Alison Chabloz used familiar Jewish melodies, such as Hava Nagila and Heivenu Shalom Aleichem, for her anti-Jewish and anti-Israel lyrics, a court heard on Wednesday.
The blogger and singer, who denies three charges of sending obscene material by public communication networks, and two alternative charges of causing obscene material to be sent, is defended by Adrian Davies, former defence lawyer for the Holocaust denier David Irving. Chabloz is on trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, in front of District Judge John Zani.
At issue are three songs written and performed by Chabloz and uploaded onto social media. Prosecution witnesses Gideon Falter and Steven Silverman, both from the Campaign Against Antisemitism, were asked by Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Karen Robinson to explain the meaning of the references in Chabloz’s songs. The lyrics of one attack Holocaust survivors Irene Zisblatt and Elie Wiesel, together with Anne Frank.
Mr Davies repeatedly asked Mr Falter and Mr Silverman whether they thought it was acceptable to criticise those who had “made something up” in relation to the Holocaust. Mr Falter asked for an example: Mr Davies referred to the case of Binyamin Wilkomirski, who wrote a best-selling and award-winning book about his Holocaust experiences, but who turned out to be a fraud.
Mr Falter said he had not heard about the Wilkomirski case, but rejected Mr Davies’s attempt to compare it with the memoir of Irene Zisblatt, whose book, The Fifth Diamond, has been accused of various inaccuracies. He said that such inconsistencies, which he believed to be minor, did not take away from her essential experience of going through the Holocaust.
Mr Davies mocked Mr Falter for not having read Irene Zisblatt’s book, but when Judge Zani gently inquired as to whether he, too, was expected to read it, Mr Davies backed down.
Opening his cross-examination of Mr Falter, Mr Davies attacked him and the Campaign Against Antisemitism for having been “heavily invested” in bringing Ms Chabloz to court. “You attempted to have her bail revoked on December 23, with a view to her spending Christmas in jail”, he claimed, but Mr Falter said his only motivation was “to stop her spreading antisemitic material, and stuff about my family”.
Mr Davies said that by his actions, Mr Falter had turned Ms Chabloz into “a minor celebrity”, rather than leaving her to “sing her songs to a handful of her supporters”.
Ms Robertson led Mr Silverman on a line-by-line analysis through Ms Chabloz’s three songs, asking him for the meaning of terms such as “Chosen-ites” or references to Auschwitz as a “theme park”. Mr Silverman, director of investigations and enforcement at the CAA, said Ms Chabloz’s lyrics represented ‘“one of the most appalling expressions of antisemitic hatred I have ever seen.”
The case has been adjourned until March 7 and Ms Chabloz has been bailed until that date.