Every year the streets of London are subjected to an atrocious display of hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people courtesy of the Al Quds Day march. This year, speakers called for Israel’s destruction and antisemitic comparisons were made against the Jewish state.
Several thousand anti-Israel activists took to the streets of London on Saturday. The event is run by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) which has close ties to the Iranian regime. The London march is part of the Iran-backed “Al Quds Day” rallies throughout the world with the main event being in Tehran, Iran’s capital.
At CUFI, we believe in the right to protest and freedom of expression, however, it is still shameful that open antisemitism and calls for the destruction of Israel are chanted in the UK’s capital with impunity. The government must do more to stop this hatred.
Speakers for the event included disgraced former Labour Party MP Chris Williamson, who was booted from the party over antisemitism. He previously tweeted that “Zionist teachers around the country are violating children’s rights” and that Zionism is “a racist ideology.”
He continued his hateful message at the event, using his speech to slander Israel with false accusations of killing “innocent children” and saying Zionism is inherently racist.
Another speaker was the rapper Lowkey, real name Kareem Dennis, who in one of his song lyrics says, “Nothing is more antisemitic than Zionism”. He was calling for boycotts of Israeli firms in the UK.
Shamefully, the ‘Christian’ representative for the event was the disgraced Reverand Dr Stephen Sizer, who in January was handed a twelve-year ban by the Church of England after having been found to have “engaged in antisemitic activity” by a tribunal of the Church of England.
Sizer teaches replacement theology and is extremely anti-Israel and anti-Christian Zionism. He has written books about it and has dedicated much of his time to this wayward theology.
Interestingly, Sizer finished his speech talking about Jerusalem, but not from a Biblical perspective. Instead, he said he was praying for “Al Quds”, the Islamic word for Jerusalem, “to become an inclusive city that reflects God’s vision. A city of equality, a city of tolerance, a city of mutual respect, a city of justice, peace and reconciliation, not just for Palestine, but as a model and an inspiration for the world, inshallah.”
That’s right, Sizer not only spoke of a vision for Jerusalem that goes against what the Bible says, and indeed what God desires for it, but also finished his statement with, “inshallah”, which is Arabic for, “if Allah wills it”.
It is shocking that someone who claims to be a Christian leader would actively speak out against the Bible and pray for the will of Allah to be fulfilled over God’s will. And by God, we are referring to the one and only God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God of Israel. The God of the Bible.
Our friends at Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAAS) and Event Monitoring Unit attended the event and recorded some of the antisemitic and anti-Israel messages that were on display.
CAAS reported that one sign read: “Where did all the Nazis go after WW2? Israel!!!”
Another placard displayed a swastika alongside the Israeli flag alongside the words “Same mindset! Different era!”
They also noted a person wearing a top adorned with the words: “The world stopped Nazism. The world stopped apartheid. The world must stop Zionism.” And another wore a shirt encouraging Pakistan to nuke “Nazi Israel”.
It should be noted that the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by the UK government, specifies that “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.
These antisemitic slogans should have been removed by the police.
Likewise, CAAS notes that antisemitic chants were led by IHRC leaders such as chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”. This is a clear call to wipe Israel off the map, it is antisemitic as it denies Jews, and only Jews, the right to self-determination.
In video footage seen by CUFI, there is also a clear reference to the outlawed terror group Hezbollah.
The IHRC, which runs the Al Quds Day march in London, has long been a supporter of the Hezbollah terror group and other Iranian-backed militias. In the past, hundreds of Hezbollah flags were flown at these events until the UK government banned the group and thus stopped the practice. But the IHRC leadership still appears to be supportive of Hezbollah.
The year after Hezbollah flags were banned, the group made sure yellow threads were present on the banners to represent their support for Hezbollah.
This year, dozens of placards were produced in the colours of Hezbollah. The yellow banners with green wording bore the IHRC logo and the phrases such as, “Stop Killing Palestinians” and “Stop Israeli War Crimes”.
While the IHRC leadership has not explicitly said they still support Hezbollah, they have made clear in the past that their stance towards Iran-backed entities has not changed despite the UK government outlawing Hezbollah. In fact, there is clear evidence that the IHRC leadership supports radical Islamist terror groups and the “armed struggle” against Israel.
We are not surprised by the rally that took place in London. It happens every year. But it is still shameful that there is open antisemitism on the streets of London and repeated calls for Israel’s destruction. We hope the UK government will tackle this more effectively in the future.
This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.
We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.