Neo-Nazi branded Jewish MP a ‘rodent’ and ‘evil money-grabber’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Neo-Nazi branded Jewish MP a ‘rodent’ and ‘evil money-grabber’

The Old Bailey was told how far-right activist Joshua Bonehill-Paine allegedly targeted Luciana Berger with anti-Semitic hatred

Labour MP Luciana Berger arriving at the Old Bailey in London where blogger Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 23, of Yeovil, Somerset, is accused of harassing her by posting a series of anti-Semitic rants on the internet. (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
Labour MP Luciana Berger arriving at the Old Bailey in London where blogger Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 23, of Yeovil, Somerset, is accused of harassing her by posting a series of anti-Semitic rants on the internet. (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

A Labour MP was branded a “rodent” and an “evil money-grabber” in a series of repulsive anti-Jewish blogs, a court has heard.

Over four months, Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger, 35, was allegedly harassed online by Joshua Bonehill-Payne – a “committed proponent of anti-Semitic views”.

The Old Bailey was told that Bonehill-Paine, 23, posted five “hateful and insulting” articles about the woman he blamed for the jailing of a far-right extremist he regarded as a comrade.

Garron Helm was sentenced to four weeks in prison after pleading guilty to sending a malicious communication by tweeting a picture of Ms Berger with a Star of David superimposed on her forehead accompanied by the words “#Hitler was right”.

Prosecutor Philip Stott told jurors that Bonehill-Paine regarded the sentence as “wrongful” and set about targeting Ms Berger afresh.

Mr Stott said: “The common ideology which so stirred MrBonehill-Paine is one of fierce anti-Semitism.

“Throughout the articles … Ms Berger is referred to by MrBonehill-Paine as, for example, a rodent, as evil, a money-grabber, a dominatrix and responsible for the death of Jesus.

“Repulsive as they may be to you and me, I understand that Mr Bonehill-Paine is not likely to dispute that he made these remarks.”

Joshua Bonehill-Paine is accused of racially harassing the Jewish MP
Joshua Bonehill-Paine is accused of racially harassing the Jewish MP

The prosecutor told jurors that the defendant was expected to argue his posts were “reasonable in the circumstances” and fall within the bounds of “free speech and freedom of political expression”.

Four of the blogs were posted on The Daily Bale (Britain Against Left-wing Extremism), which Bonehill-Paine founded, and another on his personal website.

Each article makes anti-Semitic remarks about Jewish people, Jewish Labour MPs and their colleagues and Ms Berger in particular, the court heard.

Bonehill-Paine, of Yeovil, Somerset, denies racially aggravated harassment of Ms Berger between October 26 2014 and January 25 2015.

The first post came seven days after Helm was sent down on October 20 2014.

In a blog entitled Racist Anti-White Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger Exposed, Bonehill-Paine allegedly accused her of “criminally instigating a campaign of personal hatred against British freedom of speech hero”.

He went on to state that she must be “a dominatrix” with a “deep-rooted hatred for men” and her choice of partners makes her a “money-grabber”, the court heard.

The post was illustrated with three “offensive” images, including one of Ms Berger’s face superimposed on a rat, the court heard.

In a second post on November 4 2014, Ms Berger was described as being part of a “new line of Jewish MPs” who are ensuring “that white genocide happens without fail”.

An article days later was entitled “Zog (Zionist Occupied Government) attacks Daily Stormer in retaliation to a successful Berger campaign”.

The far-right website was hailed for its “fantastically successful campaign against the Jewess” cited as “a battle between good and evil, white and anti-white”.

On November 20 2014, the defendant went on to post “Joshua Bonehill-Paine: On the eve of battle” in which he is depicted holding a Union flag.

Referring to a court hearing for similar offences, he described a charge against him of “calling a Jewish pervert a Jew”, jurors were told.

The final piece, on January 24 2015, was titled “The Legacy of Operation Filthy Jew Bitch”.

Mr Stott told jurors: “It was, as such a title might suggest, the article which caused Ms Berger perhaps most distress.

“Within it, Mr Bonehill-Paine celebrates the 2,500 plus tweets which Ms Berger received as a result of the campaign and urged that ‘veterans of Operation Filthy Jew Bitch should be on stand-by for future operations’.”

The MP was alerted to the blogs by friends and constituents and her parliamentary assistant, Eve Byrne, reported them to police.

Bonehill-Paine was arrested on February 13 last year.

On being charged, he allegedly said: “I am really pleased.

“This gives me an opportunity to be found not guilty, hopefully at a full Crown Court trial, with the media that will bring.”

Mr Stott told jurors: “Both the language and the imagery deployed in these articles are strongly offensive.

“You might think the message they convey is even more so – that Ms Berger is, through her membership of the Jewish faith and community, ‘filthy’, ‘money-grabbing’ and a ‘dominatrix’, ‘evil’ – in short to be detested.

“That she has gained her position through being ‘put there’ by other Jewish Labour MPs in the furtherance of an imagined ‘white genocide’ rather than, as is the real case, by being democratically selected and elected.”

The prosecutor highlighted more examples of Bonehill-Paine’s “passionate hatred of the Jewish community” in YouTube rants from the time.

A video posted in October 2014 encouraged people to back the #FreeGarronHelm campaign.

Another the following January, called “The Jewification of Great Britain”, talks of what he saw as the “foreign Jewish enemy”, the court heard.

On October 28 2014, Bonehill-Paine admitted six charges of sending “malicious communications” and one of harassment over posts on Twitter and the Daily Bale alleging that several people were paedophiles.

He was on bail awaiting sentence for the whole period he is alleged to have harassed Ms Berger and was handed a suspended sentence in February 2015, the court heard.

Labour MPs Ed and David Miliband, Jack Straw and Chuka Umunna were also targeted, the court heard.

Bonehill-Paine allegedly ranted that if Mr Umunna was to become the first black prime minister, people should “be prepared to take back the country” by force.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments