Which Twitter message sounds more objectionable — a Jewish Member of Parliament threatening to punch an elderly Muslim woman in the throat, or a tweet to a female Jewish MP that read “You can always trust a Jew to show their true colours eventually.”?
Prosecutors in England have no doubt. In the first case no action was taken against the Jewish MP in question. He issued a full apology and that was the end of the matter.
But in the second case Garron Helm, a 21-year-old working class pro-White activist, has just been sent to prison for four weeks, for sending an “offensive, indecent or obscene message” to a Shadow Labour minister called Luciana Berger. In addition he was fined and expelled from college. An equally fulsome apology and payment of ab £80 “victim surcharge” to Ms. Berger did not help him.
An undeniable example of a double standard then, and one which highlights some growing trends. One is the use of social media by mainly leftist women and minority groups to create a platform for bogus victimisation claims — effectively a market for “hate crime hoaxes”.
But another is the way that Jewish political establishment have shrewdly integrated this into their strategy of ramping up scares that their community is under attack. With the UK Israel lobby somewhat at bay over the atrocities in Gaza, they have been working relentlessly to paint the picture of a Britain infested with rabid, psychotic anti-Semitism.
Politicians, lawyers and media have duly fallen into line and are furiously talking up the menace of online trolls perpetrating something called “online harassment” which seems to involve hurting the feelings of Jews, left-wing female activists and celebrities. Maximum jail sentences for this are to be extended from three months to two years.
Garron Helm, who did not have the option of a jury trial, is a supporter of a street protest group called “National Action” which promotes a “free white Britain” He had also included a “Hitler was Right#” hashtag and placed a Star of David over a picture of Berger. His tweet was posted anonymously only eight weeks ago, and the case was heard in record time.
The alleged victim and the convicted could hardly come from more contrasting backgrounds. Berger was educated at one of London’s finest schools, Haberdasher Aske’s, and, after university and a brief flirtation with the world of management consultancy, enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of the Labour Party, beginning with a position as Director of Labour Friends of Israel, before being parachuted into the safe seat of Wavertree. She is currently a Shadow Health Minister. To date she has mainly been known for a string of well-connected male friends which have included Euan Blair, son of then Prime Minister Tony Blair, Sion Simon, a Labour Minister, and then a man tapped to be a Labour leader, and most recently, ‘Britain’s Barack Obama’, Chuka Umunna.
But frenetic networking apart, she has another advantage — the victim card. Since university she has campaigned furiously for Israel and constantly accused Palestinians and their left wing student allies of anti-Semitism. Now, as a member of the All-Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism, she is a leading light in their campaign to “To make antisemitism a societal concern and, in doing so, help create a more tolerant and unprejudiced society. … We will encourage and pave the way for action against antisemitism amongst thought-leaders and opinion formers.”
Although not exactly a thought-leader or opinion former, Garron Helm is in fact the second scalp she has claimed from her constituents. In 2012 she reported Liverpool music promoter Philip Hayes to the police after an argument over Gaza at a music awards festival got out of hand and he said he hated Jewish people. He was subsequently fined £70 and apologised.
For a first time offender of good character, Garron Helm’s conviction will have serious consequences. Jailing is normally unheard of for a first offence that does not involve violence. But now his reputation is blighted, and the conviction will hugely reduce the chances of future employment.
The court heard that the accused Helm “was one of 11 children but the family had broken apart after his father died in a work accident and his mother had a mental breakdown”. He is typically described as an “immature loner” in the media
It is hard to see what was so offensive about the Tweet that offended the delicate sensibilities of Miss Berger. “You can always trust a Jew to show their true colours eventually.” Could it not be interpreted as just a rather blunt comment typical of working class individuals — the group that has lost the most as a result of mass immigration and multiculturalism — that Jews tend to behave in an ethnocentric way: that they pursue Jewish interests, including the displacement of White Britain? Indeed, National Action is quite aware of the class dimension of the incident; and they are well aware that the fundamental issue is the displacement of White Britain and the lack of concern of elites for their plight:
In an abuse of the kind that has existed unchanged for hundreds of years between the classes, Garron’s crime was to insult somebody with wealth and power. They debate the manner in which he called a Jewish MP a Jew, but ultimately he has gone to prison over a demonstrable fact and nothing else. …
Every day, thousands of white people are offended: The way that our ethnic group is victimized and portrayed in the media, the way we are expected to embrace our gradual displacement, the gradual reduction in conditions while billions go to aid as ‘justice’, by the wanton disregard our politicians have for our wants and needs. We’re fucking offended everyday of our lives but are told to get on with it.
The law’s reaction seems ill-judged. No less than the Guardian‘s old left-wing readership have waded in to complain at the heavy-handed response.
One said in the comments: “As thoroughly distasteful and moronic as this foolish young man’s tweet was, a jail term seems wholly excessive in a democracy. A fine would be more appropriate if punishment is required at all. There is a block button on twitter for this very reason. Join twitter expecting fools to cross your path or perhaps stay away from it.”
And another added “Agreed. He seems a nasty piece of work but Twitter is a forum. Free speech goes all ways and we have to listen and respond or ignore, no matter how vile the comment.”
For that champion of the poor and vulnerable, Luciana Berger has chalked up another victory. She and her well-funded political supporters lost no time in crowing about the conviction. Liberal Democrat MP and government minister Stephen Williams said: “We welcome today’s guilty verdict which shows there is no place for purveyors of hate to hide. This ruling sends out a message to all those who use social media to send out antisemitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic and racist comments that it is unacceptable and that we are serious about ensuring that those involved are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The Jewish community’s own private investigation agency the Community Security Trust, which maintains extensive links with the police and government agencies, also expressed satisfaction at the result. “Luciana Berger MP should be thanked for her role in this important case. CST welcomes the sentence and hopes it serves as a much needed warning to others.”
No such treatment was meted out to Conservative MP Michael Fabricant who apologised after posting a tweet in June saying he might punch a female journalist in the throat. Fabricant’s late father Isaac was the rabbi of Brighton and Hove Synagogue. The target of his potential violence was a Muslim journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown after she appeared on a television debate.
One of the most encouraging aspects of this affair has been the comments section of the Liverpool Echo which is filled with outrage and disgust at the treatment of Mr Helm.
The prosecution is part of a pattern. Ever since the Gaza ceasefire, the Jewish establishment in Britain has pulled out all the stops to repair the damage and has resorted to tried and true tactics — invoking the shade of the holocaust at every turn and finding anti-Semitism everywhere.
Again, this week it was the turn of the ascendant anti-Europe party UKIP to get the treatment. UKIP leader Nigel Farage has struck a fairly routine deal with the leader of a Polish right-wing party to go into an alliance which will help secure funding for both parties under EU rules. (Under EU rules, Farage’s alliance in the European Parliament, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, requires at least 25 deputies from 7 countries in order to receive around £1 million annually.)
But Britain’s leading Jewish political body, the Board of Deputies, chose to put the most sinister complexion on the matter and accused the UKIP leader of anti-Semitism by association. The Board was unable to furnish even one quote from the Polish politician that amounted to holocaust denial, but the British media were not going to be stopped by a little detail like that.
With the Daily Mail in its usual place at the front of the howling mob, the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Reuters and Sky all fell into line and ran stories taking the Board’s paranoid angle. Even by the standards of the usual anti-Semitic scares this was thin gruel, but what was comically impressive was the way the media were able to whip themselves into a state of near apoplexy over an obscure Polish politician whose name they could not spell and who they had never heard of three days previously.
Even denials from UKIP’s own Jewish members did not deflect the news angle. Clearly, the organized Jewish community in the UK is pulling out all the stops to destroy UKIP.
Elsewhere there is definite evidence of pushback against the current pro-Israel propaganda blitz, and it has taken place in the unlikely environs of the House of Commons where a largely symbolic vote to recognise the state of Palestine was passed overwhelmingly, thereby increasing international pressure on Israel.
A good example of the disillusionment felt by even longstanding Israel supporters was summed up in an emotional speech from Conservative MP Sir Richard Ottaway. He said he would not oppose the motion and condemned Israel for annexing Palestinian land.
“I have stood by Israel though thick and thin, but I realise now Israel has slowly been drifting away from public opinion,” he said, adding that Israel’s recent annexation of 950 acres of Palestinian territory “outraged me more than anything else in my political career. It made me look a fool.” Sir Alan Duncan, Conservative minister of international development, gave a speech describing “apartheid” conditions under the Israeli occupation and calling for a campaign to marginalize those who support settlements: “No settlement endorser should be considered fit to stand for election, remain a member of a mainstream political party, or sit in Parliament.”
Labour Whips were telling their MPs they had to vote in favour of the motion but a number who are members of the Labour Friends of Israel were given permission by their whips to absent themselves. One senior pro-Israeli Labour MP told the Independent: “To say that there is a row going on is putting it very mildly. People are furious.”
To the fury of many in the Jewish community, Andy Slaughter, vice-chair of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, said: “After the invasion of Gaza this summer at the cost of over 2,000 lives, the resumption of aggressive settlement building and Israel making every attempt to undermine the negotiating position of the Palestinians, it’s time to create a level playing field for negotiations.
“That is what the House of Commons is being asked to do on Monday: to afford the same right to the Palestinians as that we did to Israel, and to give Palestinians both a right to be heard and the recognition they deserve.”