By Asa Winstanley / Electronic Intifada
Two thugs affiliated with the Jewish Defence League UK were sentenced Monday to 150 hours of community service each and £1,140 ($1,700) in fines between them.
Roberta Moore and Robert De Jonge assaulted two people at a Palestine literary festival in London in September.
Last month a judge found Moore guilty on two counts of assault, and one count of possession of an offensive weapon. De Jonge was found guilty of assault.
In addition to the unpaid work, the two must pay compensation to their victims: Andy Simons, an organizer of the festival, and Simon Assaf, who had been running a socialist bookstall that day.
The video below was presented as evidence during the two-day trial in February.
The relatively light sentence raises questions about the limited scope of the Crown Prosecution Service’s case against the two. A custodial sentence was never likely for a first offense of common assault that caused no lasting physical injury.
But a violent assault by armed extremists invading the platform at a cultural/political event organized by those they see as their enemies raises serious questions about radicalization and prevention of religious extremism.
It is impossible to imagine that, had there been a similar incident involving extremist Muslims assaulting their ideological enemies, officers from Prevent – the UK government’s Islam-obsessed “anti-terrorism” unit – would not have been brought in.
The fact that the two pro-Israel extremists identify themselves as JDL was never raised by prosecutors during the two-day trial. This is despite the fact that JDL was classified by the FBI in a 2000/2001 report as a terrorist group.
De Jonge’s lawyer claimed at Monday’s sentencing that he had “no political affiliation” and was merely reacting to events of the day.
This claim is severely undermined by footage posted to YouTube in 2012 of De Jonge and Moore taunting and threatening Palestine solidarity protesters. In this video, De Jonge waves a yellow Jewish Defense League flag and wears a coat with “Jewish Task Force” (JTF) emblazoned on the back:
De Jonge and Moore also appear to run the JDL UK website, posting a bizarre rant about their trial and conviction.
The JTF is another Zionist extremist group, headed by Vincent Vancier. Once the leading figure in the JDL in the US, Vancier waged a violent bombing campaign in New York and Washington in the 1980s and subsequently served five and a half years in federal prison.
The magistrate said “there was some element of pre-planning” proved by the can of spray paint that Moore had used to assault her two victims.
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