In the June 2001 issue of the Edinburgh Star, ‘Journal of the Edinburgh Jewish Community’, available in Edinburgh Central Library, Esti Sheinberg wrote that, ’The Jewish passion for Jerusalem is to rebuild and live in it. The Palestinian passion is for blood.’ Sheinberg, then teaching at Edinburgh University, added that, ‘…the Islam of today…because of its psychological and moral constitution…is not just capable but eager to perform acts of zealous savagery…’

Mick Napier
10 February 2016

According to Police Scotland website: “Hate crime is defined as a crime perceived as being motivated by malice or ill will towards a particular social group on the basis of their actual or presumed sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, race or religion.” I’ve therefore reported to Police Scotland one publicly broadcast and highly dubious allegation of hate crime and one example of hate crime in print media.

ALLEGED ANTI-SEMITISM AT AN EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY
Revelation TV is a UK station that broadcast its weekly Middle East Report on Friday July 24th, during which presenter Simon Barrett interviewed Nigel Goodrich who leads the mainly Christian fundamentalist Scottish Friends of Israel. During the discussion, Nigel Goodrich claimed (12m30s) that at a meeting of Edinburgh Friends of Israel, "a Jewish American Masters student last week...said that her professor said to her that he had failed two of her essays because she is Jewish and supports the State of Israel". It is highly unlikely that any senior academic would be so openly anti-semitic, but let's see. If Goodrich is accurate, the reported actions of an identifiable university professor in Edinburgh constitute hate crime. The Edinburgh branch of Friends of Israel is unlikely to have many female Jewish American Masters students.

Last November
Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, met “key people in the Scottish Government, the Church of Scotland, and Edinburgh University” and took the opportunity to express “regret that Edinburgh University had gained a reputation as a difficult environment for Jewish students” due to academic staff being hostile to the State of Israel. Arkush alleged multiple “instances of discrimination against Jewish students”, suggesting that this caused “seven Jewish students…to have discontinued their studies in recent years, and this has given rise to widespread concern among Jewish students and the community at large”. SCoJeC (Scottish Council of Jewish Communities) Director Ephraim Borowski and Vice-Chair Micheline Brannan accompanied Arkush to the Edinburgh meetings.

Scotlands JewsBoth Arkush and Borowski, however, have records of making entirely false allegations of anti-semitism that were tested before judges in a legal tribunal, ruled to be entirely without foundation, and forcefully dismissed. In addition, following representations in 2008 by SPSC to then-First Minister Alex Salmond, Mr Borowski had to pulp all 6,000 copies of a publication he had co-authored. Defamatory allegations of anti-semitism against Scottish Palestine Solidarity were removed before it was reprinted.

Arkush and Borowski stridently claim with very little evidence that the reputation of Edinburgh University is being damaged by racism towards Jewish students there,  while their political ally Nigel Goodrich broadcasts very dubious allegations of open discrimination against a Jewish student by senior academic staff. The allegation that a hate crime has been committed, however, deserves to be taken seriously and it has been reported to Police Scotland though not, interestingly, by Mr. Goodrich.

RACIST ABUSE AGAINST PALESTINIANS AND MUSLIMS
gas the arabsIn the
June 2001 issue of the Edinburgh Star, ‘Journal of the Edinburgh Jewish Community’, available in Edinburgh Central Library, Esti Sheinberg wrote that, ’The Jewish passion for Jerusalem is to rebuild and live in it. The Palestinian passion is for blood.’ Sheinberg, then teaching at Edinburgh University, added that, ‘…the Islam of today…because of its psychological and moral constitution…is not just capable but eager to perform acts of zealous savagery…' (A common settler-colonial trope of "civilised" European incomers demonising "savage, bloodthirsty" natives who lack any ingratitude for the civilised dispossession and massacre of their families and friends.)

This racist material remains on the library's public shelves and I have not been able to check if there is any such material in other editions of the Edinburgh Star. I could see no criticism of Esti Sheinberg's piece in later issues of the Edinburgth Star; is such racist bile acceptable discourse in the self-styled "Magazine for the Edinburgh Jewish Community". It has been distributed in Scotland, the UK and internationally. Micheline Brannan of SCoJeC, who warned Scottish political, church and academic leaders of anti-Jewish racism, is current editor of the Edinburgh Star.

Ephraim Borowski wrote in the Edinburgh Star concerning nasty anti-semitic remarks posted on Scottish public fora that

“these comments are strongly anti-Semitic and insulting to the Jewish community
and offensive to all right-minded people in Scotland. It seems to me unacceptable that The Herald has allowed comments such as these to appear on their website for eight months without taking any action to remove them.”

Agreed, and add of the Edinburgh Star’s anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim racist content that
“these comments are strongly racist, Islamophobic and insulting to the Palestinian community, the entire Muslim community,
and offensive to all right-minded people in Scotland. It seems to me unacceptable the Edinburgh Star has allowed comments such as these to appear in their publication without ever taking any action to challenge them.”

Anyone opposed to racism has an interest in seeing these serious allegations investigated and, if a crime is found to have occurred, a prosecution launched. Scottish citizens who are Jewish, or Palestinian of any religion or none, or Muslims need to be supported against all hate crime. No exceptions.

Mick Napier
West Calder
10 February 2016
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