From: Islamic Human Rights Commission
19 December 2017
PRESS RELEASE – UK/PALESTINE: CPS refuses to bow to pro-Israel pressure in Palestine demo case
IHRC welcomes the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute one of IHRC’s speakers for anti-Zionist remarks made during the Al-Quds Day demonstration in London last June.
The decision is a victory for justice and common sense and hopefully draws a line in the sand against the aggressive lobbying of the pro-Israeli lobby to cynically and falsely conflate criticism of the Zionist state with anti-Semitism.
The police investigation into Nazim Ali was prompted following a number of false and malicious accusations made by a number of pro-Israeli organisations / journalists alleging that his political opposition to Israel and Zionism amounted to hate speech, incitement, terrorism and a breach of public order laws.
However, following an extensive investigation lasting six months, two different CPS teams concluded that there was no merit to the accusations and have dropped the case. Despite the CPS’ decision the group Campaign Against Anti-Semitism has stated it will conduct a private prosecution against Mr Ali, and continue the witch-hunt against him. Pro-Israeli activists have already sought to apply pressure on Mr Ali by contacting his employer and using the press to make false and unsubstantiated claims against him.
While the dropping of the case is a welcome development, IHRC notes the failure of the police to investigate threats and hate speech directed by members of the pro-Israeli counter demonstration as well as known members of the far right at demonstrators taking part in the Al-Quds Day march. It is yet another example of the double standards that have come to characterise official treatment of the Muslim community.
This annual event is a peaceful, family-friendly, multicultural event that has been running for over 35 years. In this time, there has been no trouble or arrests and the police have always acknowledged the peaceful and lawful nature of the event when discussing event logistics. Despite this, this year’s Al-Quds Day March was the subject of an unprecedented vilification campaign by pro-Israeli activists and the extreme far right who tried unsuccessfully to have it banned with the support of Mayor Sadiq Khan. Failing in their endeavours they then organised an aggressive counter demonstration to intimidate and abuse the participants.
Massoud Shadjareh, Chair of IHRC, states: “What we have seen in recent years is an aggressive attack against support for BDS or criticism of Israel by pro-Israeli activists. Whether by violently attacking MPs or maliciously defaming individuals as anti-Semitic for being upset at videos of Palestinian children being caged, the apologists for Israeli war crimes refuse to allow any criticism of Israel in the public space. This kind of aggressive attempt to silence those who wish to show solidarity with the Palestinians must be resisted. IHRC will support all who are bullied, attacked and demonised by the pro-Israel lobby for their political opposition to Israeli war crimes, and we will stand by anyone who opposes oppression and champions justice for the Palestinian people.”
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