- Anti-Semitism activists said calls for jihad amounted to “glorification of terrorism.”
- Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said such chants were a threat to the Jewish community
- The latest march came amid a 1,357 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents
Jewish leaders want police to “make arrests, not excuses” at a pro-Palestine rally in London today.
More than 100,000 protesters are expected to march in the capital for a third weekend.
But Scotland Yard sparked disbelief when it said it would not arrest anyone calling for jihad.
Instead, officers will “intervene, collect information and report it back.”
But Stephen Silverman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism said the call for jihad after the massacres of 1,400 people in Israel on October 7 was “most likely an offense of glorifying terrorism”.
More than 100,000 protesters are expected to descend on the capital for the third weekend of marches, but Scotland Yard has sparked disbelief by saying it will not arrest anyone calling for jihad
At the pro-Palestine demonstration in Whitehall, London, on October 14, two women were spotted carrying an image of a paraglider on their backs in a nod to the Hamas attacks on October 7
Ministers reacted angrily after police said no laws had been broken at an event last Saturday where protesters in London called on “Muslim armies” to launch a jihad to “liberate Palestine.”
He added: “The public expects the Met to make arrests, not excuses.”
A low-key crackdown last Saturday put the Met and Downing Street at odds, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying such chants were a threat to the Jewish community and our democratic values.
A spokesman for Labor Against Anti-Semitism said: “In the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, jihad has only one meaning and that is the violence of holy war.”
“Allowing people to call for jihad on the streets of London is consistent with Hamas’ ideology.”
“It not only endangers the Jewish community, but is a threat to all communities. “Londoners have been victims of this ideology before in terrorist attacks.”
Protesters during a pro-Palestinian march organized by the Stop the War Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London last Saturday
A video of a Hizb ut-Tahrir protest during the rally in London last weekend showed a member of the crowd chanting “jihad” – but the Met said no crimes were committed.
The Hizb ut-Tahrir group has already been banned in several countries in Europe and the Arab world, but not in the UK, despite calls to do so.
At a briefing ahead of today’s planned operation, Kyle Gordon, the Met’s frontline police commander, said: “If anyone calls for jihad, particularly against Israel, officers will intervene, collect the information and report it back to us.”
“We will work together [counter-terror] Colleagues who are in the command center with me on the best course of action.”
The command center will include members of the Muslim community, Arabic speakers and specialist Crown Prosecution Service lawyers who can provide advice to police chiefs, he added.
The march comes amid a 1,357 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents and a 168 percent increase in Islamophobic incidents.
According to the Met, there were 408 anti-Semitic incidents between October 1 and yesterday, compared to 28 in the same period last year.
Today’s march, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, starts at midday from Victoria Embankment in London.