The attitude towards the war in the Middle East is increasingly polarizing Western public opinion. Demonstrations of thousands of people are taking place in European capitals. In Great Britain, divisions even led to a government reshuffle and a sensational return to politics by former Prime Minister David Cameron.
In Paris alone, over a hundred thousand people demonstrated – almost twice as many in France as a whole. – We see more and more anti-Semitic acts. It is important to bear witness to this, emphasizes Jack Nahon, a participant in the demonstration in Paris. The march was led by the Prime Minister of France, former presidents and politicians – including the far-right Marine Le Pen, but also representatives of culture and celebrities. – We are here as a whole family to show that you cannot stigmatize anyone in France or anywhere in the world – says Monica Griso, a participant of the demonstration in Paris.
So far, there have been more voices in France in defense of Palestinian civilians, but the Paris march is an objection to anti-Semitic acts, of which there have been over a thousand in France since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas. Such attacks have also increased in Germany. That is why the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht – the pogroms of Jews – had a special meaning. – Every form of anti-Semitism poisons our society, just as Islamist demonstrations and marches are now doing, stressed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Chancellor Scholz reiterates that Israel has the right to defend itself and is against a quick ceasefire.
The position of the German authorities is different from what is heard on the streets of German cities during pro-Palestinian demonstrations. – Israel is no longer a victim as it was on October 7. Every day, hundreds of children, women and other civilians are killed in Gaza, and the world passively looks on – warns Ramazan Kuruyuz, organizer of the demonstration in Frankfurt. – The events in Palestine are dividing Europe very deeply. The European Union itself, composed of 27 countries, has divided into three camps, notes Małgorzata Bonikowska, president of the Center for International Relations.
In Britain, these divisions even led to changes in government. The long-controversial head of the Interior Ministry has lost her job because on Thursday, in an article for The Times, she called pro-Palestinian demonstrations “hate marches.”
The current Minister of Foreign Affairs, James Cleverly, became the new head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and former Prime Minister David Cameron became the new head of diplomacy. – We are facing many overwhelming challenges in the international arena, such as the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East – said the former prime minister, whose decisions a few years ago resulted in Great Britain leaving the European Union.
Main photo source: Reuters