‘I wanted the Jewish community to know that we have their back’

Participants of Sunday’s National March Against Antisemitism tell the JC why they decided to attend


Sian Treharne: "I've come from Maesteg near Cardiff. I come as a Christian who will always support Israel and who actually works organising food banks for Israel’s needy."

Valarie Tudball: “I'm from Bridgend near Cardiff. Israel belongs to the Jews. Hamas is telling the world it isn't yours. That's why I've come today.”

Goli, a member of the Iranian community: “I stand in front of the Foreign Office every week, asking the government to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist organisation. I am here today because Iranians have been friends with the Jewish and Iranian communities for a very long time. As Iranians, we have exactly the same demands as Israelis.”

Benjamin Tambah, member of Christians United for Israel: “I've been to every Jewish rally and vigil since October 7. I’ve come to demand the return of the hostages and to support Israel.”

Helena Lake: “I've been disgusted by the rise in antisemitism since October 7. I wanted to stand in support and solidarity with our Jewish community and to let them know we Londoners have their back.”

Georgina Littlejohn: “Today, I felt proud to be British. To be a British ally. To be in the middle of 105,000 people of all faiths and none, from all corners of the UK, in the middle of London, my city, with a common purpose. It felt amazing and, I hope, reassuring to my Jewish friends. Not even the grey and drizzly weather dampened our spirits as we marched with love and laughter and song, but also remembering those who died on October 7 and those that are still being kept from their families.”

Malcolm Stewart: “I'm a Territorial Army veteran and I've come from Chester today. My grandfather fought against the Nazis and this month, your enemies defaced the war memorials in honour of British veterans. That alone is enough reason for me to be here.”

Oscar (didn’t want to give his surname): “I came today because I felt that it was the right thing to do. Jews being attacked at college and university is really bad. I work in retail and some of my colleagues are coming in with Palestinian flags on their bags, and I don’t feel I can express my views, which are more on the side of Israel. It’s really powerful being here today.”

Paul Beckwith: “I've always had the greatest admiration for the State of Israel. It's a tolerant liberal democracy, which has given refuge to the Jews of the world and which has survived and indeed thrived against all the odds. And I love the Jewish reverence for learning. These reasons and more are the reasons I am here today.”

Faith Eckersall: “I came today because I think it's important that my Jewish friends and the Jewish community know they are not alone, that people do care. We have to stand up to racism in this country because we all know what happens when we don't.”

Alp (didn't want to give his surname): "I'm a gay, secular Muslim Turk with tremendous sympathy for Israel, a country where people like me can live freely. I went to Tel Aviv for the second time last year and had the time of my life."

Barry Mellinger and daughter Leila Joy, 5: "We are Belgian Jews and we are here today to tell British Jews you are not alone. We are not here to fight antisemitism, which has been shown to be a futile exercise. What we need to do now is find our allies, our friends."

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