Edinburgh group calls on locals to ‘escalate for Gaza’ and create ‘Zionist-free zone’

Activists advertise gathering at community hub, which hosts Lego groups and anti-Zionist meetings


The event has been advertised on social media and calls on Leith residents to "escalate for Gaza" (Photo: Instagram)

Edinburgh residents have been invited to an event in a community centre where activists will plan “escalation for Gaza” and “resistance” against Zionists.

Duncan Place community hub, a registered charity in Leith, Edinburgh, will host a “Zionist-free Leith” assembly on Thursday night.

Organisers from the Edinburgh branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (EIWW) have advertised the event, which they say is a planning session to “Resist Zionism in Leith”, “escalate for Gaza” and “pressure Leith businesses into boycotting ‘Israeli’ products – cutting local links of complicity”.

A poster for the event states “Declare Leith a Zionist free zone,” and features a Palestinian flag-wielding, kaffiyeh-clad protester in front of Leith Central railway station.

Thursday’s meeting appears to be in response to the furore over the anti-Zionist poster in a local bagel shop, Moski’s, last week.

EIWW said the meeting this week will “plan solidarity actions to support local businesses who are currently resisting harassment from Zionist groups for displaying our poster in their window”.

EIWW have posted on Instagram: “Our campaign will mobilise the Leith community to put pressure on businesses to discontinue trading, selling, and dealing with Israeli goods and services.”

They have threatened to “take the fight [against Zionism] from the streets into our workplaces.”

Their poster was first reported in the Scottish capital in March when Leith Walk councillor Susan Rae posted an image of it in a now-deleted tweet about Gaza.

In the most recent survey of the British Jewish community from JPR, 63 per cent of UK Jews polled identified as Zionist.

Antisemitism watchdog Campaign Against Antisemitism have called the event in the Scottish capital “appalling”.

The group have said they will be submitting a complaint to the Scottish Charity Regulator over the event’s host, Duncan Place.

CAA wrote to the community centre with "concerns over how this could impact the Jewish community”, but Duncan Place is pushing ahead.

The space is available to hire at an hourly rate and hosts yoga, art classes, Lego group, choir, as well as anti-Zionist meetings.

A spokesperson for Duncan Place told the JC: “Duncan Place is a multifaith and apolitical venue that supports and welcomes all groups within its surrounding community to use the space for meetings and gatherings. We are happy to allow any group to use our hub providing this is a peaceful exercise and does not cause any disruption to our staff, other users and the community.

“The meeting held last night by IWW was organized and hosted by them as a group and we simply provided the space for them to use, as we would with any other community group in the area.”

EIWW has been approached for comment. 

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