Thousands take part in anti-Israel ‘Nakba Day’ march in London

Representatives from numerous bodies spoke at a rally outside 10 Downing st, with a surprise appearance from Jeremy Corbyn


Calls for intifada “as the only solution” reverberated through Britain’s capital on Saturday as thousands marched amid banners that accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and placards that equated Israel with Nazi Germany.

The event, titled “Nakba 75 – End apartheid, End the occupation”, saw thousands of pro-Palestine protestors assemble outside the offices of the BBC and march to the Prime Minister’s office at 10 Downing Street where a rally was held to decry Britain’s alleged support for Israel.

Among those present on the day was Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington John McDonnell, disgraced reverend Stephen Sizer, former Labour politician Clare Short, Irish nationalist Jim Curran, with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a surprise guest.

Also present were Palestine solidarity groups from Sheffield, Coventry, Whittington, Lambeth & Wandsworth, along with representatives from Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Amnesty International, Palestinian Youth Movement, Stop the War, Just Stop Oil, Socialist Appeal, National Education Union Bristol, Pax Christi, University and College Union, Neturei Karta, Jewish Socialists Group and Jewish Voice for Labour.

Amnesty UK's "Country Co-ordinator for Israel-Palestine", Garry Ettle, who has made controversial remarks in the past and who called Israel’s policies towards Gaza a “slow holocaust” in a 2020 Facebook message, was present and taking part.

The chants “there is only one solution, intifada revolution”, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “one, two, three, four, occupation no more, five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a terrorist state” echoed outside the Prime Minister’s office as socialist flyers and reading material was distributed.

Fewer than the scheduled 23 speakers ended up speaking at the rally, but included were representatives from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of al-Aqsa, the National Education Union, and the University and College Union.

One speaker, Delia Mattis, who also spoke on Quds Day as a representative of Black Lives Matter UK, claimed Israel stands for “white supremacy”, that Zionism is “a psychotic ideology”, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is a “puppet” and “an agent of white supremacy”.

Almut, 31, student and member of the Socialist Party, told the JC the march had begun outside the BBC’s offices because the broadcaster "is complicit in Israeli terror” and has “an unfair, pro-Israel bias.”

Jeremy Corbyn, who is no longer able to stand in the next General Election as a candidate for Labour, said: “We are here to demand full, immediate, and unconditional recognition of Palestine,” and “to support the Palestinian people whose indomitable spirit is an inspiration to millions around the world,

“We’re going to be here again and again, and again. And for those who think that we’re going to go away, dream on and sink on,” Corbyn added.

The event was organised by the Friends of al-Aqsa (FOA), the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the Muslim Association of Britain, and the British-Palestinian Forum.

To Palestinians, Nakba – or “catastrophe” – was the forced displacement of up to 750,000 people during and shortly after Israel’s 1948 War of Independence after it was invaded by several neighbouring Arab countries.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive