More than 600 protesters demonstrated outside the Israeli Embassy on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of Israel’s operation in Gaza.
Representatives from 25 organisations, including Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the Green Party and Neturei Karta gathered in Kensington High Street. Organisers had planned for only 150 protesters and police had to call for backup after demonstrators pushed into the road towards the embassy.
MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Martin Linton and Baroness Jenny Tonge were joined by Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Territories’ ambassador to the UK.
Mr Hassassian said that the international community was not doing enough to end the occupation of Gaza. He said: “Israel should continue the peace process in order to find a solution instead of continuing the settlement activities.”
Mr Linton said: “We will always remember this day because of the ferocity of the Israeli attack.”
Baroness Tonge said that Jewish people should be “ashamed”.
She said: “The way Israel behaves is just not kosher. Jewish people should be totally ashamed of themselves that they are not doing more to stop them. It’s absolutely disgusting.” She claimed that the reason behind the weekend’s shootings in the West Bank was to “make provocations so Israel will have an excuse to go in again” and said that last month’s Channel 4 Dispatches programme on the “Israel lobby” may be the reason why Gordon Brown “isn’t doing something”.
A spokesman at the embassy said: “Freedom of speech is a pillar of democracy. If all people in the Middle East could enjoy this and other components of democracy, progress towards peace would no doubt accelerate.”
Betty Hunter, general secretary at PSC, urged protesters to continue the boycott of Israeli goods and academics.