More than 150 Jewish protesters converged on the Israeli embassy in London this weekend to add their voices to demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and corruption.
Cries of “Crime Minister” were heard outside the embassy in High Street Kensington as protesters said they stood in solidarity with pro-democracy demonstrators in Israel who were accused of “trampling on democracy” by Netanyahu on Sunday.
“The rally was in support of the pro-democracy and anti-corruption demonstrations in Israel over the past few weeks,” said Shachaf Karvat, one of the organisers. “We gathered to voice our solidarity with the protestors and our strong objection to violence we see in many reports from Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.”
A qualified engineer who studied in Jerusalem before coming to live in the UK, Karvat added: “Even though we all live in England, our hearts and thoughts are still with our families and friends living in Israel.
“It was very important to us not to define or impose any specific slogan on the rally, and not to affiliate with any specific group in Israeli politics. We wanted to welcome all the people who wants to keep Israel a democracy and to protect the freedom of speech and freedom of protest.
While he said he was there to protest against corruption, others were protesting against Netanyahu under the slogan “Crime Minister” in reference to the corruption indictments he is currently facing.
“I was appalled to see the violence and brutality the was directed against peaceful protestors in Jerusalem when they were hit by water cannons and horse-mounted police,” said Karvat.
“Even though we cannot currently travel to Israel to participate and support the protests our hearts and thoughts are with those who make a stand and we will continue showing our support in London for as long as it is needed.”