The High Court has today ruled that it was permissible for Campaign Against Antisemitism to call Tony Greenstein a “notorious antisemite” in a humiliating case of legal action backfiring, as he loses a defamation case that he himself brought against us after we called him just that.
An expelled member of the Labour Party and founder of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Mr Greenstein has long sought to have Campaign Against Antisemitism struck off the register of charities, and last year he brought a case against Campaign Against Antisemitism alleging that we had libelled him when we said that he was antisemitic.
We applied to strike out Mr Greenstein’s case because it had no hope of success at a full hearing and should not proceed.
Today, the court agreed to dismiss the entirety of his libel claim, leaving only other minor aspects of the case to be determined at a later hearing.
In a 21-page judgement, Mrs Justice Tipples referred to the International Definition of Antisemitism in the case, noting that “on any objective assessment, an honest person could form the view that these tweets, in which the claimant has referred to ‘Jewish Nazis’, used the word ‘Zios’ (which he knows is antisemitic…) and, having done so, referred to collaboration with the Nazis, were antisemitic statements he made.”
Mrs Justice Tipples also ruled that “The claimant’s tweet compares the people of Israel to the Nazis and, on any objective assessment, an honest person could have held the opinion that that was an antisemitic statement from the claimant.” She added: “The claimant has no real prospect of succeeding on this issue [of libel].”
A significant part of Mr Greenstein’s argument was that Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chief Executive, Gideon Falter, had been malicious in describing Mr Greenstein as an antisemite and that he did not honestly believe that he was one, but Mrs Justice Tipples dismissed those arguments, finding that “this plea of malice is insufficient and should be struck out.”
As we have previously shown, Mr Greenstein has defended Ken Livingstone’s Nazi apologism, compared Zionists to Nazis on several occasions and regularly characterises the creation of Israel as “racist.” He has thus repeatedly breached the International Definition of Antisemitism in multiple respects.
Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “For years, Tony Greenstein has sought to discredit the International Definition of Antisemitism and have Campaign Against Antisemitism struck off the register of charities. We have repeatedly called him a ‘notorious antisemite’ and today the High Court ruled that we were perfectly entitled to do so. This is a humiliating defeat for Mr Greenstein who will now have to explain to those who paid his legal expenses through crowdfunding that he wasted their money on such a hopeless claim. All that remains of his action is a minor data protection and privacy claim which we now look forward to dismantling at a future hearing, should he even progress that far.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism was represented by Adam Speker QC, instructed by solicitors Keith Mathieson and Alex Wilson of RPC, and advised pro bono by solicitor Dr Mark Lewis who is an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism.