Piccadilly Pulse: Are Palestine supporters right to protest outside Jewish-owned shops in Manchester?

The conflict in Gaza has led to controversial protests on the streets of Manchester as pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters clash.

Controversy surrounding the protests has led to some controversial statements from a number of high profile officials in Manchester.

Protestors targeting Kedem Cosmetics in King Street were slammed by Sir Richard Leese, head of Manchester City council, for using language he claimed would ‘not have been out of place in 1930’s Germany’.

Manchester’s Police Chief Sir Peter Fahy also warned of the effects such protests have on minority communities.

But what do the people of Manchester think of pro-Palestine protestors targeting Jewish stores?

MM took to the streets to ask the city’s residents to ask:

Are Palestinian supporters right to protest outside Jewish-owned shops in Manchester?








Much like the conflict itself, the protests seemed to divide opinion, with 62% condoning the movement’s actions and 38% saying it’s wrong to target Jewish businesses.

Zack Chowdhury, 27, a photographer from Ancoats, said: “I don’t think the conflict is between Muslims and Jews. It’s about Palestine and Israel. It’s the Zionists. A lot of Jewish people don’t support the Zionist movement.”

Chris Hughes, a 22-year-old fund administrator from Salford gave a similar response: “No. They like to blame Jewish people, but it’s not every Jews’ fault. To target Jewish businesses is unfair.”

Also in disagreement was Jason Thorne, a 41-year-old project manager from Nottingham. He said: “It doesn’t affect the British public directly. I don’t think they should protest in this country. Britain has its own problems.”

Retiree Barry Jones, 61, from Bury, said: “There are two sides. It’s up to the protestors.”

Tracy Jones, 61, a retiree from Blackburn, said: “No, it’s not right. At the end of the day it’s the governments firing the missiles, killing the children, not Jewish businesses.”

Emily Lomax, 41, of Levenshulme felt the protesters had every right so long as nobody was hurt. “Everybody is entitled to protest peacefully,” she said.

“Anybody restricting that right or abusing it should be condemned. There shouldn’t be any harassment of workers but there’s no problem informing consumers where products come from.”

Richard Townsend, 31, a printing business manager from Salford, also stood by the protestors.

He said: “People are voicing their opinions, trying to end what’s going on. If it’s peaceful, I could think of worse ways to voice their disapproval.”

Amirah Patel, 23, a student from Moss Side, also believed the protests were justified.

She said: “I don’t think they are purposefully boycotting business. They’re trying to stop the flow of money back into Israel.”

Image courtesy of David Semple, with thanks.

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