By Jonathan Hoffman
June 9, 2010
You published a letter (4th June) concerning the ZF’s successful, peaceful rally on Wednesday night in support of Israel (which despite being arranged at very short notice was attended by over 700 people).
The 20 signatories say that supporters of the English Defence League were at the event.
Many of the signatories are regular defamers of Israel and here they attempt the crude tactic of “smear by association”. However as always from these usual suspects, the mud fails to stick. Before the event the ZF alerted its supporters by email and on Facebook to the possibility that EDL supporters might be present, disassociated itself from the EDL and said that they would be allocated their own area.
The ZF is proud to operate in a country with a tradition of free speech. A public rally is precisely that – public – and no organisation can vet the affiliations of the attendees. If the signatories would rather live in a country where the State controls who can demonstrate on the streets, they are free to do so, but should be aware that such jurisdictions also deny rights to Jews, gays and women - to name but a few.
(Chairman, Zionist Federation, UK and Ireland)