SWC and CAA 'disappointed' Zionism slur ruled 'not antisemitism'

He chanted "Free, free Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

ANTI-ISRAEL SIGNS sit on a field after an anti-Israel rally in London (photo credit: REUTERS)
ANTI-ISRAEL SIGNS sit on a field after an anti-Israel rally in London
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Britain's Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Simon Weisenthal Center have criticized a decision by Britain's General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), after it ruled that comments by a London-based chemist in which he accused Zionists of financially supporting the Conservative Party were "grossly offensive," but didn't constitute antisemitism.
The chemist, Nazim Ali, made the remarks during a pro-Hezbollah "Al-Quds Day" rally in 2017. 
The Campaign Against Antisemitism had filed a complaint against Ali with the GPhC, citing offensive remarks he made during the rally he led, accusing the "Zionists" of financially supporting the Conservatives, and following his claims with the chant: "Free, free Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The rally was filmed by members of the CAA's Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit.
At the rally, Ali reportedly also blamed the Grenfell Tower tragedy on "Zionists." On June 14, 2017, a fire swept through the Grenfell Tower in West London, killing 72 and injuring more.

The Council's ruling came at the conclusion of a two-week long hearing, which found Ali to have "brought the pharmaceutical profession into disrepute," and that his "fitness to practice... impaired," as his remarks were "grossly offensive." However, the council ruled that they were not antisemitic
In his hearing, Ali admitted that his remarks could be considered antisemitic, but that he was legally advised not to admit as such as he was undergoing legal proceedings. The CAA noted that his legal proceedings ended in 2019, yet his apology only appeared a short while before the hearings. 
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at the CAA, said he was grateful that Ali's professionalism had been called into question, "however," he added, "it is disappointing that the regulator showed so little understanding of the issues at the hearing and only requested that the tribunal issue Mr. Ali with a warning, which it did."
Ali is also the director Islamic Human Rights Commission's (IHRC) London office. IHRC is a nonprofit organization which advocates for "justice for all peoples," according to their website. 
"On its website, IHRC claims that 'Nazim Ali's comments were found to be offensive but not antisemitic UNDER THE IHRA DEFINITION'...thus setting a legal precedent," Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations stressed.
"We must ensure that this sets a warning, not a precedent.
The IHRC and the Practice Committee (Ethics Panel) of the UK Pharmaceutical Regulatory agency's ruling flies in the face of the British recognition of the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism. That certainly includes anti-Zionism as a cover for antisemitism in its denial of Jewish self-determination, which represents most of Ali’s libelous language.”
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an organization dedicated to promoting Holocaust education and awareness, defines antisemitism as "a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews."
The IHRA gives few examples of what modern-day antisemitism looks like. One of them addresses this precise instance. "Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews."
“Rather than action on the professional level, however, perhaps Ali’s political connections would be of more appropriate interest," suggested Samuels. "Indeed, IHRC's BDS (antisemitic Boycott campaign), seems to have granted a discordant exception in that Nazim Ali’s chemist shop sells Teva Israeli pharmaceutical products... Business before anti-Zionism!?” he asked.