Pro-Palestinian march in Paris draws Jews, Muslims
Published: Jun 5, 2010 22:52 Updated: Jun 5, 2010 22:52
PARIS: Several thousand people demonstrated in Paris on Saturday to show
solidarity with the Palestinians and denounce an Israeli raid on a Turkish aid
boat bound for Gaza, with some Jews participating alongside Muslims.
Protesters gathered in the Bastille area, in a rally which included Palestinian
flags and one banner saying "French Jewish Union For Peace" with around 100
French Jews following it. It was not clear just how many were there in total.
"I think the blockade of Gaza is counter-productive for Israel," Michel
Bontemps, a French Jew, told Reuters Television.
"Showing solidarity with the Palestinians in no way means you are a terrorist,"
added Youssef Ben Derbal, a French national who was on the Turkish aid ship
seized by Israeli forces earlier this week.
On Saturday, Israel's navy boarded another aid ship to enforce its blockade of
Gaza five days after its troops killed nine people on the Turkish aid boat,
despite America saying the policy was "unsustainable."
In a further protest against Israel, French cinema operator Utopia said it
would refuse to screen Israeli-made film "Five Hours From Paris," even though
the movie is about a love-story and does not have a heavy political dimension
In Dublin, hundreds of people marched through the city center to demonstrate
against the seizure by Israel of the Rachel Corrie which carried Irish and
other activists. The protesters headed for the foreign ministry, which has not
commented on the boarding of the ship.
"(I came) to voice my absolute disgust at what the Israeli government has been
at, kidnapping our citizens," said John Buckley, a college lecturer who took
part in the protest.
"The Israelis have no right to intercept ships in the middle of the sea and
they have no right to implement the blockade in the first place, it's
completely illegal," he said.
In London, thousands of protesters wearing t-shirts with slogans like "Free
Gaza" converged outside the prime minister's official residence at Downing
Street, before staging a noisy march to the Israeli embassy.
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