Thursday, July 8, 2010

Anti-Semitic juries in the UK may start decriminalising crimes committed against Israeli interests


by  Robin Shepherd


The eminent Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz frequently provides a useful analogy about Israel's predicament in the tribunals of international law. It is analogous, he argues, to the position that black people faced in the American south of the 1930s. The legal system would work fine in judging a case between a white man and another white man. A black man facing another black man may get a lesser degree of justice due to the insouciance of the system, but a reasonable degree of fairness could still be expected. Put a white man against a black man, however, and the black man never stood a chance due to the weight of the prejudices against him.

Dershowitz's analogy is powerful and striking. But a decision taken in a British court this week suggests that analogies with America in the 1930s are no longer necessary. Bigotry against the Jewish state is now so entrenched in contemporary British society that juries have begun to acquit criminals merely if they can show that they acted against Israeli interests. No other defence is necessary.

This extraordinary moment in modern British legal history took place this week in the southern English coastal city of Brighton — a city known for its strong affiliations with the Green Party and other leftist causes. It transpired in a case involving five defendants who had broken into the EDO MBM owned arms factory in January 2009 at the time of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

The five admitted breaking into the factory — which was exporting military equipment at the time to Israel — and causing £180,000 ($275,000) worth of damage. Despite actually admitting to an offence that would usually carry a substantial jail sentence, the jury acquitted them, accepting their defence that although they had committed a crime they were doing so in order to prevent the greater offence of Israeli "war crimes".

The Judge in the case, George Bathurst-Norman, was quite explicit in his summing up for the jury in encouraging them to employ their political prejudices against Israel in their decision:

"You may well think that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans suffered in that time," the Guardian quoted him as saying.

As the Guardian goes on to say: "The judge highlighted the testimony by Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, that "all democratic paths had been exhausted" before the activists embarked on their action."

What we have here is yet another example of how the hysterical campaign against the state of Israel is not merely resulting in gross injustice against the Middle East's only western-style democracy, it is undermining western-style democracy at home.

Bigotry does not merely cause pain and suffering to its victims, it degrades its perpetrators from within. The rule of law itself is now under threat in Great Britain, and judges and juries are applauding as it goes.


 Robin Shepherd

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With great respect, that headline is grossly unfair to we British who support Israel. The dhimmi judge ORDERED the jury to find those animals not guilty!!!!!!!!!

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