Met Police criticised for policing of anti-Israel marches on Armistice weekend

Force under scrutiny after protesters were seen carrying swastika placards, wearing Hamas headbands and praising Hitler


Campaigners and politicians have condemned the “woeful” policing of anti-Israel marches in London after images and footage emerged of people freely carrying swastika placards, wearing Hamas headbands and praising Hitler during the rally on Armistice Day.

One woman marched through central London carrying a poster featuring the Star of David intertwined with a swastika.

Another was recorded screaming “death to all the Jews” while a man was heard shouting: “Hitler knew how to deal with these people”.

On Armistice Day, as the far-right clashed with the police while trying to reach the Cenotaph, anti-Israel activists displayed signs comparing Israel to Nazi Germany with one pictured in a T-shirt attacking the “Zionist new world order”.

The former Brexit minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said the force's policing of anti-Israel demonstrators was a matter of "deep concern".

He added: "Policing must ensure that people feel safe on London’s streets and that the law is upheld."

Lord Stuart Polak said: “Members of the Jewish community are intimidated when they hear people in the streets shouting for a jihad […] the police need to do more to enforce the law of the land.”

A spokeswoman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said the police response was “woeful” adding the Met police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley had “serious questions to answer”.

They added: “This weekend, some people in London honoured those who fought murderous antisemites in the past to protect our freedoms, and others were parading to glorify murderous antisemites in the present who want to kill all Jews and destroy the Jewish state.

"Many others, who may not have been shouting genocidal chants or wearing Hamas headbands or holding signs comparing Israel to Nazis or prominent minority politicians to coconuts, knowingly and readily marched alongside them. They are just as complicit.

“Naturally, the Jewish community is terrified. We are aware of Jewish families who were targeted on their way out of synagogue and have received multiple reports of police having to escort congregants away in groups for their own safety.

"The placards on Saturday bore slogans and imagery that would not have looked out of place in Nazi Germany. Islamist extremists, the far-left and the far-right were out on the streets, all on one day. What a day to be a Jew in London."

Writing in The Times last week, Suella Braverman, who was then home secretary but has since been sacked, said there was “a perception that senior police officers play favourites when it comes to protesters.

“During Covid, why was it that lockdown objectors were given no quarter by public order police yet Black Lives Matters demonstrators were enabled, allowed to break rules and even greeted with officers taking the knee?”

In total, 145 people were arrested in connection with Saturday’s demonstration in London.
The police have requested information on a number of marchers.

Commander Colin Wingrove said: “Amid up to 300,000 people it’s difficult to locate, intercept and arrest suspects.

“Our specialist teams will continue to identify offenders and ensure they are brought to justice.”

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