“Well, now we know who would have helped us, and who would have pushed us onto the trains.”
The UK government has given strong support for Israel in the aftermath of the 7th October Hamas terror attacks, however the situation on Britain’s streets puts the UK in unchartered territory.
Last Saturday, thousands attended demonstrations against Israel in London and other cities across the UK. Whilst there was explicit support for Hamas by some, the fact that pro-Palestinian protesters rallied to demonise Israel following the massacre of over 1,400 Israelis, should be interpreted as endorsement of the attacks. The obvious refusal to condemn Hamas (for example, Jeremy Corbyn never once condemned the Hamas terror), means the criticism of the marches are completely justified.
On Wednesday evening, 1000 gathered outside Downing Street. A national officer from the Stop the War Coalition, lied to the crowd that Israel was responsible for the explosion at a hospital in Gaza the previous day, despite evidence proving that Israel was not responsible. “Yesterday they killed 500 Palestinians in a matter of seconds,” he asserted, “we are watching now as the Israeli government claim that it wasn’t them…. Yet they want us to believe it wasn’t them.” The Stop The War Coaltion activist then shouted, “The door of 10 Downing Street is dripping with Palestinian blood.”
The same speaker also accused the British media of lying about the Hamas attacks on 7th October. “Our media last week was happy to put uncorroborated lies on their front page about the Hamas attack,” he said.
Another speaker from the Palestinian Youth Movement, said, “The scale of yesterday’s massacre exposes the scale of the true intent of the Zionist project which is more explicit at this moment than it ever has been before, intentionally targeting a hospital where mostly women and children are being treated is the true face of Zionism.”
She added there had been “two weeks of Zionist assault on Gaza…. two weeks of some of the most horrific things we have ever witnessed in our lifetimes.”
Without any reference or condemnation of the Hamas terrorist attacks, she again added that we are seeing “the true face of Zionism.”
In the capital, the march was accompanied by chants of in Arabic of, “Khaybar, Khaybar ya Yahud, jaish Mohammed saufa ya’oud” (“Khaybar, Khaybar, Jews, the army of Muhammad will return”), a celebration of the massacre, rape and enslavement of Jews in Saudi Arabia’s Khaybar Oasis by Arab armies in 628 A.D., while images also emerged of a small number of demonstrators wearing stickers with paragliders (some Hamas terrorists used paraglided into Israel on 7th October).
There was widespread chants of, “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free,” “Free, Free Palestine,” and “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.” Placards were emblazoned with the words “End Israeli Apartheid” and “Palestine, Exist, Resist, Return”. There were chants
The scenes have led home secretary, Suella Braverman, to urge the police to take a tougher line, writing to police chiefs that “it is not just explicit pro-Hamas symbols and chants that are cause for concern,” and urging them to consider whether chants such as: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” should be “understood as an expression of a violent desire to see Israel erased from the world,” potentially making it a “racially aggravated … public order offense.”
The home secretary has also suggested the police consider whether, given the context, some pro-Palestinian chants might fall foul of UK anti-terrorism legislation. On Monday, she branded the demonstrators in London “an intimidating mob.” “Those who promote hate on Britain’s streets should realize that our tolerance has limits,” Braverman said.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has vowed that “the glorification of terror [will be] met with the full force of the law.” The government is also threatening to deport foreign students, academics and workers who commit antisemitic acts or praise Hamas, and the education secretary, Gillian Keegan, has ordered universities to deal “swiftly and decisively” with “implicit or explicit” threats to Jewish students.
Sunday Times columnist Hadley Freeman wrote last weekend. “So do you know how many Israeli flags I’ve seen in the week since Hamas kidnapped, raped and slaughtered over a thousand Jews in Israel, from geriatric Holocaust survivors to tiny babies? That’s right: nada, zip, none.” Freeman went on to quote a text she had received from a friend: “Well, now we know who would have helped us, and who would have pushed us onto the trains.”
“France and Germany banned marches like these knowing people would glorify activities of terrorists,” wrote journalist Nicole Lampert. “I’m sad that so many people seemed so joyous about Jewish deaths. I’m scared because this anger is only going to increase once war properly starts. I’m upset because I see the full extent of hatred for Jews among the nation that has been the home for my family for more than 100 years. And I’m angry that the police do almost nothing about these people who are quite open about wanting to hurt people like me and my family.”
Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, wrote, “As editor of this paper, I would regularly remove Nazi comparisons and Third Reich analogies. Overused and devoid of real historical context. But one thought has been burrowing through my consciousness this past week and it crystalised yesterday. Now I know how it happened. Now I understand. Now I see how the Jew-hating mob gets to have its way – because while they are acting out their wishes, the rest avert their eyes. It’s not their problem, not their fight.”
He also wrote how the demo has unsettled and frightened him more than any other such demo before.
“In the past, the only real context for the demos has been Jew hate for the sake of Jew hate,” he explains, “Somehow that’s been easier to deal with and to put in a box. Jew haters gonna Jew hate, as it were. But this time it’s different. This time it’s so much worse – because the context, the prompt, is the single worst atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust. That’s not enough for them, so they take to the streets demanding more. And support flows. A march of the evil, the ignorant and the stupid, joined together in Jew hate.
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.