BDS Activist in UK Accused of Nazi Salute Outside Israeli-Owned Store (VIDEO)
A leading activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in the northern English city of Manchester has been accused on social media of giving a Nazi salute outside the Israeli-owned Kedem cosmetics store on King Street, a main thoroughfare in the town center.
The man, identified as Tristan Woodwards, was photographed with his right arm raised and his left arm locked at his side, in the traditional manner of a Nazi salute. Along with some of the other BDS supporters in the photograph, Woodwards is smiling widely.
Confronted with the photograph, Woodwards nonetheless denied that he had given a Nazi salute, telling a correspondent on Twitter, “Looks like, but it wasn’t and you know I was waving to you while taking a picture.”
Woodwards’ page on social media platform Twitter displays a photo showing him with a placard at another BDS demonstration outside a branch of Barclays Bank. Several sources described him to The Algemeiner as a “professional demonstrator.”
Raphi Bloom, co-chair of advocacy group North-West Friends of Israel, told The Algemeiner that today’s incident outside Kedem occurred after three BDS activists appeared in court for public order offenses allegedly committed over the summer, when the store became the focus of angry local protests against the war in Gaza between Israel and the ruling Hamas regime. After the court proceedings ended this morning, Woodwards and his comrades headed to Kedem for an “impromptu protest.”
Bloom explained that Manchester Police had banned the Kedem protests in August, when they invoked the UK’s Public Order Act to bring an end to the disturbances and the frequent anti-Semitic abuse hurled by demonstrators. “This shop has been under siege for weeks from pro-Palestinian protesters in a smart part of Manchester’s shopping area. Things have got ugly,” an anonymous source told The Jewish Press at the height of the protests.
However, Bloom said, BDS activists have continued to return to Kedem on a “random basis,” compelling pro-Israel groups to keep a close eye on the store, where unsuspecting customers are loudly informed by protestors that they have “blood on their hands” and that they are “child murderers.”
Today’s antics were, Bloom emphasized, “consistent with the behavior that this lot have always exhibited. Many of them call us ‘Nazis’ or ‘ZioNazis,’ they tell us we are committing ‘genocide,’ that we ‘killed Jesus,’ and that ‘Hitler was right.'” The summer protests at Kedem, he said, “were a magnet for anti-Semites. It reminded me of the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses launched in 1933.”
Watch a North-West Friends of Israel video from this summer’s protests outside the Kedem Store:
NOTE: This piece has been updated to reflect Tristan Woodwards explanation of the events covered in this news story.