Scotland:
Jewish lawyer sanctioned for defending Israel online

Jewish lawyer in Scotland sanctioned for online argument with pro-Arab university lecturer.

JTA - Mordechai Sones,

'Stand in the corner and think about what you did.'
'Stand in the corner and think about what you did.'
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A Jewish lawyer in Scotland was fined and ordered to participate in diversity training after an online argument with a pro-Arab university lecturer.

Glasgow criminal defense lawyer Matthew Berlow called Dr. Karolin Hijazi a “thin-skinned…wannabe social justice warrior” and a “snowflake” after she complained about his social media posts, the Herald Scotland reported.

Hijazi, who told the Herald she is “of Palestinian descent” contacted the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission over the exchange between Berlow and the Aberdeen branch of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The argument took place in 2016 over a protest by the group of a kiosk selling Dead Sea products.

“You simply found a soft Jewish target to aim your bile at,” Berlow said in response to an anonymous post by an administrator of the SPSC Aberdeen Facebook page that said the business was a “legitimate target for boycott”.

Hijazi later sent screenshots of the online dispute with Berlow to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission that decided there were “potential conduct issues” and referred it to the Law Society of Scotland.

The Law Society of Scotland investigation into Hijazi’s complaint against Berlow found the lawyer’s Facebook posts “blurred the lines between his private and public life,” according to the Herald.

The report said Berlow used “derogatory language” which was “damaging to the reputation of both the profession as a whole and of the individual solicitor concerned.”

Berlow was ordered to pay a $2,300 fine and undergo diversity training. He said he will appeal the diversity training, calling it unnecessary. He called the fine “the cost of defending Israel”.

He described himself to the newspaper in an interview on Sunday as a “Zionist” who supports creating a Palestinian state in the Middle East in a peace deal promoting a two-state solution, and is the founder of a group called "Arabs and Jews for Peace". He also said he is married to a Muslim woman.

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