As seen in the Courier newspaper (links below) the external walls of the courthouse were plastered with repulsive posters claiming "Israel is a criminal state" and "To criticise Israel is NOT a crime - it is a duty," and in addition a Facebook page calling for Justice for Donnachie has been marred by a number of outright antisemitic comments, including the Ashkenazim-are-Khazars canard and slurs on the Talmud. The blog Harry's Place (http://hurryupharry.org/2011/08/23/drunken-thuggery-is-the-new-political-activism/) has screenshots of some of the worst early offenders.
In March Donnachie entered the room in a hall of residence of exchange student Chanan.Reitblat, from Yeshiva University in New York, with another student, against whom a similar charge was not proven.
The flag had been given to Mr Reitblat by his brother, an IDF soldier, and the incident left the Jewish student feeling "violated and devastated".
Mr Reitblat explained in Court:
"Israel is a Jewish state... You cannot separate Israel from Jewishness... Israel is a state I feel affiliated to by religion....Israel is a land for Jews... The Jewish people have a right to self-determination. That is part of my religious belief."The Sheriff maintained that Donnachie's act was "done because he [Reitblat] was a Jew and because of his association with Israel." He went on:
"Saying that a state is terrorist says that everyone within the state is terrorist. He doesn't distinguish between the state and the people.
Mr Donnachie doesn't distinguish between the government of Israel and the state."He told Donnachie:
"This flag was his personal property. I consider that your behaviour did evince malice towards Mr Reitblat because of his presumed membership of Israel.
I hold that you said, that's a terrorist flag, Israel is a terrorist state, and you are a terrorist.
Section 50A requires malice or ill will towards a person based on their membership of an ethnic group; which includes nationality and association with that group.
It was malice and ill will because of his presumed membership of Israel."Donnachie, who has now been expelled from the university, and on whom the Sheriff deferred sentence until 13 September, intends to appeal his conviction, which he desribed as "ridiculous ... I'm a member of anti-racism campaigns..."
He'd told the Court:
"I'm not contending that my action toward the flag was commendable or dignified, but it was a political expression."At the verdict, the anti-racists (supposedly) of the Scottish PSC booed and shouted in the courtroom and also booed Mr Reitblat as he departed.
Said Mr Reitblat:
"My privacy was invaded in a shocking way. I am Jewish ... and Israel is an important part of my religious belief.
They attacked my beliefs and the behaviour toward me and my property was humiliating.
I welcome today's conviction. I want to thank the St Andrews University authorities for their support during this troubled time.
I also want to thank Fife police and officials at Cupar Sheriff Court."Grumbles the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign:
"The sheriff ... refused to allow Paul's lawyer to call the three expert witnesses to appear. Liz Elkind and Sarah Glynn, both of Scottish Jews for a Just Peace, and SPSC chair Mick Napier were going discuss the dangers of conflating Judaism with Zionism and Israel, the history of Zionist attempts to do so, and the concepts of Israel and Israeli nationality. The sheriff considered this irrelevant because there was nothing they could teach him that common sense wouldn't provide."
Sarah Glynn, visibly upset, reportedly told the Reitblat family (Holocaust survivors who left Lithuania for America when Chanan was two):
"As Jews you should be ashamed. This is devastating."http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/53598/racially-abused-jewish-student-felt-unsafe-st-andrews
I think this has been reported in such a way as to make it a) trivial and b) looking like a Jewish conspiracy. The offense was the deliberate intimidation of a fellow student on an ethnic basis. The Israel/Jewish part is incidental to the charge.ReplyDelete
I suppose the Nazis who forced Jews to scrub pavements were also drunken louts. Is that a defence?
Could you imagine the hysteria if (admittedly improbable) a couple of drunk, aggressive Jews had done the same to an innocent Arab student?
typical lying rubbish on Justice for Paul Donnachie FB wall -ReplyDelete
"no point in trying to rationalise with Zionists because they are not rational people - if they were; they would not take glory in the death of children and build memorials to people who commit genocide."
"Ethiopian, Jamaican, Russian, Ukrainian, Iraqi, Arab etc - these Zionist would have us believe that they are all one race! NO? Then get off your high effing horse and stop crying about Paul being racist! Because all of the above make up Jews who reside within Israel! So how the eff is wiping his gonads on that filthy. Cloth racist? I would like to wipe my arse on it but I could not stomach holding it knowing how many women and children have been murdered by it!"
"I'll tell you what is bigotry; bigotry is calling a 'country' (with a very small c) a 'jewish' state"
Indeed, the ignorance and willful smearings of Israel and "Zionists" has to be seen to be believed, Anon. It really reveals alot about the PSC-supporting types, doesn't it. Here's one that caught my eye, on the theme you've described:ReplyDelete
"I understand there are many Zionist trolls on this page; cry, whine, scream all you want - I smile everytime I hear a zionist cry like a bitch about a few kids throwing stones at a evil entity which only exists to kill babies."
I wonder if the person who wrote the third comment has a problem with states calling themselves Islamic.
I always wonder if these people are so hateful because they lack historical knowledge, or because they are just full blown Jewhaters. Maybe it's a combination.
I'm always amazed when I see those comments. They act like they are in danger. Like they could be attacked by 'Zionists' any moment.
Wishing you all a nice day, Sophie
Incidentally, I believe the Facebook page referred to has since been taken down.ReplyDelete
disgusting behavour if true http://news.stv.tv/scotland/tayside/267240-students-called-jewish-colleague-a-terrorist-and-violated-israeli-flag/ReplyDelete
He said: "Paul noticed the flag and said 'Israel is a terrorist state' and that the flag was a 'terrorist symbol'. He then said I was a terrorist.
"Paul then unbuckled his trousers, put his hand down there, ripped out some pubic hair then wiped his hand on my flag. Sam did the same.
"I was shocked and tried to get them to leave. Paul went outside and was yelling but Sam stopped and urinated in my sink and on my property."
Mr Reitblat said the following afternoon he logged on to Facebook to find a series of posts by Donnachie branding him a "zionist" and proclaiming "victory to the Intifada".
He said: "The Intifada is the targeted killing of Israeli civilians by terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza. I found that to be very threatening."
He said he believed the pair were engaging in "an attempt to attack my religious, political and national affiliations."
Mr Reitblat later found a letter from Donnachie slipped under the door of his halls which read: "Firstly, I'd like to make it clear this is not an apology for what I think about Israel, which I consider to be illegitimate and murderous."
It continued: "On a lighter note you will like to know that my balls did not make contact with your flag - any ball flag contact was made by proxy with my left hand which acted as a very efficient middle man."
Thanks, Felicity, but it's important to note that the case against Sam was "not proven".ReplyDelete