September 27, 2011

Israel lobby UK - again

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that an Israel advocacy group in the UK can get a Palestinian put away in the UK and possibly deported from the UK but this Guardian article by David Hearst did surprise me when I first saw it.

The home secretary, Theresa May, was warned by senior officials in the UK Border Agency not to deport a Palestinian activist accused of antisemitism, saying the evidence against him was disputed, open to legal challenge and that the case was "very finely balanced".
Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement, who has been in Britain, in prison and on bail since his arrest three months ago, will appeal against his deportation before an immigration and asylum tribunal on Monday.
Emails seen by the Guardian, show that May was determined to find a reason to exclude Salah, before the evidence against him had been verified.
Just 17 minutes after receiving a report on the activist, prepared by Michael Whine of the Community Security Trust, a UK charity monitoring antisemitism, Faye Johnson, private secretary to the home secretary, emailed about a parliamentary event Salah was due to attend.
"Is there anything that we can do to prevent him from attending (eg could we exclude him on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour?)" she wrote. Whine's report said Salah's record of provocative statements carried a risk that his presence in the UK could have "a radicalising impact" on his audiences.
The whole case against Raed Salah, apart from the fact that he is a Palestinian (with Israeli citizenship) critic of Israel revolves around a load of disputed quotes.
Salah's legal team say the quotes he is alleged to have said and written were doctored to make them sound antisemitic. There is no suggestion that CST doctored the quotes.
Ok, that's nice. The CST can get a guy banned or imprisoned then deported but, oh no, it doesn't doctor quotes.

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