A slew of controversial and antisemitic signs and chants were present on the streets of London yesterday during an anti-Israel rally that was organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), but numbers seem to have declined considerably since the last large-scale mobilisation of protesters.
An evidence gathering team from Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit was present at the rally, which started outside the BBC’s headquarters, and ended at 10 Downing Street. Our team gathered evidence of numerous antisemitic placards, with a significant proportion equating Israel with Nazi Germany.
One placard read: “Well done Isr*el [sic] Hitler would be proud”, “Say no to fascism say no to Zionism”, and “If genocide wasn’t tolerated in 1945 why do we allow it in 2022?”.
Other signs read: “In Palestine 86% of Jews have no legitimate rights to be there. Palestine From the river to the sea” and “Zionism is racism.”
According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” and “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)” are both examples of antisemitism.
The rally also featured disturbing chants, including “Victory to the intifada” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
An intifada is a rebellion or uprising, but the Palestinian intifadas were characterised by acts of terrorism targeting Jews. The chant of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” appears to refer to the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, and therefore only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state — and its replacement with a state of Palestine — and is thus an attempt to deny Jews, uniquely, the right to self-determination, which is a breach of the Definition.
This is not the first time that a PSC rally has been riddled with antisemitism. An investigation by Campaign Against Antisemitism in 2017 exposed extensive antisemitic bigotry amongst supporters of the PSC.
Jeremy Corbyn, the antisemitic former leader of the Labour Party, did not attend in person but wrote a speech to be read out on his behalf. However, his older brother, the anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist Piers Corbyn, did make an appearance.
The rally’s organisers claimed that 10,000 to 15,000 people attended, but our estimate was a fraction of that number.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.