Glasgow (QNN)- A top pro-Israel lawyer has faked antisemitic vandalism in a plot to sear a Palestinian solidarity group in Scotland, reported the Daily Record.
Matthew Berlow faked a graffiti attack at his home then used the bogus incident to smear the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, causing himself to face a £500 fine after an initial probe by the reporter of the Law Society of Scotland.
Berlow’s partner who helped him carry out his crime; Ed Sutherland, a teacher at Belmont Academy, Ayr, had created a fake Facebook identity under the name Stevie Harrison to infiltrate the SPSC in January last year. Both of them are linked to ‘Friends of Israel’, a Zionist lobby that aims to promote Israeli interests in the UK.
The fake Palestinian supporting activist “Stevie Harrison” wrote a social media post highlighting vandalism daubed on Berlow’s home in Glasgow.
The post said: “A certain Jewish lawyer woke up this morning to find ‘Free Palestine’ spray-painted rather prominently – no idea who was responsible.”
Berlow replied to the post, playing the victim: “Idiocy. Typical SPSC behaviour criminal.”
According to the Daily Record, Berlow later admitted to the LSS that he knew about the plot but he preferred to go along with it because the Harrison character was being used “to monitor various disruptive activities of the SPSC”.
A preliminary ruling found Berlow failed to maintain the standards of behaviour expected for a solicitor.
It stated: “The pertinent issue is the solicitor’s comment, ‘Typical SPSC behaviour’ and the association between the SPSC and the supposed act of vandalism in the post. The post was made by the alias Stevie Harrison.
“The reporter has been provided with no evidence to find that Harrison was recognised as a member of the SPSC.
“Conversely, as the reporter is satisfied that Harrison is an alias and the social media profile fake, Harrison would naturally be unable to attend any demonstrations or meetings organised by the SPSC.
The LSS reporter also makes it clear it was part of a plot by Berlow and a “Mr Y” – who can be identified as Ed Sutherland and who faces his own probe by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
The reporter states: “Mr Y, like the solicitor, is a supporter of the state of Israel.
“The reporter is satisfied that when commenting on the post, the solicitor would have known that the post was false and no vandalism had taken place.
“The reporter is satisfied that the purpose of the comment was to associate the ostensibly criminal act with members of the SPSC despite the solicitor being aware at the material time that no criminal act had taken place.”
Berlow claimed last night he had launched a sting to catch out a person who was stalking him.
He said: “Unfortunately I made it too real and named an organisation I shouldn’t have. It wasn’t my intention to blame the SPSC for a fictitious event.”
Meanwhile, Mick Napier, chair of SPSC’s Glasgow branch, told the Daily Record that he believes “those who have been defamed, including myself, should be awarded exemplary damages. We have been smeared as anti-Semitic and that is serious and quite unacceptable.
“The LSS decided no damage had been done to myself or the SPSC but I would urge it to reconsider this because the damage to our reputation, in accusing us of such criminal acts, is impossible to deny.”