, thanks in part to the help of the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, Shomrim, which has assisted the police and supported the victims.

Our call for zero tolerance of antisemitism under the law is being heard. We look forward to all police forces acting this effectively and quickly when antisemitic crimes are reported to them, and hope that such protection will happen without the need for insistent appeals for action by the Jewish community. Jewish British citizens have the right to be protected.

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Football fans banned for three years for Nazi salutes and mimicking escaping gas

Two Southampton FC supporters who yelled abuse, mimicked the sound of hissing gas and made Nazi salutes at Tottenham Hotspur fans have been banned from attending matches for three years.

Thomas Flynn and Michael Haydon committed the offences at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium during a match on 19th December 2015.

Flynn, 22, of Yeovil Chase, Harefield, Southampton and Haydon, 23, of White Hart Lane, Cadnam, admitted a charge each of using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour in what was deemed a religiously aggravated public order offence.

They were barred from attending games in Britain and abroad for three years after being convicted at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, where prosecutor Charles Nightingale had described how Flynn, Haydon and another man were seen shouting antisemitic abuse including “gas the Jews”.

Mr Nightingale said one of the Spurs fans reported: “There was a white male raising his right hand and finger below his nose and making hissing sounds imitating gas escaping.”

After a steward notified police, Haydon was arrested at the ground, while Flynn was detained nearby. The court heard that the third man was never identified.

Haydon had been drinking since that morning, said his lawyer Jane Hiatt, and admitted making hissing sounds but denied saluting and shouting abuse.

In mitigation she said of the season ticket holder, who had attended games since he was aged five: “This is very out of character and a blip. He’s horrified and ashamed.”

Nicola Attwood, for Flynn, said her client — who was sober — also admitted hissing but denied making salutes. She said: “He is disgusted with himself and that he deserves a ban and that the people would be gravely offended by his behaviour.”

Magistrate Victoria Parker sentenced them to a three-year banning order preventing them from attending games in Britain and requiring them to hand passports to police before major games abroad.

They were also handed a 12-week community order and curfew, banned from going within a mile of St Mary’s Stadium four hours before and after kick-off on matchdays, and ordered to pay £145 in costs.

She said: “This was a very serious matter and watching you during these court proceedings I think you know that and are very ashamed of what you did.”

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BBC includes gratuitous antisemitism in Christmas and New Year dramas

Whilst there are legitimate artistic reasons to use antisemitism as part of a drama, if antisemitism is gratuitous and irrelevant to the story or art it should not be included. This is supposed to be elementary, but we are very concerned by the BBC’s unjustifiable references to Jews in some of its broadcasts.

The first example is a serialisation of Agatha Christie’s mystery thriller, And then there were none, episode two of which was aired on 27th December 2015 at 21:00. In one scene, the characters discuss the identity of the mysterious “Isaac morris”. During the discussion, one character says: “Jews. Whenever there’s a problem, there’s Jews at the bottom of it.”

While this totally gratuitous antisemitism is conserved in the BBC’s adaptation of the book, the title of the adaptation was changed to remove a racist term for black people, and since the antisemitism is irrelevant to the plot and characters, it is totally unclear why the BBC included it in the adaptation.

The second example is from popular soap opera Eastenders. In the episode that aired on 6th January 2016 at 18:00, one character tells another that Herod was “King of the Jews” before reciting his villainous acts.

There is nothing new about nativity stories in which the villains are all explicitly described as Jews, while the fact that Jesus was Jewish is forgotten. The Church however has rejected this antisemitic telling of the nativity story, but the tradition seems to be alive and well at the BBC.

The BBC has a complaints hotline (03700 100 222) but it seems to specialise in telling Jews why they were wrong to be offended. Ofcom (0300 123 3333) has jurisdiction over the BBC in matters of racism and this year MPs (www.writetothem.com) will vote on renewing the BBC’s charter.

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London petrol station cashier reportedly tells Jewish customer “I hate you guys”

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.

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Twitter toughens its rules against hatred and incitement, but will it make a difference?

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.

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Charity Commission opens statutory inquiry into charity which claimed “f***ing Jews” are tracking smartphones, following evidence from CAA

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.

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Recognising the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist connections whilst failing to ban it shows that the red lines on extremism are blurred beyond all useful purpose

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.

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Hope Not Hate condemns those who fight Islamist extremism

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.

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Bonehill-Paine sentenced to three years and four months for “anti-Jewification” incitement

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.

Guilty! Joshua Bonehill-Paine, instigator of “anti-Jewification” demonstrations guilty of incitement to racial hatred

Joshua Bonehill-Paine, the race hate internet troll, has been convicted of incitement to racial hatred by Southwark Crown Court 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.

His Honour Judge Leonard QC ordered that Bonehill-Paine will remain in custody and return to Southwark Crown Court tomorrow for sentencing.

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 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.

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WH Smith removes Mein Kampf from branch in Jordan and promises franchise policy review in letter to CAA

Following the shocking revelation that a WH Smith branch was stocking Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic diatribe, Mein Kampf, on its “Bestselling Books” shelf, WH Smith’s CEO has written to Campaign Against Antisemitism promising swift action.

We were contacted by supporters who had read an article in The Jerusalem Post which showed photographs of an Arabic translation of Mein Kampf for sale at WH Smith at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. That Mein Kampf is a bestseller in many Arab countries is a sad reminder of the deep-rooted antisemitism across the Middle East, but we were nonetheless shocked to find WH Smith apparently catering to demand.

We immediately contacted the retailer and received a swift and unequivocal apology from CEO Steve Clarke.

WH Smith’s branch in the airport is operated by a franchised affiliate, and WH Smith can take no punitive action against the staff involved. The book has however been removed from the shelves and WH Smith has confirmed that stocking Mein Kampf is already banned under the company’s ranging policy which franchisees must obey. The company’s international management team are now reviewing their franchise policies following the incident to ensure that they are sufficiently robust should this reoccur.

We regret that the person who decided to stock Mein Kampf will almost certainly go without sanction or education, but we accept that is not within WH Smith’s power. We welcome WH Smith’s speedy and appropriate response.

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Hertfordshire Constabulary appeals for witnesses to antisemitic singing at local football match reported by CAA

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.

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A week after condemning antisemitic campus exhibition, LSE publishes then removes antisemitic blog post

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.

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Police investigating academic who allegedly said “Jews have become the Nazis” after CAA complaint

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.

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Jewish students in Scotland “feeling compelled to deny or hide their Jewish identity”

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.

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Green Party spokesman remains in post after voicing antisemitic conspiracy theory

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.

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Charity trustee who made a video claiming “f***ing Jews” track Samsung smartphones and posted it on charity’s Facebook page allowed to stay on

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.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s condemnation of Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic comments falls far short of what is warranted

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.

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Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards: I will not investigate Sir Gerald Kaufman

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.

Yours sincerely,

Kathryn Hudson
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Extracts from Sir Gerald Kaufman’s Speech

Gerald Kaufman’s “Jewish money” slur: responses from the Opposition Chief Whip and Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to our letters

Following Campaign Against Antisemitism’s letter to the Opposition Chief Whip, which has now been supplemented by letters from other Jewish charities, the Opposition Chief Whip has agreed to meet with Sir Gerald Kaufman, but is refusing to confirm when, or whether this is part of a formal disciplinary process. Sir Gerald made an antisemitic speech a week ago in the presence of other MPs in which he claimed that British Jews were using “Jewish money” to subvert the British government so that Israeli Jews could shoot innocent people. So far the Labour Party has limited its response to a single sentence: “The views as reported, do not reflect the views of The Labour Party.”

We have also received a response from office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, suggesting that the views of Sir Gerald Kaufman are views on “the situation in the Middle East” and do not bring the reputation of the House of Commons into disrepute.

We have responded that: “Sir Gerald claimed that British Jews were using “Jewish money” to subvert the government so that Israeli Jews may shoot innocent people. This combines antisemitic conspiracy theory with antisemitic blood libel. The fact that the Father of the House 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? The Parliamentary Commissioner must exercise the powers of her office to investigate and take action against this conduct.”

The full response from the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards was:

Dear Mr Falter

Thank you for your email addressed to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson. I have been asked to reply.

I know that the situation in the Middle East continues to cause great concern and much debate across groups of widely varying opinions and I can see that you feel strongly about the particular view expressed by Sir Gerald on this occasion. However, the remit of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is specifically to investigate alleged breaches of the rules of conduct, set out in part V of the House of Commons Code of Conduct. There are some matters that she cannot look at and, as you will see from this leaflet, she may not generally look into complaints about an MP’s views or opinions, wherever they are expressed.

The only exception to this is where an MP’s conduct has caused significant damage to the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole or to Members of the House generally which is, as you have set out, contained in paragraph 16 of the Code of Conduct. This would be a high bar to reach since opinions are usually linked to the individual expressing them rather than to the House or other Members. The Committee on Standards has also made clear that it considers the test to be one that will be met only in extreme and extremely limited circumstances.

I do not think that the Commissioner would be likely to begin an inquiry based on the evidence you have provided; I do not think she would be likely to consider Sir Gerald’s comments to have caused significant damage to the House of Commons as a whole, or to MPs generally. Similarly, I do not think that the Commissioner would be likely to consider the silence of other MPs present at the meeting to have put them in breach of paragraph 16 of the Code of Conduct.

Yours sincerely,

Gwen Harrison

Our full response to Ms Harrison’s letter was:

Dear Ms Harrison,

You appear to have misunderstood my complaint. Sir Gerald Kaufman did not express a “view” on the Middle East, he made an antisemitic statement. Sir Gerald claimed that British Jews were using “Jewish money” to subvert the government so that Israeli Jews may shoot innocent people. This combines antisemitic conspiracy theory with antisemitic blood libel.

The fact that the Father of the House 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?

 The Parliamentary Commissioner must exercise the powers of her office to investigate and take action against this conduct.

Yours sincerely,

Gideon Falter
Chairman
Campaign Against Antisemitism

Ms Harrison then replied:

Dear Mr Falter

I understand the point you make but I think Sir Gerald’s words are still caught by the bar on the Commissioner investigating complaints about a Member’s views and opinions.

The test set out in paragraph 16 is, as I have explained, one which the Committee on Standards considers likely to be met only in extreme and extremely limited circumstances; it requires that the Member’s conduct causes significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House as a whole or of its Members generally. I can see that you feel very strongly but, as I explained earlier, I do not think the Commissioner would be likely to begin an inquiry into this matter.

Yours sincerely

Gwen Harrison

Our final response was:

Dear Ms Harrison,

Thank you for your e-mail. Please clarify whether you are stating your opinion or the opinion of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. If the Commissioner has not yet made a decision, I would be grateful if you would put this matter before her.

Yours sincerely,

Gideon Falter
Chairman
Campaign Against Antisemitism

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Successful letter-writing campaign resoundingly rebuts suggestion that Jewish culture should be boycotted

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!

Hat tip: Mandy Blumenthal

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Popular London nightclub ordered to close after antisemitic brawl, but assailants escape further action

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.

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Pope reaffirms that calls for the destruction of Israel are antisemitic

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”.

Labour Party fails to confirm whether it will initiate disciplinary proceedings over Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech

Following the antisemitic speech reportedly made by Sir Gerald Kaufman, Campaign Against Antisemitism has contacted the Opposition Chief Whip and the Labour Party Press Office. Additionally our Chairman has made a formal complaint (which must be made in a personal capacity under Parliamentary rules) to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

In its response to CAA, the Labour Party has so far failed to provide any assurance that it considers Sir Gerald Kaufman’s comments to be a disciplinary matter, or whether it will initiate disciplinary proceedings, which we believe to be the only acceptable response to racist comments of this nature.

We encourage you to make your own complaints to the bodies below, and encourage other organisations concerned with antisemitism to also make complaints, to show the breadth of concern that this speech had generated.

Opposition Chief Whip: Rosie Winterton MP, rosie.winterton.mp@parliament.uk
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards: Kathryn Hudson, hudsonk@parliament.uk

Opposition Chief Whip

Dear Ms Winterton,

I am writing to you in your capacity as Opposition Chief Whip with respect to statements reportedly made by Sir Gerald Kaufman MP yesterday at 1 Parliament Street.

David Collier, a blogger who attended a meeting of the Palestine Return Centre, said that Sir Gerald claimed that “Jewish money, Jewish donations” dictate government policy on Israel.

Speaking after Martin Linton MP, Sir Gerald is reported to have said: “Martin wonders why this governments policy has gone farther and farther and more and more pro-Israeli, but I’ll tell you because I can tell you in a way which perhaps nobody else in this room can tell you. 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. They’re not interested in the fact that Palestinians are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time.”

Sir Gerald 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”.

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 here (http://david-collier.com/?p=1336), is antisemitic and the Labour Party must take action immediately.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,

Gideon Falter
Chairman

So far, the Office of the Opposition Chief Whip has responded only to say: “The views as reported, do not reflect the views of The Labour Party.”

We have responded as follows:

Dear Mr Sullivan,

I am grateful for your swift reply, however I look forward to your urgent confirmation that the Party is investigating this as a disciplinary matter due to the serious nature of these racist comments.

Yours sincerely,

Gideon Falter
Chairman

Labour Party Press Office

The press officer has said: “We will get back to you” but has not yet responded to our requests for confirmation that disciplinary action will be taken.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Dear Ms Hudson,

I am writing to you in a personal capacity with respect to statements reportedly made by Sir Gerald Kaufman MP on Tuesday 27th October at 1 Parliament Street.

David Collier, a blogger who attended a meeting of the Palestine Return Centre, said that Sir Gerald claimed that “Jewish money, Jewish donations” dictate government policy on Israel.

Speaking after Martin Linton MP, Sir Gerald is reported to have said: “Martin wonders why this governments policy has gone farther and farther and more and more pro-Israeli, but I’ll tell you because I can tell you in a way which perhaps nobody else in this room can tell you. 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. They’re not interested in the fact that Palestinians are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time.”

Sir Gerald 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”.

An audio recording can be provided for your reference.

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 here (http://david-collier.com/?p=1336), is antisemitic and was delivered to an event at which several other MPs are understood to have been present, none of whom spoke out.

Given the rise in antisemitism which has recently reached heights not seen since records began to be kept thirty years ago, action must be seen to be taken to safeguard the reputation of the House of Commons.

My complaint is that (1) Sir Gerald’s speech and (2) the failure of other MPs in attendance to speak out constitutes a breach of clause 16 of the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,

Gideon Falter
Chairman

We will await the Commissioner’s response.

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Antisemitic “Hitler was right” posters at Birmingham university under investigation by police forensics team

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.

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Sir Gerald Kaufman MP reportedly claims that “Jewish money, Jewish donations” dictate government policy on Israel

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.

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Local paper publishes letter from man demanding that UK Jewish Film Festival be banned in his borough

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 letters@hamhigh.co.uk.

Hat tip: North London Friends of Israel and Mandy Blumenthal

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Our reaction to new government counter-extremism strategy: enforcement and definition are key

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.

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Man convicted and fined for performing Nazi salute at Jewish people on London’s Oxford Street

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.

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Police charge demonstrators allegedly flying Hezbollah flags after discussions with Campaign Against Antisemitism and MP

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.

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Campaign Against Antisemitism is now a charity

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.

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Nazi-sympathising teacher banned from teaching for life by Secretary of State following proceedings instigated by Campaign Against Antisemitism

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.

British Transport Police officers
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One arrested, four awaiting questioning after public identify West Ham antisemitic chant suspects

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.

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Four incidents in a day as north London Jews are subjected to antisemitic abuse and criminal damage

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 info@londonshomrim.com.

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Police seek the public’s help in identifying five men following antisemitic chanting on train

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.

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Police fail to act as demonstrators protesting Conservative Party Conference tell Jews to “get back to Auschwitz”

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 News that 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.

Thanks to Sussex Friends of Israel for pointing out Helen Pidd’s tweet to us.

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David Cameron announces new powers to investigate and shut down British Madrasas teaching antisemitic conspiracy theories

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.

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Manchester boys’ attackers sentenced

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.”

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Scottish Jews bearing the brunt of hate crime as Police Scotland cracks down on online antisemitism

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.

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BBC uses antisemitic caricature in Proms programme

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.

The Guardian: guardian.letters@theguardian.com
The Independent: letters@independent.co.uk
The Times: letters@the-times.co.uk
The Daily Telegraph: dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
The Observer: observer.letters@observer.co.uk
Daily Mail: letters@dailymail.co.uk
Daily Express: express.letters@express.co.uk
Financial Times: letters.editor@ft.com
The Sun: letters@the-sun.co.uk
The Mirror: mailbox@mirror.co.uk

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Manchester attack: two plead guilty to violent assault on four Jewish boys which left one with a brain injury

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).

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Moshe Fuerst, Jewish teenager attacked in Manchester, out of hospital, as police arrest third suspect

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.

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Police hunting thugs who brutally attacked Jewish boys in Manchester make dawn arrests, issue urgent appeal for witnesses

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.

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Photograph shows shocking injuries sustained by Jewish teenager beaten unconscious by antisemitic thugs

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.

Moshe-Fuerst-Newspaper

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Anti-Israel protesters arrested for antisemitic abuse but no action over Hezbollah flags

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.

Photo: Mandy Blumenthal

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Antisemitism in London surges by 93% in 12 months as UK Business Secretary issues stark warning

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.

Reyaad Khan, Abdul Miah, Gurukanth Desai
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UK air strike kills British-born Jihadist possibly ‘radicalised’ by antisemites

David Cameron today announced that Reyaad Khan, a British-born jihadist, was killed by an RAF strike in Syria, as he was planning an attack on the UK.

According to the Daily Telegraph,

“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.’”

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Four Jewish boys badly beaten in antisemitic attack in Manchester, teenager knocked unconscious

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.

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Success: Antisemitic Nazi sympathiser removed from Big Brother

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.

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UPDATE: Channel 5 “investigating” Nazi sympathies of Big Brother contestant – sign the petition

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.

Tila-Tequila-Nazi

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Demand Channel 5 removes Nazi sympathiser housemate who claims to be “Hitler reborn” from Big Brother

Tila-Tequila-Nazi

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.

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Help raise awareness of everyday antisemitism

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.

Justice, justice, you shall pursue - צדק צדק תרדף
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