Hundreds of people have demonstrated outside New Scotland Yard to demand the police enforce the law against antisemitic protestors.
Addressing the crowd, Gideon Falter, the chief executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism the advocacy group that organised the rally said Jews were not asking for "special treatment" but merely for existing legislation to be upheld.
Thanking the police for protecting the community, he said: "We know all too well the importance of the police looking after us every day... [but] what we saw on Saturday was an embarrassment to the Metropolitan police."
At a pro-Palestine march last Saturday organised by the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, he said, it was unacceptable that protesters were able to chant "jihad" and display a banner hailing "Muslim armies".
Police officers detain a protestor during a 'March For Palestine', in London on October 21, 2023, during a demonstration to "demand an end to the war on Gaza".(Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP)
"Our Met police looked at so many offences being committed and said they were not offences," Falter claimed.
He added: "On Friday the Met took an unprecedented step - before the procession the Met tweeted out... people calling the genocidal chant "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" would not be arrested."
For too long, he added, legislation in this country against extremism "has been lacking though "there are laws the police could be making use of".
Recent anti-Israel protests have seen attendees wearing images of paragliders such as those used to carry terrorists across the Gaza border, the use of an Islamist flag, and a chant calling for freedom for Palestine "from the river to the sea".
Speaking after Falter, Israeli activist Hen Mazzig said that he no longer felt as safe in London following the Hamas-led attack against Israel on October 7.
"Every time a war starts in Israel we know Jews around the world will pay the price, and it shouldn't be that way," he said.
"Jews should not be ashamed to demand some goddam justice."
Lord Ian Austin condemned "disgraceful" support for terrorism in the UK and lamented a rise in antisemitic incidents over the past fortnight.
Demonstrators holding signs reading "make arrests not excuses" said they were concerned at the rise of hatred in London.
Speaking to the JC, artist Claudia Clare said she was "horrified" at the "explosion of antisemitism" in her neighbourhood.
"On Saturday, I saw a car cruising down my road in Tottenham, just north of Stamford Hill flying a Palestine flag," she said.
"It's perfectly obvious what's going on - we saw the same with Jeremy Corbyn.
"It was shocking. I'm not Jewish, but a lot of people don't feel safe with the Metropolitan police. I want to see the police taking action against antisemitism."
Rowan Marcus, a non-Jewish Australian man attending the rally, said it was "unacceptable" when any community felt they were not being protected by the police.
"There needs to be zero tolerance on anything bordering racism," he added.
The current situation, Jeremy Baxter insisted, is "untenable".
Referring to an incident in which a CAA van broadcasting photos of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas was forced to stop by the police, he said: "We saw 100,000 people two Saturdays in a row screaming murder but a guy showing photos of the hostages was told to stop by the police."
He added: "I feel okay because I don't look particularly Jewish but it's not an easy time to be Jewish in London. Anyone who's spewing hate, [the Met] should charge."
Attendee Martin Schultz said he thought the police had done "pretty well" in controlling antisemitism at pro-Palestine protests.
"They can't arrest everybody but if they arrest a few people then others will get the message," he claimed.
But, Schultz added, "it's hard to say if I feel safe [with the Met protecting London]. After Berlin, Paris and Brussels it's only a matter of time until there's a terror attack in London. The police do what they can do with limited resources."
As speeches began, one man leaned from the window of a passing car and began shouting that Israel was a "terrorist state".
Police officers swiftly removed him from his vehicle and arrested him for a racially aggravated public order offence. A second woman was later detained on the same charge while also driving past.
A Metropolitan police spokesman said: "The Met's operation to provide reassurance and security to communities across London in response to the terror attacks in Israel and subsequent military action in Gaza is continuing.
"The impact of terrorism and armed conflict is rarely limited to where incidents take place. London is a global city and we know that tragically Londoners have loved ones who have been killed, injured or who are missing. Our thoughts are with them at what is clearly a very difficult time.
"We know, too, that there is a much wider community impact being felt and that is shaping the policing response we are providing. The Met has been working closely with representatives from London’s Jewish and Muslim communities since the attacks in Israel.
"Officers have been deployed to provide reassurance and to investigate offences in the vicinity of faith schools, places of worship and in those communities where we know the levels of concern are highest. So far officers have visited 445 schools and 1,930 places of worship. Those visits will continue."