Our demo shows Britain still has its soul says March Against Antisemitism organiser

Gideon Falter said that the march was the biggest gathering in Britain against antisemitism since the Battle of Cable Street in 1936


2T9RWAD Gideon Falter - Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism. Vice Chairman of JNF UK. with actor Eddie Marsan, taking part in the March Against

The organiser of Sunday’s demonstration has said that the spectacle of 105,000 marching peacefully against antisemitism should remind Britons that their country has not “lost its soul”.

CEO of Campaign Against Antisemitism Gideon Falter told the JC’s Let’s Talk podcast that with the anti-Israel protests taking over the streets of London every Saturday for several weeks, the antisemitism march — where protesters were noted for showing respect and thanking police, as opposed to calling for violent jihad — proved an important reminder of the country’s values.

“It didn’t just remind the Jewish community that we’re not alone — it also reminded a lot of people what Britain is all about.

“There is a reason why this country is world famous for things like tolerance, decency, fairness. We are a country which is completely opposed to extremism.”

With an estimated 105,000 people in attendance, the march was the biggest gathering in Britain against antisemitism since the Battle of Cable Street in 1936.

Speaking to JC Editor Jake Wallis Simons, Falter said: “You could get the impression that the country has changed, that it’s forgotten what it is to be tolerant, decent, mild-mannered, and instead it’s become this place where extremism, Islamism, far-leftism runs amok and you get people dressed up as Hamas suicide bombers, or people walking down the streets with signs that wouldn’t have been out of place in 1930s Germany.

“You might think ‘where’s the real Britain gone, this country has lost its soul.’”

Falter also pointed to the fact that far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson had been made unwelcome by demonstrators — a message absorbed by police, who arrested him and later charged with failing to comply with an order excluding him from the area of the march.

“No one wants to go for a march with Tommy Robinson,” said Falter.

The far right, said Falter, “have this idea that Jews are intrinsically opposed to Muslims, so they think ‘if we can fool the Jews into thinking that we like them a bit, then maybe we can get them as allies in our fight against Muslims in Britain.’”

Falter added: “You don’t fight prejudice with prejudice, you can’t fight racism with racism… They don’t realise how naked their attempt is to try to fool us.”

Wallis Simons asked whether Falter agreed the far right was a relatively insignificant force in Britain compared to other European countries and the United States, and the attempt by Robinson to join the march reflected a need to piggyback on a bigger movement.

“If they had any real strength, they wouldn’t be trying to latch onto Jews or extreme Islamists, they would just stand on their own two feet,” said Falter.

Instead of flares and face masks, Wallis Simons pointed out, the antisemitism march was filled with people in bobble hats carrying flasks of tea and placards bearing messages of peace, love and Jewish humour.

The “massive contrast” between the Saturday protests and the Sunday march could be seen, said Falter, in the reaction of the police who were “astonished” by the lack of face masks, the 2km of people who kept to the route and stopped when asked to do so.

Coach loads of people arriving from Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham joined thousands from the 150,000-strong Jewish population of London. A huge number of the marchers were non-Jewish.

“Even if you assume that half of the entire Jewish population of London turned up, you know that an enormous number of people who aren’t Jewish were there,” Falter said.

Also present were the Council of Christians and Jews, Christian Action Against Antisemitism and the Hindu Forum of Britain as well as the October Declaration. Members from the Persian and Kurdish communities also joined in solidarity, with Indian, Iranian and Kurdish flags spotted among the crowd.

“It was a moment that felt like not only British Jewry had woken up,” said Falter.

The podcast is available here.

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