Monday, 22 Jul 2019 - 19 of Tammuz, 5779

Anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred at pro-Palestinian march in London

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LONDON—A pro-Palestinian demonstration in central London featured antisemitic and Israel-hatred statements.

The demonstration, organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), was endorsed by Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn who has long championed the PSC, attending many of its events, including one of which at which he was filmed applauding antisemitic poetry.

Richard Burgon, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, who previously claimed that “Zionism is the enemy of peace”, addressed the demonstration crowd.

A statement from Jeremy Corbyn himself was read to the attendees, answered by great applause. Corbyn and the Labour party have faced accusations of promoting anti-Semitism.

At Saturday’s demonstration, participants brandished antisemitic badges and placards, such as “Israel provokes antisemitism,” images of the Star of David crossed with a swastika, the slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” that calls for Israel’s destruction, and others claiming that, “Israelis execute Palestinian children” and that the BBC is controlled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Far-left group Jewish Voice for Labour’s Secretary Glyn Secker claimed pro-Israel Labour officials were a “fifth column” in the party and asked, “What on earth are Jews doing in the gutter with these rats?”

“Here’s a warning to the British Jewish leadership, while you foment your campaign of allegations of antisemitism against Corbyn and the left to silence Israel’s critics, while you cry wolf month after month, year after year in the Labour Party and remain blind to the explosion of the far-right and Islamophobia, you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,” Secker said.

He also blamed American rabbis for “unleashing the extreme-right to win key votes in marginal states which determine the presidency” and claimed they were responsible for antisemitic violence such as the Poway synagogue shooting.

Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian  activist who served time in prison for assaulting Israeli soldiers, attended the demonstration and spoke briefly.

Counter-demonstrators raised Israeli flags on Regent Street.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “The fact that this march saw such brazen displays of antisemitism, with warm support for and from Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party and major trade unions, as well as with the attendance of Islamists and at least one neo-Nazi leader, clearly shows the coalition of antisemitism that British Jews now find themselves the target of.’’

He added : ‘’ The far-left, the far-right and Islamist extremists clearly all share a common hatred of Jews. We are now reviewing the evidence that we gathered today. Where crimes have been committed, we will work with the authorities to ensure that there are arrests and prosecutions.”

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