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'Zero tolerance'

Tens of thousands march against antisemitism in London

“We’re here asking for peace and asking for this nightmare to be over.” Debby Goldberg, an Israeli citizen originally from Argentina.

Protesters wave Israeli flags and hold placards in front of the UK Houses of Parliament in central London on November 26. Photo: Justin Tallis / AFP
Protesters wave Israeli flags and hold placards in front of the UK Houses of Parliament in central London on November 26. Photo: Justin Tallis / AFP

(THE TIMES OF ISRAEL) Tens of thousands of demonstrators, some waving Israeli and British flags, marched against antisemitism through central London on Sunday.

The protest, which unconfirmed reports claimed drew over 100,000 people, came a day after large pro-Palestinian crowds took to the streets of Britain’s capital to demand a full ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

The UK has seen a spike in antisemitic incidents since the unprecedented deadly Hamas onslaught in Israel on October 7 unleashed war in the Gaza Strip.

“The hate has got to disappear. You can’t have hate on either side,” 69-year-old retiree Michael Jennings told AFP, as the march began outside the Royal Courts of Justice.

Demonstrators, who were joined by ex-prime minister Boris Johnson, held posters that read “Zero tolerance for antisemitism” as they walked to parliament.

They also displayed photographs of Israelis and foreigners kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on October 7, when the group launched a devastating cross-border attack, sending thousands of terrorists to breach the border and rampage through the south, overrunning communities and slaughtering those they found.

“We’re here to support Israel. We’re here to ask for the release of all the hostages,” 52-year-old Debby Goldberg told AFP, a large Israeli flag wrapped around her shoulders.

“We’re here asking for peace and asking for this nightmare to be over,” added Goldberg, an Israeli citizen originally from Argentina.

Omer Plotniarz, a 37-year-old music therapist, said he was so worried about antisemitism that he had not brought his wife and child on the march.“We’re not here about hating people. We’re not here to shout for murder. On the seventh of October, we woke up to a new reality and we are all traumatised by that,” he told AFP.

Plotniarz and other protesters wore stickers that said: “Our love is stronger than your hate.”

“We just want to see our babies, our wives, our brothers, sisters, everyone back home,” Plotniarz added.

Johnson was joined by the UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and other senior government officials at the march to express solidarity with the Jewish community. Organisers billed it as the largest gathering against antisemitism in London for decades.

Gideon Falter, the chief executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said that the rally came after weeks of pro-Palestinian protests that had made the capital a “no-go zone for Jews.”

During Sunday’s march, police arrested far-right agitator Tommy Robinson who had been told by Jewish leaders to stay clear of the demonstration. Police said he refused to leave after he was warned about concerns that his presence would cause “harassment, alarm, and distress to others.”

The UK’s Jewish Community Security Trust (CST) has said that in the 40 days from the initial Hamas attack to November 15, it recorded at least 1324 antisemitic incidents across Britain.

That was the highest-ever total for a 40-day period since it began logging incidents in 1984, and it compares with 217 incidents reported in the same period in 2022.

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