Community rallies to give its support
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.