This Weekend: Al Quds Marches Endanger Jewish Communities Across Europe
This weekend, Al Quds marches are taking place on June 1st in Berlin and on June 2nd in London. The marches are meant to show support for Palestinians but promote anti-Zionist and antisemitic sentiment.
Al Quds day is set to take place this year on the last day of Ramadan. The event was created in 1979 by Ebrahim Yazdi, the first foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Its main goal is to promote anti-Israel sentiment and “stand up for the oppressed.” During Al Quds day marches, participants take to the streets of their towns and shout anti-Israel epitaphs.
The reality is that these anti-Zionist marches can quickly turn into over antisemitism. Chants such as “We are Hezbollah” and “From the river to the sea” can be heard at the Al Quds march. Marchers also attack America shouting, “Death to America.”
Although these marches take place in Europe under the guise of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, the marches put Jews in danger. During these protests, marchers have shown overt support for Hezbollah, a recognized terrorist organization. Yet, freedom of speech in European capitals should not cause Jews to fear leaving their homes or feel unwelcomed in their own communities.
This year will prove to be a tipping point for Al Quds day marches. Countless studies have shown that antisemitism has reached an all-time high in Europe and now both the political and military wings of Hezbollah have been banned in England meaning it is now illegal to raise fly Hezbollah flags during the march. It is still unclear though, what German authorities will do considering Hezbollah has not been officially banned in Germany.
It should be mentioned that Hezbollah has called for the death of the Jews and Israel countless times and sporting their flag sends a message that you agree with their ideologies. Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah once said, “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” In this light, Jewish communities will never feel safe as long as Hezbollah-supporting marchers parade through their streets. This defines the conflation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism.
London police have gone on record stating that they will “intervene” if they see people waving Hezbollah’s flag. In Berlin, the police and government have issued warnings to Jewish an pro-Israel supporter to stay away from the protests as a precaution. Still, if an event is dangerous enough for for warnings to be sent out to minority communities to stay away, it should not be allowed by local and national jurisdictions to take place at all.