Antisemitism Paraded on London Streets

Central London was disrupted again on Saturday as several thousand protesters marched with a heavy police presence from the BBC headquarters to Whitehall in the ‘National Demonstration for Palestine.’ Yet the turnout must have been disappointing for the organisers, given that this was supposed to be a national demonstration.

To the shame of the UK’s capital city, the march witnessed open antisemitism in speeches, on placards and on badges. One placard declared that ‘Israel provokes antisemitism.’ One badge showed a Star of David with a Nazi swastika in its middle and the slogan ‘Down with Zionism.’ Another placard repeated the protesters favourite rhyme: ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ – which calls for the complete destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian state.

Antisemitic placards and badges in the parade

Organisers had even arranged for the attendance of Ahed Tamimi, who rose to prominence last year after slapping an Israeli soldier during a dispute. Her father is reported to have told The Independent:

“It’s very important for us to celebrate the Nakba day to remind the world
what the British and the Israelis did to the Palestinians in 1948.”

The deception contained in his statement went unchallenged in The Independent’s article. There was no acknowledgement that 5 Arab armies attacked the State of Israel as soon as it declared independence in 1948 – thus bringing the ‘Nakba’ [catastrophe] upon themselves. Protesters and supporting news media alike peddled the deception that all the trouble is the fault of the Israelis and the British (and more recently the Americans).

The Independent even went on to quote John Tymon as saying:

“We’re trying to unite football fans against apartheid and expel apartheid Israel from FIFA,
just like we expelled apartheid South Africa from FIFA.”

His statement too went unchallenged, with no acknowledgement that there are almost 2 million Arabs who live in Israel and that they have the right to participate in the country’s politics, judiciary, education system, armed forces and many other aspects of the nation’s life.

The Guardian newspaper stated that the protest was timed to coincide with the commemoration of the ‘1948 Palestinian exodus in which hundreds of thousands were forcibly displaced from their homes.’ But that statement is also deceptive, as many Arab people left their homes voluntarily on the advice of their leaders – leaders who assured them that they would be able to return to their homes quickly when the Jews had been defeated.

Labour MP Richard Burgon, who is Shadow Justice Secretary, repeated the concept that:

“Palestine has the right to exist … Palestinians should be able to live free from ever-expanding settlements on stolen land.”

But his credibility has been undermined by the controversy that has arisen over his statement in 2014 that “Zionism is the enemy of peace.”

And there never has been a state of Palestine – before World War One the area was known as a southern part of Syria – and the previous weekend’s barrage of 690 rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip was a clear reminder of what happens when the Israelis try to exchange land for peace.

Indeed, the Labour Party was once again revealed to be deeply involved in this parade of antisemitism, supporting it through a statement from Jeremy Corbyn that was read out by Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott.

There was also a speech by the Secretary of the Jewish Voice for Labour group, Glyn Secker, who claimed that 119 Labour MPs who are friends of Israel represent a fifth column within the UK Labour Party. In effect he was accusing them of trying to undermine the Labour Party’s true politics, rather than trying to highlight the appalling antisemitism within it.

Antisemitism is clearly a problem in the UK and the evidence of its increase is steadily mounting up.