Update: A letter published in the Jewish Chronicle by Lyn Julius of Harif, the UK Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, deplores the shut-down of this vigil and urges readers to fight on behalf of the rights of Jews from Arab lands.
A vigil held by pro-Israel activists in London
for Jews murdered in Arab countries over the centuries was dispersed violently by men
shouting about killing Jews in Arabic. The episode, recorded by Haaretz, goes to the heart of the hostility of Muslim fundamentalists towards Jews. The vigil was timed for the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, which prefigured pro-Nazi attacks on the Jews of Gabes in Tunisia and the Farhud in Iraq, when at least 170 Jews were murdered in 1941. (With thanks: Michelle, Lily)
The event Wednesday
by the Israel Advocacy Movement was held on Speaker’s Corner in
London’s Hyde Park, which is known for its culture of free speech and
passionate street preachers championing various causes.
A few dozen people holding Israeli flags and candles gathered there ahead of Kristallnacht,
the name of Nazi pogrom perpetrated in 1938, to highlight the suffering
and slaying around the same time of many hundreds of Jews who were
killed and wounded in pogroms across the Arab world.
Click here to see video showing how the vigil was disrupted by Muslims evoking a massacre of Jews in Arabia. A sympathetic German bystander was shocked to have witnessed such antisemitism
Joseph Cohen, an
Israel Advocacy Movement activist, filmed the event as about 20 men
drowned his talk, shouting: “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of
Muhammad is returning.”
The cry relates to an
event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews
from the town of Khaybar, located in modern-day Saudi Arabia. Some of
the men shouted about “Palestine,” surrounding the pro-Jewish activists
and shoving them.
if on cue, before we’d even begun an extremist began screaming a death
chant of Jews,” Cohen said. “The vigil went from bad to worse, they
shouted us down, they would not allow us to remember our dead until we
had to call off the vigil,” he added. The occurrence “goes to the heart
of the matter we’d gathered to commemorate in the first place,” he also
For list of massacres seeIsrael Advocacy MovementFacebook entry for 7 November.