Londoners protest outside US embassy in solidarity with Jerusalem

'We won't give up': Londoners protest outside US embassy in solidarity with Jerusalem
4 min read
09 Dec, 2017
London was not the first city to protest in solidarity with Jerusalem, and it won't be the last. Trump's announcement has fuelled the passion behind the ever-strengthening Palestine solidarity movement.
Londoners protest outside US embassy in solidarity with Jerusalem [Ahmed Aldawoodi/TNA]
People in their masses gathered outside the US embassy in London on Friday evening, chanting for justice, chanting for Jerusalem. The contested city has been in the limelight for the days since US President Donald Trump announced the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and declared it the capital of Israel.

Cities around the world have risen up in solidarity protests while occupying Israeli forces attack Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for standing up for what they refer to as "an act of aggression against the Palestinian people" and the end of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

"America has always been a part of the problem when it comes to Palestine; Trump has only highlighted this," said Ida Rosida, from Indonesia, outside the US embassy on Friday evening. 

"Saudi Arabia's response has saddened me. I'm here as a Muslim in support for Palestine and I really think Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, which has the moral responsibility to step up, should do more."

Rosida was not the only one angered by Saudi Arabia's lack of substantial response. "Arabs had leaders, now we have puppets," said a Palestinian protester who wished to stay anonymous.

Despite this, she still had hope that protesting would make a change.

"We have social media now," she continued. "Some Arabs from older generations no longer see the point in protesting anymore, but we have platforms that they don't have. We can make more of a tangible difference."

Yasmin Irsheid, another Palestinian protester, agreed. "We're carrying the hope that the people from past generations lost as a result of not seeing a free Palestine. We won't give up," she said.

Things are moving forward [for Israel]. We now have Arab states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates backing Israel - Ambrosine Shitrir, pro-Israeli activist 

Across the street from the Palestinian protesters were tens of pro-Israel counter-protesters.

Ambrosine Shitrir is of Jewish Iraqi-Moroccan descent, she told The New Arab. The declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is long overdue, she said.

She too, has hope: "Things are moving forward for us; we now have Arab states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates backing Israel. 

"There is a growing acceptance for Israel by regimes across the region and this gives us even more hope," she added, agreeing with her Palestinian counterparts about Saudi Arabia's role in the region regarding Israel and Palestine. 

Londoners protesting outside the US embassy against US President Donald Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital [Ahmed al-Dawoodi/TNA]

Not far from the two Palestinian women was another Palestinian protester holding his baby son. Salah Abu al-Kas, originally from Gaza, says he is determined to teach his children that they are Palestinian - no matter what happens to them or where in the world they go. 

My son will know Palestine is his country and he will not give it up for the world

"Jerusalem is our city, and it is our capital, and we will not give up a grain of sand for anybody else," he said.

"I hope by the time my son is an adult, there is a liberated Palestine, but, no matter what, I will teach him that he is Palestinian. He will know his country and he will not give it up for the world."

Robert Borba, an American at the protest, describes himself as a revolutionary activist. He joked about the way he has been protesting for Palestine longer than many of the young people at the demonstration had been alive.

Londoners protesting outside the US embassy against US President Donald Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital [Ahmed al-Dawoodi/TNA]

"As an American, I think this is a long sting of aggression," he said. "Trump has the capability to destroy the planet; he is a very dangerous man."

Despite this, he still has hope. "I would say to Palestinians that it is always darkest before dawn. People have been rallying for decades and solidarity movements are constantly growing. Palestine will never be forgotten."

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