Sharon Klaff

The Battle of Regent Street

On the 4th October 1936, the battle of Cable Street took place. On that day, the Metropolitan police were protecting a march by members of The British Union of Fascists led by Oswald Mosely. Mosely planned to send thousands of marchers, dressed in the uniform resembling Blackshirts, through the East End of London, which then had a large Jewish community. The Jewish Board of Deputies at that time denounced the march as anti-Semitic and urged the Jews to stay away. It fell to the Communists to take on the task of organising a counter protest. The Government decided not to ban the march, but instead provided a large contingent of police to stop the counter protest.

On the 18th June 2017, the Al Quds march through the West End of London took place. Initiated by the Ayatollahs of Iran in 1979 to oppose the existence of Israel. Al Quds is an annual event through the West End of London in the third week of Ramadan when marchers sport yellow Hezbollah flags emblazoned with a knife and an AK 47 rifle and call for the demise of Israel. The combined Jewish establishment organisations accepted a designated area on Grosvenor Square to hold a penned-in demonstration with pre-invited speakers, whilst the anti-Semitic Jew haters held sway in the streets of London protected by democracy. It fell to a small contingency of Zionist activists to take on the task of organising a counter protest. The Government together with the Mayor of London decided not to ban the march or the flags, but instead provided a large contingent of police to escort the marchers down Regent Street, into Oxford Street and on to the American Embassy on Grosvenor Square.

Eighty-one years have passed since the Battle of Cable Street when some 6000 demonstrators arrived to face off the marchers with sticks, table legs and rotten vegetables. Ultimately the protestors battled with the police whilst the demonstrators, about 2000 of them, rerouted to Hyde Park. There were many arrests and there remains a bitter memory of that day. Notable is the fact that authorities misjudged the nature and scale of the problem and it took a further 9 years before evidence was exposed of the mass slaughter of the Jews of Europe.

After the atrocities of WWll were revealed we all thought such hideousness could never happen again. However, overt Jew hatred is once more totally acceptable in polite society. It is sometimes referred to as the new anti-Semitism, but in reality, it is the same old Jew hatred that surfaces every time there is a crisis that world leaders are unable to resolve.

2017 brings with it a world in turmoil with Islamic terrorism raging through the Middle east and appearing on high streets across the West.

2017 is possibly the most contentious year since 2014 when anti-Semitism was rampant on social media following the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, resulting in the defensive war known as Protective Edge.

2017 is the year that Jeremy Corbyn won a defeat in the snap general election. Presiding over a very large contingency of anti-Semitic members, some 50 of whom had their membership temporarily suspended over the last year, the Labour leader was unable to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, despite running against possibly the worst opponent and worst campaign of any general election.

2017 is also the year that ISIS laid claim to the terrorist attacks in which 22 children and young adults were massacred at a concert in Manchester, to the car ramming and knife attacks near the Houses of Parliament, to the brutal London Bridge massacre that saw the slaughter of 8 with many critically wounded, as well as attacks in France and Belgium, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It is a time when some Muslims are travelling to support ISIS in Syria and returning to the democracy they grew up in, radicalised and ready for action. And it is a time when Government and authorities fail again to recognise the imminent danger threatening Western democracy and it is a time when attacks on Judaism is again the weathervane of an uncertain future.

Just as Cable Street was a thermometer of the tensions building in the lead up to WWll, so is Al Quds the temperature gauge of our times. Traditionally the Al Quds theme is anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and pro Hezbollah under the guise of being pro-Palestinian. Al Quds 2017 didn’t disappoint on the Jew race hate stakes.

Nazim Ali of IHRC (Islamic Human Rights Committee) that organises Al Quds in London, was found outside the starting point at the BBC in Portland Place, repetitively directing the words “you kill soldiers” in a Tourette type frenzy at a small group of us standing across the road. He was clearly disturbed by the small number waiting to march, some 200 at most, his behaviour an indicator of what was to come in the aggression stakes.

Youngsters were being groomed there, kitted out in their Hezbollah flags with the disclaimer visible on sticky labels adhered to their clothes ‘you cannot arrest me, because I support the political wing of Hezbollah, not the military wing – this time’. Several Imams were there dressed in their religious regalia. PSC types (Palestine Solidarity Campaign) were holding placards calling for the boycott of Israel. Others were holding handmade signs accusing Zionists for the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire. Stop the War Coalition displayed their banner with slogans “Bliar”, “Free Gaza”, “No Islamophobia” and “not in my name” stitched around the border. And of course, the placards calling for “Freedom for Palestine”. Then there appeared the anti-Jew Jews, Naturei Karte, to provide balance for this racist parade, their arrival indicating the time to set off.

Police motor cycles with flashing blue lights escorted the marchers backed up by two police vans with many police officers in attendance, walking ahead and along the pavement, an anti-Semitic Jew race hate movement protected on the streets of London in the name of democracy.

Leading the 200 or so marchers, Nazim Ali rallied his troops with chants against Zionists. It was Zionists and their Rabbis and their Synagogues that affronted him and he echoed that cry over his loudspeaker to the cheers of his fellow marchers. A man with few followers gets arrested for a Twitter comment and another is imprisoned for a silly prank about an anti-Islamophobia organisation, whilst Nazim Ali is escorted through the streets of London like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn, where, caught on video he tells his followers “it’s in their genes to occupy Regent Street, its genetic” to the silence of the abundant police officers within sight and earshot of this vile ringleader. The verdict is out whether or not the police will take seriously the report and evidence they now officially have of this overt Jew hatred heard loud and clear under their noses as they marched alongside and protected the perpetrators.

2017 will represent a watershed in the fightback. After years of being threatened with arrest and taunted by past Al Quds marchers, a small group of pro-Zionist, grassroots activists decided to interrupt the Al Quds event this year, to bring a message that anti-Semitic race hate taunts accompanied by the flying of Hezbollah flags on the streets of London, advocating terrorism, will no longer be tolerated.

Before they could get into full swing (goodness knows what further Jew race hate they had up their sleeves) Nazim Ali’s cocky confidence was abruptly altered. Twelve or so pro-Israel Zionist activists jumped into the road between the Al Quds marchers and the police, a saxophonist cajoling the ambush with Israeli songs as we hoisted our Israeli flags on high. Holding their heads in complete astonishment that a bunch of Jews had the audacity to ambush their race hate parade, Ali and his cohorts were halted in their tracks. Flummoxed police ordered us to the pavement and when we refused to budge, tried the “it is unfair to interrupt their march – we wouldn’t allow them to interrupt a pro-Israel march” approach. Unfair? Unfair to stop Jew race hate and incitement on the streets of the capital city of the UK? Imagine if a bunch of marchers took to the streets accusing Muslims of killing soldiers, or babies, or spoke about their genetics in a derogatory way…!

Exactly at Oxford Circus, we danced an Israeli dance as the police ‘kettled’ the Al Quds marchers, seating them on the ground whilst they hatched a plan to deal with these Jews who would no longer tolerate this overt, state protected Jew hate on the streets of London. At that point, the police became helpful and even friendly as they escorted the activists ahead of the Al Quds marchers all the way to Grosvenor Square. Chanting TERRORISTS OFF OUR STREETS, interspersed with singing Israeli songs and dancing Israeli dances, our number grew en route from the initial 15 to about 50 and the Al Quds marchers became more subdued as they realised their stranglehold on public opinion was no longer their monopoly. We dominated the day by delaying their start and then by taking over the lead with our blue and white Israeli flags hoisted on high as we chanted and danced our way to Grosvenor Square in the sweltering heat.

Marching up to the pen in Grosvenor Square we were welcomed by loud cheers. With the Star of David emblazoned blue and white flags swaying in the air, the crowd sang and chanted as the Al Quds marchers, draped in their yellow Hezbollah flags stamped with a rifle and a knife, sat in prayer led by an Imam chanting over a microphone from a grandstand, illustrating clearly a link between their religion, their Jew hatred and their support for terrorism. They prayed and then they chanted slurs, their anti-Semitic rhetoric accusing Israel of deliberately killing Arab children, calling for a Palestine free, from the river (Jordan) to the sea (Mediterranean), a Jew free state replicating the defeated aim of their ally some 80 years ago, in Europe where they were schooled in Jew hatred. And again, the greater world, as they did then, fails to grasp the urgency or the enormity of the situation. For although it was the Jews who were being exterminated, the threat of Nazism extended across the borders of Europe. So, what of the current crisis that stirs this race hate?

In his 2014 article Anti-Semitism in the Guise of “Palestiniansim”, Robert Fulford writes that the latest anti-Semitic formula is a response to new forms of leftist opinion in which class warfare has shifted to colonialism and the rights of the disadvantaged ethnic groups. Israel is increasingly seen as a Zionist colonialist power imposed on a helpless people. In this post-millennial period, the embrace of the Palestinian cause brings together neo-fascists and Islamists holding hands with leftists and liberals to form a new Red/Green alliance of strange bedfellows, the Jews their single target, the true imperialism their aim, transference being the name of their game.

In current times “Palestinianism” is the ideology from behind which operate those who perpetuate the most ancient of race hate against the Jews under the guise of Israel criticism. The post millennial vehicle is a coalition of organisations that embrace the PSC/BDS strategy to isolate and destroy the Jewish state, with the UK the hub of this international activity against Jews. The smartly devised strategy carefully persuades that the target is Israel, described by Labour’s variously sacked and embraced member Jackie Walker on her Facebook page as “brutality and illegality, theft and genocide”. In other words, Israel is the new Nazi state. Of course, great care is taken not to refer to Jews, but rather using the term Zionist in this pejorative way. The premise that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism is now the accepted definition of Jewish race hate of which there was an abundance on Sunday afternoon in London. And the politician historically most involved is Jeremy Corbyn.

For some years these Al Quds day marches have been allowed a free hand in London.

The year 2012 is particularly notable for the appearance of Jeremy Corbyn, then MP for Islington North, who, referencing the arch anti-Semitic trope, delivered a speech about “Gaza being a massive prison camp surrounded by Rothschild’s machine gun emplacements bombing straight from the air” and evoking a fascist narrative by using words like occupation, camps and apartheid apropos Israel.

The year 2017 is notable for the non-appearance of Jeremy Corbyn. Seemingly the office of Labour Party Leader does not lend itself to anti-Semitic Palestinianism. However, he remains connected to the centre of all this anti-Israel pro boycott activity, with his patronage of the PSC and its close affiliation to the BDS movement as well as his self-proclaimed now denied friendships with Hamas and Hezbollah that he has invited and hosted in the seat of UK Government.

Whilst Al Quds is one day on the calendar in a year, every day of every week Palestinianism driven replacement ideology is being pumped out all over the country on a daily basis, in our schools, universities, church halls, Houses of Parliament and some. The frenzied indoctrination of both hard and soft propaganda is growing unstemmed, just as Mosley’s protestors held free reign 81 years ago in the East End of London.

If a peak in anti-Semitic race hate against Jews is the weathervane of troubled times, we need look no further for the root of the problem than the civil war in Syria and the rift of the Arab kingdoms from Qatar. Qatar, where the Hamas leadership lives in glorious splendour as they hatch their attacks on Israel. Qatar that financially underpins many of the anti-Israel anti-Semitic activities. Qatar with massive investments right here in the UK, now developing an oil pipe line with Iran. Iran that calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state with an eye on recreating the caliphate. Allegiances in the Middle East are in flux, particularly since the P5+1 disastrous deal that in 10 years or so will leave Iran free to develop her nuclear arsenal. Ten years is not far away, so there is little time to put in place actions that will impede this achievement. With a large number of our politicians intricately involved financially with the Islamic Middle East, and many organisations taking advantage of Iran investments since the renewal of diplomatic relations, a leadership is required with the moral fibre to withstand this wealth enticement, a leadership unconnected to the weaponised Palestinianism we saw on our streets last Sunday, a leadership that has the courage to create First Amendment free speech rights in our increasingly silenced society and a leadership of Churchillian magnitude who grasps the relevance of the Gates of Vienna ceremoniously shut tight against an encroaching occupation.

About the Author
Sharon Klaff lives in London with her family where she is active in combating replacement ideology and antisemitism. She is a founder member of Campaign4Truth, the grassroots group established in 2009 and affiliated with Eye on Antisemitism monitoring anti-Semitism on social media.