Zionists & EDL unite to counter Ahava - literally stolen land - protest

Cliff tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sun Aug 29 16:53:25 BST 2010

Campaigners described on this YouTube film as 
EDL/Zionists turn up at weekly london protest 
about Ahava, a beauty product made from Dead Sea 
mud, is literally stolen land, and once a 
fortnight, Londoners come to Covent Garden to ensure this is not forgotten.



Every two weeks the Ahava shop near London's 
Covent Garden plays host to a demo protesting 
against the theft of Palestinian land and the 
passing-off of produce made with Palestinian 
bounty, as Israeli. This time, the Zionists came too.


Zionists and racist EDL unite to counter Ahava protest
Published 14 August 2010

By Rose – ISM London

In celebration of the recent court victory in 
which four campaigners were acquitted for 
blockading the Covent Garden Ahava shop in 2009, 
approximately 60 protesters gathered outside its 
doors in Monmouth Street, central London, to 
celebrate and continue promoting boycott, 
divestment and sanctions against the Israeli 
occupation. While demonstrators were met by the 
usual Zionist counter-demonstrators, on this 
occasion they arrived flanked by the openly racist English Defence League.

Ahava, the cosmetics retailer and spa outlet, 
manufactures its products on the illegal Israeli 
settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. It has openly 
flouted tax requirements by exploiting the 
EU-Israel trade agreement and violates UK DEFRA 
guidelines in respect of proper labeling. The 
campaign against Ahava supports the Palestinian 
call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as a 
global nonviolent means to challenge the Israeli 
Occupation of Palestine and the ongoing siege upon Gaza.

At the outset the small group of around ten EDL 
members remained close to the Zionist contingent 
of Ahava supporters, handing out leaflets. Over 
the course of the demonstration they began to 
take an increasingly prominent role, culminating 
with the unfurling of a flag of St. George and 
chanting “E-E-EDL.” This was accompanied by 
racist remarks towards a number of Ahava 
protesters who were of Asian/Middle Eastern 
descent. What was more surprising, and 
unsettling, was the apparent unwillingness of the 
Zionist contingent to distance themselves from the EDL.

Vice chair of the Zionist Federation of Britain 
Jonathon Hoffman was present and took no action 
to put some distance between the two groups. This 
comes only days after a recent report in the 
Israeli paper Haaretz claiming that the Board of 
Deputies of British Jews were not affiliated with 
the EDL and did not want anything to do with 
them. The stark contrast between the formal 
statement and the reality in front of the Ahava 
shop, in which senior members of the ZF stood 
along side EDL members, undercuts any public 
statements and underlines the racism inherent in the Zionists’ agenda.

The EDL’s history of far right opinions and 
racist chanting and abuse — as well as their 
violence and hatred towards Muslim communities — 
have earned them a variety of unflattering 
labels, including ‘fascist’. Jewish groups have 
long since been targeted by right-wing, racist 
and fascist groups, so to see the Zionists and 
the EDL united against Palestinians illustrates 
that as far as the Zionist Federation is 
concerned, the enemy of one’s enemy may become an 
ally no matter what they stand for. That they 
were welcomed by the Zionists may be shocking to 
some, but might also be reflective of their desperation for support in the UK.

This is not the first instance of the two groups 
coming together in support of each other. In the 
immediate aftermath of the brutal attack on the 
Mavi Marmarra flotilla by Israeli commandos in 
which nine human rights activists were murdered, 
the EDL joined up with Zionists outside the 
Israeli embassy in Knightsbridge to show support 
for the Israeli state’s violent actions.  In 
addition, the EDL marched to Downing Street two 
weeks ago with Israeli flags being held alongside British and St. George flags.

Despite their presence and the racist slurs they 
shouted at members of the Ahava demonstration, 
the protest took place without violence.  The 
verbal abuse hurled by EDL members and their 
Zionist partners was met with a series of police 
cautions. Numerous members of the public stopped 
to chat with Palestinian solidarity activists and 
showed support. A small brass band played music 
to entertain the masses and build a celebratory 
spirit as many people chanted for justice and for 
an end to the sale of Israeli and Settlement produce.


17th August 2010


Since the publication of the original report, a 
few points have been raised which are felt important to incorporate.

1) In noting that the event passed without 
violence, it is important to recognise there was 
no explicit physical violence. Racism is a form 
of verbal violence and must be acknowleged as 
such. Similarly, although no physical violence 
took place, the EDL did threaten physical 
violence to at least two members of the Ahava protest.

2) Regarding police cautions: There were a total 
of five referals for prosecution to the Crown 
Prosecution Service for racially aggravated offences.

3) Where the Board of Jewish Deputies have sought 
to distance themselves from the EDL, this must 
not be confused with the lack of efforts by the 
Zionist Federation at the demonstration itself to 
do the same. The  two are distinct organisations 
and must be considered and treated as such.

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list