Socialists unite with Zionists against Palestine Demo
inminds.co.uk 12 October 2007
Al-Quds Day counter-demo: So-called socialists and zionists together - shameful!
This years annual Al-Quds Day demonstration in support of the oppressed peoples of Palestine was opposed by an organised counter-demonstration.
We didn't think anything special of it as we are used to zionists attacking our demos and take such attacks in our stride as part of the price for standing up for justice. During one demonstration an elderly rabbi, one of our speakers, was punched in the face by a zionist right in front of the police. At another demo, the family of one of our activists was targeted at home whilst the activist was at the demo. Apart from the zionists, the IHRC has also been the target of many far right groups including receiving death threats through the post from Combat 18, the "armed wing" of the British neo-Nazi organization Blood & Honour.
But what was so surprising and sad about this counter-demo was that it was an alliance of far right fascist/zionists/neocons and elements of the left! Shamefully certain leftist groups had sold out and made a pact with the fascists to crush a demonstration for Palestine.
Judging by their placards it seems they let themselves be duped in to thinking the demonstration was about Iran.
It would appear that the anti-Quds day demo was co-ordinated with the the neocon racist anti-Muslim hate fest being held in the US in the same month called "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week". Both events originally used the same posters showing photos of a stoning which the organisers claimed occured in Iran. The photos were fake - they were taken straight of out a fictional dutch movie (De Steen (1994), Director: Mahnaz Tamizi, actress being stoned: Smadar Monsinos). When the fakes were exposed the organisers had to come up with new posters - so with nothing left they drudged up two old cases :- one featured on their posters - the case of Ateqeh Rajabi from 2004; and the other in their on-line leaflets - the case of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni.
If they had done their homework they would have known that the isolated case of Ateqeh Rajabi had already been raised by the main organisers of the demonstration, the Islamic Human Rights Commission, back in 2004 when it mattered - rather than use it now, opportunistically for war propaganda!
As for Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, the counter-demo organisers Brett Lock and Peter Tatchell (as leaders of the gay-rights group "OutRage!") have previously championed their case claiming they were kids who were executed in Iran for being "gay" and "in love". Well it turns out their claims were far from the truth. Investigations by Amnesty, Human Right Watch and the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission revealed that the pair, who were not kids - at least one of them was 19, had in fact abducted a young 13 year old boy, then raped him at knifepoint and when they finished with him they went on to steal his bicycle. After speaking with the victim’s father there was no doubt that Tatchell’s claims were false - it was later revealed that the story was planted by the MKO/NCRI - the Iranian dissident group/cult sponsored by Saddam and accused by Human Rights Watch for having tortured its own members and committed atrocities on others including massacring the Kurds on behalf of Saddam. The group, which has been designated a terrorist organisation by both the EU and USA, has been defended by Tatchell who has compared it to the ANC saying it "is no more a terrorist organisation than the African National Congress in South Africa or the anti-Nazi resistance in occupied Europe during World War Two"( as reported in UK Gay News July 28 2005)! Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission conceded "it was not a gay case" and further condemned Tatchell for his "racially charged language" against Muslims.
The organisers of the counter-demo (Harry's Place) openly supported the invasion of Iraq and Brett Lock is on record as having supported last year’s vicious attack on Lebanon by Israel. He even egged Israel on, insisting Israel needs to go further than just punish – "what's the point of punishing those who never learn" – Israel should completely destroy the enemy! With the war against Hizbullah lost, they are now busy laying the propaganda groundwork for war against Iran starting with its demonization.
Clearly this alone cannot explain why these leftist groups sided with zionists. It seems that what upset them most was that it was a Muslim organised and run event - ie it was Al-Quds Day. Apparently Muslims are not allowed to organise political rallies for themselves on their own terms - democracy has no place for political Islam. As their leaflets (Workers Liberty), revealed that they had already decided before the event, without even consulting us, that our demonstration is "not about support for Palestinian rights" but is about "demonising" Jewish people. The fact that we have always had a sizable Jewish contingent among our ranks demonstrating at Al-Quds Day every year seems to have passed them by.
Al-Quds Day counter-demo: Iranian royalist waving Pahlavi flag, dreaming of an Iran under the imperialist rule of the US with its propped up little dictator Shah.
These islamophobic tendencies have in the past united many of the same elements of the far right and the left. Remember the anti-Muslim hate demonstration organised in Trafalgar Square in March 2006, in support of the racist danish cartoons caricaturing the Prophet of Islam and all Muslims as terrorists? Well surprise, surprise, many of the same elements from the left and right that came together to organise that demo also organised this demo. In that hate fest we saw Outrage co-founder Peter Tatchell standing shoulder to shoulder with the BNP - who according to their report 27 March 2006 sent a delegation of 40 to the event (making it the largest single contingent at the demo of 200 protesters); and the right wing anti-immigration Freedom Association; and the Libertarian Alliance whose speaker defended the rights of BNP leader Nick Griffin to a cheering crowd; and Maryam Namazie's Worker Communist Party of Iran who provocatively brandished the racist caricatures and urged the crowd to pass them around and do likewise - Tatchell was the first to clutch the racist cartoons wondering around Trafalgar Square no doubt looking for Muslims to incite.
A Namazie henchman, Reza Moradi was cautioned by the police in that demo and his file passed to the crown prosecution service. Earlier in the same month at the Stop the War demo (18th March) Moradi had assaulted a peace activist simply because he happened to be waving the Iranian flag in a demo against war on Iran. Moradi wasn't satisfied until he had destroyed the flag. Later in September the same Reza Moradi was sent as an agent provocateur to another Stop the War rally in Manchester. There he disrupted Tony Benn's speech and pushed one of the organisers resulting in him being thrown out. Outside he complained of his freedom of speech being violated! Again at this counter-demo he was by Namazie's side.
Al-Quds Day counter-demo: Maryam Namazie (Worker Communist Party of Iran) with Reza Moradi(on left), members of Alliance for Workers Liberty on right
In this demonstration if you replace the fascist BNP with the racist zionists you have practically the same bunch - Tatchell, the Worker Communist Party of Iran, the same handful of bloggers - Harry's Place, etc. with the addition of a few extra members of the left - Alliance for Workers Liberty, and Class War.
The zionists included self-confessed far-right neocons and members from Engage - a zionist lobby set up specifically to smash the boycott of Israel (like in previous demos, most of our placards urged the public to boycott Israel).
Alliance for Workers' Liberty is a pro-Israel, anti-Muslim leftist group. They actively defend Israel by aggressively campaigning against all boycotts of Israel and at the same time they attack any perceived signs of political Islam including even the hijab which they see as a symbol of oppression. Class War are an anarchist group, their presence was particularly surprising as they don't have a history of supporting zionism.
Among the Iranians, apart from a few communists, there were a few royalists waving Pahlavi flags no doubt dreaming of an Iran under the imperialist rule of the US with its propped up little dictator Shah - what a strange alliance - brings memories of when the MKO aligned with Saddam against the Iranian people.
Al-Quds Day counter-demo: Iranians - are these communists or royalists - these days you can't tell.
Yet you would think that with so many groups coming together they should be able to muster an impressive counter-demo. Well apparently not. We got our first indication of their embarrassingly small number half an hour before we reached them at Piccadilly Circus - when at around 2pm we overheard a police radio dispatch from Piccadilly Circus. The police at Piccadilly Circus reported "we've only got about.. looks like 15 protestors here.." ( ) We later discovered this was a rather generous figure as none of our photos show that many protesters.
Despite their small number we didn't want to take any chances and stewards were assigned to protect the rabbis to ensure they would not be attacked - just earlier this year another of the anti-zionist rabbis was brutally attacked by three zionists.
As the march approached the counter-demo at Piccadilly Circus we could make out their chants - they were straight out of the neocon dictionary ( )
No to Hamas
No to Hizbullah
No to the Islamic Republic
Out Out Terrorist Terrorist
Bush would have been proud of them. How sad to see socialists in bed with zionists spouting Bush's words. No to the elected government of Palestine, no to the defenders of Lebanon and no to the only independent country in the middle east free from US imperialist control, oh and of course they must all be terrorists because they don't agree with Bush. How easily elements of the left slip in to beating the drums of war for Bush and the neocons.
Al-Quds Day counter-demo: Nothing angers a zionist more than the victorious flag of Hizbullah
The zionist elements not satisfied with these slogans added their own expletives and gestures - we couldn't quiet make out what they were but we did notice that waving the hizbullah flag in their faces increased their volume (but unfortunately, not clarity) and it made their faces go red. When someone from our side called them nazis the police cautioned him that he was not allowed to call someone a nazi! ( ) We thought maybe the policeman heard wrongly so we asked for clarification and he confirmed that the word "nazi" could not be used at the fascists across the road! It was alright for them to call us terrorists but we couldn't call them nazis.
Al-Quds Day counter-demo: Edgar Davidson, self confessed neocon zionist blogger
Edgar Davidson (right) falsely claims in his blog that demonstrators were chanting "Kill, kill kill the Jews". This lie has then been reproduced unchallenged by "Totally Jewish" news and the Jewish Chronicle. The Jewish Chronicle, which boasts of being "the world's oldest and most influential Jewish newspaper”, ran with the headline "Shouts of ‘Kill the Jews’ heard at pro-Palestine rally". Yet hidden in the article is the revelation that the blogger who writes under the name Edgar Davidson, who made these claims, did not respond to repeated requests by the newspaper to contact them for verification and that the Police stewarding the demo did not hear any abusive language and have not received a single complaint. Despite this the Jewish Chronicle ran the lie in its headline. Any respectable journalist would at least have first contacted the organisers of the demonstration for their side before running such an article. Neither Alex Braham of Totally Jewish, nor Simon Rocker of the Jewish Chronicle bothered to contact the IHRC before printing these inflammatory lies. The only chants in the demo which mentioned Jews or Judaism is the following one: "Judaism is okay, Zionism no way! Judaism is here to stay, Zionism no way!" ( and ) . All the chants are available as mp3s on our report of the Quds Day demo.
Edgar Davidson's other claim that the police didn't allow him to display the Israeli flag is also dubious as our photos reveal. In fact his whole account is littered with fiction. One interesting revelation in his account which we didn't understand before is why the counter-demo was at 12:00 whilst our demo assemble time wasn't till 12:30 - the march didn't begin until after Zuhr prayers at around 1:15pm and we didn't reach the counter-demo at Piccadilly Circus until an hour later around 2:30pm. So why were they camped at Piccadilly Circus two and a half hours early? His blog reveals that they thought we were passing their counter-demo at 12:00! Another blog offered a fictionalized explanation for the discrepancy - apparently they were not early - but it was us who were late by two and a half hours because apparently we were desperately trying to coerce/pay/fly-in more demonstrators to attend - that's why we got delayed! Edgar et al, next time read our poster for the demo time, it'll save you making up stories!
Edgar Davidson & partner waving zionist flag at the demonstration from a LONG distance away - did anyone from the demo notice them?
Edgar Davidson & partner. final wave of flag before putting them away and running of
These two (below) from Workers Liberty thought they would liberate "oppressed Muslim women" by handing them condescending leaflets telling them that their Al Quds demonstration is "not about support for Palestinian rights" but is about "demonising" Jewish people! We would say to the couple - Instead of acting in such a colonial "we know whats best for you" manner why didn't you engage one of our sisters in a conversation. They can think for themselves and are very articulate at expressing themselves. Instead of telling her what her demonstration is about why not ask her?
Al-Quds Day counter-demo: Alliance for Workers Liberty, Handing out condescending leaflets
Peter Tatchell with three members from Workers Liberty decided to join the demonstration as agent provocateurs to disrupt it, but the police weren't having any of that and removed them, isolating them at the back of the demo. At the anti-Muslim hate demo Tatchell, whilst standing with the BNP he claimed to support Muslims, this time whilst standing with zionists he claimed to support Palestine!
Peter Tatchell unites with zionists to disrupt Al-Quds Day.. and then says he supports Palestine!
Peter Tatchell (back) and his accomplices from Workers Liberty being escorted off the demonstration by the police for causing a public nuisance.
Although the counter-demo was pathetic in its ignorance and insignificant in its size we were never the less hurt and saddened to see people who should have been standing with us for justice and freedom for Palestine, side with fascists and zionists due to their blind prejudice against Muslims and Islam.
When I stood outside South Africa House protesting apartheid in South Africa some 20 odd years ago, and picketed outside Barclays Bank and outside supermarkets selling Cape apples, demanding a boycott of South Africa I don't remember encountering such opposition from elements on the left. Those that suffered under apartheid in South Africa, like Ronnie Kasrils of the South African Parliament and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), have described Israeli apartheid as being far worse than anything they lived under. Then why is it that Israeli apartheid is tolerated and even supported by sections of the left? Just because most Palestinians are Muslim does that mean they don't deserve the same support?
During the holy month of Ramadan, as we move towards the Eid, I was going around Muslim shops in Tower Hamlets and elsewhere telling them that although they had collection boxes for the Mosque, although they had religious imagery in their shops, although they were selling dates to the faithful people to break their fast - the dates were made in Israel! They were stained with the blood of the Palestinian people! And Muslim shop keepers were selling them!