The High Court has ruled that it was permissible for Campaign Against Antisemitism to call Tony Greenstein a “notorious anti-Semite”.
Greenstein, expelled by the Labour Party, brought the defamation case against CAA alleging they had libelled him. “Greenstein has long sought to have CAA struck off the register of charities,” noted a CAA spokesman. “We applied to strike out Mr Greenstein’s case because it had no hope of success at a full hearing and should not proceed. Today, the court agreed to dismiss the entirety of his libel claim, leaving only other minor aspects of the case to be determined at a later hearing.”
In a 21-page judgement, Justice Tipples referred to the International Definition of Anti-Semitism in the case, reportedly noting that “on any objective assessment, an honest person could form the view that these tweets, in which the claimant has referred to ‘Jewish Nazis’, used the word ‘Zios’ (which he knows is anti-Semitic) and, having done so, referred to collaboration with the Nazis, were anti-Semitic statements he made.”
Justice Tipples also reportedly ruled that “the claimant’s tweet compares the people of Israel to the Nazis and, on any objective assessment, an honest person could have held the opinion that that was an anti-Semitic statement from the claimant.”
She added: “The claimant has no real prospect of succeeding on this issue (of libel).”
Greenstein argued that CAA’s Chief Executive, Gideon Falter, had been malicious in describing him as an anti-Semite and he did not honestly believe that he was one. Justice Tipples dismissed the arguments, reportedly finding “this plea of malice is insufficient and should be struck out.”
Falter said that for years Greenstein had sought to discredit the anti-Semitism definition and have CAA struck off the register of charities.
“We have repeatedly called him a ‘notorious anti-Semite’ and today the High Court ruled that we were perfectly entitled to do so,” Falter noted after the ruling. “This is a humiliating defeat for Mr Greenstein who will now have to explain to those who paid his legal expenses through crowdfunding that he wasted their money on such a hopeless claim.
“All that remains of his action is a minor data protection and privacy claim which we now look forward to dismantling at a future hearing, should he even progress that far.”
CAA has shown that Greenstein has defended Ken Livingstone’s Nazi apologism, compared Zionists to Nazis and characterises the creation of Israel as “racist.”
He has also repeatedly breached the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
Greenstein was expelled from the Labour Party after a lengthy disciplinary process.
A Labour Party spokesperson said at the time that The National Constitutional Committee of the Labour Party had found Greenstein had breached three charges of the Labour Party’s rule 2.1.8.
Charges related to comments made by Greenstein on social media and his blog.
Joe Glasman, Head of Political and Government Investigations at CAA, said, “We are pleased that the Labour Party has at long last begun to expel those it finds guilty of abusive conduct, but its action is more than two years overdue.”