March 30, 2013

From the antisemitism card to the technicality card Sarah AB does Pavlov's Dog

Harry's Place keeps disappearing lately but it's up at the moment and Sarah Annes Brown was up very early this morning to misrepresent the report of the Unemployment Tribunal in the case of Fraser vs University and College Union (UCU).

Despite being deeply interested in the result of Ronnie’s Fraser’s case, I expected the ruling itself to be rather dry, with the result hinging on precedents set by case law.  While fully sharing the concerns which motivated the many other witnesses, and Ronnie himself, to pursue this case, I realized that the tribunal would have to judge it according to various quite technical criteria.
To some degree, of course, this has been the case – one very simple count against Ronnie Fraser was that several of the incidents he referred to were deemed out of time. There is also a long discussion of issues such as ‘vicarious liability’, as part of a determination as to whether UCU could be held responsible for the effects on members of actions carried out, not just by paid employees, but by, for example, the NEC.  My response to the (hugely disappointing) result would have been rather different if the ruling had limited itself to such matters.
However the later parts of the ruling went beyond these technical issues, and were less dry – and less dispassionate.  
What a bizarre way of saying that they were totally wiped out by the Tribunal.

Here's the actual judgment again just to show that it was the substantive arguments which lost the case and the technical issues came, literally, second:
(1) The Claimant's complaints of unlawful harassment are not well-founded.
(2) Save in so far as they are based on acts or omissions which occurred on or after 26 May 2011, the Claimant's complaints of unlawful harassment are in any event outside the Tribunal's jurisdiction.
(3) Accordingly, the proceedings are dismissed.
Now I was up very late last night predicting that she would play the technicality card. She'd already trailed it on twitter and what else could she do? Even I am surprised at her brazenness though.

Here's what I said in my previous post:
It's not just Ben Cohen trying to make out that this was something technical rather than an utter humiliation for Israel lobbyists and hobbyists in the UK.  Sarah Annes Brown of Harry's Place tweeted thus:
She also trailed (and I predicted) the Masuku affair as some kind of deal breaker proving that the UCU is antisemitic:
I responded to that one here:
Curiously she didn't try that bogus linkage in her post.  But, helpfully, she did go into some detail about what it was that got Masuku on the wrong end of hate speech procedings:

“…as we struggle to liberate Palestine from the racists, fascists and Zionists who belong to the era of their Friend Hitler! We must not apologise, every Zionist must be made to drink the bitter medicine they are feeding our brothers and sisters in Palestine. We must target them, expose them and do all that is needed to subject them to perpetual suffering until they withdraw from the land of others and stop their savage attacks on human dignity…”.
“If the offices of the Zionist Federation and that loud-mouthed Rabbi and his SABJD were in town we would have marched there. All we wanted, as we still want to target are all who represent evil and suffering, whether its companies, individuals, offices, etc. We are working on identifying them now. It’s a pity if they are in residential areas, which unfortunately will not deter us. No one must enjoy peace while supporting and promoting the suffering of others, so goes our believe and we shall enforce it to its fullest.”
It's clear that Masuku is targeting zionists here, not Jews as Jews, though he was found (or claimed) to have said in an email, "Jews are arrogant" but that was after the events complained of.

This hate speech charge may well have failed in the UK but let's just remind ourselves of what the Tribunal said about zionists seeking legal redress for offending against zionism:
150 It seems to us that a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel or any similar sentiment cannot amount to a protected characteristic. It is not intrinsically a part of Jewishness and, even if it was, it could not be substituted for the pleaded characteristics, which are race and religion or belief. Accordingly, if and in so far as the Claimant seeks to base his claim on what might be termed a sub-characteristic (we are bound to say that we remain uncertain as to Mr Julius's position on this point), we find that it is not open to him to do so. A separate matter, which we will address in relation to the individual claims, is whether the treatment complained of, or any of it, was 'related to' his Jewish race or his Jewish religion or belief.
The plain fact is that Ronnie Fraser and Anthony Julius's case against the UCU, like Sarah AB's post at Harry's Place, was totally bogus.  The technical side like the Masuku affair is a mere figleaf for an attempt at silencing criticism of the last of the colonial settler states, the State of Israel.

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