From our Chairman: Why the Saturday marches for Palestine must be stopped

After seven months of marches every Saturday, which although allegedly pro-Palestinian have actually been hostile to the Jewish community and other British citizens alike, it is time for them to stop.

For Jews, they represent an attack on the state of Israel, and while not all British Jews are strong Zionists, the overwhelming majority identify with Israel to a considerable extent. The resulting publicity has led to a significant rise in anti-Jewish hate incidents all over the UK and in many settings – schools, universities, hospitals, public transport, places of work and public places generally. They have caused many Jews in the UK to become fearful and start to think that this country is no longer a safe place for them to live, at least in the medium term.

Recently, there has been a well-publicised case of a Jewish individual finding out that he was not free to walk where he wanted after having been told by a police officer that he was “openly Jewish”.

Some believe that this event has been over-dramatised, but the key point is that the incident was far from unique. A similar event took place in February in Edinburgh when a man wearing a Star of David had his path barred by police officers using almost identical language.

On top of that, there have been many other cases where Jews have been treated in the same way, but being publicity-shy did not want to report it.

Moreover, the marches are hostile to many non-Jews as well. People who want to go about their ordinary business find their paths are frequently blocked by demonstrators and the behaviour of the mob in vandalising famous statues is also abhorrent. The enormous costs of policing these marches, too, cannot be ignored.

There has also been much debate about the much-used slogan “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!” What actually does it mean? It implies that there will be a country called “Palestine” that will cover all of the land that is currently Israel – meaning no Israel, and since the Palestine Authority’s leader Mahmoud Abbas has said that not a single Jew will live in the state of Palestine, also no Jews. The only doubt is whether the Jews are to be expelled from “Palestine” or murdered, no different from the Hamas narrative.

Most Jews and many non-Jews find this expression to be an epithet of Jew-hatred.

Yet there is a parallel issue, not debated very much by many, that goes alongside it. This is the so-called Palestinian flag.

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