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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Bathurst-Norman Bag for Internet Sickness

By now, most who read this blog are aware of the recent decision of a Brighton jury to acquit seven "activists" who caused £180,000 damage to an arms factory, which they believed was manufacturing weapons used by Israel in Operation Cast Lead. After the initial acquittal of five of the defendants, The Guardian reported:

"Five activists who caused £180,000 damage to an arms factory were acquitted after they argued they were seeking to prevent Israeli war crimes.

The five were jubilant after a jury found them not guilty of conspiring to cause criminal damage to the factory on the outskirts of Brighton.

The five admitted they had broken in and sabotaged the factory, but argued they were legally justified in doing so.

They believed that EDO MBM, the firm that owns the factory, was breaking export regulations by manufacturing and selling to the Israelis military equipment which would be used in the occupied territories. They wanted to slow down the manufacture of these components, and impede what they believed were war crimes being committed by Israel against the Palestinians.

* * * *

The judge highlighted the testimony by Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, that 'all democratic paths had been exhausted' before the activists embarked on their action."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/30/activists-arms-factory-acquitted

Judge Bathurst-Norman's instructions to the jury and the jury's decision were scrutinized with great acuity by Robin Shepherd (http://www.robinshepherdonline.com/anti-semitic-juries-in-the-uk-may-start-decriminalising-crimes-committed-against-israeli-interests/#more-2919), Caroline Glick (http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=180523) and Melanie Phillips, who observed:

"But what really jumps out from this story is the direction the jury received from the judge in the case:

In his summing up, Judge George Bathurst-Norman suggested to the jury that ‘you may well think that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans suffered in that time’.

Let’s get our heads round this, folks: an English judge in an English court of law effectively directed a jury to acquit people of criminally smashing up a factory, because he chose to believe Hamas propaganda about the suffering of people in Gaza during a war about which he presumably has no knowledge whatever apart from what he has read or seen in the media – a war, moreover, launched solely to prevent Gazans from aggressively firing rockets into Israel in order to murder its civilians, during the course of which war Israel went to heroic lengths to avoid hurting Gazan civilians who were being put in harm’s way by Hamas, the true cause of Gaza's 'hell on earth'.

Quite apart from the ignorance and bigotry of Judge George Bathurst-Norman, what on earth is a judge doing imposing his political prejudices upon a jury and thus taking the side of the defendants in the case he is trying – with the result that he effectively directed the jury to acquit them of a crime?"

(http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/6117164/the-hellish-histrionics-of-hove-propaganda-court.thtml)

I would be hard pressed to supplement the analysis of Mr. Shepherd, Ms. Glick and Ms. Phillips, and would only mention that hearing of this case made me ill and set me to thinking. Tomorrow I will be flying, and in the seat pocket in front of me there will be an air sickness bag. I do not suffer from air sickness, yet I do suffer from Internet sickness. This being the case, why not design a special bag for persons like myself who suffer while surfing the web? Such a bag designed for the Internet could hardly be called an air sickness bag and would surely merit its own appellation. Hence, after much thought and in recognition of this propitious decision by the Brighton court:

The Bathurst-Norman Bag for Internet Sickness

5 comments:

  1. The more one ingests developments related to the world's upside-down logic where Israel is concerned, the more stomach-churning it can be, indeed. I have contemplated, and continue to do so, the way to personally deal with the emotional turmoil resulting from a combo of disbelief, outrage, and the angst that comes from confronting injustice so profound that, the physical analogue would be the urge to vomit. So, I tell myself to expect these world reactions and, beyond that, to remind myself that this too must be part of the destined unfolding of events. Does it mean our presence in Israel is at the threshold of the end in this epoch or is this the catalyst for more staunch and bolder action on our part? Wish I knew.

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  2. I think, it is a great idea. I would develop it further. In my view, the problem is not in the Internet, but in European regress into state - supported Antisemitism. So, the bag may be called The Bathurst-Norman Bag for European Sickness. I imagine a charity which sells small brown bags with the portrait of this judge and uses proceeds for good causes. For example, to support Israeli injured in wars.

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  3. Selective application of the law is a worldwide phenomenon-be it the endorsement(aren't judges supposed to enforce the law,not inject their own philosophy/rationalization with regard to events external to their own nation?) of damaging private property by radicals in Britain or the crisis found in Arizona and the border states regarding illegal immigration.

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  4. Why haven't there been additional blog entries?

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  5. Patience.I have reason to believe that they will appear shortly.

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