Speech at demonstration Ben Jamal speaks outside Downing Street. Photo: Shabbir Lakha

Even with only a day’s notice, London can make Netanyahu feel unwelcome, reports Ellen Graubert

News that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was to meet Boris Johnson at number 10 Downing Street on Wednesday drew a crowd of at least 200 angry protesters, in spite of very short notice and on a workday. The demonstration was called by PSC, Friends of Al Aqsa and Stop the War. There were many speakers, including Ben Jamal of PSC, whose family was driven out of Jerusalem in 1948; Glyn Secker of Jewish Voice for Labour, Shabbir Lakha of Stop the War, a speaker on behalf of NEU, and many others.

Netanyahu was called out as a mass murderer who should be answering at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and his ongoing assaults against the Palestinian people: for shooting and maiming peaceful protesters at the borders of Gaza demanding the right to return to their homes stolen from them in 1948; for shooting dead a young medic who was appealing for the shooting to stop; for the razing of Palestinian homes; for kidnapping and imprisoning children and subjecting them to brutal torture; for the discriminatory apartheid laws which deprive Palestinians of their right to travel or of access to education, amenities such as water  and electricity, or to lead anything resembling a ‘normal’ life. The list is long, and goes on and on, while the ‘leading’ nations of the world give tacit support and approval.

Prime Minister Johnson also received harsh criticism for being comfortable sitting down with the murderer of Palestinians, for his support of the Israeli government’s warmongering, for the spreading of hatred and racism in the UK by the flagrantly Islamophobic comments he has so carelessly thrown out, legitimising violence against Muslims and giving confidence to the thugs of the far right, who seek to break up the social fabric of UK communities.

The Palestinian people will never give up their struggle for justice; here in the UK and across the world there is a strong and growing movement of people standing with the Palestinians who will fight until justice and freedom is achieved – because it is the people of Palestine’s birthright to live in peace in their own homeland.

Netanyahu is not welcome here, and will never be welcome here! Free Palestine!


Ellen Graubart

Ellen Graubart was born in India of American parents and came to London from Virginia as a teenager to study art. She lives and works as an artist in Hackney. She is a member of Counterfire, Stop the War and Hackney Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

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