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Saturday, January 17, 2009

British anti-semitism roundup

The JC lists them, as of last Thursday:
A young Orthodox man was viciously beaten after last Wednesday’s pro-Israel rally in what is perhaps the most serious incident.

Daniel Lowe, from Hendon, a bearded Orthodox Jew who wears a kippah, was a founding member of MuJewz, the Muslim-Jewish dialogue group at Oxford University. He had attended last Wednesday night’s pro-Israel rally in Kensington and was on his way to visit friends nearby afterwards when he was attacked.

He said: “As I was about to knock on their door, someone behind me said hello.” He turned to find two men of Asian appearance, one wearing a Palestinian flag on his jacket, the other wearing a keffiyeh. “They asked me where I had been. When I told them it was none of their business, they punched me in the head, pushed me to the ground and kicked me.”

Mr Lowe said the attack made him even more determined to attend Sunday’s Trafalgar Square event: “Jews shouldn’t be attacked for expressing their views in public.”

On Tuesday, a gang of Palestinian supporters forced their way into the offices in central London of the Israel lobbying organisation Bicom after a man called saying he was delivering a parcel.

Eight men and women — one armed with a loudhailer — shouted at and intimidated staff, ripped out computer cables, cut telephone lines and threw leaflets out of the windows.

One staff member said: “They were very aggressive, and asked whether we were Jewish and why we were supporting Israel. It was very frightening.”

It is understood that detectives at Westminster are investigating the criminal damage and viewing CCTV footage of the incident.

Bicom chief executive Lorna Fitzsimons said: “The vandalism and thuggery at our offices and against my staff this morning was utterly reprehensible. Bicom is a pro-peace organisation that promotes understanding and dialogue, often promoting moderate Palestinian voices for the sake of a speedy and peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Middle East.”

Both Marks & Spencer and John Lewis contacted suppliers this week to ask whether goods they stocked originated from Israel.

But both companies insisted that they were regular routine calls and that the timing was coincidental.

On Saturday, three protestors were arrested after occupying an Israeli-owned cosmetics store in central London.

The protestors chained themselves to the door of the Ahava store in Covent Garden, forcing it to close for around five hours. They also hung a banner in the window accusing the company of “funding Israeli war crimes in Gaza”.

A protest in Belfast on Saturday by pro-Palestinian campaigners against a stall selling Israeli products is being investigated by police as a racially motivated incident. Video footage posted on the internet showed the Sea Spa stall, which sells Dead Sea cosmetics, being deluged with leaflets from a balcony above as demonstrators shouted “Boycott Israeli goods”.

In Bristol, one man was arrested after about 30 pro-Palestinian protestors entered a city centre branch of Marks & Spencer, filled their trollies with Israeli produce and then refused to pay.

And the absurd targeting of Starbucks and other supposedly "Zionist" stores continues in England, as Harry's Place enumerates:

The week of smashed up shops with alleged Jewish ownership and supposed links to Israel continues.

Tonight I walked Rubert Street towards Shaftsburry Avenue in Central London and encountered quite a commotion on the corner. The police were cordoning off a section of the street and there were several police vehicles and about a dozen officers. I managed to capture the cause of the all this activity on my mobile phone.

Yes, thugs have attacked another Starbucks.

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The antisemitic conspiracy loons and inciters who make irresponsible calls to “close down” shops, egged on by forums hosted on sites like Indymedia and elsewhere have done their job. The libel spreads.

Unlike the attack on a Starbucks in Whitechapel a few days ago which the thugs thought was empty, (but which wasn’t, and a manager could have burned to death had he not made it to the fire escape), this Starbucks would have been open for business. I saw the staff huddled behind the counter looking startled.

As you can see from the photos, crockery and furniture have been smashed to bits. A large litter bin has been thrown through the plate glass windows.

And still, after a spate of these attacks, the national media is silent, though there is a small mention of this evening’s attack in on the AP wires. Let’s see if the news desks of the national broadcasters think there’s anything worth reporting here.

UPDATE: They’re already crowing about the attack as some sort of victory at Indymedia.

UPDATE 2: There’s a short item, including a small photo, on the ITN News website. Another Starbucks - in Picadilly Circus - was also attacked, smashed and looted this evening.

Gaza has turned into the excuse that hundreds of Jew-haters were looking for to express their hate.

As one of the commenters at Harry's Place wrote:
Old school antisemitism = Jews are a fundamentally Middle-eastern people who don’t belong in Europe. If they won’t understand this, we’ll just have to teach them the hard way.

New antisemitism = Jews are a fundamentally European people who don’t belong in the Middle-East. If they won’t understand this, them over there will just have to teach them the hard way. And oh what the hell, let’s have a go at them here too.

You can’t stop progress.