Organisers of a “Jewish bloc” in the protests against Donald Trump in central London have said that Jewish opposition to the hatred he represents “transcends the community’s dividing lines”.
As banners and placards were being made on Friday morning, plans were being made to hold a Friday night service in St James’ Park after the march and rally in Trafalgar Square, where Dr Edie Friedman of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) was due to speak to tens of thousands of people.
“The Jewish bloc within the Stop Trump protests has been independently organised by individuals to get support from across the community,” said Amos Schonfield, who was part of the organising team.
“After the march and the rally we thought a Kabbalat Shabat service in St James’ Park was the right way to end. It’s going to be an amazing carnival.”
More than 100 British Jews protested the Government’s inaction on refugees and Schonfield said Trump tapped into some of the same values.
“For me, Trump is a threat to democracy, decency and people all around the world,” he said. “My Judaism has taught me to stand up to people like him and stand up for the values we hold dear.”
He said that while the Jewish community “has its plate full right now, individuals like us want to stand up to the hate Trump represents,” adding: “It transcends the dividing lines of our community. We’re going to have teenagers marching with us as well as those who have retired. It’s going to be a beautiful sight.”
Friedman will tell Trafalgar Square crowds that “along with others in the anti-racist community, we were shocked by the tone of Trump’s presidential campaign and his subsequent behaviour”.
She said: “We need as a response to Trump and to our own Government, to reinvigorate the refugee welcome movement and make sure Britain honours its commitment to a fair asylum system, so people can have faith in legal routes to come to Britain and live here with dignity.”
She added a final message to Trump, saying: “Through your statements and policies you have helped to normalise the rising tide of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. You do not speak for us.”