|Part of the London crowd; photo from Richard Millett's Blog|
To quote Tom Friedmann, who has a most evocative description of the demonstration that deserves to be read in full:
"Over at the [simultaneous] Israeli demonstration Jewish teenagers waved Israeli flags, sang traditional Jewish songs and joined in chants declaring their will to peace. If they could have been described as provocative at all it was when they chanted ‘We love life, you love death’ yet undeniably quite accurately reflecting the statements of countless Islamist clerics on the subject. Nor could the Palestinian side really attempt to claim that they were not championing the Islamist cause; several Hezbollah flags could clearly be seen among their crowed. And while the Israeli demonstrators made their calls for peace and that Gaza be freed from Hamas the Palestinian group decided to go for a rendition of ‘Khyber al-Yahud’ which calls on Jews to remember how they were slaughtered by Mohammad and his men at Khyber in 7th century Arabia. [My emphasis] Indeed much of the chanting was in Arabic as most of the crowed appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin, many in traditional Islamic dress. The odd Quaker/Anarchist that had ill-advisedly come along nervously struggled to join in with the Arabic, but for the most part Middle England had stayed away this time. There was of course Lauren Booth who seemed to have come in fancy dress; sporting an amusingly dysfunctional combination of designer sunglasses, a pink jacket and a keffiyeh for a hijab, but then she can hardly be said to count." See: http://tomfriedmann.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/two-very-different-demonstrations-at-the-israeli-embassy/ and also http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/naqba-day-extremists-spew-hate-outside-israeli-embassy/No doubt the genocidal chant pierced the air at similar "Nakba Day" rallies in other cities round the world.
"The leaders of these violent demonstrations have personally stated that their struggle is not over the '67 lines, but rather to undermine the very existence of the State of Israel, which they define as a disaster which must be corrected."
This fact - that the issue is not one of borders but of Israel's very existence - is powerfully expressed by Egyptian-born expert in Islamic radicalism Dr Tawfik Hamid, of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Virginia.
A former Islamic extremist who once belonged to the same terrorist organization as Al Qaeda's second-in-command, Dr Ayman al-Zawahir, he has a message for American diplomats that deserves to be heard and heeded by all who place the onus for peace upon the Jewish State:
"Approaching the Arab-Israeli conflict from the perspective that it is about land, so that giving more land to the Palestinians will solve the problem, is a failed endeavor.
Israel has already given Egypt the whole of the Sinai, and got nothing in return except a cold peace and rising anti-Semitism in the country. Similarly the disengagement from Gaza did not magically lead to a decline in the wave of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.
Pro-Palestinian Muslim demonstrators across the world repeatedly use the chant “Khyber Khyber Ya Yahood... Gaish Muhammad Sawfa Yaood,” which reminds the Jews that the army of Muhammad is coming back for a repeat of what was done to the Jewish Khyber tribe.
According to authentic Islamic history books, the Islamic army, led by Muhammad, annihilated the Jewish tribe of Khyber, raping its women and killing all its men.
Such barbaric statements against the Jews have been used by many in the Muslim world, and even inside the US and Europe. Sadly the chant was also used on Friday by thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
The Hamas charter also calls for the destruction of Israel. This violent principle has its roots in the traditional Islamic teaching, based on Hadith books, that encourages the killing of all Jews before the end of days.
.... [T]he problem in the eyes of the Palestinians and their supporters is not the borders of Israel but the very existence of the country, all future missions will similarly fail. Solving the Arab-Israeli conflict must be done initially at the theological rather than the political level, as the former is impeding the latter. [My emphasis]
It is unfair to ask Israel to trust those who shamefully advocate the killing of Jews, and claim that Islamic annihilation of the Jews by an Islamic army is a model that must be emulated today. [My emphasis]
The problem is not only in the existence of violent teachings in historical Islamic texts, but also in the dangerous desire of many Islamists and violent Islamic scholars to revive such violence in modern times....
The problem is that this disastrous anti-Semitic religious dimension is not limited to verses in books, but is also propagated by a powerful media machine that utilizes vicious, Nazi-style propaganda across the Muslim world. Publishing dehumanizing cartoons in the mainstream media, and blaming Jews for nearly every problem in the world has become much too common in the leading Arab media over the past few decades.
It is virtually impossible to promote any form of peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict without reducing such levels of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.
Until future envoys to the Middle East understand the religious dimension of the problem, and that the Arab- Israeli conflict is not about borders but about the existence of the state of Israel, all future attempts to make peace in the area will fail. [My emphasis] See: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=220694And for a truly repellent Israel-delegitimising piece by Jody McIntyre in The Independent newspaper today that says, inter alia:
"I often wonder how I am expected to recognise the legitimacy of a state that does not recognise its own borders. I often wonder how I can recognise a state that has invaded and occupied every country it shares a border with. How can I recognise a country that refuses to recognise the right of return, as enshrined in international law, of the Palestinian refugees? Yesterday, those refugees proved that they will never allow that right to be forgotten. Despite the combined efforts of Israel, the US, and the Palestinian Authority, they will never forget the homes that they left in 1948."see http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/05/16/a-right-to-return/