Friday, August 19, 2016

UK: Hitler salutes and abuse greet Israel festival-goers

Background: Israeli Fringe performers concerned at ‘growing UK anti-Semitism

From the Jewish Chronicle:

"I made it," gasped a smiling Lisa Epstein as she walked into the lobby of Edinburgh's Central Hall on Wednesday.

She and around 800 other visitors to the International Shalom Festival, a day-long celebration of Israel at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, had to run a gauntlet of jeers, heckles and abuse from pro-Palestinian activists as they arrived at the prestigious venue.

Shouts from the 150-strong baying crowd included "racist scum" and "shame on you". 

The protesters, most of them members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, also chanted "your tickets are covered in Palestinian blood" and held banners which read "boycott and isolate Israel".  The sound of bombs exploding could be heard from a PA system. At one point, a group within the crowd taunted the visitors with Nazi salutes.

Nigel Goodrich, founder of Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland which jointly organised the event with StandWithUs, said: "It started at 8am and got noisier as the day progressed. I have had complaints from many visitors, but especially from women who say their children have been called racist."
Edinburgh resident Susie Kelpie. added: "It's vile, intimidating and quite normal for any Israeli-flavoured event in this city." 

I brought my African friend here," said Koren Muscovich, "and the protesters screamed 'traitor' at him when he walked past. Luckily, he wasn't scared - he just thought they were ridiculous."
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