Don’t Punish London’s Jews

I’m a bit puzzled by this protest that’s going on outside the Jew hating Tricycle Theatre right now. That’s the one that has refused to host the Jewish Film Festival this year (they always host it) because of the “situation” and because the festival gets a small grant from the Israeli Embassy.

What do you think of these signs?

Dont punish Londons Jews

Photo Credit: Jonathan Sacerdoti

No Israeli Flags. (Update: the woman at the front is wearing one)

Not even much in the way of Jewish insignia.

Just baffling signs that seems to say “don’t blame us for what Israel is doing in Gaza”. Is this a “Not in our Name” protest?

Am I wrong? Is there another explanation for those signs?

Boy am I glad I didn’t go. I don’t think I could have taken being in the presence of such cowardice.

More background from Nick Cohen (who’s not Jewish) in the Spectator.

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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  • Contrarian

    My thoughts exactly. The signs are a little too homogenized.

  • AlexC

    The brunette at the front looks to have an Israeli flag around her shoulders, but it does seem a bit “civil”. Then again these are probably “patrons of the arts” personally I am trying to get details on previous festivals at the tricycle and funders of said festivals. Hopefully some embarrassing double standards

    • dabney

      Oh yes, you’re right. The girl in front has the flag around her shoulders and there’s another flag unfurled behind the front row of women, but not very visible.

  • cba

    Let’s see what Simon Cobbs and the other SFI folk have to say

  • Isahiah62

    the signs should say: don’t use collective punishment on ALL JEWS for what you hypocrites call “Criticism of Israel” or antizionism

    but I see your point- are we a nation as ONE with Israel? or are we diaspora and hope to be disassociated from Israel . Do these Jews think they will be eaten by the crocodile last? THEY KNOW THEY WILL BE EATEN too b/c thisis whow the world reacts to Jews when it becomes acceptable, as now, and yet…

    we need to decide- each of us- are we ONE NATION of united Jewry or like in Germany feel we will be safe b/c it’s those other kind of Jews are being accused?
    I keep telling my libiot friends the target is all JEWS and USA, UK all nonMuslim nations, not just Israel, that their safety from that hate is an illusion, fragile.

    I say read Esther

    4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself
    that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.
    4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall
    there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another
    place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who
    knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

  • dabney

    I came to the same conclusion before I read your post. These are Jews who choose to distance themselves from Israel, lending more legitimacy to the popular “baby-killing genocidal nazi” characterization of the IDF. Meek and cowardly people with no moral clarity.

  • CableLegend

    MP George Galloway wants his district to be an Israel free zone…

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    If they were disavowing Israel’s actions — expressly or implicity, I would agree. I can’t say from this photo that this is what they are doing.
    First, of course Jews should stand with Israel. Regardless, one of the underlying assumptions of Jew-haters is that a real or imagined grievance against one or more Jews anywhere gives them the right to do as they please — up to and including murder – – to any and all Jews everywhere. Protesting that mindset seems like a worthwhile endeavor to me, even without pointing out that the supposed grievance is trumped up. If the demonstrators were validating that grievance, it would be a different story.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    I fully endorse the signs that say, “Shame on the Tricycle.”

  • cba
    • Brian of London

      Agree: but that is definitely not the main message of the wider shot.

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        It may not be the main message of the wider shot, but it may have been the main message of the demonstration. We don’t know. None of us were at the demonstration and all of us are trying to judge from one photo. It is only two days past Tisha b’Av; do we want to assume the worst against fellow Jews who risked abuse and violence to protest Jew-hating in London?

  • TigLy

    This is a very subtle attempt to bring out what is obvious to all pro-Israel and pro-Jewish people, that this boycott and attacks on Jewish culture, people, and property “because of Israel”, outside of that country is a camouflage anti-Semitic goals.

    • CableLegend

      It is a very passive aggressive protest statement.

      • harriet

        well……it might be important to realize the non stop subtle (and not so subtle) pervasive anti-Semitism in Britain-as pervasive as morning fog

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        And you can tell from one photo everything that was said and done at the protest? DId this story report that Tricycle offered KJFF alternate funding to replace the funding from Israel, and that UKJFF turned them down, saying that Israel is an integral part of Jewish culture?

  • harriet

    very sad
    they want to be eaten last

    • ahad_ha_amoratsim

      We just finished Tisha b’Av, my friend. And besides, we don’t know that, and if Avi is correct, they did in fact display an Israeli flag. Even if they did not, protesting against Jew-hating is worthwhile all by itself, even without mentioning Israel. They could have stayed home.

      • harriet

        because Jews cannot be allowed to prevail over terrorists who only want to slaughter all Jews cause their muslim religion tells them to do that- the arab obsessed Brits, know what to do

        Britain to Toughen Arms Export Measures for Israel

        The British government will announce tougher arms export measures for Israel but will not suspend all export licenses.

        maybe next time, the casualties will be more equal, and Israel will suffer more

        maybe the Brits can force the ISraelis to send IronDOme technology to Gaza, ust to make the muslim brotherhood terrorist gang, Hamas, more equal to IDF

        I feel sorry for the pathetic Jews of Britain…….trying so hard to be gentlemen and gentle ladies..

        es vet helfen vie a toiten banke

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          I agree with you completely about the Brits. They have never been friendly to Jews, since well before the days of Chaucer.
          One photo does not tell us the whole story, and we need to judge our Jewish brothers and sisters l’kaf zechus rather than assume they were saying “not in our name”.

          • harriet

            dear ahad….unless you are royalty, your use of the word ‘we’ makes my skin crawl
            YOU speak for yourself…… not wrap yourself in ‘we’
            and you are certainly not equipped to lecture or designate ‘we’

            • ahad_ha_amoratsim

              Sorry, Harriet, if I sound like I am lecturing. Tisha b’Av was two days ago, so this subject is very fresh in my mind.

              We are Jews, Harriet, and that means WE have obligations to judge other Jews favorably. Most of the judgments on this thread are drawn from one photo and one article. I wasn’t there. Were you? Were any of us who are so quick to condemn the supposed cowardice of Jews who could have stayed home in comfort but risked violence and harrassment in today’s London? Especially when, as some have pointed out, there are in fact Israeli flags in the photo, and the UKJFF told the theater that Israel is integral to Jewish culture? The flags may not be very visible in the photo, but it’s a stretch to say that means they were not visible at the rally.

              And yes, WE — all Jews — empower Hamas, the the European pogromists, Hixbollah, and the other yemach shemam by being quick to condemn one another. And WE need to learn better (and boy, does that include me) if we want this to end.

              • harriet

                you have already mentioned Tisha b’Av 4 or 5 times, actually in every single post on this thread
                I think you have a problem

          • harriet

            you may be interested in books on this subject by Julius Irving

  • Avi

    Brian, there’s also a large flag being held behind some people on the left. You can only see the top part of it at their shoulder level.

  • CableLegend

    There is a stand w/ Israel rally going on outside the CNN studios right now.

  • 12

    Any Jew who is in Europe is a coward, considering Europes history against the Jews and that you can not have a gun to protect yourself

    • SoreHeed

      That depends on what part of Europe you come from doesnt it…?

    • juvanya

      Even in the US its ridiculous how many Jews either dont own guns or are against gun rights.

      • mzk1_1

        At he end of the day, we are outnumbered, way outnumbered. We have no choice but to rely on the civil authorities. The Jewish Press published excerpts from the New York report on the Crown Heights riot. People basically, through their actions, told the residents, “we could kill you, but we won’t this time”. What if they had not been afraid of the police?

        • juvanya

          A good shotgun can change the numbers. Thugs want easy targets. The Crown Heights riots, like all riots, would have been different if the good citizens were allowed to be armed. You never hear about riots in Texas or New Hampshire. Exactly, what if they had not been afraid of the police, if the police were disarmed like in London, or operationally handcuffed like in Israel? Then we do need to arm ourselves.

          How are you, by the way? I tried to email you once or twice a few months ago. Good to see my old friends are still around here.

  • Alexi

    It’s a rally against the bigoted punishment of JEWS. It’s the JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL.

    It directly calls out the typical BS assertion that the anti-Israel “decision” isn’t anti-Semitic. I think the signs a bit tame in that they won’t engender any significant press. But I agree with the thrust.

    They should have posted a thank you letter to the Times for finally ADMITTING that their anti-Zionism IS IN FACT Anti-Semitism.

  • SoreHeed

    Sky news ran a report stating that the tricycle theatre have haemorrhaged funding since the cancellation of the Jewish Film festival. Accusations that they’ve previously shown films from countries in which, well let’s just say human rights aren’t one of their top priorities…….good ol’ hypocrisy eh?

    Tricycle are now back tracking a little each day and are saying they will host the festival provided the Israeli embassy retracts it’s donations to it… watch this space I sense some resignations soon :)

  • walt kovacs

    its a protest by cowards

    gotta wonder how many times the jews have to be spit on by the creators of the blood libel, to realize that britain is no place for them

    • SoreHeed

      Firstly, the ‘creators’ of the blood libel were the Greeks a thousand years before the Jews were first expelled from London.

      Secondly jews are statistically safer in the UK than the rest of Europe. France has a long tradition of culturally acceptable antisemetism and has a high Muslim population in the EU. Germany since WW2 has taken great strides in its education of its population, coupled with economic success and a stable democracy, antisemetism was almost unheard, until fairly recently except from the usual neo nazis. The problem now is with it’s 3.5 million Muslims (again more than UK) and the ‘radical’ left. And from what I see in the news the radical left are just as active in North America and even in Israel itself……

      As for the protest itself, I think it’s a perfectly rational response to the Antisemetic decision by this theatre. Remember it’s a protest against a theatre not a pro Israel demo. Much more civilised then the so called ‘peace activists’ shouting obsceneties and smashing windows.

      • dabney

        But they brought Israel into it by begging London not to “punish” their Jews. Punish for what?

        • SoreHeed

          I can’t speak for these protestors but I’m assuming the theatre is punishing London’s Jews (an by extension England’s Jews) for a perceived direct connection to Israel by not hosting their annual film festival……hence the location of the protest….

          These arty farty theatre types were always so far up their own arses and they want to be seen as lefty cool dudes despite chronic scotoma when it comes to human rights abuses in Arab countries.

          Read the nick Cohen article in the spectator. He pretty much nails it.

          • dabney

            “for a perceived direct connection to Israel…”

            That’s why some of us find this protest to be not – as you say – “a perfectly rational response to the antisemitic decision by this theater”, but rather another hit against Israel by Jews who apparently are trying to distance themselves from it. I don’t know if that was their intention, but the weakness of their message leaves a lot of room for many to see it that way.

            • ahad_ha_amoratsim

              Dabney, are you aware that Tricycle offered UKJFF alternate funding to replace the funding from Israel, and that UKJFF turned them down, saying that Israel is an integral part of Jewish culture?

              • dabney

                I’ll accept that it was not their intention to send an ambiguous message, however, I also wish that someone would have caught the “not in my name” implication of their slogan before trotting it out. IMO, it’s important at this time, when Israel is facing massive condemnation – by the “international community”, as well as the Lefty Jewish community – that those who actually support it, be as unequivocal as possible. (see

            • SoreHeed

              The protest had the desired effect and was widely supported when reported on UK news. Remember they are protesting the actions of the theatre and they refused to back down even when the theatre offered to replace the funding by the Israeli embassy. This isn’t the action of Jews trying to distance themselves from Israel… seems more a solidarity demo with the embassy against the reactionary decision of this theatre.

              You and Brian of London (and others on here) seem to have called this one out incorrectly and appear to be focusing on some of the rather stale placard messages.

              But their protest…..was civilised and effective. Why stoop to the levels of the radical left and extremist Muslims.?

  • Edgar Davidson

    Brian: There is no possible explanation for those shameful signs
    other than the one you stated. People were even told NOT TO BRING Israel
    flags as they did not want the protest to become ‘political’. I suspect
    the hand of Yachad people here. But given the craven dhimmi attitude of
    Britian’s ‘official Jews’ (see, e.g. this report from last year nothing surprises me any more.

  • Wise Man

    I suggest you read the history of the Balfour Declaration. Towards the end, just as it was about to be published, the major lobbyists against the Declaration were the “Old School” Jews, who desperately feared that recognition of Jewish self-determination might damage their efforts to assimilate into the English Ruling Class. All the rivers flow into the sea, and the sea is not full.

  • harriet

    exactly, not in our name

  • juvanya

    I think they are making it clear what this is really about by focusing on the word JEWS.

  • mzk1_1

    The last Jew murdered was a construction supervisor, a Rav Aryeleh (Toldos Aharon) Chasid. To my knowledge Toldos Aharon Chasidim, who wear distinclive outfits to indicate that they have the privilege of being Jerusalem Chasidim, are as anti-Zionist as you can get, short of Neturai Karta. I thought the “Palestinians” had no issue with Jews, only Zionists? (They’re rather nice people, and although the are generally not well off, are known for hosting all sorts of people for the Sabbath. But they are not fond of the Zionist movement.)

  • Mickey Oberman

    They had better learn to say Allahu Akbar with an Arabic accent.
    Mickey Oberman

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