As many of you will be aware a very small number of far right neo-Nazis are planning a static demonstration in Golders Green on July 4th. Sussex Friends of Israel along with Pro-Israel Response Group deplore and condemn this obvious attempt to incite our community.
SFI, along with all major community groups have called on the authorities to do everything in their power to ensure this event does not take place. The rights and feelings of the community in Golders Green are paramount in any action taken. The fact that this is largely a religious community that observes Shabbat must not be ignored by the wider community, however supportive we feel we are being.
The most recent communication from Commander Usher of Barnet Police makes it clear that it is unlikely that the rally will be stopped. We live in a country in which freedom of speech is sacrosanct and despite the highly objectionable nature of these people and their views we must respect that they have a right to protest within the boundaries of the law. There are on-going discussions to change the day of this event from Shabbat and to severely limit any impact it may have on the community. We fully support these discussions and hope that an agreement acceptable to the community in Golders Green is reached.
However, should these discussions fail to halt the protest and this event takes place in any form we will be calling on people from all communities to join us in a show of solidarity. We are happy to lend our support to the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s efforts to organise appropriate action and have offered any assistance needed to ensure that there is a robust response. It is important that this be respectful and positive and that we do not allow the language of hate to desecrate Shabbat.
We are also concerned by those comparing the events in Golders Green in 2015 to those of Cable Street in 1936. To compare the two would be an insult to those who stood against Mosley and his black shirts at the time of the rise of the Nazis. This will not be another ‘Battle of Cable Street’ nor should we try and suggest otherwise. In recent days a small number of groups and individuals have started to use unnecessary scaremongering in their posts about the rally.
We realise that this threatened rally is unpleasant and even shocking but let us not forget that the Jewish community is protected by the government, the law and the police. For two years Sussex Friends of Israel have worked closely with the police in Brighton, London and elsewhere, we have complete faith in them to do their jobs and keep us safe to do ours. We also know that CST will be there to protect our community as they always are when there is any threat to our community. To create a sense of fear and near hysteria is not helpful to anyone nor is it necessary. We would urge all those people posting about this rally to think twice about the language and images they use.
It is vital that our support is a coalition of all those who wish to stand against the far right and the neo-Nazis. This is not just an attack on the Jewish community, it is an attack on all people who live in a tolerant, multi-faith, multi-cultural society. That may mean that there are groups present who we do not agree with, however, it is not our place or that of anyone else to decide who can or cannot stand against this hatred.
As we get closer to the date we will post further details including travel arrangements from Sussex but we urge you now to put the date in your diaries.
It really is quite simple: if their rally happens, we will be there and we hope that you, your family and your friends will be alongside us.
Sussex Friends of Israel | email@example.com