Thousands in UK Protest Israeli Barbarism on Palestinians
LONDON (8 April 2018): In a display of solidarity with Palestinians and show of anger against Israeli barbarism on protesters in Gaza, more than 2,000 demonstrators gathered, Saturday, opposite 10 Downing Street, where the official residence of British Prime Minister Theresa May is located.
Carrying placards with a variety of captions, protesters shouted slogans deploring Israeli occupation of Palestinian land by the Zionist state, its atrocities on Palestinians and the complicity of world powers, including, Britain, in crimes against humanity being committed by Israel.
Speakers after speakers condemned the media for its biased or little coverage of Israeli atrocities. They specially deplored the media for initiating a campaign of vilification against Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, a known human rights and pro-Palestinian leader.
This should be remembered that after being elected as Labour Party leader in 2015 the first place Corbyn went to was a pro-Palestinian rally taking place at that moment at Parliament Square where without changing his lifelong stand he delivered a strong speech condemning Israel, supporting Palestinians and asylum seekers. Because of his pro-Palestine stand he is being constantly vilified by Zionist lobby.
In a message read out to the rally Mr Corbyn said, “The killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters yesterday by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage.
“The majority of the people of the Gaza Strip are stateless refugees, subject to a decade-long blockade and the denial of basic human and political rights.
“More than two thirds are reliant on humanitarian assistance, with limited access to the most basic amenities, such as water and electricity.
“They have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination.”
Earlier Corbyn had tweeted condemning the killing of protesters in Gaza.
The killing and wounding by Israeli forces of civilians demonstrating for Palestinian rights in Gaza is appalling.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) 31 March 2018
The UK Government must make its voice heard on the urgency of a genuine settlement for peace and justice.
A representative of National Union of Teachers (NUT said, “Every year NUT sends two delegations of our members to Palestine and these people come back changed by what they witness. The come back changed by the brutal treatment they see of Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli Government and the Israeli army. The comeback changed and determined to do something about it.
“As an education union we take particular interest to what happens to children. And the treatment of Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli army is shocking. I want to share some statistics with you. 800 Palestinian children up to the age of 16 are detained, arrested and prosecuted every year by the Israeli Government. They are transferred to prisons inside Israel in breach of Geneva convention. Their hands are tied and they are transferred to prisons on the floor of military vehicles. We have testimonies of verbal and physical assaults on these young people. They are not given access to lawyers or independent adults and many of them are kept in solitary confinements up to 90 days and there is 97% conviction rate.”
Indirectly criticising allegations of anti-Semitic propaganda against anti-Israeli lobby, Muslim politician and former Respect Party Vice President Salma Yaqub said, “We will keep coming out time after time. We will not be intimidated or silenced. But at the same time, we will be consistent in our ethics, in our justice, in our humanity and we will not stand by one inch, by one quarter, one atom of anti-Semitisms. We will not allow our criticism of Israel to use as a cover to justify any vilification of Jewish people.
“I am sick and tired as a Muslim to be expected to be an explainer of anything that happens anywhere in the world carried out by Muslims. [Similarly] It’s not the responsibility and duty of every Jewish person to somehow explain, justify or condemn or support Israel.”
Veteran anti-war campaigner, journalist and writer Tariq Ali slammed British media for its coverage of Israeli cruelties as a “disgrace”. He said, “They tell in relation to other matters that Russian television is a propaganda outfit. Well, what is the bloody BBC if not a propaganda outfit?”
He condemned those accusing Jeremy Corbyn of being soft on ant-Semitism, “We do not deny there are people who are prejudiced…but if you were to ask me what the bigger problem today in Europe and in north America, is it anti-Semitism or is it Islamophobia, the answer is very clear. It is Islamophobia which has swept Europe and it’s Islamophobia fanned by the press.”
He added, “The attack on Corbyn is disgusting. Its aim is very clear. He is the first leader of the Labour Party who has very progressive position on foreign policy. And they don’t like him. And now they are fearful that Labour might be elected and you might have someone sitting inside there [pointing towards Prime Minister’s residence] who breaks with the past. Who says I am an anti-war Prime Minister.”
There was a visible number of anti-Zionist Jews in the protest with big banners condemning Israel and supporting Palestinians.