Hundreds attend anti-Zionist Al Quds Day protest in London

Anti-Israel Jews and a Church of England vicar were among the speakers as hundreds of people attended the anti-Zionist Al Quds Day protest in central London.

The annual event – instigated by the late Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini – calls for the "liberation" of Jerusalem from Israeli control.

The crowds outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square on Friday afternoon included dozens of families and children. There was a large police presence.

Yakov Weisz of the strictly Orthodox anti-Zionist sect Neturei Karta told the rally that Israel was an embarrassment to all Jews.

"We will continue our struggle, from the streets, from the computer, from the office, to stand up for the human rights of all Palestinians," he said.

"We hope and we pray for the end of Zionism. It is a curse. It is a cancer."

Sean Clinton of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign called on supporters to boycott Israeli diamonds.

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chair Mick Napier claimed 50 per cent of young Israelis wanted to flee the country because of its "black, dark, horrible name". He encouraged those at the rally to protest against Israel's Batsheva dance company when it performs at the Sadler's Wells venue in central London in November.

Reverend Stephen Sizer, senior pastor of the Anglican Christ Church in Virginia Water, Surrey, said "no country on earth recognises Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem" apart from Israel and called for an end to "45 years of military occupation".

The Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council had led complaints to Transport for London after the event was advertised on London buses.

Last updated: 1:29pm, August 23 2012