Gideon Falter

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Gideon Falter is chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism UK (CAA), and former president of the University of Warwick Jewish/Israeli Society (JSoc).


Falter graduated in law at the University of Warwick.[1]


Student politics

While at Warwick, Falter was president of the student Jewish/Israeli Society, or JSoc.[1] By his own account, he spent his time in office 'fighting Israel's corner',[2] whilst 'fighting off opposition within the Students‘ Union'.[1] For instance, under his leadership the JSoc campaigned for the anti-Zionist ultra Orthodox Jewish sect Neturei Karta to be banned from university events, and for students who had invited speakers from the group to be punished;[3] and in 2002, Falter helped defeat a student union motion for boycotting Israeli goods, which he branded 'racism'.[4]

He was subsequently elected the student union's Anti-Racism Officer and 'appointed to the Race and Religion Incident Review Panel of Warwickshire Police and West Midlands Police's Key Individuals Network'.[1] When a Warwick student union motion to twin with the student council of Birzeit University in the West Bank was rejected, Falter, in his capacity as student union anti-racism officer, praised the result as 'a major victory for tolerance and decency' on the grounds that many Birzeit union members were supporters of Hamas.[5]

In 2005, Falter stood unsuccessfully for president of the Union of Jewish Students.[6]

Rowan Laxton incident

In 2009, senior Foreign Office official Rowan Laxton was exercising in the gym when, hearing a news report about a farmer killed by Israeli armed forces, he allegedly exclaimed, '******* Israelis, ******* Jews'. Gideon Falter and William Lemaine were in the gym at the time, and complained to staff. Falter also 'tipped off the media' and testified against Laxton in court.[7] Laxton was suspended from his job[8] and in September 2009 was found guilty of racially aggravated public disorder at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court and fined.[9] On appeal (in effect, a re-trial) the following year, the conviction was overturned; 'The judge and two magistrates who heard his appeal are unanimous in agreeing that he never at any time said "fucking Jews"[10] Laxton resumed work at the Foreign Office.[11]

Falter's role in the conviction seems at best questionable:

When he committed the alleged offense he was alone. He was riding an exercise bike alone on the mezzanine floor of a gym. A few feet in front of him was a TV screen showing footage of an elderly Palestinian man who had been killed during the Israeli assault on Gaza. "Fucking Israelis," he swore angrily at the screen. Down below on another floor, exercising with free weights, was another gym user, Gideon Falter, who heard the swearing from upstairs. Ten minutes later Falter and Laxton had a short conversation about the incident. (They were not acquaintances, but Falter had apparently found out Laxton's name by reading it off his gym card.) It was a calm conversation, during which Laxton said something about how he assumed the attack on Gaza had been stimulated by electoral politics and the encouragement of "the Jewish lobby", by which he tells me he meant the ultra-orthodox lobby within Israel, and nothing to do with British Jews.
The police were going to let Laxton off with a caution, but before it could be arranged the whole affair became big news. Gideon Falter had found out that Laxton was in a senior Foreign Office position, and had taken the story to half a dozen newspapers. The police decided the prosecution had to go ahead.[10]

Campaign Against Antisemitism UK

In the summer of 2014 Falter helped to establish a new organisation, Campaign Against Antisemitism UK (CAA). In an account of his involvement, Falter describes having been outraged during Israel's 2014 Operation Protective Edge assault on Gaza by the British media's 'insistence on holding Israel to exceptional, impossible standards', which 'helped to feed the oldest hatred'. The result was that in Britain 'Israel's case was deliberately stifled', while expressing 'support for Israel was enough to make the disinterested "right thinking" mainstream of British society wince'. His discomfort grew, he says, when pro-Palestinian protestors did not object to some in their midst who chanted antisemitic slogans. He was dismayed to find that the antisemites, at rallies and online, 'were not arrested'. At this point, Joseph Cohen, Darren Borg, Justin Chorn and Jordan Jay created a Facebook group, Campaign Against Antisemitism. When the Tricycle Theatre then decided to boycott the UK Jewish Film Festival (which was funded by the Israeli state), Rupert Nathan launched a Facebook campaign, which 'soon joined forces' with the CAA. Nathan Hopstein and Mandy Blumenthal also 'entered the fray'.

Falter sent the group a Facebook message with advice, and they admitted him as a member. He called in Jonathan Sacerdoti as a 'media man', and within a week, they had 'developed a plan': to call for 'zero tolerance enforcement of existing laws against anti-Semitism by the police'. According to Falter, the group and the subsequent rally outside the Royal Courts of Justice it organised was set up by a 'group of like-minded people who did not know each other just a month before'.[12]

As of January 2015, Falter was listed at the CAA's Chairman.[1]


Contact details


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 CAA, 'About Us'; accessed: 15 January 2015, at 7.24pm.
  2. Gideon Falter, 'Let’s turn fear of anti-Semitism into fight', Jewish News (3 September, 2014).
  3. Gaby Wine, 'J-Socs want ban on Neturei Karta', Jewish Chronicle (7 March, 2003).
  4. Gaby Wine and Rachel S. Harris, 'Anti-Israel motions defeated', Jewish Chronicle (6 December, 2002).
  5. 'Twin rejected', Jewish Chronicle (4 February, 2005).
  6. 'UJS election', Jewish Chronicle (25 February, 2005); 'UJS’s new chair calls for activism', Jewish Chronicle (4 March, 2005).
  7. 'British diplomat suspended for cursing Israel: I'm not racist', Ynet (17 September, 2009); cf. Geoffrey K. Pullum, 'The diplomat, the bishop, the bomber, and the fruit bat', Language Log (25 November, 2010).
  8. Gillian Meron MP, 'Rowan Laxton', Hansard Column 1206W (27 February, 2009); via Denry, 'Rowan Laxton - Undiplomatic' (18 October, 2009).
  9. 'Civil servant fined for racist outburst against Jews', Daily Telegraph (24 September, 2009).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Geoffrey K. Pullum, 'The diplomat, the bishop, the bomber, and the fruit bat', Language Log (25 November, 2010)
  11. Leon Symons, 'Foreign Office man wins appeal against race abuse claim', Jewish Chronicle (25 March, 2010).
  12. Gideon Falter, 'Let’s turn fear of anti-Semitism into fight', Jewish News (3 September, 2014).