A sea of white and blue

It was a fine day in London for a political rally, and today British Jews and gentiles came out to celebrate and support Israel, and call for a truly just peace in Gaza. The event was very well organised, and Trafalgar Square was a see of red, white and blue, with Israeli and British union flags aplenty, and banners reading “End Hamas terror! Peace for the people of Israel and Gaza”. Some individuals brought their own placards, and a few were quite creative. One wag even had “Release Brian” scrawled on the back on his.

The event was celebratory and very good natured, with the air of a family day out. There was no trouble that I could see, even from the counter demonstration by a couple of hundred Naturei Karta (anti-Israel religious Jews), various pseudo-left groups and “We are all Hamas now” types and Hezbollah supporters. The anti-Israel crowd was confined to the front of Canada House.

Here are a few photos I took this morning. Click on the images to bring up slightly higher resolution versions in popup windows…

A sea of white and blue

Naturei Karta looking a bit weary

“Jews for listening and understanding” That’s nice.

Vocal London Jewish boys barracking the antis

Do not mess with this woman.

Rousing the spirit and disturbing the pigeons

There were quite a few black faces in the crowd, and some of them were associated with the Biafran movement. One of these “Good Shepherds” handed out copies of an open letter to the Arab League which declares the movement’s support for Israel, and calls on Hamas to follow the example of Egypt and Jordan and sign a peace treaty with Israel.

A number of speeches were delivered by the usual suspects. These included Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor, and Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who at one point departed from his text to comment dryly “I knew it wouldn’t be a Jewish event without a heckler.” The miscreant to whom Sacks referred was then covered in ice from the fountain, and promptly removed from the scene by a large group of plods.

The rally ended with stirring renditions of “God save the Queen” and the Hatikva. I couldn’t bring myself to join in the Hymn to Brenda, even though in this context the UK anthem was appropriate. The Israeli song of hope was another matter, and like those around me I sang it with gusto.

I appear to have acquired a large Israeli flag in finest nylon. Are there protocols that dictate how this sacred object should be cared for?