A Jewish lawyer has been fined and ordered to undergo “diversity training” following a bitter dispute with a pro‑Palestinian campaigner.

Matthew Berlow, a Glasgow-based criminal defence lawyer, described Dr Karolin Hijazi as a “thin-skinned…wannabe social justice warrior”.

Berlow also said Hijazi, a senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen’s Institute of Dentistry, is a “snowflake” who should “stick to pulling teeth” after she complained about the lawyer’s Facebook posts.

Berlow told the Herald on Sunday he will pay a fine of £1,750 for using “intemperate language” but plans to appeal a ruling that he must participate in “diversity training”, claiming it is not required.

Hijazi, who said she is “of Palestinian descent” contacted the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) after Berlow became involved in an online spat with the Aberdeen branch of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC).

The row erupted when the group posted in 2016 about a protest against a businessman who sold Dead Sea products from stalls at shopping centres in Aberdeen. Berlow described demonstrators as “scummy racists”.

“You simply found a soft Jewish target to aim your bile at,” Berlow said. An anonymous post by an administrator of the SPSC Aberdeen Facebook page said the business was a “legitimate target for boycott”.

Hijazi can be seen in photographs of the demo provided to the Herald on Sunday by the stallholder Nissan Ayalon, who has since closed his business and left the UK.

The Israeli Jew claimed other businesses in the shopping centre sold Dead Sea products from Israel but were not protested.

Berlow said his Facebook posts were “defending a friend who was suffering horrendous intimidation and harassment”.

Hijazi later sent screenshots of the online dispute with Berlow to the SLCC which decided there were “potential conduct issues” and referred it to the Law Society of Scotland.

A report by the Law Society, seen by the Herald on Sunday, includes Berlow’s strongly worded defence of his Facebook posts.

He said he did not know Hijazi “except that she is an Aberdeen dentist and clearly a wannabe social justice warrior”. He said his comments were not directed at her, but at the SPSC.

Berlow said if Hijazi was offended by his Facebook posts she should “perhaps switch off her computer, avoid heated political debate and perhaps stick to pulling teeth or have a cup of tea or something”.

He goes on to label Hijazi a “snowflake”, a term which the Law Society noted that the Collins dictionary has defined as “a person lacking resilience and being excessively prone to taking offence”.

Hijazi is a pro-Palestinian campaigner who was detained in Israel in 2012 when attempting to reach Bethlehem to build a school. She went on hunger strike and after four days in detention she was deported along with eight other British activists, including four Scots.

The Law Society of Scotland investigation into Hijazi’s complaint against Berlow found the lawyer’s Facebook posts “blurred the lines between his private and public life”.

The report said Berlow used “derogatory language” which was “damaging to the reputation of both the profession as a whole and of the individual solicitor concerned”.

His emailed defence of his Facebook posts was also criticised as “derogatory and aggressive” by the Law Society report.

The report recommended that the Professional Conduct Sub Committee uphold a complaint of unsatisfactory professional conduct and suggested Berlow should pay the complainer £100 compensation.

Speaking to the Herald on Sunday after the judgement, Berlow revealed he had also been fined £1,750 and ordered to undergo diversity training.

Berlow describes himself as a “Zionist” who supports the creation of a Palestinian state in the Middle East in what he calls a “peace deal” known as a “two-state solution”. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a dispute over land and borders which began in 1948.

Berlow said the decision to ask him to undergo diversity training was “perverse” and he “disputes it entirely”. He said he is “a Jew married to a Muslim” and many of his staff who work at his law firm in Glasgow are Muslim.

He said he accepts he used “intemperate language” and would pay a fine – “it’s the cost of defending Israel,” he said. “It’s expensive standing up for Israel in this one-sided febrile debate” – however, he wants the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal to “drop the diversity training”.

He said: “I’m struggling to understand how they came to that decision.”

He told the Herald on Sunday has carried out charity work in Bangladesh after major flooding, is “involved with many peace loving Palestinians”, founded a group called Arabs and Jews for Peace, and added “one of my main hobbies is to play gospel piano”.

Berlow said his appeal will be based on a 2017 report by Jewish writer David Collier entitled Jew Hate and Holocaust Denial in Scotland.

Hijazi said she found Berlow’s comments “particularly disturbing, having campaigned against racism, discrimination and bigotry all my life”.

SPSC chairman Mick Napier accused Berlow of using “reckless” language. He said: “We hope this decision fires a warning shot across the bows of other people.”

A spokeswoman for the Law Society of Scotland said: “Unfortunately we are not able to comment on ongoing cases.”