After four days of evidence and cross-examinations earlier this month, a trial enters its final moments tomorrow of two members of SPSC on charges of 'racism'. The two stand accused of aggravated tresspass for a protest against Israeli Dead Sea operation, Jericho cosmetics. Israel's massacre of 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children, ended on August 26th and the protestors of September 13th who denounced that massacre of Palestinians stand accused by Scottish legal prosecutors of 'racism', i.e. being motivated by hatred of Israelis rather than opposition to Israel's repeated massacres, apartheid across the whole of Palestine and genocidal violence in Gaza.
The High Court in London ruled last week that the Tory government acted unlawfully when it tried to prevent local councils in the UK from divesting from firms involved in Israel’s military occupation. The successful legal challenge for the right to boycott was brought by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in London, supported by War on Want, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade and the Quakers. Given their past record, it is unlikely even this High Court ruling in favour of BDS will stop Scottish legal prosecutors' releated efforts to criminalise BDS in support ofr Palestinian freedom.
The Prosecutor - Procurator Fiscal in the Scottish legal system - has alleged in open court that the accused in the Glasgow case were recycling an ancient anti-semitic 'Jewish blood libel' by speaking about Israeli mass murder of Palestinians while the violated people of Gaza were still looking for ice-cream and vegetable refrigerators to store bodies of children killed by Israel's military.
One of the accused, Mick Napier, gave his testimony on Friday 9th June and Jim Watson will take the stand tomorrow to complete the rebuttal of claims made by prosecution witnesses - a Chief Inspector, the manager of the Jericho stall and two Glasgow Zionist activists. The PF's claim is that staff were intimidated by racist placards and the shouting of racist abuse, which seems to have consisted of apparently by denouncing the pro-Israeli counter-demonstrators on the day for supporting Israel's recent massacre of Palestinians. The 'racist' placard is reproduced here; the PF took particular issue with the symbolic blood dripping under 'Dead Sea cosmetics' onto 'THIS STORE'. When even the usually craven UN Secretary-General called Israel's massacre of thousands of Palestinians a 'moral outrage and criminal act' and a 'gross violation of humanitarian law', when the Scottish Government had joined in denouncing the 'deep inhumanity' of the Israeli massacre, Scottish procurators fiscal worked hand in glove with pro-israel lobby groups to silence voices of Palestine solidarity.
SPSC has withstood repeated efforts by pro-Israel lobbyists and Scottish PFs to criminalise Palestine solidarity activities; the Zionist record so far is one of virtually complete failure. An example was an attempted fit-up by two employees of the Zionist CST that was thrown out of Kilmarnock Sheriff Court in Feb last year when the Sheriff ruled that the crime as alleged had not taken place. Had we not had the benefit of an Al Jazeera Arabic language broadcast of the protest where the Zionist CST tried to secure an assault conviction they might have secured a different outcome.
The Glasgow trial that ends tomorrow shows that the pro-Israel gang will keep on working to smear opposition to Israel's state-enforced racism and massive violence against defenceless civiliansd as 'racist' and 'violent'.
Come to Glasgow Sheriff Court #16 in Carlton Place tomorrow 11am to see how bizarre the claims of a Scottish Procurator Fiscal can be in an ongoing, long-term effort to smear Palestine solidarity activists as racists.
26 June 2017
Support two SPSC members - Jim Watson and - I, on trial for 'racism' on Wednesday April 27th and Friday April 29th in Court 10 of Glasgow Sheriff Court.
The effort by Zionists and their allies to conflate opposition to Israeli crimes and hatred of Jews is intensifying; having long ago lost the debate over the revolting crimes of the Israeli Government, the Zionists are openly lobbying in Scotland to criminalise those who respond to the Palestinian appeal for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against the Israeli State and complicit institutions. Cameron has called for local councils to be prevented from supporting the BDS call, and Justice Secretary Michael Gove has called for BDS to be classified as a hate crime. The College of Policing in England and Wales has openly claimed in advice to all police officers that anti-Zionism, i.e. a democratic political critique of the racist nature of Zionism, is a species of hate crime. This police advice followed consultations with the discredited Zionist CST (Community Security Trust) and the Zionist Board of Deputies of British Jews, many of whose leaders work overtime to smear supporters of the Palestinian people as Jew-haters. SCoJeC, the Scottish affiliate of the Board of Deputies, has a record of wholly inventing incidents of anti-semitism and having to backtrack when caught out in such flagrant dishonesty.
The last time I was charged with racism (yes, this is the second time!) the charges against five SPSC members were found to consist of saying the words "End the siege of Gaza!" and "Genocide in Gaza" in a public place. Farcical, no doubt, but also indicative of the desperation of our opponents, for that was the entire substance of the case against five of us. After almost two years and over a score of appearances in Edinburgh Sheriff Court the charges were thrown out and the procurator Fiscal ridiculed by Sheriff John Scott. The green light for this sinister farce, however, was given by then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown and current London Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan. Since the current charges claim that we shout[ed] racist comments', we shall have to see exactly what the Glasgow PF considers to be a 'racist comment'.
There is a great irony in being charged with 'racism' for opposing a state, Israel, that is carrying out an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinian people, and for opposing an ideology, Zionism, that is anti-semitic in its core assumptions and its actions.
(More recently, Al Jazeera TV film footage helped us defeat a malicious charge of 'assault' initiated by two CST employees during a successful protest against the racist JNF. Video footage was also crucial in forcing an apology from the police for illegal arrest and assault during a Gaza protest in Edinburgh in 2011
The Scottish Procurator Fiscal's office is back for another try and we are asking you to support us by attending Glasgow Sheriff Court on April 27th to show solidarity and express your refusal to be cowed by the current disgusting wave of attacks on Palestine supporters as racists. We should not forget the harsh prison sentences handed out to 22 mainly Muslim young men following protests against Israel's massacre of Palestinians in Sdecember 2008 and January 2009. The young men were isolated and vulnerable. The sentences were an attempt to terrorise other Muslims from opposing Israel's massacres.
We are organised and we WILL stand together to defeat the current attacks by Gove, Cameron and the like. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win", said Gandhi. But only if we stand firm at stage 3.
17 April 2016
Professor Jake Lynch of Sydney University is the subject of legal proceedings initiated by an Israel-based organisation using allegations of racism in an attempt to criminalise support for BDS. Professor Lynch's refusal to sponsor an Israeli academic's application for a fellowship in Sydney University was based on the Israeli academic's link to the Hebrew University which is complicit with Israel's occupation, militarism and racial oppression.
The Shurat HaDin, the Israeli Law Center, filed a legal suit in the Federal Court of Australia against Professor Jake Lynch in October. BDS is, according to them "racist and discriminatory". The lawsuit focuses on Jake Lynch's refusal to sponsor an application for a fellowship in Australia by the Hebrew University academic Dan Avnon claiming a breach of the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act. Jake Lynch declined to sponsor the application because of his opposition to the fellowship agreement between the two universities given the Hebrew University's complicity in Israel's human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.
The Hebrew University is complicit in Israel's occupation, militarism and racial oppression of the Palestinian people. The university's Mount Scopus campus and dormitories are built on land confiscated from the Palestinians by the Israeli authorities on 1 September 1968, violating the Fourth Geneva Convention. The university is a militarized institution that participates in programs to train elite soldiers in the Israeli army. In 2012 the University prohibited the organization of the fifth Palestinian Cultural Festival; it also allows the police on to the campus to break up peaceful demonstrations by Palestinian students.
Solidarity with the Palestinian struggle must include mutual solidarity with all who are fighting Israel's apartheid and crimes against humanity. The situation in Australia is severe with a government who are pro-Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. This was demonstrated when, in November 2013, the Australian government abstained from voting on a United Nations general assembly resolution which called for an end to Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
Please support Jake Lynch by taking the following action.
If you are an academic please fill in your details in the letter below and send it to the email address supplied; otherwise pass it on to any other academics you know.
This call for support was made by the group Australians for BDS. They also provided the letter of support.
Letter of Support
We the undersigned consider academic freedom to be a fundamental value in all our educational institutions.
We understand that Professor Jake Lynch from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, at the University of Sydney, refused to sign his name as a reference for Dan Avnon's application for a Hebrew University – University of Sydney Fellowship. In other words, Prof. Lynch refused to support an institutional relationship with an Israeli university that is deeply complicit in violations of human rights and international law.
The Hebrew University has part of its campus built on illegally confiscated Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem; it has close links with the Israel military and arms manufacturer Elbit, and is complicit in several other ways in maintaining the Israeli regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.
Prof. Lynch refused to support Dan Avnon's application on the basis that Dan Avnon was acting as an official representative of the Hebrew University in seeking to take advantage of the official institutional relationship between the Hebrew University and the University of Sydney. Jake Lynch did not target Dan Avnon as an individual academic, nor did he reject collaboration with Avnon because of Avnon's religion, ethnicity, affiliation or origin. We do not endorse boycotting individual academics based on their ethnicity, religion, political principles or affiliation. We note also that Dan Avnon is not an applicant in the legal action against Jake Lynch.
We uphold Prof. Lynch's freedom of speech, academic freedom, and right to exercise his conscience in refusing to deal with an academic institution that violates international law. Many academics similarly refused to engage with South African universities during apartheid. A unanimous ruling in 2004 of the world's highest authority on international law, the International Court of Justice, established the illegality of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory. This illegality is confirmed by a range of acknowledged experts. The International Court of Justice ruling also established that other states are obligated not to recognise nor support Israel's breaches of international law.
We also condemn the actions of the foreign agency, Shurat HaDin, whose director admits to taking direction from the Israeli government on who to prosecute in their cases and which has deep connections with Israeli intelligence services. We condemn this law firm's attempts to silence Professor Lynch in the Australian Human Rights Commission and in the Australian Federal Court by claiming that his actions contravene the Racial Discrimination Act.
We abhor foreign political interference in the democratic right of an Australian academic to hold opinions that are critical of the State of Israel.
We consent to having our name/s published in support of Professor Jake Lynch.
3 February 2016, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court
Sheriff Watson dismissed a charge of assault against Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Scottish PSC) member Mick Napier today following the collapse of the prosecution case.
Challenges to the prosecution proved that the case had no basis in evidence leading the sheriff to halt the trial before a defence case was presented.
The case arose from a protest against the Jewish National Fund (JNF), an Israeli parastatal organisation that is involved in Israel’s settler colonisation of Palestinian territories and in the institutionalised apartheid and racism that discriminates against Palestinians citizens of Israel. At the protest in June 2014, the last publicly organised fundraiser by the JNF in Scotland following years of protest by Scottish PSC, a JNF event steward and member of the Community Security Trust (CST) alleged assault by Mick Napier. CST is a UK charity whose mandate is to record anti-Semitic incidents but is also involved in providing political support to the state of Israel. Sheriff Watson upheld a no case to answer submission after Al Jazeera video footage demonstrated that no assault took place.
Scottish PSC Chair Sofiah MacLeod condemned the Crown’s decision to pursue the charge and expressed concern that “these charges appeared three months after the protest took place, following protests against Israel’s 2014 massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, protests in which Mick Napier was prominent as a Scottish PSC member. There appears to be a pattern emerging of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service taking action against Palestine solidarity and BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigners that amounts to harassment and an attempt to criminalise our solidarity with the Palestinian people. We will be pursuing this matter with the Lord Advocate and Police Scotland.”
Five Scottish PSC members face a further two trials for BDS actions at Glasgow Sheriff Court. Full details will be posted on the SPSC website.
We need you – to join us in standing up for free speech, local democracy and to take forward the campaign for freedom and justice for Palestinians in the form of BDS.
Ten complaints of "antisemitic" harassment were brought by a UCU member, Ronnie Fraser, who is Director of Academic Friends of Israel and fights the union's policy of support for Palestinian rights. All ten points were rejected outright despite, or perhaps because of, the case being promoted by highly-paid lawyer and Zionist activist Anthony Julius. The Tribunal was contemptuous of this attack on free speech: "the proceedings are dismissed in their totality" and "we greatly regret that the case was ever brought. At heart it represents an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means...underlying it we sense a worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression...It would be very unfortunate if an exercise of this sort were ever repeated."
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." (Voltaire)
As God answered Voltaire's prayer, so have supporters of Palestinian human rights been similarly rewarded. The Zionist “All Palestine Activists are Antisemitic Brigade” have suffered a precedent-setting defeat that will reverberate to our advantage for a long time to come. The judgement by the employment tribunal is a delight to read. The website of the 120,000-strong University and College Union carried an article yesterday, UCU cleared of harassment in landmark tribunal. Not only were the union and union members cleared; they were resoundingly vindicated during the two-week hearing into the claim by the vexatious litigants that the union is “institutionally antisemitic” for taking a stand in favour of Palestinian rights.
Jeremy Newmark of the Jewish Leadership council gave untrue testimony, according to the Tribunal, thus being publicly branded a liar and the Tribunal gave a scathing assessment of John Mann MP and former MP, militant Zionist and disgraced crook, Denis MacShane:
'Both gave glib evidence, appearing supremely confident of the rightness of their positions. For Dr MacShane, it seemed that all answers lay in the MacPherson Report (the effect of which he appeared to misunderstand). Mr Mann could manage without even that assistance. He told us that the leaders of the Repsondents were at fault for the way in which they conducted debates but did not enlighten us as to what they were doing wrong or what they should be doing differently. He did not claim ever to have witnessed any Congress or other UCU meeting. And when it came to anti-Semitism in the context of debate about the Middle East, he announced, "It's clear to me where the line is..." but unfortunately eschewed the opportunity to locate it for us. Both parliamentarians clearly enjoyed making speeches. Neither seemed at ease with the idea of being required to answer a question not to his liking.'
An example of the farcical nature of the Zionist case was the claim by Fraser that anti-Semitism by delegates best explained why he received no applause after he spoke at the union conference. Had he won his case, to avoid accusations of antisemitism, union delegates in future might have had to applaud boring Zionists, like North Koreans at a rally.
Part of the proceedings were absurd, but some elements were sinister. Fraser revealed during cross-examination that the so-called Fair Play Campaign Group, set up by the Zionist Board of Deputies of British Jews to coordinate activity against boycotts of Israel had given £50,000 to Engage, a website set up by his lawyer, Anthony Julius, to smear all left-wing and trade union support for Palestine as “the new anti-Semitism”.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign had two links to the Fraser v UCU victory. The UCU case builds on a precedent in 2010 in an Edinburgh Court that was equally a disaster for those working to conflate anti-semitism with anti-Zionism. The UCU legal team cited in its defence the 2010 judgement on five SPSC members similarly accused of “racism” after acting in solidarity with Palestine who had all charges thrown out, while the legal officials who brought the charges were ridiculed in open court for their efforts to restrict rights to free speech. It is worth remembering that a Zionist success in Edinburgh in 2010 would have made the uttering of the words “End the siege of Gaza” a criminal offence.
Three years earlier , in late 2007, Anthony Julius’ law firm Mishcon de Reya also threatened legal action to silence reports by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign that the Caledonian Hilton Hotel on Princes Street, Edinburgh was Israeli-owned. We defied them and they backed off.
Real anti-Semitism is a species of racism and to be deplored and vigorously opposed. Anti-Zionism today is opposition to a supremacist state and a commitment to political democracy, i.e. a state where all citizens are formally equal regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Jews ought to be concerned for several reasons that defenders of Israeli barbarism are working, albeit so far unsuccessfully, to implicate all Jews in Israel’s crimes. Firstly, it’s important not to support apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Secondly, the nightmare of Zionism will one day end in Israel/Palestine and all who helped to end it will be overjoyed while those who worked to sustain it will be shamed. Like Ronnie Fraser.
The UCU victory will embolden BDS campaigners and sap the morale of those defending the indefensible - Israel’s routine murder, farm burning, house demolition and general brutality across Palestine.
In an article entitled Anti-Israel union case was 'act of epic folly', the Zionist UK weekly Jewish Chronicle discussed the prospects for any appeal: it would be highly problematic, said human rights lawyer Adam Wagner, to persuade "an appeal court to wade into the vexed and arguable political — that is, not legal — question of whether anti-Zionism can plausibly amount to racism. Given the court's comments about this 'sorry saga', this may be the last we hear of that argument for some time."
In an opinion piece, Legal Ruling Shines Unflattering Light on the Anti-Zionism Equals Racism Campaign, Adam Wagner reveals just how harsh was the rejection of the "anti-Zionist = anti-semitic argument" and those who argued it. Adam, however, mistakenly argues that British Jews might feel "just a little bit ashamed" at the behaviour of leading British Jewish figures. No need for you to feel ashamed, Adam. Angry and contemptious, yes. No collective guilt, and no need for shame at these hubrisitc, posturing, pseudo-victims working to cover up Israeli crimes.
Edinburgh 26 March 2013
For humorous commentary see New Left Project - Anthony Julius is Rubbish