Europe rallies in solidarity with Palestine

People across Europe have mobilized in solidarity with Palestine in defiance of their governments’ support for Israel

October 20, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Mobilizations took place across Italian cities for Palestine (Image via FGC)

As bombing of Gaza by Israel continues for the second week without any pause, the people across Europe stepped up their solidarity initiatives with the people of Palestine and condemned the European states’ support of the war crimes committed by the apartheid regime in Israel. Massive solidarity rallies were held across the UK on October 14, where more than a hundred thousand people turned up. Mobilizations have also taken place in the cities of Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Athens, Madrid, Oslo, and Lisbon, and in major cities across Italy, and Sweden. 

The bombing and killing of at least 500 people at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital by the Israeli occupation forces in central Gaza late on October 17 sparked widespread outrage among the people and further actions were called out across Europe demanding an immediate cease-fire. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK has called for a National March for Palestine in London on October 21.

Mobilization in the UK for Palestine (Image via FGC)

Meanwhile, France’s interior minister ordered a nationwide ban on pro-Palestine demonstrations, courting widespread criticism from vast sections of society. Despite the ban, people across France have continued to carry out mass mobilizations in support of Palestine. According to reports, a pro-Palestine rally in Berlin was halted by authorities while UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman and the Dutch government have also made some reservations against the pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Meanwhile, there are no restrictions against pro-Israel demonstrations in these countries. In several cities across Europe including in France, security forces tried to stop Palestinian solidarity marches by force.

The latest and ongoing episode of the all-out war of Israel on Palestine started following the surprise attack by the Palestinian military outfit; Hamas on Israel on October 7, resulted in the death of more than 3,500 Palestinians in Gaza (including over 1,500 children and over 1,000 women) and also the death of around 1,400 people inside Israel. Tens of thousands were wounded, and more than a million people in Gaza were displaced in the ongoing bombing by Israel. The criminal regime in Israel even targeted the fleeing Palestinian families and didn’t spare hospitals and places of worship. Electricity, drinking water, food, and medicines to Gaza also remain blocked by Israeli Defense Forces.

From Wexford, Ireland (Image via Connolly Youth Movement- Wexford)

On October 18, the Young Communist League (YCL-Britain) stated that “With British Navy ships being deployed to ‘bolster security’ and Rishi Sunak set to visit this week, the British state is complicit in the genocidal actions being taken by Israel—actions that have become increasingly difficult for the media to justify, such as the recent bombing of Al Ahli Hospital.”

The Young Communist Movement of France (MJCF) condemned the massacres and attacks on all civilians and called to securing a rapid ceasefire, the end of colonization in Palestine, the end of Israel’s apartheid policy, the release of Palestinian political prisoners, and recognition of Palestinian statehood on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Solidarity march in Greece (Image via PAME)

While participating in the Palestine solidarity demonstration in Athens, Dimitris Koutsoumpas the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) accused the Greek government of enormous criminal responsibilities, tolerated by other opposition parties. He has demanded the withdrawal of the Greek frigate “Psara”, or any other military means Greece has in the Middle East region. “There should be no deployment of military forces outside the borders. Close the bases of death in Greece. Our country should not participate in this massacre in the Middle East, because the Greek people themselves will ultimately pay for it. We demand freedom in Palestine. Let Israel’s occupying troops leave the Palestinian territories here and now,” he added.