So despite Jonathan Hoffman’s hystrionics and abuse (see below) this was effectively a joint demonstration between Jonathan Hoffman’s Zionist Federation and the English Defence League.
At no point and at no time did the Zionist Federation or Jonathan Hoffman issue a warning to the EDL that they were not welcome and would be prevented from taking part in the demonstration and if they did manage to slip in would be removed. This in itself speaks volumes.
The fascist-supported Zionist Federation demonstration was about 300 strong. The reason for the relatively poor numbers among the pro-Palestinians was partly because Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Stop The War Coalition had both decided not to support the Palestinian demonstration in ‘order to avoid conflict’.
Cowardice rather than prudence might seem a better description for allowing a Zionist-Fascist demonstration to dictate our tactics and protest.
But we should not be surprised. Either at the PSC leadership’s behaviour or indeed that of the moving right ex-SWP group led by John Rees, which controls the StWC.
What is surprising is that the Zionist Federation now feels so politically isolated that it is prepared to accept the support of the EDL. And tonight we had the spectacle of stewards of the Community Security Trust, ostensibly devoted to opposing anti-semitism, raising no objection to the anti-Semites of the EDL . Of course the EDL are not anti-Zionists and therefore that makes it acceptable. The obvious thing to do, Dave Rich’s comments notwithstanding, would have been for the CST to say it would not steward an event where there was ANY presence of fascists or the EDL, but then they might have had to exclude their own Kahanists.
And why has the Zionist Federation’s very own Oliver Hardy been allowed to get them into another fine mess? Because the current lunatic campaign by Hoffman and friends tries attempts the impossible. No amount of spin or hasbara will convince people that an attack on humanitarian ships delivering aid, in international waters, by Israel’s elite Shayetet 13 naval squadron was a peaceable exercise and that it was only the resistance to these pirates which was violent. Why they’ve even displayed knives to prove that they are only telling the whole truth! Presumably they were trying to smuggle knives into Gaza. A new secret weapon In fact ships, like most homes, do possess knives – to eat with, to cut and prepare food and to cut ropes etc. Collecting them all together doesn’t make the mission a war-like one! Previous boats made the trip without any incidents of violence or indeed allegations to that effect by Israel. But the clincher is the 9-19 people who were killed by these peace loving Israelis.
Despite his denials, I have no hesitation, in view of his record of repeating every Israeli lie that is on offer, in believing that Jonathan Hoffman gave an interview to a woman reporter in which he openly defended demonstrating with the EDL as ‘there was no proof of any link with the BNP.’ That would also explain his refusal to give support to the Harrow counter-demonstration against the EDL (they were using the building of a local mosque as the pretext for their presence there) unless Muslims agreed to support Israel!
Presumably the fact that the EDL have repeatedly been photographed giving sieg heil salutes is not enough to make it clear they are not welcome? In fact there is copious evidence that the EDL and BNP members work hand in hand.