Today, the British Jewish community turned out in force at a rally opposite the Israeli Embassy in London, demonstrating for peace and for an end to terrorism. It was a moving show of community solidarity. Together, we sang songs for peace — Oseh Shalom Bimromav, Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu — and reaffirmed our concern for civilians on both sides in this conflict, expressing solidarity with the peoples of Israel and Gaza suffering under Hamas tyranny. It was an uplifting and stirring contrast to pro-Palestine demonstrations across Europe, characterised by hate-filled rhetoric and occasional outbreaks of violence. I felt inestimably proud to be Jewish, a member of a community so unwavering in its commitment to peaceful and humane values.
As an elected representative of the Union of Jewish Students, I arrived with other members of the UJS team to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel living under the fear of missiles, and to express the hope of British students in the UK that the misery of Israelis and Palestinians can be brought to a swift and peaceful end.
Within a short while, my tweet was retweeted by Ben White, one of Britain’s most shameless anti-Israel and pro-BDS activists.
Cue a flood of hateful messages. Here are my top ten favourites, which I’d like to share with you to expose the hate and the bigotry (I do not include the many graphic pictures of dead people sent to me too):
10. I didn’t know North London is Palestinian land!
9. That’s literally the opposite of what we called for
— Vramy (@phallicmanic) July 20, 2014
8. I wish you a long life too
7. Because only Israel’s destruction will bring peace
— Katherine D Edmiston (@KatEdmiston) July 20, 2014
6. Reinventing the English language, one word at a time
5. Erm… that’s not a selfie
— . (@ANimer) July 20, 2014
4. Let’s compromise on a mental asylum?
3. Is that like ‘fuck’ or a type of military jet?
— StopIsraelApartheid (@NadineLumley) July 20, 2014
2. The prize for most nonsense in 140 characters…
— Syed Aziz (@syd_dhk) July 20, 2014
1. And finally… Godwin’s Law!
@EylonALevy unless politicians that you buy, civilians consider Israeli tribe as Hitler's 4s version of 2014! Orphans of the planet!
— Elif ???? (@elif_ratatatme) July 20, 2014
I was also added to the following Twitter ‘lists’: ‘child-killers’, ‘racist-zionists’, ‘child-murder-advocates’ and ‘pro-Israeli-hasbara-troll’.
You know what — I don’t really give a flying fig whether this is anti-Semitic or not. The distinction bores me. It’s hateful, it’s vicious and it’s detached from all reason. It’s the acidic cud of people who have no inclination whatsoever to hear what the other actually has to say, preferring instead to jump to the wildest of conclusions based on their own twisted and contorted understandings of reality. As the old saying goes, “Haters gonna hate” — but they must not be allowed to win.
Expose the hate.