About 2,000 pro-Palestine protesters marched in Central London on Saturday, with one participant saying Jewish organisations are “in the gutter” and “part of the problem”.
The “National Demonstration for Palestine: Exist! Resist! Return!” march – attended by several Labour MPs, including Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon – had placards claiming that “Israel provokes antisemitism”.
Some marchers chanted “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free”, an indication that they would not accept any accommodation with Israel.
The marchers received a message of support from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is a Palestine Solidarity Campaign patron, was read out by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott.
Glyn Secker, secretary of the Anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Labour, told the demonstrators that the 119 Labour MPs who were “friends of Israel” a “fifth column in the Labour Party led by [Dame Margaret] Hodge and [Tom] Watson and the Jewish Labour Movement.”
Claiming that the Zionist Federation was “embracing” the neo-Nazi English Defence League, Secker told the crowd gathered outside the BBC in Portland Place: “What on earth are Jews doing in the gutter with these rats?
“Here’s a warning to the [British] Jewish leadership, while you foment your campaign of allegations of antisemitism against [Jeremy] Corbyn and the left to silence Israel’s critics, while you cry wolf month after month, year after year in the Labour Party and remain blind to the explosion of the far-right and Islamophobia, you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”
He added: “You serve to protect the poison that would destroy both our freedom and yours. Well brothers and sisters, we are on the side of the Palestinians. We are on the side of the freedom marchers of ghetto Gaza.”
He also claimed that American Rabbis were responsible for fuelling the neo-Nazis behind antisemitic terrorism, including the fatal terrorist attack on Poway synagogue, saying that they were “unleashing the extreme-right to win key votes in marginal states which determine the presidency [of Donald Trump]”.
Ahed Tamimi, who served almost eight months in prison in Israel for hitting an armed Israeli soldier, addressed the crowd, ending with a “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.”
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “Glyn Secker speaks for a tiny organisation whose odious views are representative of no-one but themselves.”