Scottish “friend of Israel” faked anti-Semitism for years

Edward Sutherland monitoring Palestine solidarity activists.

SPSC

A pro-Israel lobbyist in Scotland may lose his teaching job over a series of anti-Semitic posts he has admitted making.

Edward Sutherland is being investigated by the Scottish teaching regulator, The Daily Record reported on Sunday.

Sutherland is head of religious and moral education at the Belmont Academy in Ayr.

A leading figure in the Confederation of Friends of Israel, Sutherland created a fake Facebook profile and used it to post anti-Semitism online.

Using the profile, he posed as a Palestine solidarity activist.

Under the invented persona “Stevie Harrison,” Sutherland is alleged to have attacked a pro-Israel Jewish lawyer by posting in 2018 that his “big nose is out out joint.”

Screenshots released by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign suggest that the lawyer – Matthew Berlow – may even have been in on the deception.

“Typical SPSC behaviour. Criminal,” Berlow replied to one of the fraudulent postings by “Harrison.”

Berlow responded in an email to The Electronic Intifada that it was “not my intention to smear the SPSC.”

He also claimed that Sutherland’s “posts were not anti Semitic” according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s defintion.

The bogus “working defintion” of anti-Semitism has been pushed by Israel and pro-Israel groups for years.

Could lose job

But Sutherland’s anti-Palestinian comrades are standing by him: “We’re worried that he might end up losing his job,” Sammy Stein, a fellow Confederation of Friends of Israel activist told The Daily Record.

Stein said that “Ed is no anti-Semite. In fact, he’s a friend of Israel. He helps man our stall in Glasgow every Saturday.”

Edward Sutherland campaigning for Israel in Glasgow.

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign activist Mick Napier responded to the news saying it was “a disgrace” that Sutherland’s group enjoys charitable status.

The Confederation of Friends of Israel has “an extensive record of publishing racist materials” he wrote. “The Scottish body charged with overseeing charities should revoke COFIS’ charitable status immediately,” Napier said.

The Confederation of Friends of Israel did not reply to a request for comment. After publication of this article, Belmont Academy declined to comment, but passed the buck to South Ayrshire Council – who also declined to comment.

This is far from the first time Israeli and pro-Israeli groups have fabricated anti-Semitism.

In 2016 the Mossad-linked Israeli law firm Shurat HaDin admitted posting a series of violently anti-Semitic comments to Facebook in order to frame Palestinians and solidarity activists.

In 2019, an investigation by The Electronic Intifada exposed a network of fake Twitter trolls systematically posting violent anti-Semitism in order to frame Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and the Muslim community. The culprits remain unknown.

Being a “friend of Israel” in no way excludes one from the charge of anti-Semitism. On the contrary, some of the most important Zionists in history have also held vile anti-Jewish attitudes.

And some of the world’s worst contemporary anti-Semites are militantly pro-Israel.

Updated on 20 August with no-comments from the school and council.

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Head of religious and moral education? Such is the education system. Interesting that it's claimed Sutherland's fake posts are in contravention of the IHRA definition. Thousands of Labour Party members will be surprised to hear that, having been suspended or expelled for nothing more than arguing in favour of a Palestinian State, which happens to be the policy not only of Labour but even the Tories. What is really of note here, though, is the willingness to stoop to the most dishonest means to defend the doomed cause of Israeli hegemony. All unjust systems require a doctrinal system, whose function is to disguise the injustice. Where there is justice, there can be honesty. The Israeli State has been unjust since its creation. This has nothing to do with Jewishness or Judaism. A State is unjust when it treats its citizens in discriminatory ways, when it defies international law, when it uses force to get its own way. Those are the valid accusations against the Israeli State and they would be valid if its character as atheist or flat-earthist. The conflation of Jewish/Judaisim/the Israeli State is the fundamental dishonesty. It confuses faith, ethnicity and political affiliation. As ever, the worst actions come from those most convinced of their virtue. Nothing corrupts like self-serving virtue. Which is not a slander on real virtue, of course, whose character is unselfconscious. Truly sickening that a man like Sutherland can pose as a moral educator and how this fits with the factitious, vacuous smear that the Labour Party is institutionally antisemitic. What Starmer has displayed, so far, is that it is institutionally pro-Israel and the lap-dog of the Zionist BoD. The evidence for that is patent. Where is the evidence of institutional antisemitism?

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I would hope that Scottish teaching regulator would quickly come to the conclusion that Sutherland is not fit to continue as a teacher, let alone as a Head teacher of religious and moral education. The use of a false FB identity to essentially incite anti-semitism is hardly acceptable behaviour for a teacher charged with the responsibility of imparting moral education. Am not a big fan of people losing jobs for non-criminal (even if venal) behaviors committed in a private capacity and where there is no clear nexus to their employment. If he were a bus driver, let him keep his job - but given that he is a Head teacher of religious and moral education, then he should be relieved of his duties. Let's hope that in the event that the regulator does the right thing and sacks him, that Edward shows the same resolve to face his fate with head high and dignity, just as his alter ego Steve would surely have done - or at least according to Edward.

But still, I guess its nice to know that according to COFIS, its OK to indulge in the odd anti-semitic post when done with the intent to flush the supposed anti-Semites lurking in our midst; one could almost say a public duty.

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"What Starmer has displayed, so far, is that it is institutionally pro-Israel and the lap-dog of the Zionist BoD. The evidence for that is patent. Where is the evidence of institutional antisemitism?"

That's it right there. Starmer himself is at the center of the antisemitism in Labour now, by beating up on anti-Zionists, including Jewish anti-Zionists. Sadly Corbyn displayed a weaker form of antisemitism by rolling over for IHRI, BoD, and throwing his Jewish anti-Zionist friends under the bus. It's fundamental to Judaism and jewishness that there be a space for, if not plurality of, anti-Zionism, which was the dominant interpretation of the Talmud for 1800 years. There ain't no Jewish Pope to say otherwise, and never should be. Jews do their own things, following their rabbis, who followed other rabbis, not any central authority or state. Many Jews still believe a Jewish State is forbidden. And if Jews can believe that, why not others?

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Jeremy did not throw ANYONE under a bus! In the first place, Jeremy has no say in the disciplinary process, and in the second place, if he HAD spoken out publicly and defended the likes of Ken Livingstone or Jackie Walker or Chris Williamson, for example, he himself would have been condemned and vilified, along with bucket-loads of faux outrage. And needless to say, he did NOT 'roll over' re anything, and was in effect blackmailed into signing up to the full IHRA definition and all the examples after literally months of negative coverage by the MSM.

When you own and/or control the MSM, you have total control of the narrative, and along with the Blairites and the BoD and the JLM and the CAA and the LAA et al, they created and built a totally false reality in which Jeremy was transformed in to an anti-semite, and the left-wing membership and Momentum activists were transformed in to bullies and thugs and homophobes, as well as anti-semites of course. And there was absolutely nothing Jeremy could do about it.

In the poll conducted for the authors of Bad News For Labour respondents, on average, believed that a third of Labour Party members had been reported for anti-semitism, and THAT is testament to the power and effectiveness of the MSM and their 'collaborators'. And I repeat..... there was no way on this earth that the very media who conspired in the A/S smear campaign, were EVER going to allow Jeremy to counter the lies and falsehoods that they themselves were dissembling. Never in a trillion years! Anyway, the following is just one example of what happens when Jeremy defends anyone falsely accused of anti-semitism, as 'reported' in a Daily Mail article a week before the GE (and no doubt elsewhere):

It sets out in nine examples of Mr Corbyn's past behaviour which the JLM claimed had acted as 'signals to party members' that 'anti-Semitic views are acceptable'.

This includes, defending Chris Williamson against allegations of anti-Semitism.....

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Asa Winstanley

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Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.