Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters rallied in London on Saturday, prompting fear from local Jews like Ben M. Freeman.
A prominent Jewish thinker and educator, Freeman responded to a video of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marching through the streets of London by pondering the fate of Jews living in the U.K.
“London. Now. This is horrifying. How are Jews meant to stay in the U.K.?” he tweeted early Saturday morning.
This is horrifying.
How are Jews meant to stay in the U.K.? pic.twitter.com/K4UScvwzol
— Ben M. Freeman (@BenMFreeman) October 28, 2023
According to Reuters, the London protest was just one of many that occurred throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia on Saturday.
It’s been estimated that hundreds of thousands of demonstrators participated in the protests, all in a bid “to show support for the Palestinians as Israel’s military widened its air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip.”
However, Freeman and other Jews view the protests as being inherently pro-Hamas — not just pro-Palestinian — and thus intrinsically evil and wrong given Hamas’ recent actions.
As previously reported, Hamas raped, tortured, and butchered 1,300+ Israeli Jews during a surprise terror attack committed on Oct. 7th.
Stop calling these rallies “Anti-Israel.”
It’s a far too benign and inaccurate description. These are pro-Islamic terrorism rallies in favor of murdering Israelis, more broadly, Jews and their allies. https://t.co/hXj4XwrlgC
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) October 28, 2023
Responding to Freeman’s tweets, many Jews who shared Freeman’s fear expressed their own grave concerns about what’s happening in London.
This is horrifying. And not surprising.
— Dr. Brandy Shufutinsky (@76brandy76) October 28, 2023
London was special. Today it is ruined. It’s heartbreaking.
— GaryZ (@PlanZyx) October 28, 2023
Very sad to see What’s happening in London & in Europe
— Vikash Tiwari (@VikashTiwari_) October 29, 2023
I am so ashamed and disgusted of this country. My heart goes out to you.
— Gareth Roberts (@OldRoberts953) October 28, 2023
London has fallen
Blame previous governments and leaders.
— Manoj Singh (@manojkrs29) October 29, 2023
However, his tweet also inspired pushback from critics who said he was taking things out of proportion and that the protests were simply about urging for a ceasefire so that no more innocent Palestinians are killed. As proof, the critics cited the fact that the protest in London seemingly contained many self-identified Jews.
Critics also claimed that criticizing and disliking the actions of the Israeli state is not the same thing as criticizing, disliking, or even hating Jews.
THIS is horrifying???
Not a total blackout and non stop bombing. This is what we’re calling horrifying?
— 0xZeina.eth (@0xZeina) October 28, 2023
There are many Jews in that crowd now, safely protesting alongside everyone else who wants an end to the genocide and war crimes committed by the terrorist state of Israel.
— Tiberius (@ecomarxi) October 28, 2023
What is wrong with being anti war? Do you want people to be murdered? Or is it ok if it is only the other side?
Let’s put an end to ALL war. let’s have peace. Let’s have no one being murdered.
— ⚡️RunCakeSmarter (@PluckleySave) October 28, 2023
Don’t stay. Leave.
You have an Israeli flag in your name, no British one.
You can’t handle a difference of opinion and a peaceful protest then get out.
Not all Jews, just people like you. Because there’s plenty of British Jews in that crowd.
— Samuel Urban (@ill_Scholar) October 29, 2023
You know perfectly well there were plenty of wonderful Jewish people at today’s protest treated with the love and respect they deserve pic.twitter.com/t7TGUvphQo
— Hashashin (@HashashinTag) October 28, 2023
The protests occurred on the same day that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the West in a wartime speech that they too are in the crosshairs of the “axis of evil.”
“Many people in the world now very well understand what we have argued all these years, [which is that] Israel is fighting not only its own war, but rather this is the war of humanity in its entirety — the human fight against barbarism,” he said, according to a translation.
“Our allies in the Western world and our partners in the Arab world all understand today that if Israel doesn’t win, they will be next in this conquest tour of this axis of evil,” he added.
According to Mediaite, Netanyahu defined the “axis of evil” as “Iran, Hezbollah, and their minions” in a separate speech delivered earlier this month.
During the Saturday speech, the prime minister also slammed those critics who have accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza.
“Anybody who dares accuse our troops of conducting war crimes are people who are completely hypocritical liars who don’t have an inkling of morality in them. The IDF is the most moral and ethical military in the world. It is doing everything it can in order to prevent harming those that are uninvolved. And once, again I call upon those who are non-combatants in the Gaza Strip to go further south,” he said.
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