From out­raged to out­ra­geous: protest spills over into ha­tred

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

TENS OF thou­sands of demon­stra­tors marched through cen­tral Lon­don as the back­lash against Is­rael’s mil­i­tary ac­tion­inGaza­con­tin­ued­to­be­fel­ton­the streets of Bri­tain this week.

Pro­test­ers from groups in­clud­ing the Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Cam­paign and Stop the War marched from BBC’s New Broad­cast­ingHouse­toHy­dePark.Speak­ers in­cluded MPs Jeremy Cor­byn, David Ward and Sha­bana Mah­mood.

A silent vigil for Pales­tini­ans killed in the con­flict was can­celled af­ter or­gan­is­ers in Cam­bridge sug­gested hold­ing it out­side the city’s Ortho­dox sy­n­a­gogue. TheCam­bridgePales­tine Fo­rumprotest, due to go ahead last Fri­day evening, was scrapped af­ter a fu­ri­ous re­ac­tion.

The Is­raeli em­bassy in Lon­don at­tacked an Amnesty UK re­port on dam­age­tomed­i­cal­fa­cil­i­tiesinGaza.Amnesty had­said­it­could­not­con­firmthatHa­mas had used am­bu­lances and hos­pi­tals for “mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties”. An em­bassy spokesman called the po­si­tion, “out­ra­geous”.

A 66-year-old man was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with a se­ries of an­tisemitic stick­ers dis­played in Gold­ers Green, north-west Lon­don. The abu­sive mes­sage­sap­peared­last­mon­thand­in­cluded stick­ers calling Is­rael a “pi­ous dis­ease”. The man was bailed un­til Oc­to­ber.

An­tisemitic graf­fiti was re­ported in var­i­ous cities. In Kens­ing­ton, west Lon­don, graf­fiti declar­ing “Jews kill ba­bies in Pales­tine” was daubed on pave­ments. In Bris­tol, of­fen­sive posters re­fer­ring to the Holo­caust, geno­cide and show­ing Stars of David turned into swastikas, were dis­played in pri­vate homes.

Posters were placed on phone boxes in Hamp­stead, north Lon­don, stat­ing: “Gaza = Auschwitz” and “can­cel Is­rael”.

A plaque mark­ing the birth­place in Belfastof the­lateIs­raelipres­i­den­tChaim Her­zog was re­moved fol­low­ing a se­ries of graf­fiti daub­ings. Officials in the city said there were con­cerns for res­i­dents af­ter a gang of youths was seen try­ing to re­move the memo­rial with a crow­bar.

The Chris­tian Friends of Is­rael or­gan­i­sa­tion said it was “shocked and sad­dened” af­ter or­gan­is­ers of an event for young Chris­tians can­celled an ex­hi­bi­tion space CFI had planned. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives were due to at­tend the Mo­men­tum fes­ti­val run by Chris­tian group Soul Sur­vivor next week, but their in­vi­ta­tion was with­draw­nafteror­gan­is­ers­saidthey­did not want to “stir up any con­tro­versy”.

In a state­ment, CFI said it was “con­cerned that Mo­men­tum’s de­ci­sion sends a neg­a­tive mes­sage to our friends and col­leagues in Is­rael”.

A pe­ti­tion calling for the ex­pul­sion of Is­raeli am­bas­sador Daniel Taub on the govern­ment’s e-pe­ti­tion­ing web­site re­ceived more than 8,300 sig­na­tures.

The BBC de­nied that its com­plaints sys­tem plays into the in­creas­ingly par­ti­san na­ture of the de­bate in the UK over the Gaza con­flict. Its au­to­mated sys­tem fea­turest­wod­if­fer­en­tre­spons­es­de­pendin­gonwhetherthe­com­plain­tispro-Is­rael or pro-Pales­tinian. A spokes­woman said the sys­tem was set up to “ad­dress queries and con­cerns ef­fec­tively.”

Com­mu­ni­ties Min­is­ter Stephen Wil­liams, af­ter a meet­ing with the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust on Wed­nes­day, said: “Any hos­til­ity or ha­rass­ment di­rected to­wards the Jewish com­mu­nity in this coun­try is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able and the govern­ment will do ev­ery­thing in its power to pre­vent the fears and dis­tress such de­plorable ac­tions cause.”

Ex­treme views: anti-Is­rael sen­ti­ment goes well be­yond rea­son­able crit­i­cism

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