Anti-Israel Protesters Taking to Streets

(Reuters/Hamodia) -

Some 5,000 people marched through the streets of Santiago over the weekend to call for the Chilean government to break all ties with Israel.

The protest consisted of members of various social organizations, human rights activists, university students, and members of Chile’s Palestinian community.

Regional neighbors such as Brazil, Peru and Ecuador have recalled their ambassadors in Israel in recent weeks.

Meanwhile in New York, about 500 Palestinians and their sympathizers marched to the United Nations, while shouting protests against Israel’s military retaliations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Waving Palestinian flags and ‘Gaza’ signs, some called for an end to U.S. aid to the country.

In midtown Manhattan, police on motorcycles stood by, engines revved up to accompany the marchers before they peacefully headed toward the United Nations building.

London continued to be the scene of large pro-Palestinian demonstrations as thousands marched through central London over the weekend, demanding the British government take a tougher line against Israel.

Protesters converged on the main shopping area of Oxford Street, marching to the U.S. embassy and on to Hyde Park, many of them chanting “Free Palestine” and holding up banners saying “UK — Stop Arming Israel.”

Sayeeda Warsi, a Foreign Office minister and the first Muslim to sit in the British cabinet, resigned last week over the government’s policy on Gaza.

Cameron called for an immediate ceasefire and announced over the weekend that medical experts from the state-run National Health Service (NHS) would be deployed to the region within 48 hours to take part in humanitarian efforts.

Meanwhile, a public appeal for aid for Gaza by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), on behalf of a number of British charities, had raised £4.5 million ($7.5 million, 5.6 million euros) since its launch on Friday.

The city council of Glasgow displayed a Palestinian flag outside its building, in solidarity with the population in Gaza, a move which sparked protest from the Jewish community.

There were also fresh protests in Paris, which has seen several demonstrations, including violent ones directed at the local Jewish community, in recent weeks.

In the Middle East, Jordan’s King Abdullah II lashed out at Israel in a one-sided speech which made no mention of the role of Hamas in the violence. Abdullah said he backed Egyptian efforts to end “the Israeli offensive” and that Jordan would speak out at international forums to bring the killing to a halt and implement a two-state solution.

In Israel itself, where anti-war demonstrations in the past, such those against the war in Lebanon, drew large numbers of people, only about 150 showed up in Tel Aviv, in defiance of a police ban on the assembly that cited military restrictions on public gatherings in cities within range of rocket fire.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said none of the participants in the illegal gathering were arrested.

The weak turnout merely underscored the broad public support for Operation Protective Edge. The private Israel Democracy Institute think-tank found in a survey in late July that as many as 95 percent of Israelis supported the war, and only 7 percent were opposed..