April 05, 2013

Zionists start to realise UCU case was "act of epic folly"

Wow!  That's a welcome statement.  The Jewish Chronicle reported on the "blistering rejection" of the zionists' case by the Employment Tribunal hearing of Fraser v University and College Union shortly after the judgment was published.  Well now it has three articles, one factual and two by David Hirsh, here and here.  I think the factual one will be on the front page of the print edition later today.

I assume most of the facts are known about the outcome and the withering remarks about the zionists' case in the Tribunal's report so I'll just cut to the interesting bits in this latest JC report:
One lawyer active in Jewish affairs, Jonathan Goldberg QC, commented: “This enormous but legally flawed lawsuit was an act of epic folly by all concerned which will negatively impact our community for a long time to come. You only bring such showcase litigation if you are certain to win.” [I think he's calling everyone on the zionists' side in this case an idiot]
The chairman of UK Lawyers for Israel, Jonathan Turner, also questioned the wisdom of bringing the action. “I had deep misgivings and feared it would fail,” he said. But he called it “a reverse, not a disaster”, suggesting that lessons could be learned on “which cases to fight and how”.[I should have thought where would be a better question than how.  In fact that might be what he meant.  The forensic environment is no place to for the supporters of ethnic cleansing war criminals to be accusing their detractors of racism.]
Anthony Julius, of solicitors Mishcon de Reya, who had represented Mr Fraser, was unavailable for comment this week. [The ET noted that he is the JC's Chair.  I wonder where they looked to find him.  Perhaps he'll never be found again.]
Board vice-president Jonathan Arkush, who is a lawyer, said that “many aspects of this ruling surprised and disappointed me, not least the suggestion that the case was brought for a political end. A trade union member who feels that he is the victim of racial harassment or antisemitism is surely entitled to bring a claim without being labelled as politically motivated.” [The problem with this argument is that Fraser was happy to use the union procedures to fight Palestine solidarity activism. It was only when he lost he turned to the courts.  If he thought Palestine solidarity activism was racially harassing him, he should have gone to law when the activism began, not when it won results]
The tribunal stated that a belief in Zionism or attachment to Israel was “not intrinsically a part of Jewishness” and was not an aspect that could be protected under equality law. [How could zionism be "intrinsically a part of Jewishness?  That would mean there were no Jews until zionism was invented]
Eric Moonman, co-president of the Zionist Federation, said that this was a “wrong and worrying interpretation. It presents a very real issue for a different campaign to make sure there is an accepted definition of Jewishness which highlights the integral nature of Israel to Jews.”  [And what about the Palestinians?]
Mr Fraser had argued that a succession of anti-Israel resolutions passed by the union’s annual congress, and the resulting incidents, had created an inhospitable climate for Jews.
But the tribunal said that while he may have found certain comments upsetting, they did not amount to harassment in the legal sense.
While the panel found him a “sincere” witness, it contrasted his “down-to-earth style” with the “magnificent prose” in which his lawyers had couched his case.[So he was sincere in the witness box but not necessarily elsewhere. I think the WT felt sorry for him]
Although some of Mr Fraser’s witnesses were “impressive”, the tribunal was highly critical of others, saying they were “more disposed to score points or play to the gallery”.[I'm just leaving this paragraph in for fun]
Evidence that Jewish speakers were jeered and harassed at union congresses was found to be “false”, while JLC chief executive Jeremy Newmark’s cited reason for his exclusion from a UCU meeting was “untrue”. [same again, here just for fun. oh and still no word from him]
The tribunal panel was also unimpressed with the “glib evidence” of MP John Mann and former MP Denis MacShane, key figures in the All-Party Parliamentary Campaign against Antisemitism.[Which hopefully will have the effect of blowing apart their silly All-Party Parliamentary Campaign to prevent criticism of Israel.]
Mr Fraser said that, while naturally “disappointed” at the outcome, he would continue to campaign as a member of the Board of Deputies “to accept a definition of Jewishness which includes a connection with Israel”.[Hmm, this needs to be opposed]
Human rights lawyer Adam Wagner said that the argument that attachment to Israel was not an intrinsic part of Jewishness could be an issue to raise in appeal. [yeah let'em try]
“However, even if an appeal was successful on the legal points, it would still be difficult to overcome the very significant factual findings — the claimant needs to show that there was harassment in his case.[and that the harassment related to his being Jewish.  Also check out the "significant factual findings.  They blew the case away without any consideration of the law]
“Perhaps even more problematic would be persuading an appeal court to wade into the vexed and arguable political — that is, not legal — question of whether anti-Zionism can plausibly amount to racism.[of course it can't, au contraire!]
Given the court’s comments about this ‘sorry saga’, this may be the last we hear of that argument for some time.”
Now it would be nice to think that that last paragraph was a suggestion that zionists refrain from making bogus allegations of antisemitism but remember I said there were two articles in the paper by David Hirsh, here and here, so they aren't putting bogus allegations to bed just yet.  They're just going to be careful to pick "which cases to fight and how".

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