What an insult! Man fined £21 for racially abusing Jewish activist
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What an insult! Man fined £21 for racially abusing Jewish activist

Bahar Arar pleaded guilty to an offence of racial or religiously aggravated intentional harassment after an incident in Brighton

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Bahar Arar pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates Court to an offence of racial or religiously aggravated intentional harassment
Bahar Arar pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates Court to an offence of racial or religiously aggravated intentional harassment

Dismay has been expressed among Brighton’s Jews at the leniency of a sentence meted out to a man who racially abused a member of the community at a pro-Israel demonstration in the city centre last month.

On 8 August, Bahar Arar pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates Court to an offence of racial or religiously aggravated intentional harassment.

He had released a volley of swearing and abuse at one of the Jewish demonstrators, Simon Cobbs, and had been detained by Sussex Police.

But Arar’s sentence disappointed the community. For despite the offence, magistrates sentenced him to 24 months conditional discharge — and a fine of just £21. No conditions, in fact, were attached to the discharge.

Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust said: “We regret the need for security and policing precautions, but Brighton has a relatively active far left anti-Israel and anti-Zionist scene, which can lead to street confrontations and anger, bringing the risk of blatant antisemitism as occurred not so long ago and led to a conviction”.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police, who at one point were believed to have been considering challenging the sentence, would only tell Jewish News: “Sentencing is not a matter for police”.

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Watch the clip of his abusive rant here. Warning – contains strong language. 

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