There are times when you wonder how history happened. And other times when you realise how it did. The past two weeks have been one such time.

The inconsistencies, naturally, have been legion. People who label everything as aggression, including microaggressions, who believe that speech is violence and that misgendering a trans person is ‘literal genocide’, are the same people who have spent the past fortnight with nothing to say, or have adopted an ‘it’s complicated’ stance, when Jews are slaughtered in their hundreds.

All those people who filled the streets when a Minnesotan cop killed George Floyd seemed to have no solidarity left when Hamas came for the Jews.

Not only did they fail to support the victims, but within hours of the attacks they were actually turning out to support the attackers. And they turned out in their thousands.

After babies had been murdered in front of their parents and scores of young people gunned down, it was anti-Israel demonstrations that have dominated Britain’s streets.

DOUGLAS MURRAY: Among the demonstrators were not just people waving the flags of proscribed terrorist groups, but young women wearing images of paragliders, as pictured (above) in The Mail On Sunday

DOUGLAS MURRAY: Among the demonstrators were not just people waving the flags of proscribed terrorist groups, but young women wearing images of paragliders, as pictured (above) in The Mail On Sunday

Yesterday, 100,000 marched in Central London, some of whom chanted that Israel should be destroyed, some held aloft anti-Semitic placards. Outside the Egyptian and Turkish embassies, an Islamic extremist group, which Tony Blair and David Cameron tried to ban, enjoined ‘Muslim armies’ to ‘liberate the Palestinians’. 

The man who could have been our Prime Minister, Jeremy Corbyn, told a London demonstration last weekend: ‘Today, as we wave the Palestinian flag, let’s hear it for the people of the West Bank, for the people of Gaza, for the people of the refugee camps.’

There wasn’t any ‘Let’s hear it for the people of Israel, who have suffered such terrible harm.’

Of course not – just ‘let’s hear it for the people of Gaza’: some of whom were the ‘friends’ of Mr Corbyn who went into Israel to take as many Jewish lives as they could, greedy for death.

Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, accused Rishi Sunak of ‘giving the green light to war crimes’ and Sir Keir Starmer of ‘endorsing a state enacting war crimes against an entire population’. Because for Mr Jamal and co, the Israeli counterattack cannot even be considered before people like him are giving the British and Israeli governments advice on how to surrender.

What do people like Jamal think the Israelis should do to defend themselves? The answer is clearly ‘nothing’. Sit back. Take it lying down. In a pool of blood, preferably.

Meanwhile, all those liberal Jews and others who thought that solidarity might be reciprocal found out the hard way. Black Lives Matter Chicago tweeted out a celebratory image of a paraglider (one of the means by which Hamas terrorists travelled across the Gaza border fence to murder young people at the music festival).

Black Lives Matter UK retweeted the Palestine Solidarity Campaign advertisement for last weekend’s protest, saying: ‘We won’t bear witness to genocide and ethnic cleansing silently. We urgently need to show up today and call for an end to the bombing of Gaza and illegal military occupation of Palestine.’

And what a whale of a time people had when they did show up.

DOUGLAS MURRAY: Consider that for a moment. Imagine if ¿ say ¿ in the wake of George Floyd's death there had been a demonstration in favour of kneeling on the necks of black men. And that people in attendance mocked the manner of his death. Would black people feel taunted? I'd have thought so (pictured: a Black Lives Matter demonstration in London)

DOUGLAS MURRAY: Consider that for a moment. Imagine if – say – in the wake of George Floyd’s death there had been a demonstration in favour of kneeling on the necks of black men. And that people in attendance mocked the manner of his death. Would black people feel taunted? I’d have thought so (pictured: a Black Lives Matter demonstration in London)

Among the demonstrators were not just people waving the flags of proscribed terrorist groups, but young women wearing images of paragliders, as pictured in The Mail On Sunday – proving that, after their use in a massacre, motifs of paragliders have now become a form of radical chic for a part of the Jew-hating Left.

Consider that for a moment. Imagine if – say – in the wake of George Floyd’s death there had been a demonstration in favour of kneeling on the necks of black men. And that people in attendance mocked the manner of his death. Would black people feel taunted? I’d have thought so. Would it have been tolerated? I’d have thought not. Then imagine that instead of one death in Minneapolis, it had been 1,300.

After babies had been murdered in front of their parents, anti-Israel protests dominated 

The World Socialist Website helpfully interviewed protesters in various cities across the UK. Here are some highlights. There’s Myra, a student in Manchester, who said: ‘It’s not an invasion by Hamas, it’s a rightful resistance to a brutal occupation by a racist, apartheid regime. It’s genocide – the people can’t evacuate.’ Odd to react to a real attempted genocide by inventing one that hasn’t happened.

Then there was Zina, a student from Iraq who declared that the pro-Palestinian protests were about ‘basic human rights, seeing videos of children be murdered’. She’s not referring to actual videos of actual Israeli children being murdered, but rather to the possibility that in a Gaza without electricity Palestinian babies could be unintentionally murdered. But then intentional, unintentional; tomaito, tomato.

Yasser, a worker for Amazon, declared: ‘Israel has a free pass to commit atrocities.’ (What kind of pass Hamas got he didn’t say.) And Abdallah, a teacher, declared that Gaza is ‘a concentration camp’.

From all across the UK, from Leeds, Huddersfield, Glasgow and Bradford, the same voices went up. All had the same views: that Israel is ‘an apartheid state’, that ‘resistance’ is permissible and that Israel is committing genocide. And these, among other claims, made in a way best aimed at wounding Jews.

DOUGLAS MURRAY: All had the same views: that Israel is 'an apartheid state', that 'resistance' is permissible and that Israel is committing genocide. And these, among other claims, made in a way best aimed at wounding Jews (pictured: a pro-Palestine protest in London this weekend)

DOUGLAS MURRAY: All had the same views: that Israel is ‘an apartheid state’, that ‘resistance’ is permissible and that Israel is committing genocide. And these, among other claims, made in a way best aimed at wounding Jews (pictured: a pro-Palestine protest in London this weekend)

According to someone called Ayesha, for example, the Israelis ‘are giving a rerun of what the Nazis did’. Because if you’re going to reach for a comparison deliberately intended to wound Jews, what better way to describe them than as Nazis?

The Warsaw Ghetto gets a mention too. After all, one fact everyone knows about the Warsaw Ghetto is that the moment the entrapped Jews got a chance to escape they went around decapitating babies. 

And the thing is, this isn’t Israel’s problem: it’s ours. It’s our cities that are full of such voices. Just as it’s Jewish schoolchildren in our cities who must now hide their uniforms and yarmulkes – or have their schools closed if they happen to live in a lovely, diverse, multicultural place like London.

Our Home Secretary says that the police will be knocking on doors in the coming days. There’s no shortage of people who have spent the days since the massacre of Israelis glorifying terrorism. There ought to be arrests by the thousands.

So will there be? To ask the question, as they say, is to answer it.

  • This is an updated version of an article that first appeared in The Spectator.
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