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In every generation: UK Global March to Jerusalem marchers seek Palestine Jew-free ‘from river to the sea’

The following essay was written by Sharon Klaff , a founding member of pro-Israel activist group Campaign4Truth. (A shortened version of this appeared in The JC)

The Global March on Jerusalem demonstration took place last Friday evening opposite the Israeli Embassy in London. About 15-20 Israelsupporters turned up, the usual stalwarts who put themselves on the line to face a barrage of abuse from the bully boys of the PSC.  It is hardly something Jewish organisations across the world would not have in their diaries, so it was a surprise to hear that the Zionist Federation had an urgent engagement in Hungary – and goodness knows what happened to all the other pundits who put themselves about.

So there we were, without a megaphone and a few of our Christian friends who had at least brought some flags, placards and banners. One little girl on her way home from school asked her mother to stop by to share with us her hurt at the vile bigotry shooting over from across the barriers, as though they were on the front line launching rockets into Sderot or Be’ersheva. She was sobbing as she bore witness to this hatred, whilst the child of a PSC supporter  was thrust onto their podium, chanting venomous slogans over a huge megaphone, the woman beside her, presumably her mother, looking very pleased at this act of child abuse.

They arrived in their hundreds with their usual attire, wearing their tourist scarves from Jerusalem, hoisting flags showing all of Israel asPalestine – Arab Palestine, a land free of Jews according to the new Hamas-Fatah alliance  leader Mahmoud Abbas. Tribal chants “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” cut through any pretence of peaceful desires. They vaunted their latest slogan accusing Israel of making Jerusalem Jewish, using the Nazi term Judaising, as though the Jews have no connection to the City of David, as though their mosque is not built atop the Jewish Temple, as though they were the historical heirs to Jerusalem (a notion they only cottoned on to after the Arab uprising in 1987), as though their Western supporters never did RE at school learning about Jerusalem as the capital city of the Jews.

This annual assault takes place each year around Pesach, time of year when we recount at the Seder table how the Jewish nation crossed the desert out of slavery to freedom; when we read how in each generation our enemies will return in an attempt to destroy us; when we learn to ask questions. For two thousand years we prayed as strangers in foreign lands to meet “Next Year in Jerusalem”, our capital city denied us by our enemies.  In her song “Jerusalem of Gold”  (1967) Naomi Shemer celebrates every Jewish person’s yearning for Jerusalem and its return to the Jewish people as its capital city. Now they demand it as their own, stealing our history for themselves.

The enemy of this generation had amassed across the barrier, hurling abuse, calling for our demise, using the heil Hitler salute, conversely accusing us of being Nazis, an insult they know digs deep into the consciousness of all Jews.  In each generation those who will our demise operate in a different way, use different weapons, arrive in a different guise; yet they are the same. We need to continue to ask questions, to listen and to bear witness so that never again means exactly that – NEVER AGAIN.

As it was Shabbat we decided to light Shabbat candles and say some prayers. It was a poignant moment, the symbol of light over dark, eternal love over hatred – two women with two small candles; light and hope for a future standing proud against the anger and hatred.

19 replies »

  1. Thanks to Sharon, Richard, Jonathan and all of my Zionist friends in the UK for continuing to fight the good fight. Chag Pesach Sameach!

  2. “As it was Shabbat we decided to light Shabbat candles and say some prayers. It was a poignant moment, the symbol of light over dark, eternal love over hatred – two women with two small candles; light and hope for a future standing proud against the anger and hatred.”

    Beautiful. Chag Pesach Sameach.

    • Ta so much. May this Pesach usher in peace with our enemies, making them friends and co builders of a better future

  3. What made it all the more poignant was that the sobbing little girl whom Sharon so movingly describes had spend the week at school being accused of killing Jesus …….

    Chag Sameach.


    Gerald’s excellent piece in today’s ‘Times of Israel’ is completely relevant:

    …the attempt to deprive us of this history marks the greatest threat to Jewish survival — more dangerous than Iranian nuclear weapons or Hezbollah rockets. ….In the face of this campaign, the Passover Seder is our collective opportunity to reclaim and reassert Jewish history and the centrality of this legacy.

  5. We have survived against all odds for millennium. When I think about it, a weariness comes over me. It is time to feel rejuvenated for at least another year by celebrating Pesach.

    Hag Samaeach

  6. Very nice piece….thank you for sharing, it is very moving.

    Like London the Jewish turnout in Sydney was pathetic

  7. The PSC and their Islamonazi friends are truly the enemy of the Jewish people in this generation.

    But this time around we have a country of our own, where Jews can live on their own terms, and forge their own future. And what a remarkable country it is; proud, free and strong.

    That is what the PSC hate; so let them foam and froth until they eat themselves up with hatred. As long as Jews refuse to bow to the bigots, Israel will be around long after the sad tossers of the PSC have been forgotten.

  8. Hi Sharon and Chag Sameach
    The lighting of the Shabbat candles by you and Gili was a defining moment for me .
    It’s really difficult to put into words the various emotions I felt at that moment . Two very special ladies Welcoming in the Sabbath in a scene enacted countless times over the millennia . An act so sweet in its simplicity and piety, and yet looking over at the rabid mobs just a few metres away it was also an act of defiance . I had this feeling of wanting to be protective of you both in the face of such depravity and evil in such close proximity .
    I also had this inescapable impression that the lighting and prayers was in danger of being defiled by allowing the Amalek brigade the opportunity to witness such a wonderful sight .

    • Harvey, every time I read what you write about this event I have tears in my eyes. The candles are indeed that very symbol of warmth and light and also of eternity. So the message was clear to those who would our demise: the answer is NO. We are strong not because of our physical or military power, but because of those very candles, small and simple with the power of the the Light.

  9. Thank you Sharon. One of the most moving and powerful descriptions of greeting Shabbat that I have ever read.

    Chag Pesach Sameach!

  10. She didn’t tell me that. If she had I would have written. So sorry for the child.

  11. It seems that Zionists don’t seem to care who their FRIENDS r. 1: right wing Christians , weren’t these the same who persecuted Jews ( much more than Muslims ).. 2: Xtreme rightwigers/ racists ie EDL , must make u proud 2 b standing alongside them(not). Then Again the racists have gone from anti immigrant to Islam bashing. Enjoy each other..