An Immoral March – Ha’aretz editorial

Young Israelis wave flags as they march on Jerusalem Day, two years ago.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

JVL Introduction

As Haaretz’s lead editorial makes abundantly clear, in advance of today’s ultra nationalist march in Jerusalem, we are facing a racist provocation, reminiscent of Mosely’s attempted fascist march down Cable Street in October 1936.

It says:

  • The annual Flags March has always been a blatant, insolent and provocative show of force, aimed at harming local Palestinians and their property and humiliating them under the auspices of the authorities. The march was launched by nationalist rabbis immediately after the Six-Day War and greatly expanded over time. For years the march has been characterized by racist chants, hateful songs and violent assaults on Palestinian passers-by and property.

We endorse Ha’aretz’s call for the march not be allowed to enter the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.

And we are waiting for the Board of Deputes of British Jews, so ready to speak out on issues concerning Israel, to condemn racism on the streets of Jerusalem.

This article was originally published by Ha'aretz on Mon 10 May 2021. Read the original here.

Haaretz’s lead editorial: | An Immoral March

The quiet in Jerusalem has been seriously undermined over the past few days, and the situation is likely to get even worse on Monday because of the Flags March scheduled to take place in the afternoon. Whether it goes ahead is in the hands of the prime minister, the police, and the Jerusalem municipality.

In on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We will not allow any extremist element to undermine the quiet in Jerusalem.” On paper it seems like a responsible, thoughtful announcement. On Monday we will see if Netanyahu will actually stand by his commitment and take action to realize it.

Jerusalem is boiling. was a provocative, foolish move, that disturbed residents marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, against the backdrop of the e from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Added to that was Saturday’s ugly effort by police to block hundreds of Israeli Muslims from exercising their freedom of worship by going to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Laylat al-Qadr, the night Muslims believe the Koran was sent down from heaven.

The annual Flags March has always been a blatant, insolent and provocative show of force, aimed at harming local Palestinians and their property and humiliating them under the auspices of the authorities. The march was launched by nationalist rabbis immediately after the Six-Day War and greatly expanded over time. For years the march has been characterized by racist chants, hateful songs and violent assaults on Palestinian passers-by and property.

Following criticism by the Supreme Court, march organizers in recent years have made efforts to prevent these ugly phenomena, but the aggression and domination expressed by a mass march with flags going through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter during the last days of Ramadan are shocking in themselves. The march route, which begins in the western part of the city and ends at the Western Wall, splits into two: The women march through the Jewish Quarter and the men through the Muslim Quarter. The intention is clear: to provoke the residents. This year this could lead to a particularly dangerous flare-up.

The organizers of this demonstration present it as a celebration marking the unification of the city on Jerusalem Day, but Jerusalem is far from being a unified city – this year, more than ever – and no violent march is going to change that fact.

It is here that the prime minister’s promise not to let extremists disrupt the quiet must be realized. It will not reduce the marchers’ joy if the event takes place solely in the Jewish Quarter and doesn’t enter the Old City’s Muslim Quarter. A responsible government, municipality, and police would prevent this. The last thing Jerusalem needs now is another nationalist provocation like this immoral march.

The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.

Comments (4)

  • DJ says:

    The world is watching. Israel should not be allowed to avoid facing the consequences of it’s relentless ethnic cleansing and flouting of international law. We need to build a movement against British complicity with the rogue state of Israel.

  • Bernard Grant says:

    As is said, it was the same in N Ireland, the victory marches by the Protestants were provocative and raised the tension to boiling point, often causing violence. What is worse about these marches in Jerusalem is, the steady invasion of Palestine is on going, with no sign of even slowing down. As far as I can see is , until the US stops supporting Israel, this will never change.

  • James Dickins says:

    To his shame, former British Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, participated in, and encouraged others to participate in, the Jerusalem Day March of the Flags, described by the Israeli journalist as Bradley Burston as “an annual, gender-segregated extreme-right, pro-occupation religious carnival of hatred, marking the anniversary of Israel’s capture of Jerusalem by humiliating the city’s Palestinian Muslims […] marchers vandalized shops in Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter, chanted “Death to Arabs” and “The (Jewish) Temple Will Be Built, the (Al Aqsa) Mosque will be Burned Down,” shattered windows and door locks, and poured glue into the locks of shops forced to close for fear of further damage”: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-why-this-year-for-jerusalem-day-i-took-down-the-israeli-flag-on-our-roof-1.5392783.

    Sacks ignored a plea from a group of British Jews living in Jerusalem to withdraw from the march; https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIu7T6K4xKbyndXYl9g02N-XeicFAMO1LQryP2sqZep8XQDQ/viewform?c=0&w=1; https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/rabbi-sacks-why-are-you-cheerleading-for-anti-palestinian-provocateurs-1.5473150.

    Sacks was one of the leading voices calling Jeremy Corbyn a racist (antisemite).

  • DJ says:

    We are witnessing an attempt to crush the resistance of the colonised Palestinians by the Israeli coloniser.Are the commentators on our MSM blind? Are they too scared to denounce Israeli violence? Vacuous calls for de escalation and a two state solution from the British Establishment conveniently avoids dealing with the source of palestinian oppression. They prioritise support for the settler colonial regime over the just demands of the Palestinians.

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