April 22, 2013

Tribunal didn't understand the "new antisemitism" claims Ronnie Fraser

I'm guessing that Ronnie Fraser's lawyer, Anthony Julius, is still on the missing list because poor Ron is being a bit of a loose cannon regarding the FUCU judgment.  This time he's talking to the Times of Israel.
In an interview with Times of Israel, Fraser says he was “saddened” by the decision, but three weeks on is stoical, buoyed by a stream of supportive messages from around the world.

He lost, he says, because the judges did not clearly understand what anti-Semitism is, particularly the “new anti-Semitism” which seeks to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state, not just the Jewish people. Those who believe that Israel is not “intrinsically a part of Jewishness” probably do not understand Jewish heritage, he says. The problem is that there is no definition of anti-Semitism enshrined in British law.
Now the judges clearly addressed the fact that there is "no definition of antisemitism enshrined in British law".    They even addressed the fact that there was no definition of antisemitism agreed by everyone on Ronnie Fraser's own side.
51... Among the vast field of witnesses on the Claimant’s side, there was an interesting spread of opinions on where the line is, or should be, drawn. So, to take one of many examples, Mr Whine of the Community Security Trust, an organisation which provides security, training and advice for British Jews, did not consider that comparisons between Israel and apartheid South Africa were inherently anti-Semitic, whereas the Claimant did.
The Tribunal also found that the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, John Mann MP, couldn't seem to define antisemitism with regard to the Israel/Palestine conflict either.
148....when it came to antiSemitism in the context of debate about the Middle East, he [John Mann MP] announced, “It’s clear to me where the line is …” but unfortunately eschewed the opportunity to locate it for us.
The Tribunal "did not derive assistance from" former MP Denis MacShane either.
For Dr MacShane, it seemed that all answers lay in the MacPherson Report (the effect of which he appeared to misunderstand)
Actually, for MacPherson see this post by Gabriel Ash.

So instead the Tribunal looked at the basis for Fraser's complaint:
11 By a claim form presented on 25 August 2011 the Claimant sues the Respondents for harassment based on his protected characteristics of race (Jewish) and religion or belief (Jewish). Many of the allegations relied on featured in Mr Julius’s letter of 3 June 2008, but more recent matters are also pleaded.
Now harassment based on protected characteristics of Jews used to be known as antisemitism or anti-Jewish racism but as we have seen, even Zionists can't agree on what constitutes antisemitism so we're left with harassment based on protected characteristics.  I know I've covered this many times but I enjoy it so much and it is very important because it blows away Zionist definitions of antisemitism so let's see what the Tribunal says about those "protected characteristics" of Jews:
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.
And now let's look at the logic poor Ron deploys to criticise the judgment and what he thinks must now be done to win a future case:
“If I was to call you a dirty Jew, the police could take action. If I call you a Zionist and a racist, they won’t – it’s deemed to be political discourse. But Zionist is a substitute word for Jew.”
One lesson from the trial, he believes, is that the community must set, publicize and insist on its own definition of anti-Semitism – a challenge he is willing to take on himself. It must also reclaim the narrative of Israel being central to a Jewish identity.
“We have to define it as Jews, for ourselves. We can’t let other people define what Jews are,” he says.
So Ron has decided that anyone referring to zionists must be referring to Jews.  He then goes on to say that zionist Jews like himself must be the ones to define who is a Jew and that Jews must be defined as Zionists.  But that problem has already been addressed in the judgment.  Look again:
belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel.........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.
So even if Ron succeeded in having Jews redefined as people who support the "Zionist project" or have an "attachment to [the State of] Israel" he still couldn't claim that as a "protected characteristic".  This is abundantly clear in the judgment.  This is what leads me to believe that he may not be the "sincere witness" the judgment says he is or his lawyer, Anthony Julius isn't around to explain these things to him.  But then when it comes to defining characteristics or "sub-characteristics" of Jews, the Tribunal did say "we remain uncertain as to Mr Julius’s position on this point."

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