By Marcus Dysch
May 11, 2010
So there you are happily going about your business at a typically British spring craft fair.
The tables are lined with porcelain bits and pieces, no doubt there's some Tupperware containing rhubarb crumble, and the odd dodgy watercolour laying around.
But what is that amid the dream catchers and clay pots? A sizeable pro-Palestinian demonstration? Well of course, what better says ‘village green craft fair’ than banners promoting the intifada?
My source at last weekend’s Richmond Green fair reports some understandable surprise at being faced with an anti-Israel group at what was a supposedly non-political, non-contentious event.
I’m told that the organisers were a local church group who had hired the Green from Richmond Council. As such they can, quite rightly, invite and allow whoever they want to join the fair.
When offended fair-goers complained about the presence of the Palestinian group, organisers responded with a shrug and a “not my problem guv”.
It is now perfectly common to witness anti-Israel demonstrations or protests at a range of political, social and even charity events. Anyone attending a Zionist Federation concert or an Israeli diplomat’s university lecture, sadly expects to run a gauntlet of hatred on the way in and out.
But at a village fete, when all you want is to buy some tchatchaes, have an ice cream and admire the plants? Surely there is a time and place for this sort of action? Is it really necessary to be confronted with anti-Israel protests at every turn?
When this vitriolic, seeping atmosphere reaches even the cream teas and stamp collections, you know things are worse than you first feared.