Right way to fight back?

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - SAYS JONATHAN TURNER

AT UK Lawyers for Is­rael we have been able to see these sit­u­a­tions from a num­ber of per­spec­tives, which puts us in a par­tic­u­larly good po­si­tion to as­sess how best to tackle them.

Our mem­bers have ad­vised re­tail­ers, de­fended ac­tivists, made rep­re­sen­ta­tions to the po­lice and land­lords, and con­sulted with the Is­raeli em­bassy and other proIs­rael or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Counter-demon­stra­tions by sup­port­ers of Is­rael can easily be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive, by en­cour­ag­ing our en­e­mies, adding to the ob­struc­tion, and draw­ing more at­ten­tion to the anti-Is­rael demon­stra­tion.

On the other hand, the proIs­rael demon­stra­tions out­side the Ke­dem store in Manch­ester last year were an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of when and how to do it — when it is re­ally nec­es­sary and ef­fec­tive to en­able shop­pers to have ac­cess to the tar­geted re­tailer; care­fully con­trolled in co-or­di­na­tion with the shop and con­sul­ta­tion with the po­lice, elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and neigh­bour­ing shops; and well or­gan­ised so that our peo­ple are in the right po­si­tion at the right time (which may mean get­ting up ear­lier than our op­po­nents). Above all, we must stay on the right side of the law and the po­lice. Let our op­po­nents make the mis­takes which lead to help­ful in­ter­ven­tion by the author­i­ties.

De­mon­stra­tors have a right to ex­press their views, but shop­pers and shops equally have rights not to be ob­structed, ha­rassed, in­tim­i­dated or dis­rupted as they go about their law­ful busi­ness.

The po­lice have a dif­fi­cult job of up­hold­ing these rights. Help them, and they will help us.

We must stay on the right side of the law

Jonathan Turner is chair of UK Lawyers for Is­rael

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