Ofcom has warned the BBC for its “serious editorial misjudgement” over its abominable Oxford Street coverage, attacking the BBC’s failures over the course of “eight weeks” which were “causing significant distress and anxiety to the victims of the attack, and to the wider Jewish community”.

The result vindicates formal complaints by CAA and others, which also led to CAA holding a demonstration outside BBC Broadcasting House and calls for a Parliamentary inquiry into the way that the BBC handles complaints relating to antisemitism by the JC and others.

Whilst finding that the BBC did not technically breach the Broadcasting Code, Ofcom warned the BBC: “in our view, the BBC made a serious editorial misjudgment by not reporting on air at any point that the claim it had made in the news broadcast was disputed, once the new evidence emerged. This was particularly the case given that the BBC was aware that its news broadcast and online article were causing significant distress and anxiety to the victims of the attack, and to the wider Jewish community.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Almost a year after the BBC’s abominable coverage of an antisemitic incident on Oxford Street, Ofcom has seen what every viewer and reader of the BBC’s coverage could but which the BBC itself refused to accept: its reportage added insult to the injury already inflicted on the victims and the Jewish community and abysmally failed to meet the most basic editorial standards. Ofcom’s decision today begins to undo that insult.

“Sadly, the BBC’s stonewalling is exactly what British Jews have come to expect from our public broadcaster. Now that Ofcom has warned the BBC after the BBC disgracefully failed to uphold our complaints against it, it has become clear as day that a Parliamentary inquiry into the BBC focusing on its coverage of issues relating to Jews is warranted, and we have joined the Jewish Chronicle and others calling for one.”

Earlier this year, the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) largely dismissed complaints by Campaign Against Antisemitism and other Jewish community charities over its coverage of the antisemitic Oxford Street incident late last year. The broadcasting regulator Ofcom then announced that it would investigate.

On the first night of the Jewish festival of Chanukah, Jewish teenagers who were celebrating on Oxford Street were attacked by a group of men who hurled antisemitic abuse at them, forcing them to retreat to their bus. The men, who appeared to be of Middle Eastern heritage, proceeded to hit the vehicle with their hands and then their shoes, spitting on it, trying to break windows and performing Hitler salutes. The victims filmed part of the attack.

In its coverage of the incident, the BBC reported that the explicit expressions of antisemitism evident in the footage were merely “allegations”, and simultaneously claimed — alone among all media outlets — that “some racial slurs about Muslims can also be heard from inside the bus,” an assertion made with no evidence to support it and which was even contradicted in the BBC’s own article by a witness from the bus who said that she heard no such slurs. It was also subsequently contradicted by independent audio analysis.

On its BBC London Evening News, the BBC even suggested that “it’s not clear what role [the supposed slurs] may have had in the incident.” After public fury, the BBC amended the article to refer to an “anti-Muslim slur” in the singular, but failed to show any evidence why a supposed slur that nobody could hear with certainty was described as “clearly heard” and reported as fact — and even implied to have been a cause of the antisemitic harassment — while the harassment itself remained mere “allegation”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism and others submitted complaints to the BBC, and we held a rally outside Broadcasting House in London, attended by hundreds of protestors, to deliver the message: “BBC News: Stop Blaming Jews!” Lord Grade, a former Chairman of the BBC and now the Chairman of Ofcom, told Podcast Against Antisemitism that the BBC’s reportage was “shoddy journalism” and called for answers in a video supporting the rally, which was endorsed also by Dame Maureen Lipman.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has joined the JC in calling for a Parliamentary inquiry following growing communal concerns regarding the Corporation.

Polling that we conducted last year for our Antisemitism Barometer revealed that two thirds of British Jews are deeply concerned by the BBC’s coverage of matters of Jewish concern, and 55% by its handling of antisemitism complaints. These figures reflect years of eroding confidence in the BBC on the part of the Jewish community.

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected]

Image credit: Nathan Lilienfeld

Campaign Against Antisemitism has joined the JC in calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the BBC.

The public petition, launched by the JC, was prompted by growing communal concerns regarding the Corporation.

Polling that we conducted in 2020 for our Antisemitism Barometer revealed that two thirds of British Jews were deeply concerned by the BBC’s coverage of matters of Jewish concern, and 55% by its handling of antisemitism complaints. It is likely that these figures would be even higher if polled today.

The petition highlights the BBC’s appalling coverage of an antisemitic incident on Oxford Street over Chanukah last year, when a group of Jewish teenagers celebrating the festival were accosted by racist thugs who forced them back onto their bus and began hitting the vehicle with their hands and then their shoes, spitting on it, trying to break windows and performing Nazi salutes, as well as shouting antisemitic insults and swearing, as one such example.

In response, Campaign Against Antisemitism announced a “BBC News: Stop Blaming Jews!” protest outside the BBC’s headquarters at Broadcasting House, which was endorsed by Lord Grade and Dame Maureen Lipman.

In addition, the JC also highlighted the BBC’s repeated platforming of the inflammatory broadcaster Abdel Bari Atwan. 

In September, Campaign Against Antisemitism announced that we were submitting a complaint to the BBC regarding Mr Atwan’s inflammatory comments.

It was also reported that Mr Atwan defended Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ remark that Israel has committed “50 Holocausts” and his refusal to condemn the 1972 Munich Olympics terror attack on Israeli athletes. 

In 2007, Atwan is reported to have said: “If Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.” In 2010, it is claimed that Atwan told an audience at the London School of Economics that “the Jewish lobby… [is] endangering the whole world”.

Earlier this year, Campaign Against Antisemitism visited Broadcasting House to tell the Corporation to “switch off the Jew-hate”.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The BBC’s handling of its coverage of the attack on Jewish children last Chanukah and its platforming of various deeply concerning individuals are among recent examples of the failure to fix the BBC’s problem with the Jewish community. That is why we have been at the forefront of efforts to hold the BBC to account and why we are joining with the JC on this important initiative. As a publicly funded organisation, the BBC should welcome Parliamentary scrutiny of its poor performance.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].

Ofcom has put the television channel Ahlebait TV on notice following its breach of hate speech regulations.

The media watchdog made the ruling against Ahlebait TV, which offers “current affairs and entertainment programming with an Islamic perspective”, following a complaint from CST.

The breach occurred on an edition of the programme 20th Hour entitled Money Power, Islam and a Just Order in March of last year when David Pidcock, one of the guests on the programme, said: “This is why the Jews have been expelled from 47 different countries and city-states in the last 1,000 years and as they recognise…their antisemitism comes from their actions of impoverishing people and they then respond and then they call it antisemitism but we know that it’s because they do and they get punished and as Allah says, you know, he will expel [sentence incomplete] – send them to all corners of the world to be an excoriation and a hissing and a booing to wherever he had sent them.”

Following this comment, fellow guest Clive Menzies remarked that “It’s worth just noting that antisemitism was created by Theodor Herzl at the back end of the nineteenth century in order to frighten and create the circumstances that would encourage Jews to migrate to Israel so antisemitism is actually a Jewish creation”. 

Ofcom stated that it “considered these breaches to be serious and therefore we are putting the Licensee on notice that we will consider them for the imposition of a statutory sanction.”

Ofcom has decided against the broadcaster LBC after one of its reporters repeatedly described Israel’s Embassy to the UK as the “Jewish embassy”.

In a report on the radio channel on 15th May 2021, during the antisemitic genocidal terrorist organisation Hamas’s war with Israel, LBC covered one of numerous anti-Israel protests in London, providing coverage over a four-hour period over the course of the afternoon.

Opening the report, the reporter, on the ground, said: “About 40 metres down the road from me is the gates to the Jewish Embassy but between me and them is a sea of protestors. Thousands are down this street with lots and lots of different signs, ‘free Palestine’, ‘long live Palestine’, ‘free Gaza’, and hundreds of Palestinian flags being waved as well. Protestors have climbed up on to the walls of the nearby hotel and about ten of them are on top of a bus stop as well. There is a huge amount of people down here at the moment. It started at Hyde Park Corner at twelve o’clock and then walked all the way here to the Jewish Embassy. Ben Jamal was the Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He told me he wants the protest to stay peaceful”.

Ben Jamal was interviewed, saying: “We believe that everyone has equal rights and we believe in principles of freedom, truth, justice, and equality. Those are the principles and firm anti-racist principles that inform why we are marching. And we ask everybody to respect that. Everybody will know when you bring ten, twenty, thirty thousand people on the streets, you will have a few individuals who don’t respect those principles. We ask them to, that’s in their responsibility to adhere to that.”

The reporter then noted: “The Jewish Embassy’s gates are closed. There are lots of police officers outside it. In front of the main gate is a stage where this protest is being conducted from. And the Israeli Embassy sent me a statement which says, ‘Hamas is a radical terrorist organisation that fires rockets indiscriminately on civilian populations. Their charter calls for the establishment of an Islamic state instead of Israel. It is regrettable to see citizens of a democratic country giving legitimacy to such an organisation and its violent actions. Unfortunately, over the last week we’ve seen an incitement to violence and antisemitic signs and slogans chanted in demonstrations. This has forced the Israeli Embassy in the heart of London to need to be barricaded by the police for protection’. That is the Israeli statement. And it’s understood that there are no people in the embassy today. It is Shabbat today as well…” 

According to Ofcom, a recording or version of this report was broadcast three times during the rolling coverage, each time referring to a “Jewish embassy”, sometimes alongside references to the “Israeli embassy” as in the version quoted above.

Ofcom considered that the reports potentially breached Rule 5.1 and 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code, the first covering “due accuracy” and the second referring to “generally accepted standards”, including discriminatory or offensive language. Ofcom’s investigation was prompted by two complaints that the references to a “Jewish embassy” could contribute to antisemitic hate speech and attacks in the UK, which were skyrocketing at the time.

LBC argued that the reporter had “tripped over his words in error during the hear of the moment”, noting “the difficultly of reporting live from a high-stress and tense environment” and observed that the reporter “had to rely on the ‘hostile environment’ training they had received.” LBC also noted that the reporter did correct his language during the initial broadcast and that, once it had identified that the report was repeated twice later on, LBC removed the full four-hour programme as quickly as possible from its catch up services. LBC insisted that “there was absolutely no intent to cause any harm or offence during the recording or broadcast of this report,” noting that, while the error was “far from ideal”, it was “in no way malicious or purposefully intended to offend the Jewish community.” The station also blamed COVID social distancing requirements for causing its usual review procedures to fall short.

Ofcom decided that the report “was not duly accurate, in breach of Rule 5.1 of the Code.”

Regarding Rule. 2.3, Ofcom decided that “the interchanging use of the terms ‘Israeli Embassy’ and ‘Jewish Embassy’, as well as being clearly inaccurate, conflated Israeli national identity with Jewish, including British Jewish, identity. We considered that this was potentially offensive to some listeners in the context of a series of news items reporting on a protest against the policies and action of the Israeli Government in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict. We considered that it was potentially offensive as it implied that ‘Jews were collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel’.” This phrasing is one of the International Definition of Antisemitism’s examples of antisemitism.

Ofcom concluded that the report did not constitute antisemitic hate speech, but that there was still the potential to cause offence, and that LBC’s mitigating actions were “insufficient to mitigate the potential offence or justify the broadcast of the potentially offensive content in this programme.” It therefore found that LBC had also breached Rule 2.3.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has previously provided training to Ofcom in the use of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “LBC has a strong journalistic record of exposing antisemitism. Nevertheless, Ofcom has made the correct decision here. During Hamas’s war against Israel, antisemitism was skyrocketing in Britain, with too many people seeking to hold British Jews collectively responsible for the actions and perceived actions of the Israeli Government. For a major radio station to appear, even if in error, to lend credence to this conflation by describing the Israeli Embassy as the ‘Jewish embassy’, cannot go without unremarked. We have trained Ofcom in the use of the International Definition of Antisemitism and are pleased to see that the regulator has appropriately applied it in this instance.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].

UK media regulator Ofcom has sanctioned London-based radio station Rinse FM after they aired a song that was deemed to have contained “antisemitic hate speech.”

On 12th July 2020, Rinse FM’s presenter introduced the song “Better in Tune with the Infinite” by Jay Electronica as “one of my absolute favourites”. A complaint was then made over the following lyrics: “The synagogues of Satan might accuse or jail me. Strip, crown, nail me, brimstone hail me…To the lawyers, to the sheriffs, to the judges. To the debt holders and the law makers. [Bleeped] you, sue me, bill me.”

In their report, published on 19th July 2021, Ofcom stated that it referred to the International Definition of Antisemitism in making their assessment, citing the following paragraph: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The regulator deemed the lyrics to have negative connotations containing antisemitic tropes, stating: “In our view, the UK listeners would be likely to understand the phrase ‘synagogues of Satan’ to be a reference to the Jewish place of worship, and that it makes an explicit association between Jewish place of worship and Satan. We considered that UK listeners would have understood this association to suggest that Jewish people are evil or worship the Devil, which is a well-established antisemitic trope.

“Immediately following the reference to the ‘synagogues of Satan’ were the lyrics ‘Strip, crown, nail me, brimstone hail me’ which we considered to be a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In our view, the juxtaposition of the lyrics may have evoked for UK listeners the antisemitic allegation that Jewish people are collectively responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

“These words were later followed by the lyrics ‘To the lawyers, to the sheriffs, to the judges. To the debt holders and the law makers’, whom the artist addresses with ‘[Bleep] you, sue me, bill me’. In the context of the preceding lines and in particular, reference to the phrase ‘synagogues of Satan’, we considered that some UK listeners may have interpreted these references to be references to the Jewish community.”

Ofcom initially made its decision about Rinse FM’s airing of the song in July 2021. The radio station responded in October that year claiming that it was not always possible for an under-resourced station to “nip in the bud” any material that might be considered “controversial”. This was, however, rejected in the regulator’s most recent ruling, which said: “We consider that Rinse FM was treated fairly during the investigation process and in line with Ofcom’s procedures for investigating breaches of content standards for television and radio. During the investigation process, the licensee made representations in response to Ofcom’s request for formal comments [and] it was given the opportunity to respond to Ofcom’s preliminary view on the breaches”.

This is not the first time the rapper was accused of antisemitism. In 2020, he was criticised over the lyrics: “And I bet you a Rothschild I get a bang for my dollar…The synagogue of Satan want me to hang by my collar.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].

The Metropolitan Police has apologised after an investigation from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) discovered that officers had been sharing jokes about Auschwitz concentration camp.

It was also reported that there was an antisemitic joke made with reference to “killing flies”.

The investigation also uncovered evidence of bullying, misogyny and racist abuse amongst the officers. Police were also found to have made homophobic jokes, islamophobic jokes, and jokes about rape.

Fourteen officers were investigated with two being dismissed on grounds of gross misconduct. 

A statement from the Met said: “The conduct of a team of officers at Charing Cross police station in central London does not represent the values of the Metropolitan Police Service.

“We are deeply sorry to Londoners and everyone they have failed with their appalling conduct and acknowledge how this will damage the trust and confidence of many in the Met.”

The statement continued: “Since this reprehensible behaviour was uncovered in 2017 we have taken a series of measures to hold those responsible to account and stamp out unacceptable behaviour.”

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said that “While these officers predominantly worked in teams in Westminster, which have since been disbanded, we know from other recent cases that these issues are not isolated or historic.

“Our recommendations focus on the identified cultural issues and aim to ensure that those who work for the force feel safe with their colleagues and that communities feel safe with those whose job is to protect them. The MPS has to enjoy the trust and confidence of its own officers from diverse communities before it can hope to bridge the gap in trust and confidence with the communities it serves.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called the officers’ conduct “totally unacceptable” and said that “It is right that the team concerned has been disbanded and the police officers found to be involved have been dismissed, disciplined or have left the police. Anyone found to be responsible for sexism, racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, antisemitism, bullying or harassment does not deserve to wear the Met uniform and must be rooted out.

“While I welcome the IOPC’s recommendations, more is required and I’ve been clear with the commissioner about the scale of change that’s needed to rebuild trust with Londoners.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is deeply disturbing that those who are supposed to be protecting British Jews and other communities could be the very ones discriminating against us. The Met’s statement that it has taken action against those responsible cannot be mere words to make the problem go away, but rather must represent the start of a fundamental change in workplace culture.”

The Bar Standards Board, which regulates barristers in England and Wales, has disgracefully rejected a complaint made by Campaign Against Antisemitism against a barrister who posted social media comments in breach of International Definition of Antisemitism.

Franck Magennis is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers in London. In December 2020, he tweeted that “Zionism is a kind of racism. It is essentially colonial. It has manifested in an apartheid regime calling itself ‘the Jewish state’ that dominates non-Jews, and particularly Palestinians. You can’t practice anti-racism at the same time as identifying with, or supporting, Zionism.”

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)” is an example of antisemitism.

Mr Magennis was described in his profile on the Chambers’ website as “an expert on the Palestinian struggle for emancipation from Israeli apartheid and occupation.” This has since apparently been changed to: “Franck conducts research on international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the context of the Palestinian struggle for emancipation. In May to August 2019 he was a research fellow in Ramallah, occupied Palestine with the award-winning Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq. He is the co-author of a series of forthcoming reports responding to allegations against the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs of attacks against Palestinian individuals and civil society institutions.”

Mr Mcgennis denied that the tweet was antisemitic, asserting that, while offence may have been taken at the views expressed in the tweet, that was not his purpose and that his speech was protected by Article 10(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

Campaign Against Antisemitism has previously published a briefing debunking the claim that the ECHR protects the right to make statements that breach the definition.

The Bar Standards Board panel considered that, although the tweet may be “offensive”, it was not “seriously offensive”, because it was merely “criticism of Zionism and Israel”, apparently despite what the International Definition of Antisemitism ­­— which the British Government and the Judicial College have adopted ­— says.

The Bar Standards Board panel concluded that Mr Mcgennis did not in this instance “behave in a way which is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in you or in the profession,” and therefore did not uphold the complaint.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is reviewing its options.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Regulators in this country are all over the map when it comes to sanctioning professionals for racism against Jews. Another regulator that we have been dealing with similarly dismissed a complaint that we made against one of their regulated professionals, and we took the case to the High Court, which has quashed that regulator’s decision and forced it to reconsider the case.

“We regret that the Bar Standards Board has disgracefully chosen to ignore the International Definition of Antisemitism, even though it has been adopted by the British Government and the Judicial College. Apparently when it comes to antisemitism, barristers and judges have different standards. We are reviewing our options.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a new weekly podcast. New episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism are available every Thursday and can be streamed here or downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

New measures laid out by Ofcom could mean fines for video-sharing platforms (VSP) like TikTok and Twitch.

The broadcasting watchdog said that one-third of users have seen hateful content on such sites. The new rules state that VSPs must take “appropriate measures” to protect users from content related to terrorism, child sexual abuse and racism. This would mean the platforms must:

  • provide and effectively enforce clear rules for uploading content.
  • make the reporting and complaints process easier.
  • restrict access to adult sites with robust age-verification.

Ofcom stated that the progress taken by the eighteen VSPs in question would be published in a report next year. 

Incidents of antisemitism have been reported on both TikTok and Twitch. 

In July, we reported that according to a new study, antisemitic content on the social media platform TikTok had increased by 912%. According to research from Dr Gabriel Weimann of the University of Haifa and Natalie Masri of IDC Herzliya’s Institute for Counter-Terrorism, antisemitic comments on TikTok grew 912% from 41 in 2020 to 415 in 2021, and the platform saw 61 antisemitic postings so far this year compared to 43 last year. Antisemitic tropes and images that were used in video content included Nazi salutes, diminishing the impact of the Holocaust, and propagating caricatures of Jews with long, hooked noses. 

In August, Twitch, the world’s biggest streaming site for watching video games, announced that it would introduce new measures to prevent “hate raids” that include antisemitic abuse, images of swastikas, and other racist or homophobic abuse. The move follows complaints from users in minority groups after some users of Twitch were subjected to high levels of abuse in recent months in so-called “hate raids.” 

Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms.

A lawyer has reportedly been struck off the roll after allegedly making racist and sexist comments.

Complaints were reportedly brought by three women against Victor Stockinger, 61, of Bloomsbury. He is reported to have blamed their concerns on “wokeism”, but a panel of the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal found the evidence against him to be “entirely sincere”, leaving with him legal costs of £41,850.

Among the comments attributed to Mr Stockinger at a work event at the High Court, held by the Solicitors’ Association of Higher Court Advocates in 2019, was a question to a Jewish lawyer on whether she really was Jewish. He also allegedly made inflammatory remarks to a procurement boss of African heritage, as well as numerous sexist comments.

The Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority (SRA) argued that Stockinger’s remarks were racially, ethically, and religiously motivated. The Chair of the Tribunal observed that solicitors must conduct themselves in a way “which reflects everyone’s personal characteristics” and they should “embrace the qualities of equality, diversity and inclusion,” in contrast to Mr Stockinger, who had made “stereotypical assumptions and been patronising.”

Mr Stockinger had claimed that his comments were mere “icebreakers”, but the Tribunal found that “the depth of hurt, humiliation and anger felt, even two years later by the young and diverse legal professionals to whom Mr Stockinger misspoke at that meeting was plain by their evidence to us, which we found entirely sincere. People should not be expected to tolerate this on the basis that in the past people did so.”

Mr Stockinger was also reportedly found guilty of dishonesty – a more serious allegation – by misleading the regulator over a client complaint. He had denied all of the charges.

Mr Stockinger was struck off after 31 years of practice, and reacted to the verdict saying “I’m traumatised”.

Ofcom is considering sanctions against radio station Rinse FM after they aired a song that was deemed to have contained “antisemitic hate speech.”

On 12th July 2020, Rinse FM’s presenter introduced the song “Better in Tune with the Infinite” by Jay Electronica as “one of my absolute favourites”. A complaint was then made over the following lyrics: “The synagogues of Satan might accuse or jail me. Strip, crown, nail me, brimstone hail me…To the lawyers, to the sheriffs, to the judges. To the debt holders and the law makers. [Bleeped] you, sue me, bill me.”

In their report, published on 19th July of this year, Ofcom stated that it referred to the International Definition of Antisemitism in making their assessment, citing the following paragraph: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The regulation company deemed the lyrics to have negative connotations containing antisemitic tropes, stating: “In our view, the UK listeners would be likely to understand the phrase ‘synagogues of Satan’ to be a reference to the Jewish place of worship, and that it makes an explicit association between Jewish place of worship and Satan. We considered that UK listeners would have understood this association to suggest that Jewish people are evil or worship the Devil, which is a well-established antisemitic trope

“Immediately following the reference to the ‘synagogues of Satan’ were the lyrics ‘Strip, crown, nail me, brimstone hail me’ which we considered to be a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In our view, the juxtaposition of the lyrics may have evoked for UK listeners the antisemitic allegation that Jewish people are collectively responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

“These words were later followed by the lyrics ‘To the lawyers, to the sheriffs, to the judges. To the debt holders and the law makers’, whom the artist addresses with ‘[Bleep] you, sue me, bill me’. In the context of the preceding lines and in particular, reference to the phrase ‘synagogues of Satan’, we considered that some UK listeners may have interpreted these references to be references to the Jewish community.”

Rinse FM said that “as a full-time Community Radio station with limited resources it is not always possible to ‘nip in the bud’ any potentially controversial material” and went on to acknowledge that the lyrics “may be seen by some as an antisemitic trope” when taken out of context, but that the wording “Synagogues of Satan” was lifted from the Bible and that, therefore, finding it controversial “would ultimately lead to the accusation that the Bible itself is antisemitic which would open up a much wider and controversial debate.”

However, the station also stated that following the complaint, it was “reviewing [its] Programme Production processes and policies”, including:

• ensuring that at least two people review any potentially controversial track, commentary or statement;

• reviewing the “frequency and specific advice, messages and reminders that we give to all Presenters” in relation to “unconscious bias and the need… to look at themselves and seek greater awareness of any ‘isms’ of their own”, in particular “in the current climate of heightened community tensions and subjective judgements”; and,

• putting a greater emphasis on the types of issues raised in this complaint in all future training and training material.

Ofcom concluded that the radio station was had breached the following broadcasting codes:

Rule 3.2: “Material which contains hate speech must not be included in television and radio programmes […] except where it is justified by the context.”

Rule 3.3: “Material which contains abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities, must not be included in television and radio services […] except where it is justified by the context.”

Rule 2.3: “In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context… Such material may include […] offensive language, […] discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of […] religion belief […]). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.”

This is not the first time the rapper was accused of antisemitism. Last year, he was criticised over the lyrics: “And I bet you a Rothschild I get a bang for my dollar…The synagogue of Satan want me to hang by my collar.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].

Jeremy Corbyn is under investigation by Parliament’s watchdog over allegations that he did not properly declare financial support given to him to pay for the legal fees behind antisemitism-related claims. 

The former leader of the Labour Party is being investigated over the “registration of an interest under the Guide to the Rules” by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

This comes after Labour MP Neil Coyle wrote a letter to the Commissioner, alledging that Mr Corbyn may have broken the code of conduct for MPs in regard to support for his legal disputes.

Mr Coyle said that Mr Corbyn had “received financial support for legal cases involving him in various legal disputes, principally surrounding antisemitism” which had not been properly declared. 

Mr Corbyn stated that he would be “liaising with the Commissioner in response to Neil Coyle’s correspondence.” 

Last year, a crowdfunder which raised hundreds of thousands for Mr Corbyn’s legal expenses drew attention after it was reported that the woman behind the initiative was involved with a company that aims to “end the politicisation of Jewish suffering,” and that donations had been received from donors calling themselves “Adolf Hitler” and “B*stard Son of Netanyahu and Starmer”.

Following claims of antisemitism, Mr Corbyn had the whip removed last year. However, according to a newly published YouGov poll, 60% of Labour members think that the antisemitic former leader should have the whip restored.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has lodged a complaint against Jeremy Corbyn, holding him responsible for conduct that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Labour Party, as the Leader during the period of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) shameful findings. Given the serious detriment that this conduct has caused, we are seeking Mr Corbyn’s immediate resuspension and, if the complaint is upheld, we will be requesting his expulsion. On the day of the publication of the EHRC’s report, we also submitted a major complaint against Mr Corbyn and other sitting MPs. These complaints are yet to be acknowledged by the Party, and they must be investigated by an independent disciplinary process that the EHRC has demanded and Sir Keir has promised but has yet to introduce.

The Labour Party was found by the EHRC to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

Schools have been warned by their regulator, Ofsted, that they risk failing inspections if they do not act over antisemitism.

Following a meeting with representatives from the Jewish education sector and reports of anti-Jewish bullying at schools – including one teacher whose pupils competed to stick ‘Free Palestine’ stickers in their hair – Ofsted said that there was no place for antisemitism in schools and that it was supporting victims among teaching staff.

Recently, Jewish teachers have also lamented that their union, the National Education Union, has failed them, with a significant number resigning their membership en masse.

A spokesperson for Ofsted said: “Where these incidents occur, we want to see schools deal with them quickly and effectively, and any failure to do so will be reflected in our inspection judgements,” adding: “We also expect a school’s curriculum and teaching to promote equality of opportunity and diversity.”

Ofsted’s warning comes just days after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson wrote to headteachers urging action over antisemitism.

Campaign Antisemitism has produced teachers’ guides for classes on antisemitism, which have been endorsed by the BBC. We have also recently produced a short resource for pupils and parents who encounter antisemitism at schools.

Do you or your friends/family have stories of schoolteachers or pupils facing antisemitism at schools in the UK? We have received a significant number of reports and the Incident Response colleagues would be keen to hear of further examples if you could share them. Contact us at [email protected] or call +44 (0)330 822 0321.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is filing a complaint to the Directorate of Professional Standards after police ignored antisemitic threats among demonstrators on Sunday who were shouting: “We’ll find some Jews there.  We want the Zionists. We want their blood!”

The demonstrators were trying to counter-protest a rally of the Jewish community and allies in solidarity with Israel, in Kensington. However, towards the end of the peaceful gathering, police were required to step in due to the arrival of counter-demonstrators.

After being told to leave the area by the police, the counter-demonstrators were escorted away by officers. But in a video posted online, at least one of the counter-demonstrators can be seen shouting: “We’ll find some Jews there,” before adding: “We want the Zionists. We want their blood.”

The video appears to show policemen walking alongside the perpetrators without taking action against the incitement.

In a rally held just the day before, participants held up antisemitic banners and heard speakers who blamed Israel for antisemitism and were told that “there will be no ceasefire in our campaign”. Crowds also marched in Manchester, Cardiff and elsewhere. Campaign Against Antisemitism is now reviewing a large volume of evidence from rallies and incidents over the past two weeks with our lawyers.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Over the past two weeks, on too many occasions the Metropolitan Police has failed to intervene against antisemitic crime and incitement on the streets of London, and in some cases officers have even joined protestors despite rules prohibiting such participation. Britain’s Jews need to be proactively protected by the police at this dangerous time.

“We are submitting yet another complaint to the Directorate of Professional Standards, this time in connection with the spectacle of police indifference toward counter-protestors on Sunday screaming ‘We’ll find some Jews there.  We want the Zionists. We want their blood!’. These threats are criminal and the police should know better than merely to escort the perpetrators away from a Jewish crowd: they should be arresting them.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 showed that three in five British Jews believe that the authorities, in general, are not doing enough to address and punish antisemitism.

Ofcom has dismissed a complaint from Campaign Against Antisemitism regarding a Channel 4 segment that criticised the International Definition of Antisemitism without offering a Jewish perspective. The media regulator said that it found “no issues warranting investigation under its rules.”

Speakers during the segment, which lasted nearly ten minutes, repeatedly stated that the Definition “silenced” debate about Israel, which is precisely the “Livingstone Formulation” that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirmed was used to victimise Jews in the Labour Party to such an extent that it broke equalities law. In using this antisemitic formulation, the segment breached Ofcom’s guidance on harm and offence.

Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant in the EHRC’s investigation of antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The failure to include a single representative from the mainstream Jewish community – in which there is a consensus in favour of widespread adoption of the Definition – represented a failure by Channel 4 News to show due impartiality in its programme, which is also a breach of Ofcom’s guidance.

In Ofcom’s response to us, they wrote: “In our view, the editorially-linked interview with Daniel Barenboim provided further context and helped to reflect an Israeli and Jewish perspective to the extent it was necessary given the limited content that had referred critically to the policies and actions of the Israeli Government in the earlier Akram Salhab item.”

Regarding our complaints that the Definition should not have been labelled ‘controversial’ due to its widespread adoption, and that under the Definition criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic, Ofcom replied: “In our view, the programme did not suggest that the Definition does not permit any criticism of Israel whatsoever. It also correctly highlighted that calling the existence of a state of Israel a racist endeavour would fall within the [D]efinition of antisemitism. We also considered that there has been a robust debate around the [Definition] and about the government’s efforts to convince universities to adopt it. In this context, we do not consider it would have been misleading to the audience to have described the [D]efinition as ‘controversial’.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 revealed that almost half of British Jews consider Channel 4’s coverage of matters of Jewish interest and antisemitism to be unfavourable, while almost a third add that they are unsatisfied with how Channel 4 deals with complaints relating to antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected]

The controversial website, Dorset Eye, has dubiously joined the relatively new media regulator, Impress.

Dorset Eye now displays the regulator’s kitemark on its website purportedly guaranteeing its “commitment to the principles of journalism”.

In 2019, the website accused the Jewish television presenter and anti-extremism activist, Rachel Riley, of working for the “Israeli state propaganda machine” and claimed that “her goons” will be responsible for “another Jo Cox moment”, a reference to the murder of the MP by a white supremacist. “Whether she is paid for her hate and propaganda is not for me to say but she is quite obviously (if only to me) a fascist and an Israeli state terrorist sympathiser,” the article went on to say.

Another article on the website described Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as “a modern day Judas” and “paid agent” of Israel. The article, which has since been removed, also warned of “another Kristallnacht”, referencing the infamous antisemitic Nazi pogrom in 1938.

Impress is officially recognised by the Government’s Press Regulation Panel and is partly funded by the family foundation of Max Mosley. Its members are required to abide by “minimum professionals standards” and must not “make prejudicial or pejorative reference to a person on the basis of that person’s…race, religion…or another characteristic that makes that person vulnerable to discrimination”.

An Impress spokesperson reportedly said: “The role of an approved press regulator is not to endorse the actions of those it regulates but to fairly and neutrally investigate and assess the newsgathering practices and content.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Questions must be asked of Impress for this decision. No serious regulator would take on Dorset Eye, a community website and resource which purports to have a warm and fuzzy image to publish antisemitic articles that clearly breach the International Definition of Antisemitism.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors the media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].

Campaign Against Antisemitism has submitted a complaint to the Bar Standards Board against a barrister over a tweet asserting that “Zionism is a kind of racism”.

Franck Magennis is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers in London. 

At 21:35 on 17th December 2020, Mr Magennis apparently tweeted from the Twitter handle @FranckMagennis that: “Zionism is a kind of racism. It is essentially colonial. It has manifested in an apartheid regime calling itself ‘the Jewish state’ that dominates non-Jews, and particularly Palestinians. You can’t practice anti-racism at the same time as identifying with, or supporting, Zionism.”

His profile on the Chambers’ website describes him as “an expert on the Palestinian struggle for emancipation from Israeli apartheid and occupation”.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)” is an example of antisemitism.

Furthermore, by asserting that “You can’t practice [sic] anti-racism at the same time as identifying with, or supporting, Zionism,” Mr Magennis has besmirched British Jews and the Jewish community, over 90% of which identifies as Zionist according to polls.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to the Bar Standards Board to investigate Mr Magennis over the tweet, on the grounds that it breaches the standards expected of barristers and damages trust and confidence in the profession.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has asked the High Court to quash a decision of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), over its decision in relation to Nazim Ali, a pharmacist who leads the annual “Al Quds Day” march through London.

Last month, the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee, found that Mr Ali brought the pharmaceutical profession into disrepute, following a two-week hearing that culminated on 5th November arising from a complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Following the GPhC’s ruling, Campaign Against Antisemitism made legal representations to the PSA asking it to use its statutory power to refer the matter to the High Court under the National Health Service Reform and Healthcare Professionals Act 2002, on the grounds that the decision made by the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee was insufficient to protect the public because it was “irrational and perverse”.

The PSA has now made the referral that we requested. The High Court will now decide whether to quash the decision of the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee, leading to the matter being re-opened.

In particular, we asked the PSA to review the GPhC’s ruling that Mr Ali’s statements were not antisemitic, including by attempting to distinguish between “antisemitism” and “antisemitic”. We have asked the PSA to consider the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government, and the Guidance to all Judiciary in England and Wales produced by the Judicial College that makes clear that the word “Zionist” or “Zio” as a term of abuse has no place in a civilised society.

Furthermore, we argued that the ruling misapplied the law when asking whether a “reasonable person” would have considered the comments made by Mr Ali as being antisemitic. The GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee ruled that Jewish bystanders who saw the demonstration or watched the recording of it posted online could not be considered to be reasonable persons because of their “selective view of events”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism made its initial complaint to the GPhC related to Mr Ali’s actions in 2017, when he led the pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” parade for the controversial London-based organisation calling itself the Islamic Human Rights Commission, just four days after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in which over 70 people were burned alive.

Heading the parade, surrounded by the flags of Hizballah, the genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation, Mr Ali shouted over a public address system: “Some of the biggest corporations who are supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party. Free, Free, Palestine…It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks. Free, Free, Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

At another point he told marchers: “Careful of those Rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands, who agree with the killing of British soldiers. Do not allow them in your centres.”

The events were filmed by members of Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit.

Mr Ali is the Managing Partner of Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic. Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted a complaint to the GPhC, which confirmed that the matter “calls into question the pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise as a pharmacist.”

The Professional Standards Authority told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “The Authority has decided to refer the decision to the High Court because we considered that it may be insufficient to protect the public. The Authority was concerned that the Committee had erred in its approach to a charge that the comments made by Mr Ali were antisemitic. Those errors mean that it is not possible to know whether a different outcome would have been reached in the case had the correct approach been taken, and that therefore decision taken by the Committee was not sufficient to protect the public. For that reason the Authority, by its appeal, is asking the Court to quash findings made by the Committee and remit the case back to the Committee for reconsideration, applying the correct approach to the charge of antisemitism. The appeal has now been lodged with the court.”

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Since 2017, we have fought to ensure that Nazim Ali faces the consequences of his actions. As a pharmacist, he is bound by professional rules, and we are pleased that due to our complaint his regulator ruled that he brought his profession into disrepute.

“However, the ruling was deeply flawed, finding Mr Ali’s remarks not to be antisemitic, and considering Jewish bystanders not to be reasonable persons. This was irrational and perverse in the extreme, so we instructed lawyers to ensure that it cannot be allowed to stand due to the example that it sets. Not only that, but the decision to merely issue Mr Ali with a warning was insufficient to protect the public. That is why we asked the PSA to refer this matter to the High Court, and we are delighted that they have now done so.

“There was no way that we could allow this decision to stand due to the dangerous precedent that it set both for British Jews and the public which relies on healthcare professionals to be properly regulated.”

We are extremely grateful to Simon Braun, a partner at Perrin Myddelton solicitors, for acting pro bono for Campaign Against Antisemitism in this matter.

Campaign Against Antisemitism previously sought a criminal prosecution of Mr Ali. When the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to prosecute him, we launched a private prosecution which the CPS disgracefully used its statutory powers to take over and discontinue, protecting Mr Ali from prosecution.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is submitting a complaint to Ofcom regarding a segment on Channel 4 News that aired last night that was devoted to criticism of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Speakers during the segment repeatedly stated that the Definition “silenced” debate about Israel, which is precisely the “Livingstone Formulation” that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirmed was used to victimise Jews in the Labour Party to such an extent that it broke equalities law (Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant in the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party). In using this antisemitic formulation, the segment breached Ofcom’s guidance on harm and offence.

The failure to include a single representative from the mainstream Jewish community – in which there is a consensus in favour of widespread adoption of the Definition – represented a failure by Channel 4 News to show due impartiality in its programme, which is also a breach of Ofcom’s guidance.

The segment lasted almost ten minutes.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is extraordinary that Channel 4 News could have devoted an entire segment to discussing defining antisemitism without including a single representative of the mainstream Jewish community. If the programme had done, it might have realised that it was promoting the antisemitic ‘Livingstone Formulation’ that was used to such unlawful effect in victimising Jews in the Labour Party. It is precisely this sort of ignorance of what antisemitism looks like that makes widespread adoption of the Definition so important.

“We are submitting a complaint to Ofcom in respect of this outrageous segment, which serves only to confirm to the Jewish community that Channel 4 News is incapable of covering sensitive issues with due impartiality.”

Lawyers acting for Campaign Against Antisemitism have referred the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) over its decisions in relation to Nazim Ali, a pharmacist who leads the annual “Al Quds Day” march through London.

Last month, the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee, found that Mr Ali brought the pharmaceutical profession into disrepute, following a two-week hearing that culminated on 5th November arising from a complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

However, in our submission to the PSA, we have argued that the ruling of the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee was “irrational and perverse”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s initial complaint to the GPhC related to Mr Ali’s actions in 2017, when he led the pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” parade for the controversial London-based organisation calling itself the Islamic Human Rights Commission, just four days after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in which over 70 people were burned alive.

Heading the parade, surrounded by the flags of Hizballah, the genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation, Mr Ali shouted over a public address system: “Some of the biggest corporations who are supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party. Free, Free, Palestine…It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks. Free, Free, Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

At another point he told marchers: “Careful of those Rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands, who agree with the killing of British soldiers. Do not allow them in your centres.”

The events were filmed by members of Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit.

Mr Ali is the Managing Partner of Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic. Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted a complaint to the GPhC, which confirmed that the matter “calls into question the pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise as a pharmacist.”

The PSA has the power to review the findings and refer the matter to the High Court under the National Health Service Reform and Healthcare Professionals Act 2002, and we have asked it to exercise its statutory power on the grounds that the decision made by the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee was insufficient to protect the public.

In particular, we have objected to the ruling that Mr Ali’s statements were not antisemitic, including by attempting to distinguish between “antisemitism” and “antisemitic”. We have asked the PSA to consider the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government, and the Guidance to all Judiciary in England and Wales produced by the Judicial College that makes clear that the word “Zionist” or “Zio” as a term of abuse has no place in a civilised society.

Furthermore, we have argued that the ruling misapplied the law when asking whether a “reasonable person” would have considered the comments made by Mr Ali as being antisemitic. The GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee ruled that Jewish bystanders who saw the demonstration or watched the recording of it posted online could not be considered to be reasonable persons because of their “selective view of events”.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Since 2017, we have fought to ensure that Nazim Ali faces the consequences of his actions. As a pharmacist, he is bound by professional rules, and we are pleased that due to our complaint his regulator ruled that he brought his profession into disrepute.

“However, the ruling was deeply flawed, finding Mr Ali’s remarks not to be antisemitic, and considering Jewish bystanders not to be reasonable persons. This cannot be allowed to stand due to the example that it sets, and the fact that the failure to properly understand the enormity of Mr Ali’s actions and their impact appears to have led to the decision to merely issue him with a warning, which is insufficient to protect the public. That is why we have asked the PSA to refer this matter to the High Court.”

We are extremely grateful to Simon Braun, a partner at Perrin Myddelton solicitors, for acting pro bono for Campaign Against Antisemitism in this matter.

Campaign Against Antisemitism previously sought a criminal prosecution of Mr Ali. When the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to prosecute him, we launched a private prosecution which the CPS disgracefully used its statutory powers to take over and discontinue, protecting Mr Ali from prosecution.

A pharmacist, Nazim Ali, who leads the annual “Al Quds Day” march through London, has been found to have brought the pharmaceutical profession into disrepute following a two-week hearing that culminated today arising from a complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

However, the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) fitness to practice tribunal let Mr Ali off with a warning after ruling that his remarks were grossly offensive and that his fitness to practise was impaired, but that his statements were not antisemitic.

Remarkably the GPhC did not present expert testimony from academics or Campaign Against Antisemitism on what constitutes Jew-hatred.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s complaint related to Mr Ali’s actions in 2017, when he led the pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” parade for the controversial London-based organisation calling itself the Islamic Human Rights Commission, just four days after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in which over 70 people were burned alive.

Heading the parade, surrounded by the flags of Hizballah, the genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation, Mr Ali shouted over a public address system: “Some of the biggest corporations who are supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party. Free, Free, Palestine…It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks. Free, Free, Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

At another point he told marchers: “Careful of those Rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands, who agree with the killing of British soldiers. Do not allow them in your centres.”

The events were filmed by members of Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit.

Mr Ali is the Managing Partner of Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic. Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted a complaint to the GPhC, which confirmed that the matter “calls into question the pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise as a pharmacist.”

During Mr Ali’s hearing, his defence emphasised his grovelling apology, in which he acknowledged that his comments were grossly offensive and that they could be perceived as being antisemitic. Mr Ali claimed that he had not made the apology sooner because he had apparently been advised not to do so while legal proceedings were underway, even through those proceedings ended in early 2019 and the apology appeared to have only been issued a short time before the GPhC hearing.

Mr Ali’s defence also made much of his warm relationship with the extremist fringe Jewish group, Neturei Karta, as evidence that he would not have knowingly said something antisemitic, even though Neturei Karta condemns most Jews and has actively supported antisemites.

Mr Ali’s counsel spent the better part of two days arguing that the hearing was a breach of Mr Ali’s right to a private life and right to freedom of expression under Articles 8 and 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998, however the tribunal took a day to consider these arguments and rejected them.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Since 2017, we have fought to ensure that Nazim Ali faces the consequences of his actions. As a pharmacist, he is bound by professional rules, and we are pleased that due to our complaint his regulator has now agreed that he brought his profession into disrepute. However it is disappointing that the regulator showed so little understanding of the issues at the hearing and only requested that the tribunal issue Mr Ali with a warning, which it did. After more than three years, at least we have succeeded in ensuring that Mr Ali’s record has been publicly marked and his disgrace made official.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism previously sought a criminal prosecution of Mr Ali. When the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to prosecute him, we launched a private prosecution which the CPS disgracefully used its statutory powers to take over and discontinue, protecting Mr Ali from prosecution.

An attempt by ten police officers to prevent disciplinary proceedings against them in connection with antisemitic and racist Whatsapp messages has cost Police Scotland nearly £200,000, it has been reported.

Whatsapp messages described as being “sexist and degrading, racist, antisemitic, homophobic, mocking of disability and included a flagrant disregard for police procedures by posting crime scene photos of current investigations,” were discovered in the course of an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct on the part of another officer, who was later cleared.

After the messages were discovered in 2016, Police Scotland’s Professional Standards department sought to discipline the officers implicated in the messages in November 2017. However, the Scottish Police Federation tried to block the disciplinary proceedings on behalf of the officers on the basis that they were entitled to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and a common law right to privacy. Last month, however, three appeal judges upheld an earlier ruling that rejected those arguments, claiming that the duty to uphold professional standards on the police force overrode the right to privacy and that it was proportionate for Police Scotland to use the messages.

Following the ruling, The Ferret submitted a Freedom of Information request to Police Scotland, which revealed that its legal bill to date is £189,366.04 (including VAT).

Police Scotland reportedly noted in its reply that “subject to the outcome of any further proceedings, Police Scotland intends to seek an award of expenses in its favour as a result of being successful both in the outer and inner houses of the court of session.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland reportedly said: “Because of their position, our officers are held to higher standards than ordinary members of the public and this is consistently made clear from the first day of training. The inner house judgment underlined that these high standards also apply to the virtual space. The vast majority of our officers conduct themselves in line with our values of fairness, integrity and respect. Where inappropriate conduct is brought to our attention it will be considered by our professional standards department. All probationary officers still involved in this long running court action have been placed on restricted duties pending further proceedings.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Police Federation reportedly said: “The SPF does not comment on any individual legal cases.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We welcome this judgement, so that the messages in question can be properly investigated and the public can be confident that everyone will receive equal treatment without discrimination by the police in Scotland.”

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has removed an architect from its professional register following an investigation into his claims that Judaism is a “cult” and Jews should be banned from “important public office”.

On 13 April 2019, Peter Kellow, an award-winning architect, published a long post on Facebook, which read, in part:

“This business of ‘anti-semiticism’ [sic] in the Labour party which is held up as racism. What is it all about really? Let us get a few thing [sic] straight. There is no such thing as the Jewish race. This is one of the many stunts that Judaists have pulled on non-Judaists who have swallowed it whole. There is only the religion/cult of Judaism and I never use the word ‘Jew’ because that implies buying into the myth of racial commonality amoungst [sic] Judaists. […]

“There is no doubt that Judaists have suffered from unfair and cruel treatment at many times in history but this was never racially motivated until the late nineteenth century and bloomed in the ideology of Adolf Hitler. Hitler used the myth of a Jewish race that the Judaists had invented against them. It is not far from the truth to say the Judaists were the inventers of European racism for they asserted they were racially different to the rest of us. […]

“But racism as I have said is a recent phenomenon. Are the so-called ‘antisemites’ in the Labour Party simply ‘racists’ as the popular narrative would have it? I doubt it. The problem people have and always have had with Judaism is not about race. It is because Judaism is a cult. What do I mean by a cult? A cult is a set of people, normally norminally [sic] unified by a religion or quasi-religion, who try to create a society within the general society. Judaism is far from being the only or even the most resented cult in history or the present.”

Mr Kellow identified as other cults similar to Judaism: Freemasonry, Mormonism, Scientology, paganism and Sunni Islam.

He continued: “Cults work against the interest of the general society as its members, in subscribing to a society within the society favour each other over the rest of us….How can you trust such people?…So how should society deal with cults? How should society deal with people who through their cult activity weaken the bonds that the society needs to function well?”

Although Mr Kellow insisted that such “cults” should not be proscribed, he did believe that “we must put restraints on their ability to create a society within a society.” Among these “restraints” was “(1) Registration of the cult in a public register; (2) Registration of all adult members in a public register; (3) No cult member can hold an important public office where they are in a position to descrimiate [sic] between cult members and non-cult members. For instance it is totally unacceptable lo have a Freemason or Judaist as a judge as their decisions will very like work in favour of fellow cult members. Their strong bond in their society within the society will ensure this; (4) Whereas adults are free to choose to belong to a cult, the same cannot reply [sic] to their children….To this end, no cult can run its own “faith” schools; [and] (5) It must be against the law to wear cult clothing in public – except something worn on the top of the head like a hat [e.g. Sikh turbans or Judaist skull caps].[…]”

On 3 June 2019, Architects’ Journal brought the Facebook post to the attention of the ARB, which is the statutory regulator for the industry. The ARB commenced an investigation and found that the post was “was visible as a ‘public’ post. When the Respondent’s profile was clicked, his profile information could be seen which included his profession and a link to his professional website.”

The panel established to investigate the matter concluded that the “comments, which the Respondent continues to stand by, made as they are against two specific established religions and other groups, are discriminatory, potentially offensive and are therefore inappropriate.”

The panel was concerned that the respondent showed a “lack of demonstrable meaningful insight” into his conduct and considered that he had “entrenched discriminatory attitudinal issues”. It concluded that “these failings…are fundamentally incompatible with continuing to be an architect” and accordingly erased Mr Kellow from the register for no less than two years.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We applaud the Architects Registration Board for removing the respondent from the register. The panel was absolutely right to find that his suggestions that all Jews should have to join a register or be excluded from holding public office – notions reminiscent of past eras that we all hope have been confined to the dustbin of history – were discriminatory and offensive and damage the reputation of the profession. We call on other professional bodies to follow the ARB in showing zero tolerance for this sort of antisemitic propaganda.”