Tony Greenstein has surrendered what remains of his claim against Campaign Against Antisemitism for calling him a “notorious antisemite”. Having humiliatingly lost his libel claim and been bankrupted in the process, he seems to have held onto one belief throughout: that he cost us a fortune.
When a supporter of Campaign Against Antisemitism was raising money for our work among her family and friends, Mr Greenstein found the fundraiser and donated £1, enabling him to leave a message on the fundraising page saying: “I can’t imagine what prompted this [fundraising request]!! Surely Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs isn’t running out of money! No matter I’ve cost you bastards £200K…I think we can plan some more ambushes.”
The fantasy that his failed defamation lawsuit against us had damaged us financially was the silver lining in Mr Greenstein’s black cloud of legal failure. We can now reveal to him, however, that as soon as he filed his initial claim against us in 2018, we contacted our insurers, Hiscox, who covered our costs in full. This previously undisclosed information brings any fantasy to an end.
After the Supreme Court spurned his attempt to appeal rulings against him, Tony Greenstein has now filed a Notice of Discontinuance in the High Court, bringing a humiliating end to his failed defamation case against Campaign Against Antisemitism for calling him a “notorious antisemite”.
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 in 2018 he brought a case against us alleging that we had libelled him when we described him as a “notorious antisemite” in 2017.
We applied to strike out Mr Greenstein’s case because it had no hope of success at a full hearing and should not proceed, and 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. The judgment was significant not just for its ruling but also because it referenced the International Definition of Antisemitism in coming to its decision.
In 2021, three Lord and Lady Justices sitting at the Court of Appeal dismissed Mr Greenstein’s appeal of the High Court ruling, deciding in favour of Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Later that year, we had Mr Greenstein declared bankrupt for failing to pay our legal costs, as the court had ordered him to do. We then alerted the Charity Commission, which removed him as a trustee of The Brighton Trust, formerly known as the “Trust 4 Unpopular Causes”, as bankrupts are not permitted to serve as charity trustees.
Mr Greenstein’s failed case has affirmed our entitlement to call him a ‘notorious antisemite’ and set an important legal precedent in the fight against antisemitism, while his hope of having at least damaged us financially is also utterly dashed.
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. We were represented by Karl Anderson in the insolvency proceedings.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The humiliating failure of Tony Greenstein’s defamation case against us has affirmed our entitlement to call him a ‘notorious antisemite’ and set an important legal precedent in the fight against antisemitism. It seems that only Mr Greenstein is surprised that the High Court and Court of Appeal sided with us in recognising our right to identify and call out those we consider to be antisemites.
“We can also now reveal that from the outset of Mr Greenstein’s claim against us, we have been steadfastly supported by our insurers, thwartings his rather contemptible attempt to drain our charity’s funds and dashing his abject search for consolation in the fantasy that he had cost us a fortune in legal fees. Our legal team and insurers performed perfectly, so the outcome of Mr Greenstein’s legal misadventure is that the courts have confirmed that we can legitimately label him a ‘notorious antisemite’. Not only that, but having sought to have our charity struck off the Register of Charities, due to his bankruptcy as a result of this case it is now he who has been disqualified from being a trustee.”