Protesters took to the streets of London today to stand up against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s surprise visit.
Netanyahu announced yesterday that he would be visiting the UK to speak with the embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as both men’s political careers hang by a thread.
Speaking to MEMO, Jewish Voice for Labour Secretary Glyn Secker speculated this was part of Netanyahu’s last minute bid to curry favour with Israeli voters.
He said: “Netanyahu is doing his deal with all the extreme right in Israel, and it’s not doing his reputation much good. So he needs to establish relationships with respectable politicians. He’s meeting the American negotiator for an arms deal in Downing Street, he’s meeting Johnson to do an arms deal with Britain.”
“They look respectable, that gives him the appearance of being an international statesman, and it’s good for his election.”
Others travelled from around the UK to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Yazin said: “I came from Liverpool to stand with the innocent people of Palestine here against Israeli government and Netanyahu, because he is killing innocent women, children and the elderly without any reason.”
“I think there’s this surprise visit because Netanyahu is scared of the public. He can’t face the public because he is a criminal, he is a butcher.”
Representatives from the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community also attended the march, bearing placards condemning “Zionist terrorism” in Gaza, and demanding Palestinian sovereignty over the land of Palestine.
Pesach Shlomo Hirsch said: “Benjamin Netanyahu is not the leader of the Jews, he’s the leader of a Zionist state, which is nothing to do with Judaism. It’s a distortion of Jewish teachings.”
Netanyahu is currently campaigning ahead of the 17 September election being held in Israel. Earlier this week he cancelled a trip to India, which was slated to take place next week.
The cancellation of the trip at such short notice prompted speculation that Netanyahu could be planning an alternative visit in the remaining two weeks before the election, or alternatively that a world leader could be planning a last-minute visit to Israel.
Some of the options floated were visits to Israel by US President Donald Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin, or trips to Washington DC or Moscow by Netanyahu.
Netanyahu has been pushing his US ally for an endorsement to annex the occupied West Bank ahead of this month’s election, hoping that this “gift” will allow him to fulfil his pre-April election promise and secure his re-election this month.