European Artists, Activists, Politicians Show Their Solidarity for Palestine


ANKARA – The Israeli military’s aerial bombardment and ground incursion in Gaza amid its ongoing conflict with the Palestinian group Hamas has sparked outrage worldwide.

People have taken to the streets in many countries, while government officials, celebrities and athletes are divided between supporting Israel and expressing solidarity with Palestine.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC) and United Nations bodies such as the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK-based charity Oxfam called for the protection of civilians and pointed to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza amid the Israeli attacks on civilians.

Artists, activists, sportsmen voice support for Gaza

In an interview with Anadolu, Austrian writer and activist Wilhelm Langthaler sharply criticized the government for its unconditional support for Israel and for turning a blind eye to the civilian deaths caused by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

Musician and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters shared a video on social media to call for a cease-fire, and his peer, British singer Yusuf Islam, addressed the “Great Palestine Meeting,” a pro-Palestine rally in Istanbul on Oct. 28, also to call for a cease-fire.

More than 2,000 artists demanded an “immediate cease-fire” and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow residents to leave the enclave amid Israeli strikes.

Artists for Palestine UK released a letter signed by more than 2,000 artists including famous novelists, singers, playwrights and filmmakers as well as famed actors and actresses such as Tilda Swinton, Charles Dance, Steve Coogan, Miriam Margolyes and Peter Mullan.

Irish actor Liam Cunningham and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg expressed their support for the Palestinian people on social media.

“The world needs to speak up and call for an immediate ceasefire, justice and freedom for Palestinians and all civilians affected,” Thunberg said on X.

Football players including Galatasaray’s Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech, his compatriot at Bayern Munich Noussair Mazraoui, former Real Madrid star and 2022 men’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Arsenal’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Real Betis’ French player Nabil Fekir also took to social media to express their support for Palestinians.

“All our prayers for the inhabitants of Gaza who are once again victims of these unjust bombings which spare no women or children,” Al-Ittihad’s French forward Benzema said on X, while Elneny, a former Besiktas and Basel midfielder, changed his Instagram profile picture to a Palestinian flag.

Politicians in support of Palestinian people

Irish members of the European Parliament also strongly raised their voices for Palestine.

“The violence is directly linked to the occupation,” Mick Wallace said in an interview with Anadolu. “If we want to stop the violence, we have to stop the occupation.”

He criticized the European Union’s biased stance and hypocrisy and denounced the “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians in Gaza and the bloc’s support for it.

In France, members of parliament from the left-wing La France Insoumise party — Manuel Bompard, Louis Boyard and Mathilde Panot — voiced support for the Palestinian people.

Panot criticized the French government over its “unconditional support” for Israel and called on the government to strongly condemn Israel over “the war crimes committed in Gaza.”

Spanish far-left ministers spoke out against the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, and Consumer Affairs Minister Alberto Garzon condemned the attack on a refugee camp, which Israel admitted to carrying out.

“Bombing hospitals, refugee camps, children, defenseless elderly people, Israel is demonstrating the worst of humanity. How long will European leaders make us accomplices of this barbarism?” Minister for Social Rights Ione Belarra wrote on X.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar slammed Israel for cutting off water and electricity to the Gaza Strip, saying it has no right to breach international humanitarian law.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheal Martin expressed concern over the rising civilian casualties and suffering due to the ongoing conflict and pointed out the need for a humanitarian cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid to reach Gaza.

In Belgium, Minister for Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez called for an investigation by the International Criminal Court into whether the laws of war have been violated in Palestine, according to media reports, and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo described the situation in Gaza as “disproportionate” and called to stop the violence in the West Bank and make efforts for dialogue.

Some politicians adopt anti-Palestine stance

Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament, was among the European far-right politicians who spoke out against Palestine.

He posted a video of a pro-Palestinian protest rally in Berlin on X and said: “Berlin. And everywhere in Europe. Disgusting. The result of years of open borders and left-liberal cultural relativism.”

British far-right activist Tommy Robinson also took to X to share a video of a pro-Israel protest he attended, holding a poster that said: “Free Gaza from Hamas.”

Paul Golding, the leader of the far-right Britain First party, advocated for a ban on pro-Palestine protests in London on Armistice Day.

For French far-right member of parliament Marine Le Pen, the Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza was “unacceptable,” but she also criticized the French government for “spending millions for the water network in Gaza.”

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since the Palestinian group Hamas launched a cross-border attack on Oct. 7.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Tuesday that the death toll from Israeli’s intensified onslaught on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7 rose to 10,328.

Among those killed are 4,237 children and 2,719 women, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said at a press conference.

More than 25,956 others have been wounded as a result of attacks by Israeli forces on Gaza, he added.

The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is nearly 1,600, according to official figures. -AA


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