Outrage after Holocaust memorial in Hyde Park covered up during pro-Palestine march through London

28 April 2024, 07:10

The Holocaust memorial had to be covered up
The Holocaust memorial had to be covered up. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

A Holocaust memorial in Hyde Park was covered up during a pro-Palestine protest in London on Saturday, sparking outrage.

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Park officials covered the memorial to the mostly-Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide in a blue tarpaulin. They said it was a "precautionary measure" they have taken during "various events".

The monument to the six million who were killed was also guarded by police officers.

The latest pro-Palestine march took place on Saturday afternoon, with the route ending for speeches in Hyde Park.

One man was arrested during the pro-Palestine march for holding a placard with a swastika, with a second arrested for making racist remarks towards counter-protesters. Nearly 200 have been arrested across all the pro-Palestine marches for anti-Semitic offences.

Protest organiser Ben Jamal said in advance that his group was "fuelled by love for the principle of the dignity and rights of all human beings".

"Those marching know that they are on the right side of history," he added.

Read more: Two arrested as thousands of Palestine supporters march on London calling for ceasefire in Gaza

Read more: London march against anti-Semitism axed amid safety fears, with 'hundreds of thousands' to join Palestine protest

The Holocaust Memorial Garden in London's Hyde Park.
The Holocaust Memorial Garden in London's Hyde Park. Picture: Alamy

The sight of the covered-up Holocaust memorial sparked outrage among some onlookers.

Holocaust survivor Noemi Ebenstein told the Mail: "It is shameful. Seeing this, it feels like they are winning. 

"Those who are Jew haters, those who are Holocaust deniers, they are winning because we are afraid of them. 

"I just wish the Western world would stand up to these people, instead of running away, covering up monuments and being apologetic."

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the organisation that funded the memorial, said: "It's appalling that such precautions need to be taken to protect the memorial because of the risk it may now be defaced."

The pro-Palestine protest on Saturday
The pro-Palestine protest on Saturday. Picture: Getty

It comes after the Campaign Against Antisemitism's CEO Gideon Falter was embroiled in a row with the police last week at a pro-Palestinian march.

Mr Falter was threatened with arrest for trying to walk near the march, with one officer describing him as "openly Jewish". The force has since apologised.

Anti-Semitism has increased markedly in the UK since Hamas' October 7 attacks on Israel.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism cancelled its own march on Saturday, saying the risk to the thousands of people who wanted to take part was too great.

London, UK, 27th April, 2024. British-Israelis and other supporters staged a counter-protest alongside the route of the National March for Palestine
London, UK, 27th April, 2024. British-Israelis and other supporters staged a counter-protest alongside the route of the National March for Palestine. Picture: Alamy

The group said they had identified "hostile actors (who) seem to have intended to come to any meeting locations that we announced".

Another, static, pro-Israel and anti-Hamas demonstration took place in Pall Mall, alongside the route of the Palestine march.

The Met said: "The decision to cover the memorial was taken by park authorities, not the police... it is a precaution Royal Parks have taken for a number of different events."

Royal Parks said: "The Hyde Park Holocaust memorial is routinely covered with tarpaulin during various events as a precautionary measure."

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