Last week’s two-day trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court concerned a video of the scene in the classic Oliver Twist film when Fagin, a fictitious Jewish criminal (a character that has come under significant criticism over the past century for its antisemitic depiction), is explaining to his newest recruit how his legion of children followers pick pockets. Ms Chabloz uploaded the video and sings an accompanying song of her own about how Jews are greedy, “grift” for “shekels” and cheat on their taxes.
The video appeared to be either a bizarre fundraising effort for her mounting legal costs due to numerous charges she has faced, including several ongoing prosecutions in which Campaign Against Antisemitism has provided evidence, or an attempt at mockery of Campaign Against Antisemitism for pursuing her in the courts.
At court, Ms Chabloz tried to suggest that the video was part of a personal quarrel and that her racism is directed not at “Jews” but at “Zionists”. She expressed scepticism about the facts of the Holocaust on the stand, and replicated a racist Quennelle gesture, which she has performed in the past. She rather insightfully observed that “antisemitism is not a crime. If it was, the prisons would be full.”
Summing up, Judge Nina Tempia said that the defendant “was making up evidence” as she went along, and she did not accept Ms Chabloz’s claim that her song was about the controversial activist Tommy Robinson, describing that suggestion as “ludicrous”. Instead, Judge Tempia said, “I have not doubt” that the song related to Jews. She further noted that, given Ms Chabloz’s previous convictions, she “knew exactly what she was doing” and that she had a propensity to commit these types of offences.
The prosecution asked the court to take into account that the whole Jewish community was a victim in this crime and that Ms Chabloz had an incomplete report of her previous sentences.
Sentencing Ms Chabloz today, Judge Tempia reiterated her comments of last Friday and sentenced Ms Chabloz to 22 weeks’ custody – because the matter is, Judge Tempia said, “so serious” – of which she will serve half and then be under post-sentence supervision. She has also been ordered to pay £1,058 in costs by 30th September. She will not have bail pending any appeal.
Ms Chabloz is a virulent antisemite and Holocaust denier who has an extensive record of using social media to publicise her hatred for Jews and to convert others to her views about Jewish people. Following a private prosecution by Campaign Against Antisemitism, which was later continued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Ms Chabloz became the first person in Britain to be convicted over Holocaust denial in a precedent-setting case.
Ms Chabloz is fixated on the idea that the Holocaust did not occur, and that it was fabricated by Jews and their supporters as a vehicle for fraudulently extorting money in the form of reparations. This forms the basis for her second obsession, that Jews are liars and thieves who are working to undermine Western society. Ms Chabloz is also connected to far-right movements, at whose meetings she gives speeches and performs her songs, in the UK and North America. She is currently banned from entering France, where Holocaust denial is illegal.
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “We welcome this sentence, in view of Alison Chabloz having dedicated herself to spreading her hateful and dangerous views about Jews. She is a repeat offender who has never shown any sign of remorse for the damage that she causes. It is right that she now will have to serve another prison sentence.”
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 more than four times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.