Controversy at Palestine rally

Pictures of Netyanyahu as Hitler was just one example of controversial material at the pro-Palestine event


A placard depicting Benjamin Netanyahu as Hitler and calling Israel a ‘Nazi state (sic)’, was among the controversial images and slogans on display on the streets of London during a large pro-Palestine rally yesterday.

A man covered in fake blood and clutching a mutilated and bloodstained doll was seen in the crowd as those around him denounced Israel as an apartheid state.

One controversial banner proclaimed: “You can’t be racist unless you’re a Zionist”, while a homemade poster asked: “What is antisemitic in saying that all Jews support violence and imperialism?”

Speakers made repeated claims that Hamas was a legitimate resistance force rather than a terror group, and made furious calls for the British government to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.



Loud chanting recorded by the JC included the refrain, “five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a terror state”.

The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, now sitting as an independent MP after the Labour whip was removed, addressed the rally.

He said: “We are coming together because we are united in our support for the Palestinian people.”

The demands were clear, he said: “(To) end the occupation of the West Bank, the withdrawal of all the settlements and an end to the siege of Gaza.”

He added that he was “proud” to include recognising Palestine as a state in the 2019 Labour manifesto, concluding that “we must stand together for the freedom for the people of Palestine”.

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell also made a speech in which he repeatedly referred to Israel as an “apartheid” state.

He told the crowd that he wanted to “pay tribute to our courageous Jewish comrades who have stood with us in this struggle”, and called on bankers and the City of London to “stop funding the apartheid regime in Israel”.

A spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Another weekend, another antisemitism-infested demonstration on the streets of Britain’s capital.

“Heavy policing ensured the safety of the Jewish community as another convoy was permitted to pass through London.

“Nevertheless, it is extraordinary that, unlike with any other minority, week after week open displays of anti-Jewish racism in the nation’s capital are deemed acceptable.

“If the authorities will not bring antisemitic criminals to justice, we intend to use all legal and regulatory avenues to defend our community and force the authorities to act.”

The spokesman added that “less remarkable” was “the ubiquity of Jeremy Corbyn at these rallies.

“Coming after his remarks earlier this week playing down Labour antisemitism yet again, the Party has ever few excuses not to expel him, as we have demanded for several months now,” the spokesman said.

Organisers of the rally, which featured groups that had travelled to London from the north of England, claimed an attendance of 8,000 — though the Community Security Trust (CST) told the JC that the numbers were far lower than at previous such gatherings.

The demonstration was timed to coincide with the G7 summit and speaker after speaker attacked Britain for selling arms to Israel, calling on the summit leaders meeting in Cornwall over the weekend to ban arms sales to the Jewish state.

In attendance at the rally were members of the Jewish Socialists Group, a group calling itself “Jews for a Free Palestine”, and four representatives of the extreme anti-Zionist strictly Orthodox group, Neturei Karta.

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