Many of the organizers behind the pro-Palestine rally in London on Saturday, which drew an estimated 100,000 people, according to Reuters, have openly expressed support for Hamas, and some of them have even met with officials of the terrorist group in Gaza, according to an investigation by the Jewish Chronicle.
Of the six groups behind the protest, leaders of four of them– the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the Friends of al-Aqsa, the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and the Palestinian Forum for Britain (PFB)– “have had apparent ties with Hamas or have expressed sympathy for its views.”
Ismael Patel, the leader of the Friends of al-Aqsa group, met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. In 2021, Patel praised the terrorist who murdered Eli Kay, a 26 year old tour guide originally hailing from South Africa, as a “martyr.” (Read an obituary for Kay, written by the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, here.) Patel did not respond to a request for comment by the Chronicle.
Two former leaders of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), another of the groups behind the protest, also met with Haniyeh, as did Zaher Birawi, who leads the Palestinian Forum for Britain (PFB), also listed as organizers of the march.
March went on as planned, despite extremist ties
Despite criticism, the march was held on Saturday, and draw a crowd of about 100,000 people, according to Reuters. Some chants, notably “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” drew attention, but are not considered hate speech, or support for a terrorist group.
A smaller, more extremist rally, drawing about 1,000, according to reports, was held by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist group that advocates an Islamic caliphate governed by religious law.