Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday 4 July 2010

From an English Courtroom - a Charter for Anti-Israel Criminality

Judge George Bathurst Norman raised eyebrows in the Anglo-Jewish community in 2001, when he blamed the collapse of a fraud trial he was hearing on the plaintiffs, the United Synagogue organisation, which he claimed had been "so casual as to offend the very name of justice".  The United Synagogue's president expressed "incredulity, a burning sense of injustice" at the judge's remarks, adding "It is extraordinary that the victim in this case can be made to appear the villain".  Bathurst Norman duly apologised.

Nearly a decade on, and the same judge was trundled out of retirement (we are surely entitled to ask "Why?") to preside at the trial of a number of people charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage - £180,000 worth of it - to a Brighton factory believed to be exporting arms components to Israel.  The damage occurred in response to Operation Cast Lead.  Last week, Bathurst Norman effectively directed the jury to deliver "Not Guilty" verdicts, telling them in his summing up: "You may well think that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans suffered at that time".  He added, of the ringleader: "The jury may feel his efforts investigating the company merit the George Cross" (Britain's highest civilian award for gallantry!).

The defendants' acquittal, then, rested on his subjective agreement (presumably deriving from his assimilation of Hamas propaganda via such sources as the BBC) with their defence argument, namely that their actions against the factory were justified in order to prevent a greater evil - war crimes by Israel.  Said the jubilant defence lawyer of the verdict: "It sends a clear indication that sometimes direct action is the only option when all other avenues have failed".

Similarly, Brighton MP Caroline Lucas, head of the Israel-demonising Green Party and herself a pro-Palestinian activist, expressed her delight "that the jury has recognised that the actions ... were a legitimate response to the atrocities being committed in Gaza" and that the defendants had clearly "exhausted all democratic avenues and, crucially, that their actions were driven by the responsibility to prevent further sufferings in Gaza".  Outside the courtroom one of the defendants reiterated that "it was necessary for ordinary people to take action like we did" - and vowed that the factory would continue to be targetted until it closed down.

So there we have it.  An English judge has given  a virtual carte-blanche to violently-inclined anti-Israel fanatics.  Apparently, there can be no appeal against an acquittal.  But there should certainly be a protest against Bathurst Norman's biased and blockheaded summation.  You can complain to the Office of Judicial Complaints on the form which can be accessed here:



    Jonathan Hoffman

  2. Rate This
    I believe there is something more sinister at foot here. These protestors have been targetting this factory for some time.
    See for example;
    Obviously believing that to claim that they were trying to destroy the factory to prevent arms being sent to British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be approved by an English Jury it would appear that they therefore cooked up a story that they were trying to get arms stopped to Israel. I would be interested to know if their previous attempts to target the EDO factory before Caste Lead were brought to the jury’s attention in the case.
    Their actions would have had no effect on Israel’s justifiable and legal efforts by force of arms to prevent the terrorist entity in Gaza from firing rockets into Israeli cities. As such they have succeeded in carrying out criminal damage to EDO which has been their aim all along without fear of punishment and in the process have used Israel as a scapegoat.
    Questions have to be asked. Who was responsible for appointing a judge who obviously should have recused himself given the prejudicial nature of the terms his direction to the jury? What connection does that person have with the defendants and/or with pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel organisations? What we have here is a classic anti-Semitic plot.

  3. I am researching the judges past history. I am certain there is an element of bias against the Jewish state.
    More to the point, British justice is now formally entrenched to a judge's political bias. The jury's decision was tightly linked with the advise from the bench of Judge Bathurst-Norman that Gaza is "a hell on earth".
    I read this on a day where the Jerusalem Post prints a picture of a vintage car collection in Gaza and I have written to somebosy enclosing the 5 star cordon bleau dining available to the Gazan middle class.
    One judge's faulty political bias has allowed a group of vandals to cause hundreds of thousands of pounds damage and get away with it.

  4. I've had a look at the admirable CiF Watch blog, and note Jonathan Hoffman's apt comment that the judge has misused the "lawful excuse" provision of Section 5(2)(b) of the Criminal Damage Act of 1971 which, as Jonathan says, was clearly designed to protect - for example - a firefighter who breaks into a building to put out a blaze. As Jonathan also says: "It seems to open the door for people to take the law into their own hands against a person or company associated with Israel."


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.