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Scottish police investigate ‘Zionism = Nazism’ post as potential hate crime

The meme featured a swastika within a Star of David.

The administrative headquarters of the Scotland Police. Credit: Alec MacKinnon via Wikimedia Commons.
The administrative headquarters of the Scotland Police. Credit: Alec MacKinnon via Wikimedia Commons.

A new hate-crime law in Scotland empowers victims of online antisemitism or other bigoted content against protected groups to submit a report to police. That has led to an unnamed woman filing a complaint against an anti-Israel graphic uploaded by Tom Arthur Sr., the father of community wealth minister Tom Arthur, who condemned the image’s sharing.

The Internet meme features the phrase “Nazism = Zionism” above a blue Star of David with a swastika twisted into the center.

Initial articles on the potential infraction noted that the person who filed the report was not Jewish and that they were inundated with reports. Eventually, police clarified that they were investigating.

“We’re snowed under with all these complaints. How are we supposed to get through all these?” the woman who received the image said an officer told her.

“Police Scotland have made it clear that this complaint is being investigated as a crime. And so, commenting on an inaccurate anonymous report in the media would be inappropriate at this time,” a spokesperson for the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities told JNS. “Nevertheless, we welcome the fact that the image itself has been universally recognized and condemned as antisemitic by both the SNP and the Minister concerned.”

Those convicted under the new hate-crime law that went into effect on April 1 could face as much as seven years in prison.

“The number of complaints that translated into actual hate-crime investigations is extremely small,” David Kennedy, general secretary of Scotland’s Police Federation, said to The Sunday Times. “I believe that less than 1% of these complaints are translating into actual hate-crime investigations.”

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