Anti-Israel activists working for the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign against the Jewish State staged a disruptive demonstration at a London venue on Sunday night, where Regavim spokesperson Naomi Kahn was hosted at an event held by the UKLFI Charitable Trust.
The event, originally scheduled for 1 September, had been postponed due to threats of violent demonstrations by assorted anti-Israel groups. London Police were on hand at the rescheduled event and protected the speakers and attendees from the unruly demonstrators.
As part of her presentation Kahn detailed the extent and effects of European Union support for illegal Palestinian Authority-orchestrated activities in Judea and Samaria.
But the event, attended by dozens of Israel supporters, lawyers, and influential members of the London Jewish and non-Jewish community, was targeted by various anti-Israel groups, and the London Police had a busy evening securing the venue and ensuring the protests remained peaceful and the event uninterrupted.
Kahn’s presentation, which began with a brief overview of Regavim’s mission and methods, was followed by a survey of the legal issues impacting Israel’s current situation and the country’s legal rights in Judea and Samaria, placing special emphasis on the issues of land use policy and protection of national resources under the law.
The bulk of Kahn’s presentation was dedicated to sharing Regavim’s findings on the issue of international support for illegal activity in these areas, particularly from the European Union and the British government.
The protesters who gathered outside the lecture hall carried placards condemning Israel, the “occupation,” and the Regavim Movement.
They began their hours-long demonstration peacefully, singing songs and even reciting the Jewish Mourners’ Prayer (Kaddish) for Gaza victims of what they called “Israeli war crimes.”
As attendees began to make their way toward the lecture hall, the protests became louder and more threatening, and the police were forced to bar protesters from entering the hall. The demonstrators eventually turned to megaphones and sirens in an attempt to drown out the voices of the speakers inside, and the tone was ramped up as protesters shouted pro-BDS slogans and condemned, by name, the organizers of the event.
The organizations who participated in the protest included some of the most radical anti-Israel groups currently active in London: The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, “Stop the Demolitions,” The International Solidarity Movement (Ramallah) and the newly-formed, purportedly pro-Israel Na’amod (British Jews Against Occupation).
“This demonstration by BDS activists is a display of unadulterated hatred for the State of Israel,” Kahn said in a statement. “While it may be “understandable” for Muslim and Palestinian organizations to stage protests of this kind, it is truly sad to see that well-meaning Jewish activists and organizations are so grossly misinformed that they can be won over by the spurious, anti-Semitic claims of the BDS movement.”
Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim, added, “The truth is stronger than all the lies spread by BDS organizations who hide behind mantras of peace and dialogue but are unwilling to allow opposing opinions to be heard.
“Regavim will continue to present facts, and to protect the State of Israel with truth – even when antisemitic organizations take to the streets to fight us.”