Outsiders who witnessed Sunday’s Closer to Israel rally must have wondered at the apparent belief of British Jews that speeches are a form of entertainment.
For an event billed as a celebration, it must have seemed strange to have just a lone musical act. Even the Israeli Dance Institute, whose members (pictured) danced on the parade, were unable to perform on the Trafalgar Square stage.
Here’s the reason: the gathering was classified by the authorities as a rally, rather than a cultural event, and therefore restricted in its scope for performances.
A cultural event would have enjoyed greater licence, but it takes longer to get approval and the Israel rally was planned too late for that.