01 March 2024

Pro-Palestine protesters ask Sunak to ‘look in the mirror’ after PM’s speech

01 March 2024

Pro-Palestine protests are set to continue across the country following Rishi Sunak’s warning that democracy is being targeted by extremists, with organisers telling him to “look in the mirror”.

The Prime Minister warned about the current situation in Britain, in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks by Hamas against Israel, in an address to the nation on Friday.

Mr Sunak, in a message aimed at those taking part in pro-Palestine protests, urged people to reject extremist messages.

The Conservative Party leader said: “I want to speak directly to those who choose to continue to protest: don’t let the extremists hijack your marches.

“You have a chance in the coming weeks to show that you can protest decently, peacefully and with empathy for your fellow citizens.

“Let us prove these extremists wrong and show them that even when we disagree, we will never be disunited.”

The Prime Minister said a line has to be drawn so that while people should be able to “march and protest with passion” in support of Gaza, demonstrators “cannot call for violent jihad”, justify the actions of Palestinian militant group Hamas — a proscribed group in the UK, which bans any show of support — or “call for the eradication of a state or any kind of hatred or antisemitism”.

Speaking ahead of further planned protests across the country on Saturday, Ben Jamal, director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, responded to the Prime Minister’s address by suggesting he “look in the mirror” and expel some senior MPs from his party.

Mr Jamal posted on X saying: “So Rishi Sunak wants to deal with ‘extremists’. Maybe he should start with politicians, political commentators and religious leaders who support a state, on trial for genocide, in its mass slaughter, and deliberate creation of famine. Not those protesting against it.

“As for his ire at those who seek to divide us, does he ever look in the mirror, or around his cabinet table? Come back when you’ve kicked @SuellaBraverman, @RobertJenrick @michaelgove out. That’s just for starters.”

Further local protests are planned for this weekend before another national march, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, takes place in central London on March 9.

Many of the actions this weekend are directed against Barclays Bank, which it claims holds “substantial financial ties with arms companies supplying weapons and military technology to Israel”.

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