Group’s ac­tivists business owner

The Sunday Telegraph - - Tories in manchester -

Pales­tinian peo­ple and their strug­gle against Is­rael.

That prompted Damian Green, Theresa May’s ef­fec­tive deputy in the Gov­ern­ment, to ac­cuse Mr Cor­byn of re­fus­ing to “call out or even men­tion claims of an­tiSemitism within his party”.

Two other mem­bers of the SPSC have pre­vi­ously been con­victed for protest­ing against Mr Ayalon’s busi- ness. Mick Napier was con­victed in July 2017 of ag­gra­vated tres­pass and ig­nor­ing a po­lice or­der. Jim Wat­son, a fel­low pro­tester was con­victed of ig­nor­ing the po­lice. Nei­ther was con­victed of racially mo­ti­vated crime.

Coutts was charged over his protest in Au­gust last year. His sup­port­ers in­sisted it was not a racially mo­ti­vated at­tack and that he had sim­ply shouted “Viva Pales­tine” while walk­ing past the Jeri­cho Skin­Care stall.

Mr Napier, who co-or­di­nates the SPSC, said Coutts would be ap­peal­ing his conviction for racial abuse. He ve­he­mently de­nied any sug­ges­tion the group was anti- Semitic. Mr Napier said: “We don’t even know if it’s a Jewish busi­ness­man [behind the com­pany]. It is the sell­ing of Is­raeli prod­ucts that we ob­ject to.

“He [Coutts] was walk­ing through the shop­ping mall and he said ‘Viva Pales­tine’ and that has been taken as racism.

“We are ab­so­lutely clear that anti-Semitism is a species of racism and to be op­posed, but crit­i­cism of the state of Is­rael should be part of demo­cratic dis­cus­sion.”

He said the SPSC was a par­al­lel or­gan­i­sa­tion to the London-based group of a sim­i­lar name, of which Mr Cor­byn has been a prom­i­nent mem­ber and of­ten a driv­ing force.

The London-based PSC has faced al­le­ga­tions of an­tiSemitism in the past, which it de­nies.

A 79-page re­port by David Col­lier, a Jewish ac­tivist, listed hun­dreds of ex­am­ples of PSC sup­port­ers and cam­paign­ers al­legedly en­gag­ing in anti-Semitic ac­tiv­ity.

Mr Col­lier said mem­bers “fre­quently cross the line be­tween le­git­i­mate crit­i­cism of Is­rael and ac­cu­sa­tions that can be iden­ti­fied with classic anti-Semitic tropes”.

Mr Cor­byn’s spokesman said: “Jeremy has spent his life cam­paign­ing against hate speech, racial abuse and dis­crim­i­na­tion. He con­demns ev­ery in­stance of it.”

‘The hate poured upon this in­di­vid­ual is nothing short of a dis­grace­ful game of chase the Jew’

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