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Thursday, July 01, 2010

More on the British judge who hates Israel (Zvi)

Zvi does some research on Judge George Bathurst-Norman, who just essentially instructed a jury to acquit people from causing hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage - because the material might have gone to Israel:

It is impossible to run a society based on the rule of law if the courts refuse to enforce the law.

The Implications
Let's remove Israel from the picture for a moment and examine the implications of the judge's instructions.

War is always hell, and true anti-war activists have a valid, if often naive, cause. Suppose that anti-war activists have exhausted all democratic means and have been unable to stop the UK from fighting wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Suppose that they have been unable to stop British arms manufacturers from selling weapons to third world countries. Apparently, anti-war activists are allowed to break into any munitions factory in the UK and do hundreds of thousands of Pounds worth of damage. Apparently, the rights of the factory owners are meaningless. The factories may be supplying the British armed forces and/or a variety of British partners and clients. None of that matters. War is always hell. British weapons are always designed to kill people.

There is, of course, another possible option. War might only be hell for Arabs who are fighting against Israel.

It is possible that war is not hell when Angola purchases 30 million Pounds worth of armored vehicles from the UK. It is possible that war is not hell when the UK sends 180 tons of arms to genocidal Sudan. It is possible that war is not hell when BAE alone sells 43 billion Pounds worth of arms contracts since 2005 to Saudi Arabia, which is currently fighting in Yemen and enforcing a strangling blockade through which no food or medicine is permitted to pass. It is possible that war is not hell when the UK sells weapons to Iraq, or when UK planes bomb Iraqi cities. It is possible that war is not hell when the UK sells weapons to Pakistan, and when Pakistan sought to acquire nuclear weapons (see below). It is possible that war is not hell when the UK sells weapons to Sri Lanka (thousands of Tamil civilians indiscriminately slaughtered by the Sri Lankan armed forces during the bombardment of the surrounded LTTE).

But to believe that war is only hell for those who are fighting against Israel, a person must not only ignore reality and objectivity; he must abandon all semblance of rational thought.  

Proof, Assertion & Recusal  
Next thought.

The judge made statements about the war in Gaza while instructing the jury. But I don't believe that any proof was offered up to demonstrate that these statements were factual. Is unsupported assertion the new standard of proof in the British courts? Or is this only true where Israel is concerned?
If a judge has political positions that lead to bias, then is he not required to recuse himself?

Who & Why?
Next thought. From the Elder's source:

We need not have worried! Perhaps the fact that His Honour was born in the Arab town of Jaffa opposite Tel Aviv might have something to do with it! Judge George Bathurst-Norman was brought out of retirement to hear the case.

I'm curious. Who "brought him out of retirement to try this case," and on what grounds?  


Double Standard?
In 2003, Judge Bathurst-Norman jailed a man for 3 months for decapitating a statue of Margaret Thatcher. In that decision, the judge said that although many people sympathized with the man, smashing up property deserved a custodial sentence.

Nuclear Weapons are not a Big Deal, Apparently
In 2001, Judge George Bathurst-Norman handed down a "remarkably lenient" sentence to 
Abu Bakr Siddiqui, one of the procurement agents of the A.Q. Khan nuclear tech smuggling network(facilitating Pakistan's nuclear weapons program and the nuclear weapons programs of rogue states such as North Korea and Iran).

I guess "hell on earth" does not describe what would happen if Pakistani nuclear weapons were used against India, or Iranian nuclear weapons were used against Israel.