Report from the courts

Given the lead given by the British government to encourage the forces of law and order to victimise those who support the Palestinian people in their struggles against the Zionist entity that is currently engaged in genocide in Gaza, it is both welcome and surprising that two judicial proceedings last month actually upheld, at least to some extent, the right of people to express their support for Palestine and their opposition to Zionism and the Zionist state that is Israel.

David Miller at the employment tribunal

Professor David Miller was sacked 2 years ago from his post as a lecturer at Bristol University because he had expressed anti-Zionist views, much to the distress of Zionist supporting students at the university who, as Zionists always do, tried to claim that his views were anti-Semitic!  David Miller went to the Employment Tribunal claiming unfair dismissal contrary to Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010, which protects an individual’s right to hold and express “philosophical beliefs”.  The Tribunal accepted that anti-Zionism was in fact a protected philosophical belief and that therefore, since this was the reason for his dismissal, that dismissal was indeed unfair.

The Employment Tribunal determined that the claimant’s anti-Zionist beliefs did qualify as protected beliefs pursuant to section 10 Equality Act 2010. In doing so, the Tribunal applied what are known as the Grainger criteria: (i) The belief must be genuinely held (ii) It must be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available (iii) It must be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour (iv) It must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance, and (v) It must be worthy of respect in a democratic society. The Tribunal found that anti-Zionist beliefs satisfied all these criteria.

Although the Tribunal found in Professor Miller’s favour, it did also indicate that there is effectively a limit on one’s right to express one’s “philosophical beliefs”: while he was perfectly entitled to express them in the course of his work so long as they were relevant to his work, his angry confrontations with students demanding his dismissal was in the Tribunal’s opinion excessively aggressive and justified the amount of damages he would be awarded being halved.  The Tribunal also thought it might have been justifiable to dismiss him for saying that “Jews are not discriminated against”, they are “overrepresented” and that “Judeophobia barely exists these days”, remarks he had made publicly after his dismissal.  Yet whether one agrees with these statements or not, it is obvious Professor Miller did not make these statements in order to incite hatred of Jews and they would not have had that effect.  So why is he not entitled to his opinions, especially as he is a Professor of political sociology who would have based his opinions on a considerable body of fact?

Professor Miller was nevertheless delighted with the Tribunal’s decision.

I am extremely pleased that the Tribunal has concluded that I was unfairly and wrongfully dismissed by the University of Bristol,” he said.

I am also very proud that we have managed to establish that anti-Zionist views qualify as a protected belief under the UK Equality Act.

“This was the most important reason for taking the case and I hope it will become a touchstone precedent in all the future battles that we face with the racist and genocidal ideology of Zionism and the movement to which it is attached.”

Criminal proceedings against three lady demonstrators, Heba Alhayek, Pauline Ankunda and Noimutu Olayinka Taiwo,

On October 14 2023, a week after the Palestinian Resistance had mounted a highly effective attack on Israel, three women went on a pro-Palestinian march in London to express their approval of the fact that the oppressed were fighting back so fiercely against their oppression.  They were clearly impressed by the fact that the Resistance fighters had been able to evade Israeli defences by using paragliders to enter Zionist held territory and they attached a small picture to themselves displaying an image of a parachute to express their approval. The women were charged under the Terrorism Act, no less, with carrying or displaying an article to arouse reasonable suspicion that they were supporters of a banned organisation, i.e., Hamas.

Yet, based on the Charter of the United Nations, the 1970 United Nations General Assembly, Resolution 2625 explicitly endorsed a right to resist “subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation“, exactly the situation in which the Palestinian people find themselves.  One assumes that nobody is going to argue that the United Nations is a terror organisation, or a supporter of terror!

Anyway, when the case reached the court, the ladies were found to be guilty but the judge took the view that there was no evidence at all to suggest that they were in fact supporters of Hamas.  Presumably he thought that by sticking a small picture of a paraglider on their coats it would have been reasonable for the man on the Clapham omnibus, however mistakenly, to say to himself: Ah! They must be Hamas supporters!  Ignorant of United Nations Resolutions (and of the very many UN General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions of which Israel is in breach), and equally ignorant of the fact that multiple Palestinian factions – not only Hamas – were involved in the 7 October attack, it was ‘reasonable’ for him to assume they were Hamas supporters!

On that basis the judge must have been aware that it was arguable that the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the demonstration were all Hamas supporters!  Holding a Palestinian flag? You must be a Hamas supporter.  Chanting ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’? You must be a Hamas supporter!  It would not be surprising if the judge was thinking that the whole business was an outrageous waste of the time of both the court and the police – time which would have been better spent catching and convicting real criminals. 

Be that as it may, and convinced as he was that no evidence had been brought to show that any of the ladies actually supported Hamas even if they were, in his opinion, technically guilty as charged, he refused to send them to prison and instead gave them a conditional discharge.  We don’t know what the conditions are, but if they are kept to then their conviction will effectively be struck out.

This sensible course of action has of course been roundly condemned by the Zionist coterie and the bourgeois establishment bent on trying to silence the  opponents of the racist apartheid Israeli state, a hard job because it is the opponents who have truth and justice on their side.  Trawling through the judge’s social media accounts, someone was able to identify one occasion when the judge ‘liked’ some anti-Israel remark and on that basis claimed he was biased and should not have tried the case.  We are quite sure they would have been very happy, however, if the case had been tried by some tried and tested Zionist, who had donated to Zionist causes and/or paid regular visits to Israel for his holidays.  This is not an issue in which anyone who is in any kind of public office is not going to have taken sides, and if anything the judge did bend over backwards to find the ladies guilty although his judgment would have been much better and closer to the truth had he found that no reasonable person would have assumed that sticking a picture of a paraglider on one’s coat gave rise to a REASONABLE suspicion that whoever did it was a supporter of Hamas.  In the circumstances it was no less likely that they were opponents of Hamas but supporters of some other Palestinian faction.  In fact, the judge to that extent did bow to establishment pressure.  An appeal is being threatened but imprisonment for even a day of these ladies would seem to any reasonable person to be entirely undeserved and an outrageously disproportionate punishment.