Demonstration held in Glasgow in solidarity with Israel as antisemitism rises

Participants gathered together to express their sympathies and hope

On Saturday 25th November a demonstration in support of Israel took place in Glasgow’s city centre.

Beginning at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Garnethill, each participant belonging to a faith stopped at their place of worship before commencing their march.

Chair of Garnethill Synagogue, Susan Siegel, stated that the excursion was inspired by the parish priest of St. Aloysius, Fr. Gerard Mitchell. The demonstration was prompted by a desire to communicate sensitivity and offer compassion to Glasgow’s Jewish community, following the Hamas attack on October 7th.

The procession was conjointly meant to express optimism, love, resilience, and most of all, hope, establishing unification amongst the city’s various communities of faith.

Ms. Siegel characterised the event as buoyant and energising, recalling the overwhelming display of sympathies for the “loss of our brothers and sisters” in the state of Israel and Palestine. She as well relayed an email from Sr. Isabel Smyth, a Catholic nun who is an active member in outreach regarding interfaith dialogue and relations in the community.

“Who would have thought that a neighbourly walk round our places of worship would attract such a crowd,” wrote Sr. Isabel. “Many people said how much they enjoyed it, particularly the warm welcome received by every faith community and someone said to me that there is an appetite for this kind of event – so necessary in the broken world within which we live.”

Participants made a visit to various places of worship, including the Garnethill Synagogue, St. Andrews West Church of Scotland on Bath Street, the Al-Furqan Mosque on Carrington Street, the Hindu Mandir on La Belle Place, and the Buddhist Centre on Berkeley Street. The concluding stop was the Gurdwara on Berkeley Street, where the Sikh community hosted a lavish dinner.

Those who were involved in the demonstration were requested to bring a headscarf or something to cover their head to wear in the Gurdwara, and to remove their shoes when entering both the Gurdwara and the Mandir, out of respect.

Although only roughly 70 individuals took part in this peaceful demonstration, it signified an immense amount to Glasgow’s Jewish population.

Those involved and who organised the affair had not actively publicised the march and envisioned perhaps just a couple of dozen people would attend.

MSPs approved an ordinance in Holyrood urging for a ceasefire in the war that unquestionably preceded the Hamas attacks. Little has been done to take into account the collective trauma, fear, and grief of Scotland’s affected population.

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