Anti-Israel protesters marched from the Home Office to Whitehall on Sunday for the annual Iran-backed al Quds rally, which saw at least two Israeli flags burned outside Downing Street.

The march, which in previous years has stoked controversy for demonstrating support for Hezbollah and for anti-Semitic speeches, was this year prevented from waving Hezbollah’s flag after the terror group was banned in full by the UK government earlier this year.

One of the demo’s organisers, wearing a jacket marked Legal Adviser, was clutching the flag on a pole hidden from Metropolitan Police officers as it was moved along on the ground to the front of the march.

The flag was then set alight and handed to members of anti-Zionist fringe group Neturei Karta UK who held it aloft to loud cheers as it burned.

Another flag was seen being burned by protesters in the crowd.

This year’s protesters marched under a yellow banner marked “Victory to the resistance”.

A group of counter-demonstrators flying Israeli flags and setting off blue-coloured smoke bombs chanted “Free Palestine from Hamas.”

Among the speakers was Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign activist Mick Napier who told protesters:

“There’s a guy who’s just been suspended from the Labour Party for saying the Israeli embassy is behind the whole wave of false, phoney, fake, malicious antisemitism allegations,” he told the crowd – an apparent reference to Pete Willsman, the National Executive Committee member who was suspended on Friday.

“It’s obvious. They don’t hide it. The Israeli embassy does it. They have workshops around the country where all the local Zios get together.

“Christians and Muslims and Jews; they all get together, the Zios. Because there are some of each. They plot how to smear those of us who stand up for the Palestinian people.

Among the placards spotted, one carried the words: “From the river to the sea, single democratic state: Palestine, the only just solution.”

Another sign read “Zionism = Racism Boycott Israel”, while some called for an end to the “Gaza genocide”.

Among the protesters, one demonstrator appeared to compare Zionism to Nazism. “The world stopped Nazism. The world stopped apartheid. The world must stop Zionism,” his t-shirt read.

The Al Quds march is an anti-Semitic hate fest

The anti-Semitic “Al-Quds March” – an Iranian-backed rally that calls for the “liberation of Jerusalem” – returned to the streets of central London on Sunday in what was the first occasion since the formal banning of Hezbollah in the UK.

Christians United for Israel UK’s Executive Director, Des Starritt, said prior to the rally, “The al-Quds’s Day march is an anti-Semitic hate-fest known for advocating the destruction of Israel. London’s march has traditionally expressed support for Hezbollah and has no place on the streets of London.”

“We welcome the total ban of Hezbollah introduced earlier this year by the UK government that will make it more difficult for that support to be outwardly expressed. I hope that the Met police will now use these new powers to crack down on any visible or verbal support for terror.”

“Further to this, the new international definition of anti-Semitism mandates we take all forms of anti-Semitism seriously. This will once again be put to the test on Sunday, but under no circumstances must any repeat of previous years’ anti-Semitism be tolerated.”

Key points:

  • The “al-Quds rally”, established in Tehran by Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei was created to call for the destruction of Israel. It is also held in several cities around the world, including Toronto and Berlin, where last year anti-Semitic signs comparing Zionism with Nazism and calling for a boycott of Israel were widely distributed. London’s rally has previously been attended by people such as Jeremy Corbyn (before becoming Labour leader) and Rev Stephen Sizer, who attended last year during which the lighting of an Israel flag was made a public spectacle.
  • Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), which is one of the main organisers behind London’s Al Qud’s march, works under the guise of “human rights” whilst displaying hatred of Israel and contempt for Jews and Zionism. IHRC has long given support to extremist voices, including prominent support for terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
  • One of the speakers billed for the event is IHRC head, Massoud Shadjareh. Earlier this year, CUFI unearthed footage in which he appeared to urge people in to wage “Jihad in Palestine” like they do in Syria.
  • In the video Shadjareh said, “You know people are rushing in large numbers from Britain, from Europe, from all around the world, from Arab countries to go and do Jihad in Syria. What about Jihad in Palestine? Why not even single one of them have gone to fight for Palestine for over 65 years.”
  • In 2017, another leader of the organisation, Nazim Ali, accused Zionists of carrying out the Grenfell tower fire, saying it is “Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high rise blocks”. He stated: “We are fed up of the Zionists. We are fed up of their rabbis. We are fed of their synagogues. We are fed up of their supporters.”
  • This year the IHRC is advising demonstrators not to bring flags of any proscribed groups such as Hezbollah. Until the new law was introduced by Sajid Javid earlier this year, Britain had only banned Hezbollah’s “military” arm but not its “political” wing. This meant it was possible for people to openly support Hezbollah without any consequence whatsoever even though Hezbollah itself does not differentiate between its political and military wings.
  • Christians United for Israel UK recently launched a new campaign, “Operation Mordecai” to highlight the threat from Iran to Israel and the West. The on-going campaign will involve a number of actions on wide-ranging issues relating to Iran, including the plight of Christians, Jews and other minorities in Iran as well as the regime’s influence here in the UK. Its primary aim is to ensure Britain positions itself on the right side of history by defending Israel against the tyrannous Iranian regime.


Vigilant to the threat of Iran

We recently launched Operation Mordecai which is CUFI UK’s strategic plan to highlight the threat from Iran to Israel and the West, including Iran’s funding and support for anti-Israel demonstrations in the West, including the London rally above.

The on-going campaign involves a number of actions on wide-ranging issues relating to Iran, but its primary aim is to ensure Britain positions itself on the right side of history by defending Israel against the tyrannous Iranian regime.

Operation Mordecai takes inspiration from the Biblical account of Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, whom having heard of the plot to annihilate the Jews, sought the Lord, warned about what was planned and took action. Please see below for more details about this campaign and how you can get involved.

Christians United for Israel UK