On Saturday afternoon, a little procession moved through Glasgow’s city centre and out towards the west. Around 70 souls, representing the main religions active in Glasgow, were present.

Along the way, starting at St Aloysius Catholic church in Garnethill, they stopped at each of their places of worship. They visited 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; the Buddhist Centre on Berkeley Street. The final stop was at the Gurdwara on Berkeley Street where the Sikh community laid on a lavish supper.

Participants (both sexes) were asked to bring a headscarf for the Gurdwara and advised that shoes must be removed both there and at the Mandir.

Susan Siegel, Chair of Garnethill Synagogue told me that the idea for the walk had come from Fr Gerard Mitchell, parish priest at St Aloysius and that it was rooted in a desire to express empathy and provide comfort for Glasgow’s Jewish community still experiencing trauma at the slaughter of 1,200 innocents by Hamas on October 7. It was also a means of signifying hope, love and optimism uniting the city’s main faith groups even as others seemed bent on performative aggressiveness. “It was uplifting and invigorating,” said Ms Siegel. “So many people expressed sympathy for the loss of our brothers and sisters in Israel.” She shared an email received from Sr Isabel Smyth, a Catholic nun who is active in inter-faith outreach work.

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“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.”

In contrast to the weekly Pro-Palestine demonstrations that have grown in fervour and intensity since 1200 people were butchered in Israel by the savages of Hamas and hundreds taken hostage these pilgrims walked quietly. There was no foot-stamping and fist-shaking and none of the virulent, anti-Israel invective led by a familiar chorus-line of professional agitators and which has turned the city centre virtually into a no-go area for Glasgow’s Jewish community.

Although only 70 or so participated in this walk of friendship it meant a great deal to Glasgow’s Jews. They hadn’t really advertised it and had expected perhaps a smattering of people; a couple of dozen at best. Less than eight weeks have passed since the Hamas atrocity, the single worst and most deliberately bloodthirsty act against Jews since The Holocaust. The victims included Bernard Cowan killed in the place he had lived since leaving Glasgow as a teenager.

Last week, his brother Colin, who still lives in Glasgow said that being Jewish and living in the UK now “is filled with dread” and that “Hamas want us off the face of the Earth. How can we live in this society today knowing that there are terrorist organisations out there who only want to murder and eradicate Jews from the world?”

In those eight weeks it seems that the original mass slaughter of the innocents at a Kibbutz and a music festival have been more or less erased from the memory banks of civic Scotland.

At Holyrood, MSPs passed a motion calling for a ceasefire in the war that inevitably followed the Hamas attacks. Yet, there has been nothing to acknowledge the collective trauma of Scotland’s Jews following October 7. It’s almost as if it hadn’t happened at all.

Like others who love and admire the Jewish faith and culture, my own Christian faith demands that I favour a ceasefire in Gaza. But then, that’s easy for me to say, never having encountered discrimination and living in Scotland which, to my knowledge, no-one wants to eradicate from the face of the planet

Astonishingly, there has been a significant spike in anti-Semitic attacks across the UK since the Hamas atrocities. Other aggressions, while not perhaps meeting outright the definition of anti-Semitism, nevertheless have begun to encroach on the territory occupied by “the longest hatred”.  In response, the Campaign Against Antisemitism staged a march on London on Sunday, attended by  Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and celebrities such as Tracy-Ann Oberman, Rachel Riley and Maureen Lipman.

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Seven days after the Hamas pogroms during a pro-Palestine demo in Glasgow I watched in stunned disbelief as several people - spitting fury - turned on a single female who had dared to shout that Hamas were murderers. Seven days, for God’s sake.

I’ve seen tweets from people I respect and admire accusing Israel of being an apartheid state and that it is guilty of genocide. Some have rebuked Jews for ‘weaponising the Holocaust”. How in the name of Friar Tuck can you weaponise the greatest act of pure evil in human history? It implies that the mass murder of six million Jews should just sit there; mind its own business and disappear into history.

The Herald: A Scottish Palestine solidarity campaign demonstration in Buchanan Street, Glasgow on Sunday.A Scottish Palestine solidarity campaign demonstration in Buchanan Street, Glasgow on Sunday. (Image: Newsquest)On another occasion I attended a talk given by a respected academic, whose amateurishly one-sided slides about the Middle East conflict included the figure of two million attached to the number of Holocaust victims. Only reluctantly did he concede it was six million after being called out by an audience member.

No one has suggested that the greater majority of those joining the pro-Palestine marches are fuelled by anything other than a sincere desire for peace. At times though, the sheer intensity of the hatred being expressed towards the state of Israel, as opposed to the Benjamin Netanyahu administration, is venturing into a much darker territory.

Yet Jews who have ventured to express what they are feeling have been scolded on social media for doing so. “How dare you? We’ll tell you what you should feeling.”

Much of this is channelled by a well-heeled, professional Marxist elite whose highly-paid jobs in the trade union and public sectors rely on them chirruping the same chorus-lines about their selected low-hanging fruits. Marxist my arse. Some of them spend so much time conducting protests on the Buchanan Street steps that they should be getting charged council tax. Meanwhile, the real issues requiring authentic radicalism and direct action: low wages; addiction deaths; homelessness; child poverty are moved quietly to the margins. I mean God forbid that they might ever have to spend face-time with these people in the places where they actually live.

I wonder how many of those who identify as liberal and progressive would turn up for a march in Glasgow to protest against anti-Semitism and to express solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbours. It would probably coincide with scones and crafts day at Café Artisan.