Jewish Genocide Chants

The Metropolitan Police has been branded beyond appalling; this is after an officer essentially threatened to arrest a Jewish man. If you ask me, he wasn’t actually doing anything, he was trying to have a meander around, trying to cross the road but his crime was that there was a Pro-Palestine march taking place at the same time. Watch, you are quite openly Jewish, this is a pro-Palestinian march right, I’m not accusing you of anything but I’m worried about the reaction to your presence.

People here pushed out of this area, go about your business, go where you like freely or if you choose to remain here because you are these other people. With all of them, they attack you your presence, Anton I mean how on earth is his presence antagonizing? An apparently peaceful march anyway.

Let’s listen to what that chap has to say about they weren’t part of any kind of protest or counter-protest. We were just walking wherever we wanted to as Jews, as free Londoners, supposedly able to go wherever we wanted to, except we weren’t able to go wherever we wanted to.

I might disagree with some of their decisions but these people, these officers are being put in impossible positions, week in week out they’re being asked to police huge protests with very few officers to be honest.

I feel very sympathetic towards frontline police officers and the situation that they are facing when they’re told to police these marches and what do you think to that?

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Met Police Getting it Wrong

I think the last line that you heard just there that he’s actually very sympathetic towards the officers, I think that’s the thing that I’ve been feeling throughout this because a lot of people have been getting very angry about the language that was used.

You know police officers have a very difficult job, they are not necessarily linguistically dextrous, that’s not what they’re there for. They are there to keep the peace. The police officer saying “you’re openly Jewish” is not offensive, it’s a statement of fact.

The issue is not that language, the issue is that the presence of a Jewish man in central London could provoke people to be violent and in that situation the police have to judge that actually it is more effective if you like, to arrest or move on the Jewish man than to police the crowd. Presumably because they don’t have the numbers and they fear that it could just end into a riot. That is what is being implied here even though they wouldn’t say that.

That is very clearly the implication, that is the case why these marches still allowed to go on if the presence of Jewish people in the vicinity of the march is enough to you know ferment a breach of the peace, is enough to potentially provoke violence?

That is what is unacceptable not a police officer pointing out to a person look if you stay here these people could get rowdy, that’s quite dangerous and I have a job to do here. I feel quite bad for this police officer being put in this position and he shouldn’t have to be in this position because this should have been nipped in the bud months ago.

These marches have been going on for a very long time they haven’t actually achieved anything, that’s by the by, but still there is a sense of menace, there is a sense of animosity, there even though we are told it’s only a minority of people who behave in a certain way at these marches, it is clearly there and it is clearly enough for the police to feel that they ought to move on and threaten arrest the other people if there’s any suggestion that there might be violence.

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Freedom to Assemble

So, what are you saying then, that these protests need to be stopped now yes?

I, for a long time, it is unacceptable to me that a minority group in Britain can feel that they are not able to walk in parts of their own capital city because just by being Jewish not Israeli let’s be clear, not Israeli by being Jewish they risk the threat of violence from people who are racist against them. That is unacceptable Paul.

No, I completely disagree the vast majority of people on these protests are peaceful Benedict, and the truth is that many Jews have also joined these protests. So, you know how many?

Well I think you always hear this many Jews, it’s a handful of people who have very extreme fringe religious beliefs about what Zionism in the labour movement, there are many people in the labour movement I speak from experience who are supportive of the Palestinian cause and have joined these protests so of course we should be compassionate about any Jew who does feel unsafe and you know we should address that, but actually there’s been no violence on these marches if there has been I haven’t seen it.

Actually the vast majority of people who are taking part including many trade unionists including some people who I know personally, I’ve never been on one of these marches by the way but I know people who have been and considering the numbers that they’ve drawn, the arrests have been minimal and as I say I don’t think so far as I’ve seen there’s been any violence at all, so to me to say they should be banned is I think completely undemocratic, and wrong and he’s taking a sledgehammer to crack the proverbial walnut.

Freedom to Protest

Either we believe in freedom to protest or we don’t, what we can’t do is say well, we only believe in freedom to protest if the protest accords with my particular view or if I feel after a few weeks the protesters have made their point. It’s not for you with respect to say well the protesters have already now made their point, they should be banned from marching in future.

It’s for the protesters to decide whether or not they’ve made their point provided the protests remain peaceful which I think they have been, then I absolutely defend the right of people to continue protesting regardless of whether people support the message in the protest, on whether people chanting Khaybar, Khaybar is anti-Semitic and it has been heard many times it is a deliberate incitement to violence and they do it because they think white people don’t speak Arabic, that is why they shout, that’s why they’ve stopped shouting from The River To The Sea and they’ve kept shouting.

It is unacceptable, if you were marching down the street singing Nazi songs about Jews you would be arrested why is this OK and I’ve got no problem with people and this is my problem you say there haven’t been many arrests that’s partly because the police are in a really sticky situation they don’t have the numbers to arrest people to potentially threaten that situation they don’t necessarily know what they’re looking for, you heard you know you heard a police officer rather clumsily say oh you’re obviously a Jewish man, you’re very clearly a Jewish man and that’s caused a bit of a ruckus because if you say the wrong thing it causes a bit of a storm.

I’ve no problem with people being arrested Benedict where they’ve committed an arrestable offence of course they should be arrested and carted off, I’ve got no problem with that at all but what you can’t do is tar the entire protest and everybody on that protest with that particular brush of being an extremist I went on an anti-Iraq war march back in 2003 and I look around and you know 50 yards behind me someone had a banner of Usama Bin Laden okay now there were hundreds of thousands of people on that march, the small minority of people who may have had sympathy with Usama Bin Laden were not representative of most people on that march who were ordinary people and trade unionists and fellow members of the Labour party.

Antisemitism on London Streets

Did you say anything then to that fellow that had that it was my it was 50 yards back and there were hundreds of people in between, the point that I’m making is the entire ethnic minority the best integrated ethnic minority in this country. So are you saying then that the marches should be banned simply because a minority of extremists and it is a minority let’s be clear about that are pedaling a particular message of hate which I don’t contest, that some of them undoubtedly have been a small minority. But are you saying that all of the marches should be banned?

So you’ve got this war region in the Middle East where whatever side people take on it, it’s an appalling conflict which has resulted in massive loss of life and people are intensely passionate about it on either side of the debate and what you’re saying is that people who feel passionate about it in London on the pro Palestine side should no longer be able to march because a handful of people within their ranks have pedal a hateful message, that’s your argument? Any March that means that British citizens cannot walk and go about their daily lives in their own capital city on account of their religion.

This gentleman clearly told on that was a clumsy interaction with a police officer who was trying to head off a potential flash point. Now this is not the first incident of Jewish people being bundled away or people with counter-protest signs or anything like it is not the first time and actually we had the Labour party going to the Speaker of the House of Commons suggesting that members were being threatened with violence, that things were being pushed through people’s letter boxes actually to suggest that just because it hasn’t broken out into mob rule, it’s all fine.

Intimidation is Unacceptable

No, we’re talking about the threat of violence we’re talking about the threat of intimidation and that is ongoing and that is unacceptable, so you can’t ban a march because you’re worried that somebody might at some point on it threaten violence. Because if that were the case then you would frankly never hold marches because there’s the capacity on any march for some idiot to turn violent at the end. No, you’re talking about an individual potentially turning violent and you keep on also saying it’s a small minority it is a sizable enough minority for the police to clearly feel very concerned about this.

Well the sizable minority, what the sizeable minority are doing what are they are they threatening violence against Jews a sizeable minority are they carrying out violence? Chanting from the river to the sea is very clear demonstration talking about genocide in my opinion yes, that is if you see those marches and although I haven’t joined one, I was in central London once and saw one go past I maintained because I know people who have been on them there’s lots of people from the Labour movement and the Trade Union movement and from the left but not exclusively from the left.

The vast majority of people are peaceful the vast majority of people would have no truck with any form of antisemitism and would challenge it and while I accept that there are a small number of people who are using it to pedal extremism, I don’t doubt it. The key thing that the police must do is to arrest people who are inciting violence or threatening violence and to accept the fact that the vast majority are not that.

Those small minority are not reflective of the vast majority because otherwise we’re into a situation where we say right, we’re going to ban this protest because of a few people who are pedaling extremism within it, that then sends a green light to people to say well if you ever want to get a protest march banned in the future just turn up shout a few messages of hate and then the pressure will be on the police and the local Authority.

Hamas are Terrorists Banner

But the police do seem to be trying to either we believe in freedom to protest or we don’t, but the police do seem to be trying to arrest that fella, I think I’ve got a clip of it as well I think this is the second time it’s happened now. That fellow I’ve got this video where he’s showing he has a Hamas, a terrorist  Banner thing can I show you that now yeah?

Can we see this so this is, you’ve seen this before actually he was arrested and this apparently a similar incident happened before and it concerns me this fellow just has a banner and he basically says it Hamas is Terrorist and I’ve seen him.

I mean that is a statement of fact by the way, but I’ve seen people jostling him trying to get hold of him, he’s had to be pulled away for his own safety so there’s something not quite right there when you even make a statement of fact like that without being subject to potential violence.

Absolutely, I completely defend the right of that person and Hamas are terrorists and I completely defend the right of that person to organize a counter demonstration, even if he’s the only person on it and as long as he’s acting within the law and he’s not threatening violence himself which he clearly wasn’t.

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Met Police Apologise for Clumsy Language

I support his right to display his message that Hamas is terrorist and I think they keep trying to arrest him and then a lot of protesters trying to beat the fellow. They shouldn’t be arresting him, it’s wrong but there are too many people at the moment who like to make great play of free speech but are currently exhibiting a certain amount of selectiveness.

They you know, they believe in free speech up to a point and freedom to protest up to a point and either you believe in it or you don’t. What do you make to it a long story short the Met police have said sorry, they’re saying it’s they shouldn’t have used this term openly Jewish, is that offensive in this day and age if someone’s wearing a religious symbol and that makes you realize that someone follows a certain religious set of beliefs is that offensive anyway?

The police apologize for saying that and they’ve also well you can read it actually on your screen they say it was a poor choice of decision to talk about arresting him etc. anyway what do you make to it all? I’ll have some your responses to that after the break.