Thursday, March 16, 2017

UK: Anti-Semites are becoming bolder in Britain, and that should worry us all

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Anti-Semitism:
Today in Britain, it is practically impossible for a Jewish layperson to achieve a prosecution for an anti-Semitic hate crime. I see you raising an eyebrow, so I will explain.

Recently my charity was approached by a non-Jewish lady who had been mistaken for a Jew and consequently borne the brunt of unsolicited threats and abuse whilst minding her own business in a busy public place. As a non-Jew, she expected that her abuser would be swiftly investigated and prosecuted. Unfortunately victims of anti-Semitism experience a very different reality, as she soon found out.

But the Chairman of Campaign Against Anti-Semitism would have no such difficulty, you might think. It is certainly what I thought. Let me tell you my story. On 4th July 2015, neo-Nazis planned to march through Golders Green, the heart of Jewish London, during the Jewish Sabbath. That was unacceptable to the Met, so they proposed confining the neo-Nazi “anti Jewification” march to the memorial at the centre of Golders Green to those who died fighting the Nazis.

Only when we threatened a large counterprotest which threatened to cause traffic problems did the Met decide to move the neo-Nazis to a kettling pen in Westminster. I decided to go along and see what they had to say. Most did their best to stay within the law on incitement, which meant that their speeches were angry, rants against an unspecified “you know who”, but when Jeremy Bedford-Turner took the mic, he felt no constraints.

Even his audience of neo-Nazi thugs seemed surprised by his candour as he intoned that “...all politicians are nothing but a bunch of puppets dancing to a Jewish tune, and the ruling regimes in the West for the last one hundred years have danced to the same tune.”
Evoking medieval libels which claimed that Jews drank the blood of non-Jewish children, Bedford-Turner told his followers, that the French Revolution and both World Wars were massacres perpetrated by Jews. He concluded that England was “merry” during the period of the expulsion of Jews from England and concluded with a call to “free England from Jewish control.”

This is out-and-out incitement of the kind that is criminalised because history shows us where it leads. I reported Bedford-Turner’s speech to the police, and presented them with the video the neo-Nazis had helpfully placed online. Most Jewish people would at this point encounter apathy from the Met. Perhaps because I run a national charity which works with Downing Street and the Home Office, and because my evidence was incontrovertible, the case was passed straight to the Crown Prosecution Service’s counterterrorism division. And that is where the trail went cold.

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