Middle East Monitor — July 10, 2018
A notorious hardline, pro-Israel conservative think tank has claimed that it is helping fund the legal expenses of jailed far-right British activist Tommy Robinson.
In a statement published Sunday, the Middle East Forum (MEF) also took credit for funding protests that have taken place in support of Robinson, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon.
Robinson was jailed for 13 months in May, “after being given 10 months for contempt of court, which he admitted, and a further three months for breaching a previously suspended sentence”.
MEF said it is “helping Robinson in his moment of danger”, in “three main ways”: using “monies to fund his legal defence”; “bringing foreign pressure on the UK government to ensure Mr. Robinson’s safety and eventual release”; and “organising and funding” the 9 June rally in London.
According to MEF, the organisation is also “sponsoring and organising the second ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ gathering in London on July 14”.
The statement was signed by MEF Director Gregg Roman, who has previously “worked in Israel’s Defence and Foreign Ministries”. MEF President Daniel Pipes, meanwhile, has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Centre as an “anti-Muslim activist”.
MEF has previously funded far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ legal defence, in 2010 and 2011, “against Dutch charges of inciting racial hatred”.