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Pictured: Former social worker, 60, who led protest where controversial pro-Palestine slogan was projected onto Big Ben


The organiser of a Pro-Palestine protest where a controversial slogan was projected onto Big Ben, has been pictured. 

Ben Jamal led the demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday night where the phrase ‘from the river to the sea’ was beamed onto the iconic clock and the Elizabeth Tower.

The ‘deeply offensive’ slogan is widely seen as anti-semitic and a call to drive Jews out of Israel.

Organising the march, Jamel, 60, had called on supporters to make ‘the biggest lobby in parliamentary history’.

The former social worker who is director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, has appeared to actively encourage supporters to chant the ‘deeply offensive’ message which has been branded ‘a racist trope’.

Ben Jamal (pictured) led the demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday night where the phrase 'from the river to the sea' was beamed onto the iconic clock and the Elizabeth Tower.

Ben Jamal (pictured) led the demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday night where the phrase ‘from the river to the sea’ was beamed onto the iconic clock and the Elizabeth Tower.

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

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

After a vote on calling for a Gaza ceasefire in the Commons descended into chaos, Jamal accused MPs of ‘a despicable display of political gameplaying’.

He went on to praise ‘the moral clarity of the 3,000 who travelled miles to stand in the rain, queuing for four hours or more to lobby their MPs.’

Jamal was at the centre of controversy after he defended the chant during a fiery appearance at the Home Affairs Committee last December.

Asked if he ‘tolerated’ the controversial phrase on marches, he said: ‘We don’t tolerate it, we chant it. I speak as a Palestinian, this is a chant used by the vast majority of Palestinians.

‘It describes how their rights are deprived across all of historic Palestine, including if they are citizens of the state of Israel or living under military occupation. It in no shape or form seeks the abrogation of anybody else’s rights.

The stunt took place just minutes after Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle (pictured) cited concerns for MPs' safety as the reason he broke with convention over a Gaza ceasefire vote

The stunt took place just minutes after Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle (pictured) cited concerns for MPs’ safety as the reason he broke with convention over a Gaza ceasefire vote

Organising the march, Jamel, 60, had called on supporters to make 'the biggest lobby in parliamentary history'

Organising the march, Jamel, 60, had called on supporters to make ‘the biggest lobby in parliamentary history’

‘To suggest that it does is actually a way of saying ”let’s not listen to Palestinians when they say what they mean, when they choose the words they say…”’

Committee chair Dame Diana Johnson interrupted him abruptly as he continued, saying: ‘Mr Jamal I am chairing this meeting…We understand your views on that, but equally there are people who find that chant very offensive and believe that it is about the annihilation of the state of Israel.’

He was speaking after the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign were accused of organising a ‘hate march’ during Armistice Day commemorations.

In October 2016, Jamal became the first Palestinian appointed as a director. The son of a Palestinian Anglican vicar says his father’s family of Christian Arabs were driven out of Jerusalem in 1948.

His mother is English.

Pictured: Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags as they protest in Parliament Square in London on February 21, 2024, during an Opposition Day motion in the the House of Commons calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Pictured: Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags as they protest in Parliament Square in London on February 21, 2024, during an Opposition Day motion in the the House of Commons calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Jamal’s great-uncle, Shibli Jamal, was the secretary to a Palestinian delegation which came to Britain in 1921 to negotiate with Winston Churchill – then secretary of state for the colonies – to overturn the Balfour declaration, a British pledge to establish ‘a national home for the Jewish people’ in Palestine.

In his role as the leading official in Europe’s largest Palestinian rights organisation, he has organised marches that have brought hundreds of thousands of people on to London’s streets.

Before joining the campaign as permanent director he spent 10 years as chief executive of the Domestic Violence chief executive of the Domestic Violence Intervention Project charity.

From 2001 to 2006 he was a child protection manager at Westminster Children’s Services.

Ahead of last year’s Armistice Day march it emerged another leading member of the organisation has been working as a senior aide to Sir Keir Starmer.

Ben Soffa, 41, was the Labour Party’s £61,000-a-year head of digital organising campaign.

He suddenly left his post with Labour around the time of the protests after eight years working for the party.

Government records show that Mr Soffa is an active director of PSC.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a patron of the campaign along with film director Ken Loach and actress Julie Christie.

A number of teachers and union officials are also listed as being directors of the organisation.



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