All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Hava Nagila On Piccadilly

I've just come back from the first ever Parade for Israel, through the streets of London. This took place to mark the 60th anniversary of our beloved country and no words I write can really describe how I feel right now. However, maybe, if I describe some highlights, you might get a taste of what I'm talking about.

Dassi and I were parading along with other representives of our Synagogue (a consituant member of the Orthodox United Synagogue movement). We lined up behind the Christian Friends of Israel (which we were very honoured joining us), across the road from the Ritz Hotel in Green Park.

These are photographic snippets I'll remember:

1) Seeing the crowds cheering us on as we walked around the corner into Piccadilly. We were following our organisation's float.

2) Singing Hava Nagilla at full blast, whilst walking down the centre of Piccadilly and waving my Israeli flags. We had total ownership of the road.

3) Reaching Piccadilly Circus and seeing the throngs of people awaiting us. It was quite overwhelming.

4) Looking out for friends and seeing them virtually everywhere I looked, on both sides of the road.

5) In Trafalgar Square, looking at the sea of blue and white flags and realising that although a Palestinian demonstration outside South Africa House was trying to do it's best to spoil our fun, there were more of us and we were louder. They didn't have a chance of taking the moment away from us. Additionally, we had Ed Balls, the Minister for education, Nick Ferrari, the broadcaster, The Chief Rabbi etc - talking to us, NOT them.

G-d THAT felt sooooooooooooooo good.

If you were there, you know exactly what I am referring to. If you weren't, I don't think this description can fully describe what it felt like.

In short - today, on the streets of London, I was a Jew and a Zionist and I could wave my Israeli flag to my heart's content - because no one would dare to stop me.

To sum up ladies and gentlemen - Today, London was mine.

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