Events around the world, arising out of the Oct. 7 pogrom in southern Israel, have exposed multiculturalism’s core weakness, namely that ancient hatreds prevalent in certain cultures do not dissipate in the journey from there to here. Normally dormant, a trigger thousands of kilometres away can activate them. Jews are the primary target of angry Islamists’ hatred, but we are also witnessing a disruptive ripple effect that spreads in every direction, turning public spaces into contested cultural terrain.

This contest, best exemplified in London, England, in recent days, is played out in small ways and large.

Small: Poppy-sellers in public spaces like train stations, older veterans and harmless ladies who are not personally linked to any foreign conflict, have been intimidated and even physically assaulted by activists for a “free Palestine,” which is code for the elimination of the Jewish state.

Large: A Remembrance Day march for Palestine, including an estimated 70,000 pro-Hamas supporters, which required a massive police presence to monitor and manage. The police had begged the protest organizers to “urgently reconsider” the planned rallies, but they refused. Tensions were high, since a counter-protest organized by “Football Lads Against Extremism,” supporters of anti-Islamist activist Tommy Robinson, was planned to protect the Cenotaph from the pro-Hamas group. In the event, the two-minute silence was observed with respect, but the footballers skirmished with police before and after the silence.

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Iron Will

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