JC SAYS

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE -

ONE WOULD ex­pect the reg­u­la­tory au­thor­ity of a pro­fes­sional body to back one of its mem­bers when that mem­ber is the vic­tim of racist abuse. The Solic­i­tors Reg­u­la­tion Au­thor­ity believes dif­fer­ently. Its re­sponse to the an­tisemitic ha­rass­ment, at­tacks, threats and abuse of Mark Lewis has been to sup­port those who have tar­geted him for many years.

His at­tack­ers at­tempted to make it im­pos­si­ble for him to carry out his pro­fes­sional life — such as com­plain­ing to the SRA, taunt­ing him with the idea that were he to re­spond to their at­tacks, his own reg­u­la­tor would con­demn him. And that is ex­actly what the SRA has done.

When neo-Nazis told him they were an­tic­i­pat­ing his death, he replied with un­der­stand­able anger. For re­spond­ing to death threats, the SRA has cho­sen to pun­ish Mr Lewis. To be blunt: the SRA has cho­sen to pun­ish Mr Lewis for be­ing Jewish. If Mr Lewis was not Jewish, he would not have been the sub­ject of the re­peated, numer­ous and fright­en­ing at­tacks which he has had to en­dure. By pun­ish­ing him for re­spond­ing to a tiny frac­tion of those at­tacks, the SRA has shown that it does not be­lieve Jews should be al­lowed to de­fend them­selves against racism. Th­ese are the mem­bers of the SRA’s Board: Julia Black, Sharon Darcy, David Heath, Paul Loft, Barry Matthews, Ge­off Ni­cholas, Dame Denise Platt, Chris Ran­dall, Enid Row­lands, Tony Wil­liams, Elaine Wil­liams and David Wil­lis. If they al­low this pun­ish­ment to stand, their in­ac­tion will show they agree that Jews should not be per­mit­ted to re­spond to an­ti­semitism.

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