March 30, 2013

UCU Tribunal: And what of Anthony Julius? Now you see him now you don't

The Jewish Chronicle is down at the moment, like the rest of the zionist movement, you might say.  No really, the JC can't be accessed at the moment but the cache is still in place.  The JC ran a few articles on the action against the UCU by Ronnie Fraser but it has only run one about the disastrous result.

Here's the last one before the result was published:

Judgment in UCU tribunal due next year

By Marcus Dysch, November 22, 2012
Anthony Julius
Anthony Julius
A Jewish academic who says his union has not done enough to challenge antisemitism “deliberately misled” an employment tribunal, the union’s lawyer has claimed.
Ronnie Fraser was accused, by Antony White QC, of making around a dozen unreliable claims against the University and College Union.
The tribunal ended on Friday after evidence was presented from around 30 witnesses during the past three weeks. Its final session ended with the two sides’ legal representatives clashing over the reliability of those called to give evidence.
Mr Fraser’s lawyer, Anthony Julius of Mishcon de Reya, said he was “not going to rubbish the UCU’s witnesses in a retaliatory coup”, but said the approach taken by Matt Waddup, the union’s head of campaigns, to deal with antisemitism had been “extraordinary”.
Giving his closing statements at London Central Employment Tribunal, Mr White also accused Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Jeremy Newmark of lying four times in his witness statement, exaggerating evidence, and “wriggling like a fish on a hook under cross-examination”.
Mr Newmark had told the tribunal that at the union’s congress in 2008 he had been “targeted” by UCU officials who saw he was wearing a kippah and stopped him entering the conference hall. Mr White said the allegations were “simply false”.
Mr White also criticised Mr Julius, saying he had failed to put a number of allegations raised by Mr Fraser’s witnesses to the UCU’s witnesses when they were cross-examined. The UCU’s actions had been similar to those of a number of other unions and organisations which debated boycott motions, said Mr White. He argued that Mr Fraser had been a “player in the debate”.
In his own closing submission Mr Julius said the witnesses speaking on behalf of Mr Fraser had been presented because of the importance of having “a record of the issues, not because we think that the issues will be resolved in these proceedings by catching out one side or the other in a misremembered fact or event”.
Mr Julius said the union had “demonstrated an institutional incapacity to approach the issue of antisemitism appropriately and effectively”, and that Mr Fraser was seeking compensation “for injury to feelings” as the victim of harassment.
Tribunal chairman Anthony Snelson said the panel would meet for three days in the second half of January and again in February or March to review the evidence and prepare its judgment —which is not expected to be delivered before April 2013.

And here's the one from after the result was published:

A blistering rejection of pro-Israel activist Ronnie Fraser's case against the academic union, UCU, was published on Seder night by a London employment tribunal.
In a 49-page ruling, the Employment Judge, AM Snelson, sitting with Mr A Grant and Lady Sedley, rejected Mr Fraser's claims of unlawful harassment by the UCU, and dismissed the entire proceedings.
The reserved judgment was issued in respect of nearly three weeks of hearings which took place in October and November last year. In a stern rebuke in the conclusion of the judgment, Judge Snelson wrote: "Lessons should be learned from this sorry saga. We greatly regret that the case was ever brought. At heart, it represents an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means...What makes this litigation doubly regrettable is its gargantuan scale."
The judge rebuked the litigants, saying "the Employment Tribunals are a hard-pressed public service and it is not right that their limited resources should be squandered as they have been."
Although the tribunal said that Mr Fraser had impressed them "as a sincere witness" with "nothing synthetic about his displays of emotion", there were harsh words for several others who gave evidence during the hearing, particularly the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, Jeremy Newmark, whose testimony was rejected as untrue.
Two MPs - one has since resigned from Parliament - were also criticised for giving "glib evidence, appearing supremely confident of the rightness of their positions... Both parliamentarians clearly enjoyed making speeches. Neither seemed at ease with the idea of being required to answer a question not to his liking."
No mention of Julius, no picture of Julius, no smile from Julius. And the earlier report didn't even mention what the Tribunal report did mention about him. The fact that might be of interest to readers of the Jewish Chronicle. Let's see that report again:

Complaint (10): The letter before action of 1 July 2011 and UCU's response

136 By the letter before action, Mr Julius charged the Respondents with harassing the Claimant. It was said that the union was not a place that was hospitable to Jews and that the union's treatment of the Claimant was not merely a violation of equality legislation but also a scandal. Reference was made to correspondence going back to 2008, the boycott motions, the management of the Activists List, the Bongani Masuku affair and other matters. It was said that the union was institutionally anti-Semitic and that the decision most recently taken to abandon the Working Definition was just the most recent of many "insults". That motion was characterised as a choice to legislate anti-Semitism out of existence. The letter continued in similar unbridled fashion and culminated in the demand for the abrogation of Motion 70 of 2011, an open an unqualified acknowledgment that the union had been guilty of institutional anti-Semitism coupled with a public apology, a commitment to abide by a code of conduct in respect of its Jewish members to be drawn up by a body comprising individuals approved by the Claimant and a further commitment to sponsor a programme (for a minimum of 10 years and conducted by that same body) educating academics about the dangers of anti-Semitism, "with special reference to the relationship between anti-Semitism and what now passes for 'anti-Zionism".

137 By a letter of 13 July the Respondents replied. They began by noting that the text of the letter before action had already been published on the internet in the Jewish Chronicle (whose Chairman Mr Julius was and is). They expressed regret that the Claimant considered himself to have been harassed but firmly dismissed the complaints and promised that any litigation would be strongly resisted. Points were made concerning the constraints on the union arising from its democratic obligations to its members. Attention was drawn to the Claimant's right to pursue matters of complaint through the Respondents' internal procedures but his right to litigate was also fully acknowledged.
See that?  Anthony Julius is Chairman of the Jewish Chronicle.  He managed to get a letter before action published there before it had been sent to its intended recipients.  And yet now the JC doesn't even mention his role in the biggest disaster to befall the zionist movement in the UK that anyone can remember.

The report has a whole lot more to say about Anthony Julius, the pick of which has been ably covered by the New Left Project.

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