Police threaten to arrest 'openly Jewish' man yards from pro-Palestine march as his presence was 'antagonising'

An antisemitism campaigner has been threatened with arrest yards from a pro-Palestine march as a Metropolitan Police officer said his presence was "antagonising".

A video clip, posted on social media, showed Gideon Falter being told by police he was "quite openly Jewish" and causing a "breach of peace".

The chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) was wearing a kippah skull cap when he was stopped from crossing a road near the demonstration in the Aldwych area of London last Saturday.

An officer told him: "You are quite openly Jewish. This is a pro-Palestinian march. I am not accusing you of anything, but I am worried about the reaction to your presence."

Another officer said: "There's a unit of people here now.

"You will be escorted out of this area so you can go about your business, go where you want freely or if you choose to remain here because you are causing a breach of peace with all these other people, you will be arrested."

The clip showed the officer saying Mr Falter's presence was "antagonising".

After the incident, Mr Falter was critical of the Met and said there were "no-go zones for Jews".

He said: "Despite being told repeatedly that London is safe for Jews when these marches are taking place, my interactions with police officers last Saturday show that the Met believes that being openly Jewish will antagonise the anti-Israel marchers and that Jews need protection, which the police cannot guarantee."

He added: "Instead of addressing that threat of antisemitic violence, the Met's policy instead seems to be that law-abiding Jewish Londoners should not be in the parts of London where these marches are taking place.

"In other words, that they are no-go zones for Jews."

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Mr Falter said he will be walking in London on 27 April, adding that no part of the capital should be unsafe.

The CAA said in a statement that Mr Falter had gone to a synagogue last Saturday and then went for a walkabout with some other people.

It added: "They were openly Jewish but had no badges or placards, weren't shouting anything, did not say or do anything political and did not seek to engage with any protesters or join any counter-protest. They sought to walk through London, wherever we wanted, as Jews. But they were not able to."

Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in London last Saturday to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and urge the UK government to stop all arms sales to Israel.

In a statement, the Met said they were aware of the video and "fully acknowledge the worry it has caused, not only to those featured, but also anyone who watches it".

The force said: "We recognise the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to be an issue of concern for many Londoners, and this includes the regular protests and marches in central London.

"Everyone has the right to travel throughout the capital in safety."