Jewish lawyer sanctioned for spat with lecturer of Palestinian descent

Jewish lawyer sanctioned for spat with lecturer of Palestinian descent

Matthew Berlow was fined and ordered to take part in diversity training, after an online argument with university professor Dr. Karolin Hijazi

Karolin Hijazi. (Screenshot from YouTube)
Karolin Hijazi. (Screenshot from YouTube)

A crowdfunding campaign for a Jewish solicitor in Scotland has almost raised enough money to cover his fine, after he was ordered to pay £1,750 and attend “diversity training” following a spat with Palestinian supporters over an Israeli shop.

Matthew Berlow, a criminal lawyer, was involved in the online altercation after protests outside a store selling Dead Sea products in an Aberdeen shopping centre last year, calling the protesters “scummy racists”.

Dr Karolin Hijazi, a pro-Palestinian campaigner and lecturer at the University of Aberdeen’s Institute of Dentistry, is understood to have complained to the Law Society of Scotland, which issued the £1,750 fine and ordered Berlow to attend “diversity training”.

In response to enquiries, the organisation said it did not comment on individual cases and that it has not produced a written judgement following the ruling.

A crowdfunding effort to pay the solicitor’s fine has been set up, and by Wednesday lunchtime it had covered almost the full amount. Supporters hope to raise a total of £4,000, allowing Berlow to appeal to the Scottish Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Berlow said: “I accused them on social media of being racists, cowards and bullies… Unfortunately I have been exposed to risk in that I am a member of a profession and therefore prone to spurious complaints made by those with such an agenda.”

David Hirsh, a Jewish lecturer at Goldsmiths University, sided with Berlow on the matter, saying: “The Law Society should side with real anti-racists against antisemites, not try to ensure fair play between the two. This decision is a humiliation for and a provocation against all Jews and all genuine anti-racists.”

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