Pro-Palestine demonstration in London to show support after latest violence

Propagandists for the apartheid Israeli government took a psychological battering when thousands took to the streets of London for a demonstration of solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine.

Thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), and to call for an end to the latest hostilities between Israel and the remnants of Palesine that the Israeli government is working hard to destroy.

The demonstration was organised for by the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and Stop the War Campaign (STW).

If you need a reason to understand the need for such a demonstration, consider:

Armed factions in Gaza have given Israel until Monday to deliver on its commitments under a ceasefire agreement reached earlier this week.

That ceasefire brought to an end more than 48 hours of violence across the Gaza-Israel boundary that left 27 Palestinians in Gaza dead – 14 of them civilians killed by Israeli fire – as well as four civilian fatalities on the Israeli side.

The agreement reached on Monday is understood to be similar to understandings that brought an end to major Israeli offensives in Gaza in summer 2014 and November 2012.

The immediate steps expected by Palestinian factions include the reopening of the fishing zone, the transfer of funding from Qatar and the reopening of Gaza’s commercial crossings.

“In Gaza, where the economy struggles for survival and residents face adverse humanitarian conditions, every additional day that passes until these further restrictions are lifted by Israel has severe implications,” Gisha, a human rights group that monitors Israel’s siege, stated on Tuesday.

“Traders cannot fulfil their business commitments, patients miss crucial appointments for life-saving treatment, and fishermen cannot feed their families,” Gisha added.

The rights group said that “Israel’s use of its control over the crossings to deliberately harm the civilian population in Gaza has to stop.”

Even when Israeli bombs aren’t being dropped, the status quo in Gaza – under air, sea and land blockade for more than a decade, and military occupation for half a century – is far from normal.

Every two in three Palestinians in Gaza is a refugee from lands now inside Israel, which forbids Palestinian refugees from exercising their right to return because they are not Jewish.

One wonders what the severely-outgunned Palestinians will do if Israel refuses to to honour the conditions of its own ceasefire – but what else can they do, other than demand that agreements be honoured?

And while it is true that neither side in this conflict can claim the moral high ground, one has to ask why the side with overwhelming military superiority insists on continuing to inflict terror on the weaker side – if not in order to wipe it out altogether, eventually.

Opposition to that was another reason for the London march.

A highlight of the day was the speech by activist Ahed Tamimi, who served an eight-month prison sentence for slapping an Israeli soldier after her cousin, then aged 15, was shot in the head at close range with a rubber-coated steel bullet, severely wounding him.

There was considerable opposition to the Conservative government of Theresa May, over its support for the Israeli government:

The Labour Party’s position is clear. In government, it will recognise Palestine as a sovereign state. Labour was well-represented on the demonstration:

Of course, this is the reason supporters of the Israeli government are so keen to smear Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the party as anti-Semites, in the face of the evidence showing he has supported the Jewish people as well as Palestinians.

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