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January 25, 2022 2:38 pm

British Online Troll Who Called for Another Holocaust, Glorified Hamas Pleads Guilty to Harassing Jewish Public Figures

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avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration

Using a new legal device, British activists have succeeded in obtaining the conviction of an antisemitic troll who harassed and abused several major Jewish public figures and organizations.

Nicolas Nelson, 32, pled guilty to one count of malicious communication and two counts of racially aggravated harassment, the Jewish Chronicle reported Tuesday.

One of Nelson’s primary targets was screenwriter Lee Kern, who co-wrote Sacha Baron Cohen’s starring vehicle “Borat, Subsequent Moviefilm.”

Kern called Nelson a “malevolent racist” and described his harassment as relentless and extremely abusive.

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Nelson, said Kern, “called for another Holocaust, called me Shylock, spoke of Jews being used for gun practice, called Jewish women whores, shared perverted sexual fantasies involving Hitler and glorified the antisemitic terror organization Hamas.”

“He believed he was able to make these attacks on Jews with anonymity and impunity,” Kern said. “He was mistaken.”

“Justice will now be served,” he added. “All those who think they can attack Jews anonymously and get away with it should pay heed. We have the motivation and commitment to come after you hard. And we succeed.”

Although Nelson conducted his harassment anonymously, Kern and the organization Campaign Against Antisemitism succeeded in using an unusual legal device to reveal his identity.

Their lawyer Mark Lewis obtained a court order that forced an internet service provider to reveal details of Nelson’s account — the first time such a technique has been used in a case of online antisemitism.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, commented, “This game-changing precedent is the most significant development in the legal fight against online hate in years.”

“We will continue to devise innovative legal mechanisms to protect the Jewish community and deliver justice to victims of antisemitism, including in ways previously thought impossible,” he pledged.

Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which was also harassed by Nelson, said, “It is good to know that people who make malicious, racist comments cannot do so with impunity. This man felt it was safe to hide behind anonymous phone calls to make vile comments to our staff. Now he will face the full force of the law.”

Nelson has a history of antisemitic trolling and harassment. According to the BBC, he pled guilty in Oct. 2020 to harassing three Labour party politicians who were outspoken in their opposition to antisemitism within the party during the tenure of former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

MP Margaret Hodge told the court at the time that Nelson called her a “racist Zionist” and a “disgusting scumbag,” among other things.

“I considered the emails to be threatening and was left feeling nervous and unsure about my safety,” she said. “For the first time, I now feel under threat because of my Jewish identity.”

Nelson also harassed then-MP Louise Ellman, saying she should resign or commit suicide.

Lord John Mann, another target of Nelson’s, told the court, “I call out racism and antisemitism, but the abuse and threats of violence have led to my staff asking me not to do so.”

Nelson will be sentenced in the latest case on March 25. He could receive up to six months in prison, as well as fines.

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