Thousands of people took the streets of Britain yesterday in protest against the decision by Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Demonstrations were held in at least 10 cities, including London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Organised by the Palestinian Forum of Britain and other major civil society groups, those taking part defied the bitterly cold weather to show their solidarity with Palestine. In London, protesters gathered in front of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.
“The recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of an oppressive entity is a violation of every legal norm,” insisted the chair of the Forum, Hafez Al-Karmi. “If international laws and conventions are neither respected nor followed, we should not be surprised if there is chaos in the world.” We are prepared to stand together against the terrorists of Daesh, he asked, so who will stand and fight the terror adopted by Trump and Netanyahu today?
According to the Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Hugh Lanning, the importance of the huge crowd denouncing Trump’s horrendous decision should not be underestimated. “This decision has also erased any value that America’s role in the peace process might have had,” he told the protestors.
Speakers at the protest in London included many well-known activists for Palestinian rights, including senior union officials. Also involved were representatives of British-Palestinian youth, such as Faris Tamimi, Leanne Mohammad and Yahya Abu Seido. Demands were made for an apology from the British government in respect of the infamous Balfour Declaration issued 100 years ago.
Further protests are expected to be held around Britain over the coming days.
While the international community has almost unanimously disagreed with Donald Trump’s announcement, reports suggest that the announcement was done with the pre-agreement of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with the Saudi Arabia going as far as, allegedly, stating to the Palestinian President to accept a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem as the alternative Palestinian capital.
Since the announcement, Saudi Arabia’s royal court has sent notices to the nation’s media outlets to limit the airtime given to protests against Trump’s announcement.
Emboldened by Trump’s annoucement, Israeli housing Minister Yoav Galant decided on Friday to promote a plan to build 14,000 new settlement units in the occupied Jerusalem.