The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly condemned the first Muslim Mayor of London, Saddiq Khan, for permitting an ‘Al Quds Day March’ in London yesterday, in which, in addition to the familiar anti-Israel staples of condemning Israel for “occupation,” and calling for boycotts of the Jewish state, participants screamed for ‘death to the Jews’ and held placards falsely accusing Israel of genocide, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
The ZOA believes the first Muslim Mayor of London Saddiq Khan should have heeded prior calls to cancel the rally due to the concerns that anti-Semitic falsehoods and images would be displayed –– which they were –– and given wide circulation.
Prior to the rally, a petition, signed by over 23,000 people called on Mr. Khan to cancel the rally, saying, “After the terrible recent terrorist events in Manchester and London, this display of extremism has no place on the streets of the UK … Allowing this march to go ahead will send a worrying message to the UK’s Jewish community and call into question the commitment of the Mayor of London to eradicate extremism and antisemitism” (‘Hundreds turn out for anti-Israel march in London,’ Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2017).
‘Al Quds Day’ is a special event created by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, after the Islamic Shia seizure of power in Iran to focus international Muslim attention on fighting and destroying Israel, with Jerusalem as its rallying point. Partly because of this, there has been a vast amount of fabricated inflation of Muslim interest in Jerusalem in recent decades, variously, denying that Jerusalem has a Jewish history or belongs to the Jews, and artificially and ahistorically falsely promoting the importance of Jerusalem and its Muslim sanctuaries to Islam.
In the weekend march, an effigy of a rabbi was burned; participants shouted death to the Jews –– something that has happened at previous anti-Israel rallies –– demonstrators defamed Israel as guilty of genocide and ethnic cleansing; placards calling Israelis wild dogs were seen; flags of Hezbollah, a US-, Canadian- and Australian-listed terrorist organization whose Holocaust-denying leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has called for Jews to be gathered in Israel so they can be more easily annihilated in one place, were proudly carried; and calls were made for Israel to be erased, including the chant, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.’
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The first Muslim Mayor of London is especially under a strong duty of protecting Londoners and Jewish Londoners after the recent Islamic terrorist attacks in the city. Among other things, he needs to reassure the public that he is not indulgent towards Islamic fanatics and hate-mongers who can fan and whip up hatred and violence that produces Islamic terrorism. In this, he completely failed yesterday.
“There is a point at which hate speech can become programmatic. If you accuse Israel of genocide, apartheid and ethnic cleansing and call for murdering Jews , then you are clearing advocating Israel’s destruction and the Nazi-like massacre of Jews.
“Everyone knows that genocide is the most heinous of crimes. Everyone knows that apartheid is despicable and that it should be ended wherever it operates. Everyone knows that ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity. Asserting these ugly lies against Israel and Jews and, on past experience, it was known that these things would be said ––means calling for Israel’s elimination and the murder of innocent Jewish people.
“Calling for Israel’s dissolution is a violent, hateful, rights-denying anti-Semitic program. It should not have been allowed by the first Muslim Mayor of London Saddiq Khan on London’s streets. Calling for killing Jews immediately brings up memories of the Holocaust and should obviously never be tolerated
“Marches like the one Mayor Khan permitted yesterday are likely to inspire more hate crimes and terrorism against Jews and bring in new recruits for such causes. British Jews are entitled to due care and protection from London’s Mayor, which they did not receive.
“It is also difficult to believe that a rally calling for the destruction of any other country would have been permitted by Mayor Khan. He deserves absolute condemnation. ”