Thousands of people joined marches condemning Israel and supporting the Palestinian cause this week, including many in a number of American and European cities. The marches represented a security issue for governments, leading one country to ban them altogether.
During one protest in London, some of those in the crowd carried a black flag used by jihadist groups, such as ISIS.
The protesters shouted slogans including “Israel is a terror state” and that “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The London protests were met by more than 1,000 British police officers, with the Metropolitan Police agency stating that those who openly supported Hamas could be arrested.
Britain, like a number of other Western countries, has seen protests attended largely by residents from or descended from, Muslim-majority countries, as well as far-left political organizations.
Some countries have had varied responses to the potential marches. France officially banned rallies by pro-Palestinian groups earlier this week.
At the London Palestine rally, many attendees covered their faces in masks or fundamentalist Islamic garb. Today’s rally, a week on from the Hamas attacks, was largely a coalition of Palestinian nationalists, Muslims, Islamists and the far-left. pic.twitter.com/1AUBYadIhI
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) October 14, 2023
There were a number of pro-Palestinian rallies in the United States, as well. One in New York City last Sunday received considerable condemnation. The Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter posted an image in support of the Palestinian cause with a man on a paraglider like the ones used in last Saturday’s terrorist attack.
When protesters attempted to assemble, French police used teargas on the crowd.
President Emmanuel Macron said that the current conflict is “an earthquake for Israel, the Middle East, and beyond. Let’s not pursue at home ideological adventures by imitating or projecting.”
“Let’s not add, through illusions or calculations, domestic divides to international divides. The shield of unity will protect us from hatred and excesses,” the president said.
Macron further stated that the French government would protect sensitive sites, including schools and synagogues. On Friday, a French schoolteacher was stabbed to death by a pro-Palestinian refugee. Two others were wounded.
Several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators organized in Paris despite the ban, chanting “Israel murderer” and “Macron accomplice.”