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November 10, 2020 3:54 pm

Jewish Leader in Scotland Warns Amended Hate Crimes Bill Could Protect Holocaust Deniers

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Islamist demonstrators displaying a Holocaust denial sign (illustrative). Photo: Courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

A two-word modification in a hate crimes bill currently being discussed by Scotland’s parliament could provide a “get out of jail free card” for Holocaust deniers, a Scottish Jewish leader warned on Tuesday.

Ephraim Borowski — director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) — was responding to Scottish Justice Secretary Hamza Yousaf’s amendment of the proposed legislation that would raise the threshold from “likely” to stir up hatred to “intend only.”

Borowski cautioned that such a change could give protection to Holocaust deniers on social media.

“I think that the amendment that was announced by the Cabinet Secretary is retrograde, it essentially provides a get out of jail free card for something that you’ll see very often in hate-filled posts on the internet,” Borowski told Scottish news outlet The Herald.

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“They are now given a get out of jail free card, because they could just say ‘oh we didn’t intend to cause offense, we were merely asking a question about whether the Holocaust happened,'” Borowski explained.

“Unfortunately antisemitism is very much on the rise these days and I take the view, therefore, that it’s the victim who needs protecting,” he continued.

Adam Tomkins — a member of the Scottish parliament and the convener of its justice committee — said that Borowski’s comments were from “quite a different perspective” to the other evidence they had heard over the past weeks.

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