A tense and protracted standoff between police and an antisemitism campaigner, during which he was described as “openly Jewish” and faced the threat of arrest mere yards from a pro-Palestinian march, was captured on film.

The footage provides context for the prolonged and tense exchanges amidst an increasingly volatile atmosphere. This occurred as the head of the Metropolitan Police faces calls to resign following the incident. Scotland Yard has already issued two apologies after a brief video clip surfaced on social media. In this clip, Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, was obstructed by an officer near the protest in the Aldwych area of London on Saturday, 13 April.

An initial apology by Met assistant commissioner Matt Twist had to be retracted after it suggested that Mr Falter’s presence, marked by his wearing of a kippah skull cap, was “provocative.”. This led to criticism from the Home Office.

In the footage, the activist maintained that he was simply attempting to cross the road along which the demonstration was passing. However, this assertion was challenged by an officer in the new footage, who claimed that Mr Falter had intentionally walked into the crowd and accused him of being “disingenuous” and seeking to “antagonise” the marchers.

During an extended exchange, emotions ran high over the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. The footage shows a Metropolitan Police sergeant explaining to Mr Falter that it was a “significant demonstration” and preventing him from joining the march. When Mr Falter inquired if this was due to his being Jewish, the officer nodded and regretfully affirmed.

The officer stated, “Unfortunately, sir, you chose to move from the pavement right into the midst of a pro-Palestinian march, which is why I requested you to leave.” He continued, “You seem intent on provoking a response.”

“So I can already discern your intentions, sir,” he added.

Disputing this, Mr Falter retorted, “My intentions? My intention is simply that I am Jewish in London and can walk wherever I please.”

The officer responded, “Please do not be disingenuous, sir.”

“I am not being disingenuous; I can walk wherever I wish. If I wish to walk to that pavement, that is precisely what I shall do, and you will have to arrest me,” Mr Falter asserted.

The officer replied, “I would prefer not to do that.”

“I wish to leave this place; I wish to cross over there,” Mr Falter insisted.

The officer then suggested, “I tell you what, come with me, let’s get you out of here. If that’s what you want, come on. I will guide you out over here; you’ll have to take the long route because of the crowd.”

“Why can’t I simply walk where I choose?” Mr Falter questioned.

“Because there is a significant demonstration,” the officer reiterated. “I will accompany you out, and then you may go. You can see all the Israeli flags over there; I will guide you in that direction.”

“I do not walk with Israeli flags or any flags,” Mr Falter asserted.

“I am not asking you to walk with them, but that is the direction I will guide you,” the officer clarified.

Attempting to get the officer to listen, Mr Falter remarked, “The Metropolitan Police asserts that these marches are entirely safe for Jews, with no issues whatsoever. Yet, you are informing me that I cannot walk to the other pavement. That I must be escorted by you.”

The officer insisted, “I am informing you that I will assist you by escorting you there, and thus you will be completely safe, just as we promised. We are keeping our word.”

“So, essentially, I am only safe if I have a police escort, is that what you are telling me?” Mr Falter pressed.

“I am offering it to you, sir. I have already observed you deliberately leaving the pavement and walking against this march. You made that choice,” the officer asserted.

“I was attempting to reach the other side of the road,” Mr Falter maintained.

Amidst the ongoing exchange, the noisy march continued in the background, with protesters carrying placards and chanting, “Palestine will be free.”

After several more exchanges, Mr Falter questioned whether he was being prevented from crossing the road because he was Jewish, as it would “antagonise” the crowd.

The officer responded, “Your Jewish identity is quite evident; you openly display your faith.”

“You decided to step out onto the road… and intentionally walk against the flow of people. This is clearly a pro-Palestinian demonstration. My concern is with your change in behaviour. Initially, you were on the pavement, causing no disruptions. Then, you chose to step onto the road, not to cross it, but to walk against the flow of people,” the officer explained.

“What are you talking about? I was walking across the road,” Mr Falter disputed.

“I am sorry, which part did you not understand? You were walking against the flow of people. That is why I asked you to return to the pavement,” the officer reiterated.

When Mr Falter asked if he would be allowed to cross the road if he removed his kippah, the officer declined, expressing doubt that he would not put it back on.

Someone unidentified interjected, “You are going around in circles now, lads.”

The campaigner then conversed with another officer, who informed him that he would be arrested if he remained. He was informed that his presence was “antagonising” a large group of people, “and we can’t handle that if they attack you.”

“You deliberately attempted to walk through the group. I observed your actions; you walked directly through them,” the officer stated.

Pointing away from the march, the officer added, “You had a route here that presented no resistance at all. It was an antagonistic action to take.”

Mr Falter reiterated his desire to cross the road as someone shouted “baby killers.”

He returned to the pavement, where protesters had gathered with flags and placards. A police officer then placed a restraining arm around him.

Alongside chants of “Palestine will be free,” there were also shouts of “shame on you” and “scum.”

The original police sergeant asked Mr Falter, “Where are you trying to go now? You are still heading the wrong way.”

As the situation appeared to escalate, the officer reiterated his offer to escort Mr Falter away, as he continued to argue with the police, stating that they had failed to address protesters “behaving badly.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters, some masked, chanted at Mr Falter, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

This chant is interpreted by some pro-Israel supporters as a call for the eradication of the Israeli state. However, some pro-Palestinian supporters reject this, asserting that it simply expresses the need for equality for all inhabitants of historic Palestine.

All the lies and propaganda from the far right and their channel GB News, amongst others, this week has now proved to be just pure opportunism. Now that the full video is available, hopefully people can see what is being done to them.

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