Some activists in Bristol – appalled by Israeli actions in Gaza and possibly spurred on by oaf Galloway urging protesters to “shut down Israel’s shops” – yesterday took their protest to Jewish-owned retailer Marks & Spencer in Broadmead, writes Bristol Indymedia.
The protesters argue M&S “support illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land” and “they support the ultra-right wing Israeli government”, albeit only through trade.
Now considering the unsavoury history of antisemitism in Europe and its early expression through the targeting of Jewish businesses, all in the quite recent past, you have to wonder if this is not an unwise and potentially counter-productive tactic by the protesters.
Especially as any effect they have will not be on the Israeli government as they say or on “Israel’s’ shops”, whatever that rather vague term means, but on a British Company famously in Jewish ownership.
These protesters are headed down a dangerous path. While they’re unlikely to be anti-semitic themselves and would be devastated by such an accusation, they need to consider the context they’re operating in quite carefully.
Hamas, the Palestinian group they romantically describe as a “resistance movement” and support are openly antisemitic and many of their fellow travelers in the pro-Palestinian camp in the UK, such as Islamist groups and the oddities of 9/11 truth movement, are antisemitic too.
In this context, is taking your protest to Jewish-run businesses in British ownership really that wise?