The Flag March, a Pogrom in Jerusalem

Yossi Schwartz, ISL the section of the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 06.01.2022

Pogrom is a Russian term that means “to wreak havoc, and it is associated with attacks on Jews though the word has been extended to the assault of other groups as well. In 1819 anti-Jewish violence had been accompanied by the rallying call “Hep! Hep!” The origins of this phrase are unclear – It is possible that the cry was an acronym for “Hierosolyma est perdita,” a Crusader chant meaning “Jerusalem is lost.”

The immediate cause of these riots probably lay in the Jewish demands for civil rights. The Jewish representatives who attended the 1815 Congress of Vienna formally demanded emancipation, and German academics and politicians alike responded with vicious opposition. The Jews were portrayed to the public as “upstarts” who were attempting to take control of Europe. The attacks began in Wuerzburg in August of 1819. The attacks on Jews and Jewish property spread from there to the whole of Germany, with particularly vicious attacks in Frankfurt, Leipzig, Dresden, and Darmstadt. Eventually, the rioting reached as far as Denmark and Poland.” [i]

Pogrom against Jews took place in 1881 following the assassination of Czar Alexander II. A known Russian pogrom erupted in 1902, first in Czestochowa when Cossacks attacked a Jewish neighborhood. In 1903, another known pogrom took place in Kishinev during Passover when an anti-Semitic newspaper blamed the deaths of two children on Jews, resulting in 49 deaths and hundreds of homes destroyed.

In 1937 the Nazi party organized a flag march in Nuremberg. It was filmed by an American photographer Julien Bryan. The film shows “Zeppelin Field in Nuremberg and Adolf Hitler greeting the crowd from an open car. Bryan’s footage appeared in the “March of Time” episode Inside Nazi Germany (1938), which was one of the few newsreels to directly and critically examine Nazi Germany. In fact, the company released the newsreel with this special announcement: “The issue of March of Time you are about to see has caused much controversy. Our policy is to fearlessly present any worthy film released by a recognized American producer. We therefore present uncensored and impartially the following subject.” [ii]

Another famous pogrom occurred on November 9 and 10, 1938 in Germany, Austria and occupied Czechoslovakia known as Kristallnacht. It was incited by the Nazi party after the killing of a German German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old German-born Polish Jew living in Paris.

So, what is the relevancy of these pogroms to the Zionist flag march?

The flag march or by its official name the day of Jerusalem is marked by Zionist far right nationalists and fascist every year to celebrate the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967. Every year the fascist’s mob protected by the police pass through the Muslim quarter in the old city shouting “death to the Arabs” and attack any Muslim they see.

Despite Israeli authorities breathing a sigh of relief that it did not trigger wider confrontations between Israel and the Palestinians, particularly Hamas in Gaza, the reality was a day of violence in which ultra-nationalist Jewish Israelis attacked countless Palestinians, many times under the eyes of Israeli police” [iii]

“At least 81 Palestinians were wounded on Sunday by Israeli forces and far-right Jews in Jerusalem during and after the flag march, which marked the day Israel illegally occupied and annexed the city’s eastern half in 1967. Most Jewish Israelis view it as the day Jerusalem was “unified” [iv]

The Palestinian Red Crescent told Al Jazeera that injuries during the day-long rally had been caused by rubber-coated bullets, beatings, pepper spray, and one case of live ammunition. At least 28 Palestinians were transferred to hospital for treatment.” [v]

“At least 70,000 Israelis participated in the annual march, which has been described as a “racist” and “fascist” rally in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, and specifically passed through the Muslim Quarter, where shops were largely shuttered in preparation.The march included the waving of Israeli flags and the singing of nationalistic songs, as well as the chanting of slogans such as “death to Arabs” and “may your villages burn down,” including in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter. While the march was set to end at approximately 9pm local time (18:00 GMT), attacks persisted late into the evening. Following the rally, large groups of ultra-nationalist Israelis rampaged through Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and assaulted residents and their property. Videos shared by residents, activists and journalists showed dozens of settlers smashing and vandalizing Palestinian cars, throwing rocks at homes and assaulting residents, including with pepper spray.” [vi]

The Zionist government of Bennet-Mretz –Ra’am was well aware that the March of the flags would be a pogrom. Nevertheless, it allowed it to show the Palestinians who is the master race.

The White House asked Israel to re-route the controversial Jerusalem Day Flag March away from the Damascus Gate and Muslim Quarter of the Old City, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel. Ministers Gantz, Lapid were sympathetic to US stance, but haven’t convinced Bennett and Barlev – the Minister of police, who said they already rerouted similar rallies with far-right MK last month, Israeli official tells Times of Israel. So, the Biden administration accepted this decision. After all it is Israel not Russia.

Hundreds of far-right Jewish nationalists have entered Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, ahead of a provocative flag march that could reignite confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the fascist leader of the ultranationalist opposition party in the Zionist parliament, entered the compound early on Sunday, with dozens of supporters.

“Al Jazeera’s correspondent Najwan Simri said that Zionist police occupied the rooftop of the al-Qibli prayer hall in the compound on Sunday morning and besieged the worshippers inside it to enable the passage of settlers to go unhindered. She added that the police have prevented Palestinian journalists and photographers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque and threatened them with arrest” [vii]

Down with the Zionist Apartheid state!

For a Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!





[iv] Ibid

[v] Ibid

[vi] Ibid


Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top