When the police take the knee, the mob takes the streets

May 24, 2021 by

by Paul Goodman, Conservative Home:

The eye lingers on three incidents.  A banner at a pro-Palestinian rally shows a picture of Christ carrying the cross, beneath which are the words: “do not let them do the same thing today again”.

A convoy of cars displaying flags of Palestine drives along the Finchley Road, and a man shouts through a tannoy from the top of one: “f**k the Jews, rape their daughters”.

And a policewoman on another pro-Palestian rally is embraced by a member of the crowd, before raising an arm, clenching her first, and chanting: “free, free Palestine”.

The eye may linger, but it soon leaves.  Only a tiny proportion of Britain’s population is Jewish, and Israel and Palestine are a long way away.  Nonetheless, these incidents are worth a second look, because they have implications for all of us here now.

First, the banner – and the question of double standards.  Incitement to religious hatred is a public order offence.  Why do the police, say, arrest a 71 year-old Christian evangelist who was preaching in the street, but leave this banner-holder alone?

The question has answers that may convince.  The evangelist was speaking on his own, and was the subject of a complaint.  The placard was one in a mass of others, and no objection was raised as far as we know.

Furthermore, the police’s main responsibility at a march is to maintain public order.  Their instinct would be to think twice before wading into a crowd.

And would all police would have the religious literacy to understand what the placard meant?  We doubt it – even though the reference was clearly to the blood libel.

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