By Jonathan Hoffman
April 26, 2013
I sent the following letter to the JC earlier this week in response to Jonathan Goldberg's article last week:
I could not disagree more with Jonathan Goldberg. He clearly has not read the Equality Act. If he had, he would not suggest that it is as fanciful to argue that Zionism should be a protected characteristic as to argue that supporting Tottenham Hotspur should be a protected characteristic “because so many Jews do”. “Belief” is a protected characteristic in the Act independently of religion. So someone who discriminates against a Zionist is in breach of the Act regardless of the victim’s religion (or absence of a religion). It is up to the judiciary to decide what constitutes a ‘belief’. The fact that there are Christian Zionists and Jewish anti-Zionists is entirely irrelevant.
Mr Goldberg also disapproves of bringing the case because our enemies will say “rich Jews threw huge resources at a failed attempt to stifle free speech”. I am aghast. The day we let antisemites dictate our actions is the day we might just as well lay down and die.
We all (Mr Goldberg included) owe Ronnie an enormous debt of thanks for standing up to the harassment that he received within UCU simply because he had the audacity to challenge lies about Israel. Of course the JLC was right to back the case. Antisemitism must never go unchallenged. If more cases were challenged, then perhaps Judges would be better informed about the bond between Israel and Jews than this Tribunal. This judgment was shamefully ill-informed and I would gladly donate to a fund to challenge it.