On Sunday June 10 in London, the yearly so-called Al Quds Day march -- Al Quds is the Arabic name for both Jerusalem and for the day, invented by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led Iran's 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah -- will take place. The march is, basically, a call for the destruction of Israel, sometimes also Jews in general. Many other cities, among them Toronto, Berlin and Tehran, will also be "celebrating" the day.
Last year in London, around 1000 people waved countless Hezbollah flags, in honor of Iran's proxy terrorist organization, while chanting slogans such as "Zionists/ISIS are the same, only difference is the name" and "From the river to the sea - Palestine will be free". They also carried banners that said, "We are all Hezbollah," (what a comforting thought for the British).
Pictured: The 2014 Al Quds Day march in London, England. A Hezbollah flag is held aloft at upper-right. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The leader of last year's London Al Quds rally, Nazim Ali – director of the "Islamic Human Rights Commission", which organizes the annual march – called for the annihilation of Israel and accused British Jews -- falsely -- of being behind the 2017 fire in London's Grenfell Towers apartment complex. "This demonstration calls on justice for Grenfell. Some of the biggest supporters of the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell". He also made it known to the crowd that he thought the UK should effectively become free of Jews: "We are fed up of the Zionists. We are fed up of their rabbis. We are fed up of their synagogues. We are fed up of their supporters."
"It's just an opinion," a female police officer said.
"We considered whether offences of inciting racial or religious hatred or a public order offence had been committed, in line with the tests set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We concluded that the evidential test in the Code was not met and therefore no charges have been authorised."
In the UK, calling for the annihilation of an entire people – the Jews – as well as blood libeling and inciting against British Jews is not considered "inciting racial or religious hatred" and apparently does not even lead to charges. British authorities apparently consider marching with terrorist flags while calling for the death of Jews a legitimate activity.
If, however, like the scholar Robert Spencer, one reports on these activities, one is barred from entering England.
Not only was Nazim Ali never charged, but he will have ample opportunity to have another go on Sunday.
Last year, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wrote to then Home Secretary Amber Rudd asking her to close the legal loophole that makes it legitimate for terrorist supporters to fly Hezbollah flags on the streets of London. The loophole is the fact that the "political wing" of Hezbollah is not proscribed in the UK. In response to Khan, Amber Rudd wrote:
"The group that reportedly organised the parade, the Islamic Human Rights Commission, is not a proscribed terrorist organisation. This means they can express their views and demonstrate, provided that they do so within the law. The flag for the organisation's military wing is the same as the flag for its political wing. Therefore, for it to be an offence under Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000, for an individual to display the Hizballah flag, the context and manner in which the flag is displayed must demonstrate that it is specifically in support of the proscribed elements of the group".
In other words, showing support for the terrorist group Hezbollah in the UK is legitimate, because the authorities make believe that the support is for the "political wing". As someone once said, "If the Salvation Army had a wing called Murder Inc. that would be fine."
This year, Khan has again written to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, but it is unlikely that the letter will yield a different response from last year's. According to the mayor's spokesperson:
"Anti-Semitism or hate crime of any kind has no place in our city or in our society. Sadiq has written to the Home Secretary to raise his deep concerns about the support shown for Hezbollah at the annual Al Quds Day march. He has called on him to urgently reconsider his predecessor's decision not to take action to stop this."
This year, the vicar Stephen Sizer, who has suggested that Israel was behind 9/11 and was banned from social media by Church of England authorities for six months for sharing "clearly anti-Semitic" material, will be one of the main speakers at the Al Quds march. Sizer has also apparently met top Hezbollah officials in Lebanon and participated in a 2014 conference in Iran where he was to deliver a speech on the "Israeli lobby". The conference was reportedly attended by several Holocaust deniers; it was intended to "unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over US and EU politics".
Jeremy Corbyn defended the vicar at the time, claiming that he had been condemned because he had "dared to speak out against Zionism".
Mick Napier, of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, will also be speaking at the march. An activist who promotes isolating Israel to destroy it economically, Napier was convicted of aggravated trespass against an Israeli cosmetics store in 2014 and of failing to follow police orders to leave the store.
An afternoon of racism is in store for Londoners on Sunday, but as long as the hate is directed against Jews by Muslims, British authorities apparently have no problem with it.
John Richardson is a researcher based in the United States.