World Bulletin / News Desk At least 50,000 people are attending a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London outside the Israeli embassy in protest against the onslaught in Gaza.
The rally on Saturday, organized by an umbrella group of organizations including Stop the War Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, assembled at the Israeli embassy for a march to the UK parliament where they said they planned to call for Israel’s attack and killings to stop and for British Prime Minister David Cameron to ‘stop supporting Israeli war crimes’.
Protesters carried banners and placards declaring ‘Freedom for Palestine’ and ‘Stop Israeli state terror’ as they marched along streets lined with police officers.
Police officials estimated about 50,000 people attended the launch of the rally, while organizers said the protest appeared to be becoming as large as one staged last Saturday in London, in which 100,000 people took part. The demonstration in London was made up of a diverse group of people, including Muslims, Jews, atheists, and many left-wing groups and was also co-organized by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Friends of Al Aqsa, British Muslim Initiative, Muslim Association of Britain and the Palestinian Forum in Britain. Similar but smaller demonstrations were held across the UK including the cities of Birmingham and Newcastle.
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The groups identified as demonstrations organizers are the same as those who organized similar events in November 2012 to protest Israeli action in Gaza at that time. Conspicuously absent is the far-left Stop The War Coalition.
The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). According to an Israeli think-tank report, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. Anas Al-Tikriti, the leader of the BMI, and former MAB official, is the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country.
The Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) is part of the UK Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure. Zaher Birawi, the long time PFB media and public relations spokesperson, is also a director of the Palestine Return Centere (PRC) which has strong ties to Hamas and to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. In July 2012, we reported on a meeting with Hamas leaders that included Mr. Birawi.
Friends of Al-Aqsa is a pro-Hamas organization based in Leicester which advocates Israel’s elimination and which frequently acts in coalitions with the UK Muslim Brotherhood. The Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) are far-left UK groups that have long been part of UK Brotherhood coalitions. The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign is close to Hamas and is known to have met with the highest ranks of the Hamas leadership