Jewish Defence League thugs sentenced for assault on Palestine activists

Roberta Moore and Robert De Jonge (Photo: Asa Winstanley / The Electronic Intifada)

Two thugs affiliated with the Jewish Defence League UK were sentenced on Monday to 150 hours of community service each and £1,140 in fines between them.

Roberta Moore and Robert De Jonge assaulted two people at a Palestine literary festival in London in September.

Last month a judge found Moore guilty of two counts of assault, and one count of possession of an offensive weapon. De Jonge was found guilty of assault.

In addition to the unpaid work, the two must pay compensation to their victims: Andy Simons, an organizer of the festival, and Simon Assaf, who had been running a socialist bookstall that day.

De Jonge’s lawyer claimed at Monday’s sentencing that he had “no political affiliation” and was merely reacting to events of the day.

But the magistrate said “there was some element of pre-planning” proved by the can of spray paint that Moore had used to assault her two victims.

A prosecution lawyer stated that De Jonge too used a weapon to assault Andy Simons. The lawyer said this was thought to be a metal bar disguised under a rolled-up newspaper – although conceded that police never found a bar.

The magistrate agreed a weapon had been used, although there appeared to be no evidence it was more than a rolled-up newspaper.

De Jonge, currently unemployed, received a twelve-month community order – a total of 150 unpaid hours work – and must pay £360 in compensation and court costs.

Moore represented herself in court. She said she would appeal the conviction. She disputed several points in a pre-trial report and stated that she is “not a member of the EDL [English Defence League] or the Jewish Task Force.”

Moore confirmed she is employed, so the magistrate granted prosecutors’ request for costs of £620 and ordered she pay £50 to each of her victims and £60 towards victim support groups, in addition to the unpaid work.

The Jewish Defense League (JDL), originally founded in America, is a Jewish far-right religious-political organization whose stated goal is to “protect Jews from anti-semitism by whatever means necessary”.

While the group asserts that it “unequivocally condemns terrorism” it was classified as “a right-wing terrorist group” by the FBI in 2001.

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