In London, more needed to face down the bullies
LONDON’S GLOBAL March to Jerusalem demonstration took place last Friday evening opposite the Israeli Embassy.
About 15-20 Israel supporters turned up, the usual stalwarts who put themselves on the line to face a barrage of abuse from the bully boys of the PSC. It is hardly something Jewish organisations across the world would not have in their diaries, so it was a surprise to hear that the Zionist Federation had an urgent engagement in Hungary — and goodness knows what happened to all the other pundits who put themselves about.
So there we were, without a megaphone and a few of our Christian friends who had at least brought some flags, placards and banners. One little girl on her way home from school asked her mother to stop by to share with us her hurt at the vile bigotry shooting over from across the barriers, as though they were on the front line launching rockets into Sderot or Be’ersheva. She was sobbing as she bore witness to this hatred, while the child of a PSC supporter was thrust onto their podium, chanting venomous slogans over a megaphone.
They arrived in their hundreds with their usual attire, wearing their tourist scarves from Jerusalem, hoisting flags showing all of Israel as Palestine — Arab Palestine, a land free of Jews. Tribal chants “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” cut through any pretence of peaceful desires.
They vaunted their latest slogan: they accused Israel of making Jerusalem Jewish, using that Nazi term, “Judaising”, as though the Jews have no connection to the City of David, as though their mosque is not built atop the Jewish Temple, as though they were the historical heirs to Jerusalem (a notion they only cottoned on to after the Arab uprising in 1987).
This annual assault takes place each year around Pesach, the time of year when we recount at the Seder table how the Jewish nation crossed the desert out of slavery to freedom; when we read how in each generation our enemies will return in an attempt to destroy us; and when we learn to ask questions. Sharon Klaff is a founding member of proIsrael activist group Campaign4truth