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Friday, 2 July 2010

Melanie Phillips and the Israeli Ambassador are not best pleased at the EDO Acquittals!

Now why did I wonder what my old friend Mel P (that was her name in the days of punk!) was writing? Maybe it’s because I could almost have written the article myself, complete with Spitting Image cartoon, because Mad Mel is nothing if not a predictable caricature of herself.

Many people, including myself, wonder how it is that Mad Mel, could make the transition from Observer journalist (deputy editor I seem to recall) to Daily Hate Mail ‘columnist’. Actually I would argue she didn’t change, she was always right-wing but managed to hide it at the liberal Observer.

One article I particularly picked up on during her spell at The Observer was written after the acquittal of the Birmingham 6 in 1991. You may recall that the then recently devised ESDA test proved conclusively that the ‘confessions’ had been concocted and forged by the Birmingham Police and pages inserted into it. Lord Chief Justice Lane, who a few years earlier had turned down the appeal of the Birmingham 6 with words that came to haunt him ‘"As has happened before in References by the Home Secretary to this court, the longer this hearing has gone on the more convinced this court has become that the verdict of the jury was correct." [incidentally the article on Lane LJ in Wikipedia is wrong on several counts – Lane did preside over their eventually successful appeal, much to his embarrassment].

But back to Mad Mel P. The idea of destroying property is alien to Mad Mel. Destroying Gazan Palestinian property is of course ok. She quotes, in the Spectator article below, which was briefly pulled from the web for possible contempt of court, Robin Shepherd who makes the original observation that ‘in bigoted Britain all you have to do these days to be acquitted of a crime is to act against Israeli interests..

Interesting I’m tempted to put it into practice. Maybe a few bricks through Ahava’s windows in London? After all they are selling stolen goods? No? Just Mad Mel’s usual hyperbole.

And Israel’s Ambassador to St. James, Ron Prossor, also weighs in. According to the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot “Ron Prosor has harshly criticized a British judge who displayed a blatant anti-Semitic stand.” In fact one of the defendants Simon Levin was Jewish! But if you aren’t willing to support the bombing of Palestinian civilians then you are, according to this buffoon an anti-Semite! Methinks suggesting that Jews are bloodthirsty and willing to applaud the use of white phosphorous against young children is anti-Semitic, almost an Easter Blood Libel in fact.

However the article ends of an optimistic note when we are told that Prossor’s protest “will not be enough to change the grim situation of Israeli PR in the UK.” These fools imagine that the only thing they’ve got to get right is the message, that murdering thousands of civilians (over 7,000 in this decade) is something that can be washed away.

But what gets Mad Mel’s back up, so much so that she has to resort to quoting the enemy i.e. this blog, is the description or approval of the description of Gaza has ‘hell on Earth’. According to MM Gaza is one of the world’s favourite tourist destinations. Indeed so wonderful is the weather that most people choose to sleep outdoors. There again, that could be because the basic reconstruction materials for housing destroyed by Israel is not allowed in. But one wonders what MM would think of a siege of her house, where nothing that could possible be ‘dual use’ (e.g. batteries for a disabled car) can be allowed in.

Mad Mel just cannot get it out of her head that a judge, who as she admits is no bleeding liberal, has no business encouraging the jury to acquit. This will result in the ‘undermining the public's faith in the judiciary, and anarchy and a police state.’ will be round the corner. Strange that. I always thought locking up dissidents was one of the hallmarks of a police state.

So Mad Mel is forced to quote from this very left-wing blog as to the reasons why Judge George Bathurst-Norman was so favourable to the Defence (which he was, there’s no getting away from it!). So unusual is this phenomenon that Mad Mel nearly chokes on her (kosher) caviar.

And to make things worse, Mad Mel quotes this blog re Judge George Bathurst-Norman having been brought out of retirement to hear the case! Well we always try and delve behind the headlines!

Tony Greenstein

The hellish histrionics of Hove Propaganda Court

Spectator 2nd July 2010
Under the combined weight of ideology and bigotry, the rule of law itself seems to be breaking down in Britain. For the second time, a jury has acquitted people charged with criminal acts because it appears to sympathise with their cause.

In September 2008, a jury decided that it was ok to break the law and cause more than £35,000 criminal damage to a coal-fired power station because of the threat of man-made global warming.

In the latest case, seven activists who caused £180,000 damage to an arms factory have been acquitted after they argued they were seeking to prevent ‘Israeli war crimes’. The Guardian reported yesterday, after the acquittals of the first five:

They believed that EDO MBM, the firm that owns the factory, was breaking export regulations by manufacturing and selling to the Israelis military equipment which would be used in the occupied territories. They wanted to slow down the manufacture of these components, and impede what they believed were war crimes being committed by Israel against the Palestinians.

... Hove crown court heard the activists had broken into the factory in the night. They had video-taped interviews beforehand outlining their intention to cause damage and, in the words of prosecutor Stephen Shay, ‘smash-up’ the factory.

As Robin Shepherd observes in horror, it seems that in bigoted Britain all you have to do these days to be acquitted of a crime is to act against Israeli interests. But what really jumps out from this story is the direction the jury received from the judge in the case:

In his summing up, Judge George Bathurst-Norman suggested to the jury that ‘you may well think that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans suffered in that time’.

Let’s get our heads round this, folks: an English judge in an English court of law effectively directed a jury to acquit people of criminally smashing up a factory, because he chose to believe Hamas propaganda about the suffering of people in Gaza during a war about which he presumably has no knowledge whatever apart from what he has read or seen in the media – a war, moreover, launched solely to prevent Gazans from aggressively firing rockets into Israel in order to murder its civilians, during the course of which war Israel went to heroic lengths to avoid hurting Gazan civilians who were being put in harm’s way by Hamas, the true cause of Gaza's 'hell on earth'.

Quite apart from the ignorance and bigotry of Judge George Bathurst-Norman, what on earth is a judge doing imposing his political prejudices upon a jury and thus taking the side of the defendants in the case he is trying – with the result that he effectively directed the jury to acquit them of a crime?

Ironically enough, given the way he has now brought the justice system into disrepute, he declared indignantly on a previous occasion -- using his own tough record to rebut criticisms by the Home Secretary of the day of allegedly ‘soft’ sentencing by the courts:

‘The trouble is, if you go on for political reasons undermining the public's faith in the judiciary, sooner or later you are heading for anarchy and... in due course for the equivalent of a police state.’

No bleeding-heart liberal is Judge George Bathurst-Norman, it seems. Here he is jailing Paul Kelleher for three months for beheading a statue of Margaret Thatcher, saying that

although many people sympathised with him, smashing up property deserved a custodial sentence.

Really? So how come this apparent law’n’order zealot gave the people who smashed up this factory a free pass in this way? Could this – as the veteran anti-Zionist Tony Greenstein exults -- be the explanation? (Hat tip: Yisroel Medad)

Perhaps the fact that His Honour was born in the Arab town of Jaffa opposite Tel Aviv might have something to do with it!

Well, just fancy that. And here is yet another lenient sentence passed by this law’n’order judge –

Abu Bakr Siddiqui, a procurement agent for the A. Q. Khan network, receives what an individual familiar with the case describes as a “remarkably lenient” sentence for assistance he gave the network [through smuggling a shipment of special aluminium to the AQ Khan nuclear programme in Pakistan]. The judge, George Bathurst-Norman, acknowledges that the crimes Siddiqui committed (see August 29, 2001) would usually carry a “very substantial” prison term, but says that there are “exceptional circumstances,” claiming that Siddiqui had been too trusting and had been “blinded” to facts that were “absolutely staring [him] in the face.” Siddiqui gets a twelve-month suspended sentence and a fine of £6,000 (about $10,000). Authors David Armstrong and Joe Trento will comment, “In a scenario eerily reminiscent of earlier nuclear smuggling cases in the United States and Canada, Siddiqui walked out of court essentially a free man.” They will also offer an explanation for the volte-face between conviction and sentencing, pointing out that there was a key event in the interim: due to the 9/11 attacks “Pakistan was once again a vital British and American ally. And, as in the past, it became imperative that Islamabad not be embarrassed over its nuclear program for fear of losing its cooperation….”

Anyone spot a connecting thread here?

Greenstein also helpfully notes about the Hove travesty that

Judge George Bathurst-Norman was brought out of retirement to hear the case.

Really? Why? And just who decided to do that?

What in judicial hell on earth's name is going on here?

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