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Campaign Against Antisemitism

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Campaign Against Antisemitism
Campaign Against Antisemitism logo
MottoJustice, justice you shall pursue
FormationAugust 2014
Registration no.1163790
HeadquartersLondon, UK
Region served
United Kingdom
Chairman
Gideon Falter
Websiteantisemitism.uk

Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) is a United Kingdom non-governmental organisation established in August 2014 by members of the Anglo-Jewish community.[1][2][3]

It publishes research, organises rallies and petitions and conducts ligitation.

History

The CAA was set up in early August 2014, after an increase in antisemitic incidents that accompanied the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.[4][5]

A grassroots campaign, it grew largely out of social media activity among those who felt more should be done to promote the Jewish community's concerns after a meeting to discuss responses where a campaigner had her concerns dismissed by Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman.[6]

In January 2015, the then UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, praised CAA for its work and undertook to ensure that the law against antisemitism is "robustly enforced".[7]

It was registered as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) on 1 October 2015.[8]

Publications

CAA publishes primary and secondary research based on polling and freedom of information requests.

CAA's National Antisemitic Crime Audit collects and analyses antisemitic crime data from all police forces in the UK. CAA uses the report to assess trends in antisemitic crime and to make recommendations to the British government.[9][10]

Criticism

The All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism wrote in 2015 that

We were somewhat disappointed to note that not all of the messages from that group (the CAA) have been in line with CST’s stated approach of seeking to avoid undue panic and alarm. We encourage Jewish communal leaders and others when speaking on antisemitism to follow CST’s example and to be reassuring and responsible in their language, taking into account the activity which as we have outlined had been undertaken before the summer and during it. So too, it is important that the leadership do not conflate concerns about activity legitimately protesting Israel’s actions with antisemitism, as we have seen has been the case on some occasions.[11]

In January 2015, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research said that a CAA survey about antisemitism was "littered with flaws", and "may even be rather irresponsible".[12]

Rallies and petitions

Their first demonstration was against the Tricycle Theatre in London which, in August 2014, had refused to participate in that November's UK Jewish Film Festival due to the contemporaneous conflict in Gaza, unless the festival rejected funding from parties involved, notably a £1400 sponsorship from the Israeli embassy, which the Tricycle Theatre offered to replace.[13] Later in August, following discussions with the festival organizers, the Tricycle withdrew its condition.[14]

In August 2018, CAA organised a demonstration outside Labour's headquarters to protest against the handling of antisemitism in the UK Labour Party, and to condemn Jeremy Corbyn.[15]

Also in August 2018 the organisation launched a change.org petition titled "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite and must go",[16] the petition featuring a Labour slogan modified to read "For the many not the Jew", was signed by over 30,000 by 30 August 2018.[17] A counter petition against the CAA with the title "To Get the Charity Commission to Deregister the Zionist Campaign Against Anti-Semitism" was signed by almost 7,500 and sent to the Charity Commission, which said in response that it was "assessing concerns raised about the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s campaigning activities".[18] In October 2018, the Charity Commission noted that charities must be independent of party politics and insisted that the CAA reword its petition.[19]

In November 2018, the CAA asked the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to investigate the Labour Party.[20] In May 2019, following complaints submitted by the Jewish Labour Movement and the CAA, the EHRC launched a formal investigation into whether Labour had "unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish".[21]

Litigation

CAA has used the process of judicial review to scrutinise and reverse decisions made by the British government and authorities. In March 2017, CAA forced the CPS to quash a decision not to prosecute an alleged far-right leader over a speech in which he issued a call to "free England from Jewish control".[22][23][24]

In December 2017 the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute a Islamic Human Rights Commission director who was one of the organisers of a Quds Day rally, who, during the rally, allegedly stated that Zionists were responsible for the Grenfell Tower fire, called for Israel's destruction, and that he was fed up with Zionists, their rabbis, synagogues, and supporters. The CAA attempted to begin a private prosecution for inciting racial or religious hatred, however this was blocked by the CPS, as they had determined there was no "realistic prospect of conviction".[25][26][27]

In early 2018, CAA brought a successful[28][29] private prosecution against a holocaust denier who released three YouTube videos of self-written antisemitic songs characterising Auschwitz as a "theme park" and the Holocaust as the "Holohoax".[30][31][32][33]

In July 2018, Gilad Atzmon was forced to apologise to Gideon Falter, the chairman of the CAA, over a libel. Atzmon had falsely alleged that Falter had personally profited from fabricating antisemitic incidents. He will be ordered to pay legal costs and damages.[34][35]

In 2019, the CAA was sued by Tony Greenstein for libel in relation to what is or is not antisemitism following five articles it had published about him. In 2017, Greenstein had launched a petition asking the Charity Commission to deregister the organisation, claiming its purpose was to limit freedom of speech by calling opponents of Israel antisemitic.[36]

Opposition to events

In August 2019, the organisation asked Goldsmiths, University of London to cancel a booking made by the Communist Party of Great Britain because they objected to some of the speakers who, they said, "have a history of baiting Jews or outright antisemitism". The university in response referenced their commitment to free speech and that hiring event space to legal organisations was a common practice amongst universities.[37]

References

  1. ^ Sarah K. Cardaun, (19 Jun 2015). Countering Contemporary Antisemitism in Britain: Government and Civil Society Responses between Universalism and Particularism. Brill Publishers. p. 152. ISBN 9789004300880.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ "Hate crimes against Jews up sharply in Britain, audit finds". The Times of Israel. 2016-05-01.
  3. ^ "Researching antisemitism". Institute for Jewish Policy Research. 2015-01-14.
  4. ^ Peled, Daniella (15 September 2014). "Shaken by post-Gaza War Hostility, U.K. Jews Push Back". Haaretz. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  5. ^ Cardaun, Sarah K. (31 August 2015). Countering Contemporary Antisemitism in Britain. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-30089-7.
  6. ^ Dysch, Marcus (4 September 2014). "How a small band of activists took the lead". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Theresa May remarks on rising antisemitism and work of CAA". BBC News. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2019 – via Campaign Against Antisemitism.
  8. ^ Charity Commission. Campaign Against Antisemitism, registered charity no. 1163790.
  9. ^ "National Antisemitic Crime Audit". Campaign Against Antisemitism. 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  10. ^ "UK Watchdog: British Jews 'Denied Justice;' Despite Antisemitism Surge, Hate-Crime Prosecution Drops (INTERVIEW)". Algemeiner Journal. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  11. ^ Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism, February 2015. [1]
  12. ^ "Institute for Jewish Policy Research: News & events". www.jpr.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  13. ^ "UK Jewish Film Festival banned from the Tricycle Theatre: But some won't attack boycott".
  14. ^ Dysch, Marcus (15 August 2014). "Tricycle Theatre drops UK Jewish Film Festival boycott". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  15. ^ Hundreds protest anti-Semitism outside Labour HQ, Jewish News, 8 August 2018
  16. ^ "Thousands sign petition seeking Corbyn's ouster over Labour anti-Semitism". Times of Israel. 26 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  17. ^ 30,000 sign petition calling for Jeremy Corbyn to quit over antisemitism, The Times, Dulcie Lee, 30 August 2018
  18. ^ Preston, Rob (30 August 2018). "Regulator assessing concerns over Campaign Against Antisemitism petition". Civil Society Media. London. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  19. ^ Sugarman, Daniel (30 October 2018). "You can call Corbyn an antisemite but you can't call for him to resign, Charity Commission tells CAA". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Anti-Semitism: Labour faces possible human rights probe". BBC News. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Equality watchdog launches Labour anti-Semitism probe".
  22. ^ "Anti-Semites are becoming bolder in Britain, and that should worry us all". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  23. ^ "CPS are going to re-examine the case of a prolific anti-Semite who claims the West are "slaves" to the "Zionist agenda"". The Independent. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  24. ^ Ross, Alice (2017-03-07). "CPS weighs prosecution of far-right activist on eve of legal challenge". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  25. ^ CAA takes legal action against the CPS for blocking Al Quds Day march leader prosecution, Jewish Chronicle, 3 September 2018
  26. ^ No criminal charge for Al Quds rally speaker who blamed ‘Zionists’ for Grenfell disaster, Jewish Chronicle, 13 December 2017
  27. ^ Prosecution of Al-Quds Day march leader blocked by Crown Prosecution Service, Jewish Chronicle, 5 July 2018
  28. ^ "YouTuber Alison Chabloz guilty over anti-Semitic songs". BBC News. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Woman who posted Holocaust denial songs to YouTube convicted". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  30. ^ Blogger claims "no proof" gas chambers killed Jewish people, BBC News, 7 March 2018
  31. ^ 'Holocaust revisionist' on trial for anti-Semitic songs, BBC News, 10 January 2018
  32. ^ Blogger Alison Chabloz sings along to antisemitic song (((Survivors))) in court, The Times, January 10 2018
  33. ^ Blogger 'mocked Anne Frank and Holocaust survivors', court told, ITV News, January 11 2018
  34. ^ Welch, Ben (2 July 2018). "Gilad Atzmon is forced to apologise to CAA's Gideon Falter over libel". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Antisemitic author and saxophonist Gilad Atzmon capitulates, making humiliating apology and paying substantial damages and costs after just two hours in court against CAA". antisemitism.uk. Campaign Against Antisemitism. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  36. ^ Rocker, Simon (15 Feb 2019). "Definition of antisemitism under the spotlight in anti-Zionist campaigner's libel battle against charity". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  37. ^ Southworth, Phoebe (15 August 2019). "University which banned beef now hosts 'Communist' summer school". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 August 2019.

Further reading

External links