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Police blasted for arrests of rabbis in pro-Palestine demonstration

April 6, 2024 at 12:46 pm

People carry banners and chant slogans as they attend a support rally during Al Quds Day in London, United Kingdom on April 05, 2024. [Raşid Necati Aslım – Anadolu Agency]

Organisers have criticised the Metropolitan Police’s handling of yesterday’s al-Quds Day demonstration in which two ultra-orthodox Jewish rabbis were arrested for inciting anti-Semitism, Islamic Human Rights Commission reports.

The bizarre incident occurred at the end of the march in London yesterday which attracted around 15,000 participants.

Police swooped on them as the rabbis were making their way home at the end of the event, accusing them of inciting racial hatred by burning an Israeli flag earlier in the day.

There has been no word on the fate of the pair as yet. This may be because they are still being detained or because they are observing Sabbath, a time when practising Jews turn off their mobile phones.

The annual march was as diverse as ever with many Jews and Christians among the demonstrators.

Police also made three arrests from a pocket of 100 or so pro-Israel counter-demonstrators. Two individuals were charged with making threats to kill and one for being outside the designated protest area.

IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “You can’t make this up. The Met has really plumbed new depths of ridiculousness in arresting rabbis for inciting anti-Semitism. They know this would never stand up in court but do it anyway because of the political pressure they’re facing to intimidate, harass and discourage pro-Palestine protestors. We are very disappointed by this year’s policing compared to previous years. It has become highly politicised and given rise to unjustified arrests.”

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