Com­mu­nity ral­lies to give its sup­port

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JC RE­PORTERS

PRO-IS­RAEL SUP­PORT­ERS gath­ered out­side the Pales­tinian Mis­sion in Lon­don on Tues­day evening to protest against the lack of con­dem­na­tion for re­cent ter­ror­ist acts in Is­rael.

Com­mu­nal groups in­clud­ing the Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion (ZF) and Board of Deputies or­gan­ised the demon­stra­tion, which in­cluded a minute’s si­lence to com­mem­o­rate the vic­tims of the vi­o­lence.

Around70peo­ple­took­part,although the ZF es­ti­mated the num­ber at 100. A pro-Pales­tini­an­counter-demon­stra­tion at­tracted around 80 protesters.

ZF di­rec­tor, Arieh Miller, led chants of “Yes to peace, no to terror”. He said: “Any­one op­pos­ing this protest must there­fore be in sup­port of ter­ror­ism.”

Board vice-pres­i­dent Marie van der Zyl said the protest was about “de­fend­ing the right of or­di­nary cit­i­zens to live in peace”.

Vig­ils for those killed in the terror at­tacks were held in Lon­don on Sun­day, and in Glas­gow and Manch­ester.

For­eign Sec­re­tary Philip Ham­mond ex­pressed con­cern at the cri­sis and called for calm.

In a state­ment on Sun­day, he said the UK con­demned all acts of vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing at­tacks by Pales­tini­ans and by Is­raeli set­tlers.

“We urge all sides to take im­me­di­ate

Is­rael sup­port­ers protest out­side the Pales­tinian Mis­sion in Lon­don steps to de-es­ca­late the ten­sions and avoid ac­tions that threaten to ex­ac­er­bate the sit­u­a­tion,” he said.

On Tues­day, Mid­dle East min­is­ter To­bias Ellwood said the UK was con­cerned both at the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Jerusalem, and at “the use of force by Is­raeli se­cu­rity per­son­nel in re­sponse to protests and se­cu­rity in­ci­dents, which has re­sulted in sev­eral deaths and thou­sands of in­juries”.

Hi­lary Benn, Labour’s Shadow For­eign Sec­re­tary, said the killing of Is­raelis was deeply shock­ing and called on Is­raeli and Pales­tinian lead­ers to con­demn acts of vi­o­lence and avoid provoca­tive state­ments.

In a let­ter pub­lished in The Times, a group of Con­ser­va­tive MPs said Is­rael was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a wave of terror not seen in a decade, call­ing the vi­o­lence “ut­terly con­temptible”.

The MPs, mem­bers of Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael, blamed in­cite­ment by se­nior Pales­tinian of­fi­cials. Sig­na­to­ries in­cluded CFI chair, Sir Eric Pick­les, Mike Freer and Matthew Of­ford.

The chair of Labour Friends of Is­rael, Joan Ryan, said the “bru­tal at­tacks” on Is­raelis were with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. Writ- ing to David Cameron, she urged him “to con­vey to the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment that the Bri­tish peo­ple stand with the peo­ple of Is­rael”.

She ex­pressed con­cern that “bla­tantly an­tisemitic lan­guage and im­agery” in chil­dren’s pro­grammes broad­cast on PA state tele­vi­sion had in­flu­enced young Pales­tini­ans in­volved in the vi­o­lence.

The Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust said that de­spite “a rise in ag­gres­sive rhetoric, par­tic­u­larly on so­cial media, in­clud­ing some bla­tantly an­tisemitic threats”, there had been “no sig­nif­i­cant rise in UK an­tisemitic in­ci­dents re­lat­ing to the Is­rael sit­u­a­tion”.

Shom­rim, the vol­un­teer com­mu­nity se­cu­rity group, re­ported four an­tisemitic in­ci­dents in east Lon­don, in­clud­ing ver­bal abuse of a man leav­ing a syn­a­gogue. Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dents.

Sir Mick Davis, chair­man of the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil, said the blood­shed in Is­rael af­fected the en­tire UK Jewish com­mu­nity.

He called on Pres­i­dent Ab­bas to “con­demn this vi­o­lence and take proper steps to bring it to an end”.

The Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has is­sued a spe­cial prayer to be re­cited in syn­a­gogues this Shab­bat, and an­nounced that a ser­vice in sol­i­dar­ity with the vic­tims will take place at Hen­don United Syn­a­gogue on Sun­day.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

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