Long a feature of the New York summer, yesterday saw crowds estimated at 45,000 turn out for London’s first Salute to Israel, held to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state / tragedy of the Palestinian people / bungling British withdrawal from tricky bit of Empire (delete as appropriate).
A Star-of-David-studded march proceeded down Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square to hear luminaries such as Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosser and er, LBC breakfast host Nick Ferrari speak in defence of the beleaguered Jewish homeland / war-mongering Apartheid state / three-time Eurovision winner. Prosser has been an outspoken critic of what he perceives to be a climate of anti-Semitism in British society, so we trust he was comforted by the sea of supporters that loudly cheered him yesterday. The appreciative crowd were entertained by an array of Jewish musical talent including our personal favourite, self-styled "international artist, song-writer and peace symbol" Liel, billed as "the new Celine Dion" (just what the Middle East peace process needs, we’re sure).
Such a controversial event did of course provoke counter-demonstrations from Palestinian activists and their supporters, as well as from a bewildering array of Jewish anti-Zionist groups such as Jews for Justice for Palestine, the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front (OK maybe those last two were just there in spirit)
Outspoken Jewish critic of Israel Deborah Fink had also proposed a naked bike ride alongside the official, clothed procession to give the bum's rush to the Rabbis. Oy vey, haven't we had enough of that lately?
by Dave McGeehan