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Thursday, 7 October 2010

'Seven Anti-Jewish Activists' - Will Caryl Churchill Write About Them?

So there is some - if not much - justice after all.

JUDGE.GEORGE.BATHURST.NORMANI refer to the case of Judge George Bathurst-Norman who, according to the version of events in today's Daily Telegraph

"was disciplined following an investigation in to comments made at the end of a trial of seven activists who sabotaged equipment at a Brighton factory they claimed was making parts for Israeli warplanes".

At the time of the trial I, along with folk a whole lot grander than me, opined that the Judge's summing-up was not just anti-Israel but outrageously antisemitic. I was only one of a swelling crowd demanding that Mr Justice (sic!) Bathurst-Norman be arraigned before his peers and put on some sort of trial himself. It almost happened.

"Following complaints, Judge Bathurst-Norman was investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints. A statement said: 

"'A number of complaints were made about some of the observations he made during the trial and summing up. An investigation found that a number of these observations did not arise directly from the evidence at trial and could be seen as an expression of the judge's personal views on a political question. This was an error.

"'The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice considered the conclusions of the investigation and HH Bathurst-Norman was formally reprimanded.'"

Now, down to work: Is it too much to call  a 'mistrial' on the original hearing? I'm not vindictive, but I think for the sake of public safety those cleared of conspiracy to cause criminal damage at the original hearing should be forced to appear in court again. Caryl.Churchill

Then, in the fullness of time, I would challenge Caryl Churchill, who penned the infamously awful   Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza to write a full-length well-considered docu-drama, debating which high and anonymous figure arranged the first hearing, which was such an obvious piece of botched artifice that it put a Stalin Show trial in the shade.


Sadly, a possible re-trial may be stymied by (lack of) money. I conclude by quoting  Jonathan Hoffman, co-chair of the Zionist Federation in Britain:

"As a result of this politically biased Judge, thousands of taxpayer pounds have been wasted and the criminals who vandalised the EDO factory walked away scot free. Let the disgracing of this Judge be a lesson to any other Judges who similarly encourage the delegitimisation of Israel. The Judge or magistrate who tries the case of the vandals who committed aggravated trespass at the Ahava shop in London on Saturday must punish them with the full force of the law".


I was fascinated that the story made the 12.00 noon (1.00 p.m. Israel time) BBC Radio 4 news bulletin today but failed to re-appear on the World at One headlines. Why? Maybe because the BBC preferred to run yet another story about Israel's perennial cultural worry over performing Wagner.

We can't have two 'Jewish interest' stories in one bulletin, can we? So if we must choose, let's pick that which makes Israel look at little less than perfect and report with relish on the row caused by the Israel Chamber Orchestra's plans to play at the Wagner Festival in Beyreuth next year.

But before any eagle-eyed reader notes my lining up Caryl Churchill,  Judge George Bathurst-Norman and Nazi composer, Richard Wagner, I'd better call it a day! 

Leila tov!


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