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A MARCH against anti-semitism that drew tens of thousands was denounced last night as a “march against Palestinian freedom” by pro-Palestinian Jews.
Celebrities and politicians joined large crowds in the demonstration in London, including Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis, former prime minister Boris Johnson, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick and Security Minister Tom Tugendhat.
English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, 40, was also present, though was arrested close to the Royal Courts of Justice and escorted away by police, with organisers having made clear in advance that he was not welcome.
Jews for Justice for Palestinians executive member Richard Kuper told the Morning Star: “We support those who will be attending out of a genuine concern for anti-semitism. But this march is not a march against anti-semitism.”
He said the charity that organised the march, Campaign Against Anti-semitism (CAA), “has unceasingly demonised the marches of protest against Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza.
“Its march today is in effect a march against Palestinian freedom, using Jewish safety as the pretext,” he added.
“Those who identify Israel’s war on Gaza as a war on behalf of Jews worldwide — and the leaders of British communal institutions often do just this: eliding the distinction between Jews and zionists — are guilty of encouraging the very elision they rightly deplore when Jews are attacked as responsible for Israel’s actions.”
Over 200,000 pro-Palestinian protesters marched from Park Lane to Whitehall to demand a permanent truce in Gaza on Saturday.
CAA chief Gideon Falter claimed: “Week after week, central London has become a no-go zone for Jews,” though Jewish organisations have been prominent on the Palestine solidarity demos.
“This is why today’s march, drawing over 100,000 people in the largest gathering against anti-semitism since the Battle of Cable Street a lifetime ago in 1936, was so important.”
But Na’amod, a movement of British Jews against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, said it could not attend yesterday’s march “in good faith, because we know this march is not just about anti-semitism.
“It’s clear from the event description that CAA have organised this march in response to the huge weekly ceasefire demonstrations in London,” it said.
“There are many laudable, beautiful ways of showing solidarity with Jews facing anti-semitism. These do not include smearing those mobilising for a ceasefire and Palestinian freedom — Jewish and non-Jewish — as inherently anti-semitic.”
Palestine Solidarity Campaign director Ben Jamal added: “The truth is, it is a march against Palestinian rights and pro the maintenance of Israel’s system of apartheid.”
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