On Saturday some 80 anti-Israel protesters and 15 pro-Israel counter-demontrators crowded in front of Ahava in Covent Garden.
For the first hour there was actually quite a good atmosphere as a small band showed up which played a medley of old Communist tunes including The Internationale,which they duly murdered.
After an hour the atmosphere turned more menacing. The Croydon Division of the the English Defence League (EDL) pitched up and unfurled a Flag of St. George, which acted as a lighting rod for the anti-Israel protesters. For the next hour the EDL group and anti-Israel protesters faced off and exchanged insults.
The usual accusations of EDL collusion with the “Zionists” are now being made in an attempt to smear as racist those who support Israel’s right to exist.
Of course there was no collusion. In Britain you cannot stop anyone turning up, standing where they want, wearing what they want and saying what they want. You can only make complaints, of which there were many.
I understand that at the next anti-Israel Ahava protest on 28th August the possibility of yet another pen, for the EDL, is being investigated. Not that anyone sticks to their pens anyway.
That said it is of the utmost hypocricy to make claims of racism while at the same time calling for a wordwide boycott of Israeli goods and people and more to the point Jewish Israeli ones (anything Christian or Muslim Israeli is exempt from boycott).
Apart from the anti-Israel Ahava protests there is also the continuing anti-Israeli demonstration outside Marks and Spencer every thursday night from 6 to 8pm.
But Monmouth Street is very narrow. There is no room for almost 100 protesters antagonistic towards each other especially with cars constantly sweeping through and protesters all over the road.
And on the 28th the crowds will likely be even bigger with the EDL there. Something for the police to sort out before something goes drastically wrong.
Some pics. (click to enlarge) and a clip: