Day 36. I have resisted so far from drawing analogies with Nazi Germany. It is usually unhelpful and distracting from the issues at hand. I was struck though by the events of yesterday, November 11, when 300,000 people marched through London claiming they were supporting Palestinians.
Some historical background is needed here. 100 years ago this year in 1923, Adolf Hitler attempted a coup in Southern Germany. It failed and he was imprisoned. The Nazi party continued to grow during his period of incarceration and after his release in 1924 the idea of a rally was formed.
The first was in 1926 but from 1927 on, they took place in Nuremberg. The Party selected Nuremberg for a number of reasons, including geographical location, available space and crucially the Nuremberg police were sympathetic to the event. Bear in mind that at this point the Nazi party were some years away from power. Nevertheless the 1927 event attracted in excess of 25,000. Yesterday’s event was much bigger – approximately 300,000 walked through London and the police claimed they couldn’t ban it. I am not sure it is accurate to suggest the Metropolitan Police were sympathetic to the event, but it is instructive to see that they concentrated on the right-wing counter-protesters and left the Jew-haters in the main crowd well alone.
The rallies of the Nazi party were all about a show of strength, a demonstration to the world that there were a force to be reckoned with and of course, viscerally anti-Semitic. Not very different in my view to yesterday’s event.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign – PSC — which organised the march yesterday is an organisation dedicated to the destruction of Israel. When they talk about occupation of Palestine they mean everything: Gaza, West Bank and Israel itself. From the River to the Sea means from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea, Palestine will be free, of Jews. Make no mistake, the march yesterday principally was about destroying Israel; killing Jews and spreading Jihad came a close second.
The Home Secretary is right, these are hate marches. And they are aimed specifically at the Jews. Think about it. 300,000 people on the streets of London all demanding the destruction of Israel. That is more than all the Jews in the UK. The march was not only about calling for the destruction of Israel, it was about intimidating the Jews. Yet the police allowed it to go ahead. We all know what would have happened if 300,000 people wanted to march against black people or homosexuals. Banned instantly. I would put money on the police banning a march with only 3 such people. 300,000 people intimidating Jews, no problem, away you go.
The PSC talk about Palestinian rights, yet there were no massive marches when Palestinians were being killed in Libya or Syria. The reason – not down to the Jews so not of interest.
Rishi Sunak is reported to have said of yesterday’s march: “I condemn the violent, wholly unacceptable scenes we have seen today from the EDL and associated groups and Hamas sympathisers attending the National March for Palestine. The despicable actions of a minority of people undermine those who have chosen to express their views peacefully. Did he say ‘express their views peacefully’? I am not sure if that is worse than yelling them. I don’t believe that a quiet demand for the destruction of the Jewish state with all that entails could possibly be described as peaceful. Hateful yes, peaceful, absolutely not.
How did it get this bad? I could come up with a number of reasons though the one which screams to be now is the idea that these people marching could possibly be described as pro anything. Their actions are wholly anti. Anti-Israel, anti-free speech and, ultimately, antisemitic. For too long, we have allowed those who hate Jews or Israel to be labelled as “pro-something.” They are not.
So what do we do? The starting point must be to use a different label. Language is everything and the reality of these marches needs to be understood not only by us, but those around us not so familiar with the inherently Jew-hating nature of these rallies. So when we discuss these rallies and write to complain about them, we should use words which accurately describe what is going on. Anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and ultimately anti-West. Or perhaps just a word which everyone understands – antisemitic.