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The anti-Semites are on the march

These anti-Israel protesters are fuelled by Jew hatred.

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Topics Politics UK World

Britain, we have a problem. Across the country yesterday, thousands upon thousands attended ‘pro-Palestine’ demonstrations. The biggest, in London, attracted 10,000 people, according to police. Nominally, the protests were raging against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and its policies towards the Palestinians. You might think protesting against a nation as it defends itself against a genocidal terrorist group – which a week ago slaughtered 1,300 Jews, including small children – would be enough to raise some eyebrows. But it didn’t take long for unabashed Jew hatred and support for the terrorists of Hamas to come bobbing up to the surface.

On Saturday morning, before the day’s marches even began, self-styled Muslim news site 5 Pillars posted some handy ‘advice from a lawyer’ for those planning to attend. Point Four helpfully clarified that ‘any chants or banners attacking Jews or Judaism, celebrating the Holocaust, expressing support for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, ISIS or any other banned organisation… might get you arrested’. That it felt moved to offer this advice at all speaks volumes.

Anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas sentiments were on full display among the demonstrators in any case. The Mail reports that protesters in London were spotted with stickers of paragliders on their backs, a sick nod to the terrorists who descended on Israel from the air last Saturday. (It has swiftly become a grim symbol of support for Hamas among Islamists and identitarians.) Meanwhile, placards downplayed the horrors of last weekend, accusing the West of swallowing ‘Zionist propaganda’.

Blood-curdling chants of ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ rang out throughout the day – a call for Israel, and the Jews who live there, to be wiped off the map. Two men were also filmed chanting ‘Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud, which has become a grotesque fixture of anti-Israel marches in recent years. As the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism explains, it is a ‘classic Arabic battle cry referencing the massacre and expulsion of the Jews of the town of Khaybar in northwestern Arabia, now Saudi Arabia, in the year 628 CE’. The two men, captured on video, appear to have changed the first word of the chant, perhaps to try to avoid arrest. (Protesters have been charged with hate crimes for chanting it at previous demonstrations.)

As the day wore on, there were a series of scraps and near-misses between protesters and counter-protesters. Photographer Stuart Mitchell captured the moment police had to bolt ahead to protect a man who was waving an Israeli flag, as protesters, chanting ‘Allahu akbar’, appeared to chase after him.

Perhaps the most unvarnished outburst of hatred was in Glasgow, where a woman, draped in the Palestinian flag, goaded Jews with comments about the Holocaust. ‘Fuck you! Free Palestine!’, she said, before adding: ‘Don’t forget where the Jews were in 1940.’

That anti-Semites walk among us, in Britain in 2023, is stomach-turning enough. But it’s much worse than that. They are on the march. They are cocksure, almost gleeful. For they have been given cover for far too long by credulous commentators who should know better and braindead identitarians who harbour their own prejudices about Jews. Through raging against Israel these people have found a supposedly ‘respectable’, coded way to give vent to their Jew hatred. And even then, it doesn’t take much for the mask to slip. We must stand in solidarity with British Jews and confront this racist menace in our midst. Now.

Graham Linehan and Brendan O’Neill – live and in conversation

Graham Linehan and Brendan O’Neill – live and in conversation

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Topics Politics UK World

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