Protestors in France
Photo: AFP

UK comedian: Israel behaving like terrorist organization

Protests in several European countries feature celebrities, civilians condemning Gaza op; 'Anne Frank turning in her grave,' cries Amsterdam demonstrator

Demonstrators hurled shoes at the tall iron gates outside the British prime minister's residence in London on Saturday and waved Palestinian flags in over a dozen European cities as tens of thousands protested Israel's military operation in Gaza.


In London, several thousand people, many carrying Palestinian flags, marched past Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Downing Street residence to a rally in Trafalgar Square. Outside Downing Street, hundreds of protesters stopped and threw shoes at the gates that block entry to the narrow road.


Police estimated the crowd in London at 5,000 to 6,000, but organizers said the number was much higher. The marchers included activist Bianca Jagger, ex-Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox and comedian Alexei Sayle.


"As a Jew, it's very moving to see so many people who are so outraged at Israel's actions," Sayle said. "Israel is a democratic country that is behaving like a terrorist organization."


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew to Saudi Arabia as his country engaged in shuttle diplomacy with Arab countries to help broker a cease-fire in the Middle East. But public anger mounted in Turkey, as 5,000 Turks shouting "Killer Israel!" protested in downtown Ankara.


In The Netherlands, thousands of people marched through Amsterdam, criticizing both the Israeli attacks and the Dutch government's failure to condemn them. One banner declared: "Anne Frank is turning in her grave. Oh Israel!"


'Germany, where is your sense of justice?'

More than 4,000 people demonstrated in Duesseldorf, Germany, and some 5,000 in Frankfurt. Protesters in Duesseldorf carried banners such as "Germany, look! Where is your sense of justice?" One group held up a doll representing a bleeding baby with the placard "Made in Israel."


In Berlin, more than 7,000 people braved freezing temperatures for a march along the capital's Unter den Linden boulevard.


Another 2,500 demonstrated in Salzburg, Austria, while scores protested peacefully in Madrid outside the Spanish Foreign Ministry.


In the Swedish city of Uppsala, 1,200 marched to a church where a Muslim and Christian service was planned to commemorate the victims of the raids.


Hundreds more protested in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, while in neighboring Norway demonstrators marched from the parliament in Oslo to the Israeli Embassy, calling on Israel to "let Gaza live."


In Cyprus, pro-Palestinian demonstrators pelted riot police with rocks, sticks, shoes and oranges near the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia. A peaceful protest by about 2,000 people turned violent when some protesters tried to break through a line of police blocking the road leading to the embassy. The demonstrators eventually dispersed.


פרסום ראשון: 01.03.09, 21:22
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