A pleasingly small number of demonstrators marched from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Trafalgar Square on yesterday for the Enough! protest. A diminutive counter-protest of about 40 gathered in a policed pen at the junction of Arundel St and the Strand calling themselves Dayenu – which also means ‘enough’. On behalf of my aunt, who had sent notice by email from Manchester, and my mum, I stood with Dayenu. Dayenu has also had enough – enough of boycotts, double standards, kassams, anti-zionism, and the way Israel is held solely responsible for the conflict.
Soon after 2.30 Enough! turned out of Aldwych. As they saw the cluster of their enemy’s flags hoisted on the Strand they slowed to take photographs and give us the opportunity to sample their slogans – I wasn’t the only Dayenu demonstrater to find these bizarre.
“Terrorists!” they shouted, on their way to listen to Ismail Haniyeh and Hezbollah supporter Azzam Tamimi. We laughed at the irony, and echoed back “Terrorists! Terrorists! Hamas: terrorists! Hamas: terrorists”. One man passed with a Free Alan Johnston placard. Dayenu took up the refrain: “Where’s Alan Johnston? Where’s Alan Johnston?”.
That’s the thing – I didn’t witness the rally but on the march, with the exception of a few Nazi salutes aimed in our direction and some Israel=Apartheid messages like those in the picture above, Enough! was suffering from a debilitating case of self-censorship. Gone were the swastika magenim david, the We Are All Hesbollah Now placards, and most of the other overt badges of their racism. And so, naturally, they had problems distinguishing themselves from Dayenu – because respectable (and by ‘respectable I mean ‘decent’ as well as ‘acceptable’) Left criticism of Israel upholds the Palestinian right to self-determination alongside that of Jews – “Israel will trade land for peace”, one Dayenu banner read.
Both Enough and Dayenu wish the Palestinians peace, prosperity, their own state. Enough! had nothing decent to say that Dayenu couldn’t say back.