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Outrage after ‘genocide’ message is projected onto Big Ben as Jewish leaders react with fury to the pro-Palestine stunt


Jewish leaders reacted with fury last night after a pro-Palestine slogan was projected on to Big Ben.

Activists pulled off the stunt in full view of dozens of police monitoring a protest outside Parliament on Wednesday night. Scotland Yard said the officers could not act because it was ‘not a criminal offence’.

The words ‘From the river to the sea’ were beamed on to the Elizabeth Tower during a Commons debate in which MPs warned threats from ‘Islamist extremists’ were stifling democracy.

Simon Round of the Board of Deputies, which represents the Jewish community, said: ‘From the river to the sea is seen by many Jews as a hate slogan. 

‘For it to be projected on to Big Ben is a demonstration of the utter contempt these extreme campaigners have not only for the concerns of the Jewish community, but for our Parliament.’

The words ‘From the river to the sea’ were beamed on to the Elizabeth Tower

It occured during a Commons debate in which MPs warned threats from ‘Islamist extremists’ were stifling democracy

The words ‘From the river to the sea’ were beamed on to the Elizabeth Tower during a Commons debate in which MPs warned threats from ‘Islamist extremists’ were stifling democracy

Pro-Palestinian groups used a powerful pocket-sized laser to project the message

They projected it onto the clock tower from several hundred yards away on the other side of Parliament Square

Pro-Palestinian groups used a powerful pocket-sized laser to project the message, which has been a fixture at protest marches since the October 7 terror attack, on to the clock tower from several hundred yards away on the other side of Parliament Square

Pro Palestine rally called for a 'ceasefire now' outside Big Ben ahead of the Parliament vote last night on Gaza

Pro Palestine rally called for a ‘ceasefire now’ outside Big Ben ahead of the Parliament vote last night on Gaza

Andrew Percy, a Tory former minister who is Jewish, said: ‘For months I’ve been standing up here talking about the people on our streets demanding ‘death to Jews’, demanding jihad, demanding intifadas as the police stand by and allow that to happen.

‘A genocidal call of ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ was projected on to this building. That message says no Jew is welcome in the state of Israel or in that land. This is going to continue happening because we’re not dealing with it.’

The stunt took place just minutes after Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle cited concerns for MPs’ safety as the reason he broke with convention over a Gaza ceasefire vote – sparking chaos inside the chamber.

He is now fighting for his political life after selecting a Labour amendment that the protesters were urging politicians to back.

Sir Lindsay cited warnings that the safety of some MPs was under threat if they couldn’t vote for the Labour motion, with pro- Palestinian groups targeting politicians’ offices.

Pro-Palestinian groups used a powerful pocket-sized laser to project the message, which has been a fixture at protest marches since the October 7 terror attack, on to the clock tower from several hundred yards away on the other side of Parliament Square.

They had been using the device to repeatedly beam the phrases ‘ceasefire now’, ‘stop bombing Gaza’, ‘end the war now’, and ‘stop war’. But at 7.20pm ‘From the river to the sea – Palestine will be free’ appeared for long enough to be captured on camera.

Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags as they protest in Parliament Square during the Opposition Day motion last night

Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags as they protest in Parliament Square during the Opposition Day motion last night

They had been using the device to repeatedly beam the phrases ‘ceasefire now’, ‘stop bombing Gaza’, ‘end the war now’, and ‘stop war’. Pictured: 'Stop Bombs' projected onto Big Ben yesterday

They had been using the device to repeatedly beam the phrases ‘ceasefire now’, ‘stop bombing Gaza’, ‘end the war now’, and ‘stop war’. Pictured: ‘Stop Bombs’ projected onto Big Ben yesterday

The slogan is widely seen as calling for the destruction of the state of Israel between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan.

Israeli culture minister Micki Zohar said: ‘This kind of behaviour is a disgrace and it’s disappointing it wasn’t stopped by the authorities. I hope that these types of protests that call for Israel to be destroyed are stopped.’

Heidi Bachram, a British-Israeli who lost a relative on October 7, said she could barely ‘process’ that ‘our most iconic building in London was tainted with a genocidal slogan’. She said: ‘If all this was just about a ‘ceasefire’ then why didn’t they project that? Because this is about destroying Israel and we all know it.’

Dr Matthew Offord MP told the Commons yesterday his Hendon constituents had heard men threatening to rape Jewish women, while fellow Tory Theresa Villiers said there was ‘a climate of hardline support which has seen anti-Semitism on the streets of our capital city’. Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick added: ‘We have allowed our streets to be dominated by Islamist extremists, and British Jews and others to be too intimidated to walk through central London week after week.

‘Now we’re allowing Islamist extremists to intimidate British members of Parliament. This is wrong. It has to stop.’

A spokesman for the Campaign Against Antisemitism said that the stunt, along with chaos inside Parliament, was ‘a wake-up call for Britain’. 

Requests to project images on to the Palace of Westminster should go through an approval process involving the Commons Speaker, the Lords Speaker and Westminster Council. The latter confirmed no permission had been granted. 

Scotland Yard said: ‘While there are scenarios where chanting or using these words could be unlawful depending on the specific location or context, its use in a wider public protest setting, such as last night, is not a criminal offence.’



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