This is a guest post by Jonathan Hoffman
Q: Suppose there are seven people in England who break into a factory and cause £180,000 ($275,000) of damage. They admit their crime of criminal damage. What would be their sentence?
A: It depends. Usually they would be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison. But if the factory is making goods that help Israel to defend its citizens, the seven walk free.
Melanie Phillips’ new (critically-acclaimed) book is called “The World Turned Upside-Down”. As if to prove her point, seven self-confessed criminals walked free this week from a Court in Hove, England – and the local MP praised the decision! The seven broke into the EDO MBM armaments factory in January 2009 at the time of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. The factory was exporting military equipment to Israel. After being effectively directed to acquit them by the Judge, George Bathurst-Norman, the Jury duly obliged, accepting their defence that although they had committed a crime, they were doing so in order to prevent the greater offence of Israeli “war crimes”. In his summing-up, Bathurst-Norman made no bones about his ill-informed political prejudices, saying (according to The Guardian) “You may well think that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans suffered in that time.”
The local MP (Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion) weighed in to support the defendants: ‘The judge highlighted the testimony by Lucas that “all democratic paths had been exhausted” before the activists embarked on their action.’
Yesterday the ridiculous Lucas said she was “absolutely delighted” that the activists had been cleared. She is well on the way to assuming the mantle of resident “Westminster Loony” from George Galloway who was defeated in May’s election. Because Lucas has history - as some of you will know. She blamed Israel for the Mumbai massacre. and she and her Green Party want an antisemitic boycott of Israeli goods:
And it turns out that Bathurst-Norman also has history. As Yisroel Medad points out, he was born in Yaffo.
Could this be a case of “Judge with a grudge”?
And why was Bathchair-Nobrain “brought out of retirement” to try this case?
And what was the role of Brighton Palestine Solidarity Campaign and resident Trotskyite anti-Zionist Tony Greenstein? (of whom Oliver Kamm said “he’s a fantastic ignoramus”).
The decision takes delegitimisation of Israel in the UK to new levels. Not only can you freely trash Israeli goods in a supermarket, practice antisemitism at a British University and get an arrest warrant for an Israeli visiting the UK, you can now break into a factory making exports to Israel and lay waste to the production machinery.
Many people disagree profoundly with Caroline Lucas’ racist demonisation of Israel. Presumably they now have carte-blanche to smash up her house and her property.
Truly this is “A World Turned Upside Down” ……..
PS Please complain about this Judge
POSTSCRIPT According to this week’s JC, the Judge in his summing-up said of one of the defendants (Christopher Osmond):
The jury may feel his efforts investigating the company merit the George Cross.