OPINION: Anti-Nazi protesters only showed up to peddle their own petty agendas

OPINION: Anti-Nazi protesters only showed up to peddle their own petty agendas

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Screenshot 2015-07-05 08.17.56
The demo in full swing

By Jack Mendel

I went to see Nazis, which meant spending my time cooped up in a tiny pen with a load of narcissistic and self-declared ‘anti-Fascists’, fundamentalist Christians, and in-your-face Israel activists: An experience I didn’t enjoy.

The Nazis are bad, but at least you know what you’re getting. They held a demonstration outside Downing Street, exclaiming their demand for ‘white rights’ and against so called ‘Jewish privilege’, with a particular focus on opposition to Shomrim (Jewish neighbourhood watch.)

They were a little bit sad in all honesty. A toothless bunch of marginalised [and I can only assume very low intelligence] frustrated and ignorant racists. All 20 of them.


Of course I don’t like the Nazis. I’m a short, chubby, Jewish kid from North London. But I also don’t like those opposing them, who claim the moral high ground, when they have no right too. 

The reason, is because they are on an extreme, and don’t represent me, nor a huge amount of others – but they claim they speak for a lot of people.

Separated from the Nazis by a police line, was a coalition of screaming and hysterical so called ‘anti-Fascists’, fundamentalist Christian Zionists, and hardcore pro-Israel activists; who had painted the word ‘Jew’ and a star of David on their faces.

As the Nazis walked through to their pathetic little ‘protest’ to shout their racist skinheads off, the obnoxious cliquey counter protest rushed forward, screaming ‘scum scum scum…’.

They screamed and shouted names of concentration camps, before saying ‘never again’; occasionally including things that weren’t concentration camps – like ‘Le Pen – never again’ and ‘EDL -Never again’, as if they can be in any way compared to the horrors of the Shoah. 

This anti-Fascist bloc was riddled with political agenda, which is odd, because I’d always considered fighting Nazis as being far too important to risk losing support by adding political baggage. 

It was an estranged mix of left wing activists, and fiercely pro-Israel activists. Some of the lefties had anti-Israel slogans on T-Shirts and banners, whilst the pro-Israel brigade (with a number of christian zionists trying to evangelise) – were waving flags, and shouting Am Yisrael Chai occasionally. It kind of felt like being at a football match.

The previous day, I had seen similar antics, of political agenda diluting the fundamental message of opposing the Nazis.

As locals of Golders Green put up gold and green ribbon to mark the culmination of the Golders Green Together campaign, a number of pro-Israel activists thought it was appropriate to hang up Israel flags. Even local MP Mike Freer, who has on a number of occasions put his political neck on the line to support Israel, said it was inappropriate, and a distraction from the ‘correct message’ of standing up for the Jewish community. 

To see such polar activists mingle at such close proximity – with full knowledge that each other was there – was thoroughly awkward. There were two elephants in the room. I thought I was going to see some Nazis, not a microcosm of the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

It would have been so much better, if they left their baggage at home – and brought a sign saying no to the Nazis.

Obviously everyone hates the Nazis, but the politicisation of the demo on Saturday, helped nobody. All it did is show that for some people, maintaining an agenda is far more important than the cause they proclaim to actually support. 

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