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‘Make arrests, not excuses’: Jewish leaders urge the Met to take action if pro-Palestine rally chants jihad – as 100,000 protesters expected to descend on the streets of London


  • Anti-Semitism campaigners said jihad calls were akin to ‘glorifying terrorism’
  • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said such chants were threat to Jewish community
  • Latest march comes amid 1,357 per cent increase in anti-Semitic incidents 

Jewish leaders want police to ‘make arrests, not excuses’ at a pro-Palestine rally in London today.

More than 100,000 protesters are expected to descend on the capital for a third weekend of marching.

But Scotland Yard has sparked incredulity by saying that it will not arrest anyone demanding jihad. 

Officers will instead ‘intervene, gather information and report it back’.

But Stephen Silverman, of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said calling for jihad following the October 7 massacres of 1,400 people in Israel was ‘extremely likely to be an offence of glorifying terrorism’.

More than 100,000 protesters are expected to descend on the capital for a third weekend of marching, but Scotland Yard has sparked incredulity by saying that it will not arrest anyone demanding jihad

More than 100,000 protesters are expected to descend on the capital for a third weekend of marching, but Scotland Yard has sparked incredulity by saying that it will not arrest anyone demanding jihad

Two women were spotted at the pro-Palestine protest in Whitehall, London on October 14 wearing a paraglider image on their backs as a reference to the October 7 Hamas attacks

Two women were spotted at the pro-Palestine protest in Whitehall, London on October 14 wearing a paraglider image on their backs as a reference to the October 7 Hamas attacks

There were chants of 'Jihad! Jihad! Jihad!' at the rally outside the Egyptian embassy in London

Ministers reacted angrily after the police said no laws were broken at an event last Saturday where protesters in London called for ‘Muslim armies’ to launch a jihad to ‘liberate Palestine’ 

He added: ‘The public expects the Met to make arrests, not excuses.’

A stand-off approach last Saturday put the Met and Downing Street at odds, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying such chants were a threat to the Jewish community and our democratic values.

A spokesman for Labour Against Anti-Semitism said: ‘In the context of the Israel/Palestinian conflict, jihad only has one meaning and that is the violence of holy war.

‘Allowing people to call for jihad on the streets of London is consistent with the ideology of Hamas.

‘It doesn’t just put the Jewish community at risk but is a threat to all communities. Londoners have previously been the victims of this ideology in terror attacks.’

Protesters during a pro-Palestine march organised by Stop the War Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London last Saturday

Protesters during a pro-Palestine march organised by Stop the War Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London last Saturday

A video of a Hizb ut-Tahrir protest during last weekend’s London rally showed a member of the crowd chanting ‘jihad’ – but the Met said no offences had been committed.

The Hizb ut-Tahrir group has already been banned in multiple countries across Europe and the Arab world but not, despite calls to do so, in Britain.

At a briefing ahead of today’s planned action, the Met’s frontline policing commander, Kyle Gordon, said: ‘If someone is calling for jihad, specifically against Israel, the officers will intervene, gather the information and report it back to us.

‘We will be working with [counter-terror] colleagues who are in the command suite with me in relation to what the best course of action is.’

Inside the command centre will be members of the Muslim community, Arabic speakers and specialist Crown Prosecution Service lawyers who can offer advice to police chiefs, he added. 

The march comes amid a 1,357 per cent increase in anti-Semitic incidents and a 168 per cent spike in Islamophobic incidents. 

There were 408 anti-Semitic incidents between October 1 and yesterday, compared with 28 during the same period last year, the Met revealed. 

Today’s march, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, sets off from Victoria Embankment in London at midday.



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