The extreme right-wing organizers of a weekend protest in a predominantly Jewish London neighborhood plan to burn Israeli flags and even a copy of the Gemara, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
Right-wing activist Joshua Bonehill-Paine called on demonstrators through his website to bring Israeli flags to the July 4 demonstration in the mostly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green to “dismember … by hand,” which apparently sidesteps the legal complications of burning national flags.
“This will be a show of solidarity by English people who recognize that Israel is a corrupt state which is responsible for horrific war crimes,” wrote Bonehill-Paine.
Additionally, the activist said there would be a private meeting held before the demonstration in which copies of the Talmud could be burned “in recognition of its racist Anti-White [sic] teachings.”
Bonehill said the purpose of the July 4 protest, which will take place on the Jewish Sabbath, was to demonstrate against the Jewish Shomrim, or Jewish civilian patrols set up to combat, inter alia, antisemitic crime, burglary, vandalism, assault and domestic violence.
White supremacy group the New Dawn Party posted to its Twitter page an advertisement for the July 4 protest with a banner that read: “This is London, not Tel Aviv.”
Another post, dated to Sunday, said the protest was meant to demonstrate against “Jewish privilege.” It ridiculed Jews for having “their own Police force” that “receives training and funding from our own Police force.”
A longtime right-wing and white-supremacist commentator on the Internet, Bonehill-Paine has been investigated by police before on charges of harassment, antisemitic speech and hoaxing.
He had previously planned a Stamford Hill march against the “Jewification of Great Britain,” but those plans were postponed and ultimately scrapped.
According to the British Independent newspaper, the London Shomrim consists of about 80 volunteers and focuses its efforts on neighborhoods with strong Jewish populations, such as Golders Green, Hendon and Barnet. Volunteers are trained by police and don knife-proof vests, and the network boasts a 24-hour hotline.
The Community Security Trust, with about 10 years of experience working to protect British Jewish communities, has said it is “fully aware of this explicitly antisemitic demonstration” and was in contact with police and government officials over the issue, according to the JC.