Antisemitism and virulent Israel-hatred were rife on Saturday at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London endorsed by UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The marchers assembled for the “National Demonstration for Palestine: Exist! Resist! Return!” at the offices of the BBC, which is only a short distance from London’s Central Synagogue. They then proceeded down Regent Street to Whitehall. British newspaper The Guardian reported that “thousands” attended the rally.
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 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?”
May 12, 2019 10:42 am
“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 young activist adored by anti-Israel groups, who served time in prison for assaulting Israeli soldiers, also spoke briefly, and led the crowd in the “from the river to the sea” chant.
A statement from Corbyn himself was read to the attendees, answered by great applause.
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at the UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism advocacy group, commented on the march, saying, “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.”
“The far-left, the far-right, and Islamist extremists clearly all share a common hatred of Jews,” he asserted. “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.”
Since the staunchly anti-Israel Corbyn took control of Labour in 2015, the party has been wracked with antisemitism scandals, some touching Corbyn himself. Polls have shown the overwhelming majority of British Jews consider him personally antisemitic.