Palestinians and their supporters mark the 76th anniversary of Nakba in London

Posted: 18 May, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

Katy Colley from Hastings made her position clear during a stop the war in Gaza protest in October 2023.


By Trevor Grundy


Palestinians and thousands of their diaspora-based supporters in the British capital and other parts of the UK are today marking the 76th anniversary of Nakba, the Arabic word for catastrophe.

While marching, many will be remembering that over 750, 000 men, women and children were forced to leave their homes in Palestine following the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

A Reuters report by Mohammad Salem and James Mackenzie (May 16, 2024) said that Nakba has been one of the defining experiences for Palestinians for more than 75 years, helping to shape their national identity and casting its shadow on their conflicted relationship with Israel in the decades since.

This year’s commemoration is dominated by the plight of around two million Palestinians in Gaza who are living in temporary shelters, many of them ill and starving, following their displacement by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) after the horrendous Hamas attack on Israel last October.

Noam Chomsky (born in 1928) is the son of  Ashkenazi parents. He is a strong critic of aspects of Israel’s foreign policy, especially its treatment of Palestinians


A seven-month campaign by the IDF against Hamas has resulted in at least 35, 000 deaths, the vast majority of them women and children.

Today, tens of thousands of people marched through London.

And despite fear from prominent members of the UK’s small Jewish community, marchers marking Nakba Day included Jewish students critical of the Netanyahu regime in Israel.

Said the British Jewish academic Lynne Segal in a letter published in The Guardian (May 17.2024):

“Every western child is taught the horrors of the Holocaust, through books, films, music, Jewish museums, all referencing the Nazi killing centres, correctly reiterating the menace of antisemitism.   These children almost never hear that other narrative of Arab dispossession in historic Palestine, following the huge influx of Jews in the early to mid-20 the century – a migration still encouraged today.

“This is why I am joining Jews marching for a ceasefire and peace and justice for all in Israel/Palestine this Saturday.”

Stephen Kapos, a Holocaust survivor, told the BBC at today’s march through parts of London that he was attending the march to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and to protest against what he described as Israeli leaders’ “misuse of the memory of the Holocaust”.

“It is an insult to my family, an insult to the memory of the Holocaust and an insult to the suffering of that period. I’m protesting against that. Not in our name,” he said.


Over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since October 2023, most of them women and children


On May 20, 2024 Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, told CNN that he is seeking arrest warrants for Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among others, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity

Danny Friedman KC is a human rights barrister who has accused Israel of breaching international law by its actions in Gaza.

A report in the Daily Mail of 22 May 2024 said that this Jewish lawyer wrote an article for Jewish News in November

in which he accused Israel of causing “catastrophic mass fatality and untold human suffering of Palestinians.”

Leading Jewish journalists, politicians and people fighting antisemitism say they are deeply concerned about the rise of hatred against Jews since October last year.

But it is rare that a prominent Jewish journalist or writer says  if you are against aspects of Israel’s foreign policies, or the way it treats its Palestinian subjects, you are  to be condemned as an ant-Semite.

Naturally, they applaud the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who, at the Community Service Trust’s  (CST) annual dinner ( February 28, 2024), pledged more than £70 million over the next four years to ensure the added protection of the Jewish community

The £54 million of new funding is the biggest single financial commitment any British government has made to protect Jewish communities. It comes on top of the £18 million already given to the CST for 2024-2025, meaning that the organisation’s work of safeguarding Jews in the UK will be funded to at least 2028.

A recent report from CST showed the organisation recorded 4, 104 antisemitic incidents in the UK in 2023.

Sunak said: ”It is hatred, pure and simple. An assault on the Jewish people. We will fight this antisemitism with everything we’ve got.”

But love for Jews is not widespread because of events since October 7 in Israel.

Prominent commentators in both America and Britain express their deep concern that more and more students at some of the finest universities in the world are turning against Israel because of its treatment of civilians in Gaza.

Writing in The Times of Israel (May 5, 2024) Yoss Kelin Halevi asked – ”How has it come to this? How is it possible that Israel, rather than radical Islam, would become the villain on liberal campuses? That thousands of students would be chanting ‘from the river to the sea’ even as the Hamas massacre revealed that slogan’s genocidal implications? That the most passionate outbreak of student activism since the 1960s would be devoted to de-legitimising the Jewish people’s story of triumph over annihilation?’’

Jonathan Shapiro is better known as South Africa’s most famous cartoonist,  Zapiro. Nelson Mandela telephoned him in 1998 and said he wanted to see more of his work and that if the cartoonist was controversial that was OK with him. “That’s your job,” said Mandela to the amazed South African – Jewish artist.


At the end of his article, he said that the Jewish community worldwide had to come up with some new strategy to counter the present anti-Zionist assault by students and academics, some journalists and a handful of politicians.

He said that a good beginning would be the creation of a brain trust. He suggested it could be made up of Jewish community activists, rabbis, journalists, historians, public relations experts and, he said, “that would devise immediate responses to the current crisis and a long- term strategy emulating the decades-long patient work of the anti-Zionists.”

Another senior Jewish commentator is a man of courage who dares to speak truth to power, whether Power wants to hear it or not.

The financial commentator Alex Brummer wrote in a special report for the Daily Mail of May 16, 2024 under a heading ‘Trading blows over Israel‘ – “The long brutal Gaza war, the overwrought intense coverage in the media and the demonstrations on university campuses across the globe have dealt an immense blow to Israel’s reputation.”

This prominent English economics commentator who writes regularly for the Jewish Chronicler on business, the media, the Holocaust and Middle East policy – said that the wave of feeling against Israel by students and others has “given heart” to the previously well-funded but thinly supported Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions movement.

He said: “Seven months after Benjamin Netanyahu’s assault on Gaza in retaliation for the killings, rape and barbarity of Hamas’s October 7 attacks, public support for Israel has dissolved. Even the United States, under pressure politically – has flirted with cutting off heavy weapon supplies. Assertive Palestinian and Islamic populations in the American battleground states of Michigan and Pennsylvania are a cause of political concern for President Joe Biden’s White House.”

And then this.

“The growing dismay with Israel’s conduct of the Gaza War led the New York Times to headline the risk of Israel losing allies and becoming a Pariah State.”

It was a reference to an article in one of the world’s most important and influential papers, the NYT,  which carried a report written by the former Israeli diplomat, Alon Pinkas.

It was under a headline reading “Israel, isolated and defiant risks turning into a Pariah.”

The Nazi-backed campaign against Jewish businesspeople started when Hitler came to power in 1933 and it reached a crescendo on November 9, 1938 – Kristallnacht


Whether todays march in London by critics of Israel and Zionism represents any kind of turning point that could lead to pro-Palestinian movements here being banned remains to be seen.

That’s what the same old stale gang of Usual Suspects wants the most.

How would any of those media/politico Tinkerbells survive without the sound of non-stop clapping?

How loyally they serve the people who crown them with laurel leaves but who forget to say from the back of the chariot –  “Remember that thou art a man.”

The loudmouths are on both sides of the Zionist divide.

No march, no insulting slogan will make Netanyahu and the bigots who surround him change their ways.

Fresh blood, new approaches and the courage to speak our loud and clear to powerful financial interests is what is needed.

And it will never come from dollar grabbing sycophants who’d serve anyone as long as the cash register rings and sings and no-one does the counting.  Not in the public arena, that is.

We need more of them like we need holes in the head.

What we do need, are Jews with the courage to change and stand up for the rights of all in the Middle East?

That would be something of value.


The Scottish author Desmond Stewart (born in 1924) was a friend and supporter of Sir Oswald Mosley. His last trip to the Middle East before his early death in 1981 was to Israel.  He was a strong admirer of  Israel’s free press and the way journalists protested openly and loudly about the way their government  treated the country’s Palestinian subjects.


You might hear the sound of their approaching footsteps in weeks and months to come.

My ears are open on the ground and I can hear something that sounds like the feet of marching men and women.

But whose feet do they belong to?

They might be the feet of courageous Jews anxious to talk truth to power in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Washington and London.

Or maybe the feet of men and women on more and more marches with more and more slogans about complicated, historic parts of the world being suddenly set free like caged hungry lions from the river to the sea.

Or it might be the sound of something much more dangerous for Jews – the sound of a storm like the one heard a 100 years ago during the end of days of the Weimer Republic in Germany.



Trevor Grundy is the author of Memoir of a Fascist Childhood (published by William Heinemann in 1998 and Arrow Books in 1999).In 2000, he  and his wife Jane toured parts of Israel as guests of Laniado Hospital in Netanya and later  Trevor spoke to young Jewish students about Fascism in Britain at several universities and colleges. The tour ended at the Edinburgh home of Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former  British Foreign Minister (pictured below on the left with Trevor Grundy).


Author Trevor Grundy in Jerusalem in March 2000