More than 300 protestors convened outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington last Sunday for the far-right EDL’s demonstration against “Islamic extremism”, which saw the Israeli flag waved alongside the cross of St George.
Fiyaz Mughal of interfaith group Faith Matters said: ” Its strategy is to reach out to floating groups such as ethnic communities that share historical angst against Muslims such as Sikhs and Jews. These communities need to be vigilant against the EDL’s attempts at cynical manipulation.”
Rabbi Nachum Shifren, known as the “surfing rabbi” from California, is among the organisation’s most prominent Jewish supporters. Speaking at the demonstration, he said: “To all my Jewish brothers who have called me a Nazi I say to them they don’t have the guts to stand up here and take care of business.”
After a few minutes of jostling between EDL protesters and anti fascist protesters, Rabbi Shifren, who is standing for the California state senate, added:
“Patriots of England, we shall be prepared. We shall not let them take over this country. We will never surrender to the sword of Islam.”
Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust, said: “Rabbi Shifren’s speech shows why he is shunned by the rest of American Jewry.”
He also warned that: “The EDL may well replace the BNP as the new nationalist force in British politics. It is already taking over in terms of street activism, and in time may also develop political ambitions.”
A counter demonstration of around 30 people from organisations including Unite Against Fascism, Jewdas, and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, took place nearby the EDL demonstration.