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Israeli activist warns of Europe’s suppression of freedom of expression on Palestine

November 9, 2023 at 2:57 pm

People, holding banners, gather to protest against the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken near the US Embassy building in Ankara, Turkiye on November 06, 2023 [Dilara İrem Sancar – Anadolu Agency]

The suppression of shows of support for Palestinians facing deadly Israeli attacks is “a threat for human rights all over Europe,” Israeli activist Zohar Chamberlain Regev said.

“I live in Frankfurt, and we have been consistently prohibited from wearing the keffiyeh, carrying the Palestinian flag, demonstrating in the streets, or even just sitting in a quiet vigil with candles for the people massacred in Gaza. We’ve been dispersed by police with water cannons,” Regev told Anadolu in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

Regev was among the scores of people who gathered in front of the Incirlik Air Base over the weekend as part of the Freedom Convoy for Palestine, organised by Turkiye’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).

Regev, a member of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla’s steering committee, was the boat leader for the Al-Awda vessel that was hijacked in international waters by the Israeli navy in the summer of 2018.

She and her fellow activists gathered in Istanbul to strategise on how to challenge the legal and humanitarian blockade, particularly given the dire circumstances in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli attacks have now killed more than 10,500 people.

According to figures from Gaza’s Health Ministry, the current death toll now includes more than 4,300 children and 2,800 women, with another 26,000 people wounded.

“I think there is absolutely no freedom of speech when it comes to Palestine. And I think this is a threat to human rights all over Europe,” she said.

She said the failure to enforce a ceasefire to stop Israel’s deadly assault on the Gaza Strip is a global disgrace, while calling out countries like the US and UK for supplying weapons to Israel and essentially prolonging the crisis.

“I think we want to send a message to the Palestinians in general and to the people of Gaza in particular that we do not forget them, even when there is no internet connection, when they are completely isolated,” said Regev.

“We remember that they need the world to look at them and to do something against what is being done,” she added.

READ: Israel media: Tel Aviv is ready to discuss the release of Palestinian prisoners