Salute to Israel protest case is dropped by the CPS

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009
Some of the crowd celebrating at the Trafalgar Square Salute to Israel rally last June

Some of the crowd celebrating at the Trafalgar Square Salute to Israel rally last June

A criminal charge has been dropped against the founder member of an anti-Israel campaign who protested with fake blood on her hands at a rally for Israel.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, was one of eight people arrested during the Salute to Israel parade through central London last June.

As a UJIA float passed her in Haymarket, Ms Wimborne-Idrissi held up her hands, covered in red food dye, and shouted: “Palestinian blood on Israeli hands.”

She was arrested and charged with a public order offence for “causing harassment, alarm and distress”.

Her case was due to be heard at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court last Thursday, but her solicitors were informed the day before that the Crown Prosecution Service was dropping the charge.

Ms Wimborne-Idrissi said it was “odd” that the CPS had pursued the case for so long.

“I think I have been vindicated in my view that the police made a mistake [in charging me].

“There is no doubt that given the option of arresting me, or the very belligerent and angry people at the scene, the officer found it easier to handle me than them,” she said.

“I was very careful about choosing the moment at which to protest. I thought UJIA were people who needed to think about the context of what was going on in Israel and Palestine.”

She added: “To have something like this hanging over me for so long has been quite stressful.”

A CPS spokesman said the case had been registered in November and kept under constant review, but when assessed last week it was decided to not proceed.

“Having considered all of the available evidence we have decided the case no longer meets the tests in the code for crown prosecutors and have offered no evidence and discontinued the case,” he said.

Doug Krikler, UJIA chief executive, said that those who chose to protest “in no way detracted from the joyous mood of celebration and message of support for Israel that rang out loud and clear. The Salute to Israel parade was a fantastic event.”

Last updated: 12:49pm, March 19 2009