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)

Friday 8 October 2010

How Sweet It Is! Judge Bathurst-Norman Reprimanded

Remember George Bathurst-Norman, the retired judge who this summer at Hove Crown Court, after an 87-page summing up containing a tirade about Israel's counter-terrorism operations in Gaza, presided over the acquittal of anti-Israel protesters who had smashed up a Brighton armaments factory suspected of supplying Israel and who had claimed as their defence the principle that they were breaking the law in order to prevent a greater breach of law (i.e. by Israel)? Well, the old gentleman has been formally reprimanded by the two most senior law officers in the realm, the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice.
In a statement released a few hours ago, a spokesperson for the Office for Judicial Complaints said: “At short notice, the judge assigned to try a politically sensitive trial at Hove Crown Court on 28 and 29 June 2010 was unable to sit. To avoid an adjournment, His Honour Bathurst-Norman agreed to replace to him.
A number of complaints were made about some of the observations he made during the trial and summing up. An investigation found that a number of these observations did not arise directly from the evidence at trial and could be seen as an expression of the judge’s personal views on a political question. This was an error.
The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice considered the conclusions of the investigation and H[is] H[onour] Bathurst-Norman was formally reprimanded.”
In many respects, this outcome is a tribute to the tireless persistence of Jonathan Hoffman, co-Vice-Chair of the Zionist Federation, who took the trouble to acquire a full transcript of Bathurst-Norman's summing up, and a vindication of Mr Hoffman's sometimes unappreciated zeal.  The full transcript, which proved that Bathurst-Norman's remarks had been even more scandalous than had been immediately imagined, was publicised by the doughty Mr Hoffman
with the result that the Office of Judicial Complaints received numerous protests over the judge's conduct.
Here's how today's development is reported in the London-based Standpoint magazine (a highly recommended fairly new right-of-centre political journal) by that doyen of law correspondents, Joshua Rozenberg:

Jonathan Hoffman responded to today's news thus: "As a result of this politically biased Judge, thousands of taxpayer pounds have been wasted and the criminals who vandalised the EDO factory walked away scot free. Let the disgracing of this Judge be a lesson to any other Judges who similarly encourage the delegitimisation of Israel. The Judge or magistrate who tries the case of the vandals who committed aggravated trespass at the Ahava shop in London on Saturday must punish them with the full force of the law."

"Hear, hear!" to that!


  1. It's not so sweet, in fact it STINKS that due to that hateful summing up by a prejudiced judge the people consequently can't be retried.

  2. I take your point, Nathan. I should have perhaps called it "bittersweet" - because while it's certainly true that, despite the reprimand, the acquittal that resulted from Bathurt-Norman's bias is not subject to appeal (in English Law acquittals can't be, and the reprimand doesn't have any impact on this), the reprimand surely acts as a deterrent to any future summings up of the kind he used. Plus he's unlikely to be used again.

  3. I had professional contact with George Bathurst-Norman back in the '60s, when he was junior counsel, and always found him to be fair and reasonable, so I was completely shocked when I read of the manner in which he dealt with this case.

    I did not know that he was born in Jaffa, and that his father had some role in the British colonial-style administration of the Mandate.

    There's no doubt that most of the British military and civilian personnel posted out there were prejudiced against the Jews, and there's strong argument that, despite the 1917 Balfour Declaration (which proved to be not worth the paper it was written on), the British did more to sabotage the re-birth of the Jewish state than to foster it. Something of all this must have rubbed off onto this Judge.

  4. I have seen much made of Judge B-N's Jaffa origin, but in fact his father was in the East Africa colonial service, and I have a hunch his birth took place in Jaffa when his mother was en route from East Africa to England (or vice versa). I get the impression that his father's career was based in Kenya and not at any time in Mandate Palestine.

  5. There's a recent whitewash of this case:

    Smash EDO: the inside story of activists' battle against arms giant

    And worse:

    EDO campaign
    Campaigners are planning a summer of protest against the EDO arms factory in Brighton.

    What passes for analysis in this ignorant, lopsided, bigoted country of ours. Note the promise of ongoing "action". And of course the politically-motivated omission of heinous bias.

    1. Many thanks for this alert, Ariadne!


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