Today in London, thousands of demonstrators marched to protest Israel’s attacks on Hamas. The demonstration was led and organized, at least in part, by a group of celebrities and fringe politicians. The celebrities included Annie Lennox, formerly of the Eurhythmics, a Jewish comedian named Alexei Sayle (wild guess–he isn’t funny), and “human rights activist” Bianca Jagger, whom P. J. O’Rourke described a couple of decades ago as inhabiting the “lonely Hell of the formerly cute.” That was when she was enthusing over the Communists in Nicaragua.
The celebrity press conference was yesterday. Lennox, in particular, exemplified the eternal cluelessness of those who know nothing about history:
A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on and saw smoke pyres emanating from buildings and it shook me to the core. [Ed.: Thankfully, her psyche was strong enough to withstand, without any apparent trauma, years of bombardment of Israel by rockets and mortars.] I was thinking, as a mother and as a human being, how was this going to be a solution to peace? [sic]
It’s a question of human rights, human values that goes beyond Jewish, Muslim, nothing to do with any of that. There has to be a place ultimately where people come to the table.
Israel has been trying to “come to the table” for how many decades now? A succession of Israeli governments, over a period of many years, has made Charlie Brown, falling for Lucy’s invitation to kick the football, look like a quick learner. You set up a table and the Israelis will come to it.
Of course, the show business personalities didn’t carry off the demonstration on their own. Also participating in yesterday’s press conference and in the organization of today’s protest were Ken “the Red” Livingstone, London’s former Communist mayor, left-wing MP Tony Benn, and the repellent “Gorgeous” George Galloway. What a rogue’s gallery!
Today’s demonstration in London attracted 10,000 or more people. It started out peacefully but became violent when the marchers reached the Israeli embassy. Here you can see the pro-Hamas protesters confronting riot police near the embassy:
Here, a pro-Hamas demonstrator sets fire to an Israeli flag:
In this demonic scene, the pro-Hamas group gathers around the burning Israeli flag.
As always, I’m curious about who paid for the signs. While the public face of the demonstration was a combination of washed-up celebrities and washed-up politicians, I think it’s safe to assume that both the money and the demonstrators came overwhelmingly from British Muslim groups like MAB (the Muslim Association of Britain) and BMI, the British Muslim Initiative.
At several locations during the evening, protesters clashed violently with police, and news accounts indicate that a number of protesters were injured. In a final bit of farce to wrap up the evening, al-Aqsa TV, a Hamas-run station that broadcasts from Gaza and “promotes terrorist activity and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis,” reported tonight that Galloway was injured in a melee with the police:
Al-Aqsa TV reported on Saturday that Galloway, who was among the crowd gathered in front of Israel’s embassy in London to protest the Gaza massacres, has sustained injury.
“We should treat Israel as we treated South Africa during apartheid. They should be shunned,” Galloway said during the protest.
If that’s the case, it hasn’t been reported anywhere else. Galloway described his encounter with police this way:
Witnesses said a number of people, including children [Ed.: Naturally], were thrown to the ground during clashes in the underpass at Hyde Park at the end of a march. …
Respect MP George Galloway, who was caught up in the incident, said he and his daughter were thrown to the ground. “It was very frightening. The police trapped us in the tunnel and attacked us repeatedly.”
That’s not how the police relate the incident:
But the Met defended its officers, saying: “Officers made one 10-metre advance into the crowd to regain control of the protest, using recognised and proportionate tactics.” The spokeswoman said the advance was filmed by police evidence gatherers and a number of people, “including Mr Galloway”, were “facilitated” through police lines for their safety.
So the Hamas/Iranian report of Galloway’s injury probably isn’t true. Still, we can always hope: if Galloway did sustain an injury, it would be natural for him to tell his friends first.
UPDATE: I’ve corrected the post to reflect the fact that it was–of course–Charlie Brown, not Linus, who kept trying to kick the football at Lucy’s instigation. Thanks to the reader who pointed out the error.
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