The organizations leading the pro-Hamas demonstrations in Britain since the outbreak of Operation Iron Swords

A call for a demonstration issued by the coalition of pro-Palestinian organizations (MAB's Instagram account, November 6, 2023)

A call for a demonstration issued by the coalition of pro-Palestinian organizations (MAB's Instagram account, November 6, 2023)

"Manchester supports the Palestinian resistance" sign (Palestine Action in Manchester X account, October 7, 2023)

Ismail Patel (FOA Facebook account, October 22, 2023).

Ismail Patel (FOA Facebook account, October 22, 2023).

Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstration in London (Potkin Azarmehr's X account, October 23, 2023)

Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstration in London (Potkin Azarmehr's X account, October 23, 2023)

The StWC logo at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London (StWC X account, 10 December 2023)

The StWC logo at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London (StWC X account, 10 December 2023)

Palestine Action demonstration at the entrance to a factory in Kent (Palestine Action Instagram account, November 6, 2023)

Palestine Action demonstration at the entrance to a factory in Kent (Palestine Action Instagram account, November 6, 2023)

Dr. Hayim Iserovich
Overview
  • The Hamas movement has been designated as a terrorist organization in the UK since November 2021, when the political wing of the movement was included in the list of proscribed organizations, after the military-terrorist wing, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, was outlawed in March 2001. Thus membership in Hamas, or support for the movement, is considered illegal and the government can freeze Hamas’ assets in Britain’s jurisdiction and impose economic sanctions on activists affiliated with it.[1]
  • The Hamas movement does not have an official presence in the UK, but over the years affiliated institutions, associations and charity funds have been established, mainly camouflaged as Muslim Brotherhood activities or as organizations “supporting Palestinian rights.” Key Hamas operatives are also based in Britain, led by Muhammad Sawalha, a former member of Hamas’ political bureau who helped establish Hamas headquarters in Judea and Samaria.[2]
  • Since Hamas’ terrorist attack and massacre in Israel on October 7 and the beginning of Operation Iron Swords, mass pro-Palestinian demonstrations against Israel have been taking place across the UK, where along with the calls for a ceasefire, the slogans “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “Globalize the anti-intifada” are chanted. The protest is jointly organized by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Muslim Association of Britain and the Palestinian Forum in Britain, all longtime pro-Palestinian groups that participate in Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaigns against the State of Israel and have clearly anti-Semitic positions. Even though Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization in the UK, the pro-Palestinian organizations publicly expressed support for the October 7 attack and massacre and later for the “armed resistance” [i.e. violence and terrorism] against Israel.
  • Along with the groups which routinely focus on pro-Palestinian activity, the current protest is also led by the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, two left-wing anti-war organizations. British labor unions also express clear support for Hamas and the terrorist attack and massacre. In addition, a number of politicians from the left side of the political map identified with and expressed solidarity for Hamas even after October 7, the most prominent of whom is known anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the Labor Party.
  • Although the British authorities have so far allowed the demonstrations to be held in the name of freedom of speech, the police are working to prevent obvious displays of support for Hamas, including Hamas symbols and flags or the use of memes associated with the terrorist attack of October 7, such as illustrations of motorized gliders used by the terrorists who infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip. However, there were also many cases in which the police did not act against anti-Semitic incitement, such as calls for intifada and “violent resistance” against Israel and against Jews.
A call for a demonstration issued by the coalition of pro-Palestinian organizations (MAB's Instagram account, November 6, 2023)
A call for a demonstration issued by the coalition of pro-Palestinian organizations
(MAB’s Instagram account, November 6, 2023)[3]
Further Information
The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB)
  • The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) is a Hamas-affiliated NGO established in 1997 with the aim of providing “a comprehensive programme of spiritual, intellectual and social development firmly rooted in the teachings of Islam and able to better equip the Muslim community with the skills needed navigate their political and social environment as British Muslims seeking to contribute positively within society.” (MAB website, undated).[4]
  • The MAB’s prominent public activity began in April 2002, when the organization joined the Stop the War Coalition in a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian people in the midst of the second intifada, during which the demonstrators called for the prosecution of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for “war crimes.” The cooperation between the MAB and the Coalition has continued, and includes demonstrations that combine the Palestinian issue with other issues, such as the war in Iraq and Western military activity in other Muslim countries.[5]
  • The MAB states that its “Palestine campaign has many strands, all aimed at advocating against Israel’s flouting of international law, continued military occupation of Palestine and systematic apartheid.” It is involved in BDS activities and in attempts to convince the political-economic system in Great Britain to stop all aspects of trade with Israel (MAB website, undated).[6]
  • The MAB is closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent movement of Hamas. Kemal Helbawy, who is considered one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s prominent spokesmen in the West, led the establishment of the MAB with young activists such as Anas al-Takriti and Dr. Azzam al-Tamimi, who also worked to strengthen a political connection with the British left.[7] In November 2010 British MP Alistair Burt stated that the MAB was the Muslim Brotherhood representative in the United Kingdom.[8] A British government report submitted to Parliament in December 2015 also designated the MAB as the Muslim Brotherhood’s representative in the UK (Muslim Brotherhood Inspection Report, December 17, 2015).[9]
  • The MAB’s affiliation with the Hamas movement is also transparent. One of the organization’s founders is Muhammad Kazem Rashid Maruf Sawalha (Abu Abada), who headed the MAB between 1999 and 2007, and played an important role in turning Britain into a prominent European center for the attack to delegitimize Israel. He established the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria during 1989 and 1990 while maintaining contact with the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip. He fled to Jordan and from there arrived in the UK using forged documents and continued his activities for Hamas, which included fundraising in the UK and the United States for Hamas terrorist operatives in Judea and Samaria and sending aid convoys to the Gaza Strip. He was a member of the Hamas political bureau between 2013 and 2017 and was member of its delegation to Russia in September 2017, alongside Musa Abu Marzouq and Saleh al-‘Arouri.[10] The visit exposed his direct connection with the Hamas leadership, and as a result he lowered his public profile to prevent legal action from being taken against him as a Hamas member.[11]
  • Another Hamas operative who was involved in MAB activities is Zaher Khaled Hassan Birawi (Abu Khaled), who was MAB chairman between 2001 and 2003. He came to Britain in the early 1990s and became involved in activities associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, serving on the Education Aid for Palestinians (EAP) board of trustees, whose members are also activists identified with Hamas, and in transferring funds to Hamas. Birawi is also a senior figure in the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), which split from the MAB and is considered a Muslim Brotherhood branch in Britain. He was also involved in sending convoys and ships to the Gaza Strip, including involvement in the organization of the Mavi Marmara flotilla at the end of May 2010.[12] Since the outbreak of the Operation Iron Swords, he has been promoting initiatives to sent “aid ships” to Gaza Strip as part of his role as chairman of the International Committee to Break the “Siege” on Gaza.[13]
Zaher Birawi (International Campaign to Save Gaza X account, December 6, 2023)
Zaher Birawi (International Campaign to Save Gaza X account, December 6, 2023)[14]
  • Dr. Azzam al-Tamimi, who was born in Hebron, was a spokesman for Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations in Jordan in the 1990s before moving to Britain, where he was one of the founders of the MAB and is considered close to senior Hamas terrorist Khaled Mashaal.[15] Al-Tamimi, who is often invited to lecture to Muslim student associations at universities in the UK, expressed public support for suicide bombing attacks during the second intifada, claimed he wanted to be a shaheed and compared Zionism to Nazism. In a lecture in 2010, he claimed, “Today Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation because that’s what the Americans and Israelis and cowardly politicians of Europe want, but what is so terrorist about it?” (The Jewish Chronicle, March 19, 2019).[16]
  • In 2006, al-Tamimi founded the al-Hiwar satellite TV channel, which serves as a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas to spew inflammatory anti-Israel propaganda.[17] After the Hamas terrorist attack and massacre which led to Operation Iron Swords, he falsely claimed that “On October 7, Hamas only harmed military personnel. All the civilians who were captured or injured, that was not done by Hamas” (The Jewish Chronicle, November 3, 2023).[18] Al-Tamimi’s name was also first on a list of more than 40 heads of Muslim organizations, scholars and activists in Britain who signed a statement “defending the right of Palestinians to self-defense and ‘resistance’ against the illegal Israeli ‘occupation’ and ‘brutal violence'” (Cage, October 9, 2023).[19]
Azzam al-Tamimi (al-Hawar TV YouTube channel, November 12, 2023)
Azzam al-Tamimi (al-Hawar TV YouTube channel, November 12, 2023)[20]
  • Since October 7, 2023, the MAB has been one of the organizers of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have been taking place in London and other cities across the UK calling for a complete ceasefire to end the “occupation of all Palestine.” On October 19, the MAB released a video intended to justify the use of the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” in demonstrations. The video claims that the slogan is a “rejection of settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid” alongside “a call for freedom and justice in all of historical Palestine, not just in the 22% that make up the West Bank and Gaza.” It also claims that the argument is a call for the direct destruction of Israel demonstrates “a disturbing level of ignorance about the Palestinians at best, or a deliberate move to discredit their ‘legitimate aspirations’ at worst” (MAB Instagram account, October 2023).[21]
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC)
  • The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) is an NGO founded in 1982 by radical left-wing Marxists to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, and today it has more than 60 branches throughout the UK. It is active among the trade unions, the British public, the British Parliament, the European Parliament and similar left-wing organizations in Europe and around the world. Among its patrons are known anti-Semite and former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, director Ken Loach, and Oscar-winning actress Julie Christie.[22]
  • The organization defines itself as “is a community of people working together for peace, equality, and justice and against racism, occupation, and colonisation” and declares that it is “the biggest organisation in the UK dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights.” According to the PSC statement, the organization “campaigns for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and for peace and justice for everyone living in the region.” (PSC website, undated).[23]
  • The PSC is involved in anti-Israeli campaigns, mainly the boycott of Israel as part of the BDS movement, a call to the British government and British businesses to stop their involvement “in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians” and the boycott of the activities of the Jewish National Fund in the UK on the grounds that it is “involved in the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Palestinians” (PSC website, undated).[24]
  • On October 7, 2023, the organization published a statement of support for Hamas’ terrorist attack and massacre reading, “The offensive launched from Gaza today can only be understood in the context of Israel’s ongoing, decades long, military occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land and imposition of a system of oppression that meets the legal definition of apartheid.” (PSC Instagram page, October 7, 2023).[25]
 PSC demonstration (PSC X account, November 20, 2023)     The PSC statement after the October 7 attack and massacre (PSC Instagram account, October 9, 2023).
Right: The PSC statement after the October 7 attack and massacre (PSC Instagram account, October 9, 2023). Left: PSC demonstration (PSC X account, November 20, 2023)[26]
  • In another statement, on October 9, 2023, the organization assigned only Israel responsibility for “the serious escalation in violence since October 7,” with no reference whatsoever to the massacre carried out by Hamas terrorists inside Israel which prompted Operation Iron Swords. The statement also condemned the political leadership in Britain for its support for Israel, stating defiantly that “Those who rushed to condemn the violence of Palestinians have no moral basis to do so while supporting the maintenance of the apartheid system” (PSC website, October 9, 2023).[27]
  • PSC has been among the organizers of the largest pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the UK since October 7. PSC activists are identified in demonstrations with signs reading, “Exist. Resist. Return,” a slogan that also expresses identification with the armed Palestinian “resistance” [terrorist attacks] (Alex Callinicos’ X account, October 14, 2023).[28]
  • For the past seven years the organization’s director has been Ben Jamal, a former social worker and son of a Palestinian Anglican priest from West Jerusalem and an English mother. The British Guardian noted that Jamal took the main role in organizing the marches held in London since the beginning of the war in coordination with the representatives of the other organizations (The Guardian, November 8, 2023).[29]
Ben Jamal (PSC X account, November 25, 2023)
Ben Jamal (PSC X account, November 25, 2023)[30]
  • After the October 7 attack and massacre, Jamal claimed to be appalled and horrified by the killing of civilians and taking of hostages, but he emphasized that “[The PSC] supports the right of Palestinians to resist occupation and oppression which is also fully justified under international law” (PSC Instagram account, October 11, 2023).[31]
  • On December 6, 2023, Jamal appeared before the Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons and defended the chant, “From the river to the sea.” He claimed that the “vast majority of Palestinians” chanted the slogan to describe how “their rights are being denied throughout historic Palestine, including if they are citizens of Israel” and did not seek to “abolish anyone else’s rights” (PSC Instagram account, December 6, 2023).[32]
  • PSC’s Manchester branch provided the most blatant examples of public support for Hamas’ terrorist attack and massacre. A message published on the branch’s website on October 7 read, “During today’s heroic [sic] action, Palestinian ‘freedom fighters’ [terrorist operatives] from the besieged Gaza broke the Zionist colonial fences and entered the settlements built on stolen Palestinian land and inside the Palestine of 48.” The message also praised Hamas terrorists as “brave fighters” and stated that “while the ‘resistance’ continues and is expected to continue to register a historic victory, it is our duty here to express our unconditional support for the ‘resistance’ until Palestine is free” (Harry Cole’s X account, October 25, 2023).[33]
  • The Manchester branch also co-organized a demonstration on October 8 to “support the Palestinian resistance.” In the invitation to the demonstration, a photo of Hamas terrorists appeared on an Israeli tank near the border fence with the caption, “Hundreds of Palestinians became martyrs just today for their heroic resistance” (Friends of Palestine Instagram account in Manchester, October 7, 2023).[34] At the demonstration itself, the marchers carried a sign that read “Manchester supports Palestinian resistance” (X account of habibi, October 8, 2023).[35] One of the speakers at the rally praised the Hamas terrorists, shouting, “They rose on October 7 and we will not forget that. They rose and provided inspiration to the world.” (X account of habibi, October 9, 2023).[36]
 "Manchester supports the Palestinian resistance" sign (Palestine Action in Manchester X account, October 7, 2023)     Invitation to a pro-Hamas demonstration in Manchester (Friends of Palestine in Manchester Instagram, October 7, 2023).
Right: Invitation to a pro-Hamas demonstration in Manchester (Friends of Palestine in Manchester Instagram, October 7, 2023). Left: “Manchester supports the Palestinian resistance” sign (Palestine Action in Manchester X account, October 7, 2023)[37]

Following the demonstration and fears of being associated with Hamas, the national PSC leadership took the unusual step of suspending four of the Manchester branch executives, arguing it was “necessary to safeguard the ability of PSC to build the most impactful movement at this critical juncture” (Electronic Intifada website, November 3, 2023).[38] According to the official PSC leadership’s statement, the publications of the Manchester branch “were not acceptable, do not reflect the positions of PSC and do not serve the legitimate purpose of the Palestinian people.” It was also reported that “intentional killing of civilians, kidnapping of hostages and punishment Systematic are war crimes. We condemn such acts, regardless of who committed them” (PSC website, October 28, 2023).[39]

Palestinian Return Centre
  • The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), which defines itself as a “consulting firm,” is a Palestinian, anti-Israeli propaganda organization established in London in 1996. It strongly opposes the Oslo Accords, denies the right of the State of Israel to exist and promotes the concept of “the right of return” of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants to the places they fled in 1948 as a central tenet of the “struggle” against Israel and the political process.[40]
  • The Centre is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and some of its leaders are Hamas terrorist operatives who found refuge in the UK, including Zaher Birawi, an MAB founder, who was PRC chairman; and Majdi Aqil and Majed al-Zeer, who were active in the British Interpal Foundation, which was an important arm of Hamas’ fundraising mechanism.[41]
  • Due to the PRC’s clear connections with Hamas, it was outlawed in Israel in December 2010. However, the organization is recognized in the international arena and participates in UN forums, including the Human Rights Council. In June 2015, the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations decided to grant the PRC the status of an NGO observer.[42]
  • The PRC has three main target audiences in the UK: the political arena, mainly Parliament, where the organization is mostly in contact with members of the Labor Party; the campuses, where PRC activists participate in events related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and give anti-Israel lectures; and the British public as a whole, with an emphasis on the social and cultural elites. PRC activists participate in events such as World Jerusalem Day and Nakba Day, comment on developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and hold demonstrations and rallies in London and other UK cities. The PRC also holds conferences and workshops, lectures and seminars. It produces films, publishes magazines and administers a Palestinian cultural center in London.
  • On October 7, 2023, the PRC published a statement condemning the Israeli attacks without referring to Hamas’ terrorist attack and massacre. The announcement stated that “The latest escalation is the outcome of repeated Israeli crimes and contuious [sic] illgal [sic] occupation” and that “There is no doubt that the latest escalation is, for the most part, a direct and expected result of the over than a decade-long blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza by land, air, and sea and which turned the besieged enclave into an unliveable [sic] area” (PRC website, October 7, 2023).[43]
  • Since the beginning of Operation Iron Swords, the PRC has been publishing a weekly report in English and Arabic which “documents Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.” The Center refers to Hamas in its reports as a “resistance group” and not a terrorist organization (PRC website, report #1, October 25, 2023).[44]
Friends of al-Aqsa
  • Friends of al-Aqsa (FOA) is an anti-Israel NGO established in 1997 in the city of Leicester and operates branches in London and UK other. It defines itself as anti-Zionist, labels Israel’s policy as “apartheid,” supports Hamas and the path of “resistance” [terrorism] and strives to end the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, calling it “liberating Palestine.”[45]
  • FOA participates in the delegitimization attack and the boycott movement against Israel in the UK in cooperation with other organizations and activists, including a call to boycott large international Western companies that have relations with Israel. It also spreads anti-Israeli propaganda, using terms acceptable and familiar to the Western ear such as “peace in Palestine,” “respecting international law,” “respecting human rights” and “implementing UN resolutions.”
  • The FOA ‘s founder, who is still its head, is Isma’il Patel. A British subject of Pakistani origin, he has made toxic statements against Israel, denied the Zionist ideology on which the State was founded, predicted its imminent destruction and expressed support for Hamas. Patel participated in the Mavi Marmara flotilla (May 2010) and the Miles of Smiles 3 convoy (June 2011), when he met with Isma’il Haniyeh, who was then head of the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip.
  • FOA’s blatant support for Hamas has been clearly expressed since October 7. In response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel would respond forcefully, FOA claimed that the current developments in “occupied Palestine” were a response to 75 years of “illegal Israeli occupation, ethnic cleansing and attacks.” (FOA Instagram page, October 7, 2023).[46] The organization also published a video of the tractor that breached the border fence during the Hamas attack (FOA Instagram page, October 7, 2023).[47]
  • The FOA is among the leading organizers of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have been held in London and other cities throughout the UK every Saturday since the beginning of the war, and it also holds independent demonstrations while establishing an extensive network of volunteers who lead the anti-Semitic chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and of blaming Israel for committing genocide in Gaza (FOA account X, December 2, 2023).[48]
  • The leader of the organization, Ismail Patel, expressed support for the terrorist attack in posts on social networks, questioning the Israeli versions regarding the massacre and the hostages. On October 7, he shared a video on his X account that showed murdered Israelis, and said that “all Palestinian groups join hands to protect Palestinian freedom fighters and teach the occupation army a lesson in the true art of fighting.” In a statement he issued later in the day, he claimed that “the unprecedented current events” were a direct result of the Israeli occupation that began in 1947 (The Times, October 13, 2023).[49] On December 6, he denied that Hamas terrorists had drugged hostages “to make them look happy.” “There hardly have any paracetamol in Gaza but have sophisticated drugs to make you happy!!! Really. Daa. #IsraelLies” (Ismail Patel’s X account, December 6, 2023).[50]
 FOA demonstration in London (FOA X account, 10 December 2023)    Ismail Patel (FOA Facebook account, October 22, 2023).
Right: Ismail Patel (FOA Facebook account, October 22, 2023).[51] Left: FOA demonstration in London (FOA X account, 10 December 2023)[52]
The Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB)
  • The Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) is an NGO which defines itself as an organization “for the Palestinian dispersal in Britain” and is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. The organization is headed by a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood operative, Zaher Birawi, who is also active in the MAB and FOA. Another senior official is Hafez al-Carmi, who was a member of Hamas’ political bureau.[53]
  • The PFB has been one of the main organizers of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the UK since the outbreak of Operation Iron Swords. On October 8, 2023, he expressed support for the Hamas terrorist attack and massacre, calling them “resistance operations,” while accusing Israel of “genocide” and the violation of international law. The announcement read, “The Palestinian Forum in Britain reiterates the Palestinian people’s steadfast commitment to their legitimate rights – the right to resist the occupation, the right to liberate their land and holy sites, and the right to self-determination, including the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital” (PFB Instagram page, October 2023).[54]
  • Ziad El Aloul, one of the senior PFB operatives, published posts praising the terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7 and called it a “moment of glory.” He shared videos of Hamas terrorists on motorized gliders and terrorists in vans inside Israeli settlements and wrote, “This is Gaza humiliating the Zionists and their sins.” He also shared an illustration showing a Palestinian “paratrooper” on his way to the Temple Mount with the caption “Soon towards Jerusalem” (The Jewish Chronicle, November 14, 2023).[55]
Hizb ut-Tahrir
  • Another organization involved in pro-Hamas protests in the UK is Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Liberation Party). Hizb ut-Tahrir is a radical pan-Islamic political movement that was founded in East Jerusalem in 1952 and its activities have expanded to dozens of countries around the world, including to Muslim communities in the West.[56]
  • Hizb ut-Tahrir promotes the vision of establishing an Islamic caliphate and establishing Sharia [Islamic law] around the world through jihad, although the movement itself does not participate in terrorist activity and claims that it does not support the use of violence to achieve its goals. However, the movement makes clearly anti-Semitic statements and calls for the killing of Jews and the destruction of the State of Israel.
  • In the Palestinian arena, Hizb ut-Tahrir opposes the Palestinian Authority and any political settlement with Israel. There is a serious ideological disagreement between Hizb ut-Tahrir and Hamas, even though both movements have a radical Islamist view, which is due to the Hamas’ use for terrorism to advance its goals, but both movements have cooperated in protest actions against the Palestinian Authority due to the negotiations with Israel.
  • Its support for jihad and anti-Semitism caused Hizb ut-Tahrir to be outlawed in several countries, including Germany and Saudi Arabia. However, the organization’s activities in Britain remained legal despite efforts by Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron, after security agencies warned it would be more difficult to track the movement if it went underground (The Times, October 24, 2003).[57] In 2004, Britain’s National Union of Students banned Hizb ut-Tahrir from campuses, but in recent months there have been reports that speakers affiliated with the movement have again appeared at events at universities, including the London School of Economics and the University of Birmingham (The Jewish Chronicle, August 10, 2023).[58] .
  • Immediately after the October 7 attack, the party issued a statement saying that if it could be done by a “resistance movement,” imagine what a belated response from the Muslim world could achieve (The Telegraph, October 22, 2023).[59] Since October 7, Hizb ut-Tahrir has held a number of demonstrations in London, separate from the larger demonstrations of the coalition of six pro-Palestinian organizations. In the demonstration on October 21, chants of “jihad” were heard and there was an appeal made to the Muslim countries to “send armies” to invade Israel. However, the London police refrained from acting on the grounds that the police “did not identify any offences” (The Jeruslam Post, October 22, 2023).[60]
  • Senior members of Hizb ut-Tahrir publicly expressed support for the October 7 attack and massacre. The leader of the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Dr. Wahid Shaida, who practices family medicine in Britain’s public health system, defined the attack as “a very welcome punch in the nose” to Israel and led the demonstrations where calls for jihad were heard. Another member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Luqman Muqeem, called the Hamas terrorists “heroes” on social media and wrote that the attack “made us all very, very happy” (Daily Mail, November 11, 2023).[61]
 Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstration in London (Potkin Azarmehr's X account, October 23, 2023)
Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstration in London (Potkin Azarmehr’s X account, October 23, 2023)[62]
The Red-Green Alliance
  • The pro-Hamas protests in Britain since October 7 have shone a light on the Red-Green Alliance, a strong partnership between the organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas and radical organizations on Britain’s extreme left.[63]
  • Cooperation began as early as the 1990s, when both sides recognized Israel and the “capitalist-imperialist” United States as common enemies. Their relationship became practical in the early 2000s with the MAB’s joint demonstrations with the Stop the War Coalition (StWC), and later also with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), which were pro-Palestinians and against the United States’s “war on terrorism” begun after the September 11 attacks.
  • The collaboration of the Red-Green Alliance continued in the following years, when it was joined b y the radical left in Britain, labor organizations and political parties such as the Socialist Workers’ Party and the Respect Party and politicians, some of whom were members of the Labor Party that ruled intermittently in Britain. The parties held joint demonstrations and protest actions against Israel, mainly within the framework of the BDS boycott movement and in flotillas to the Gaza Strip.[64]
  • The StWC and CND are among the main organizers of the pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas demonstrations that have been taking place across the UK every Saturday since 7 October, alongside the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Muslim Association of Britain and the Palestine Forum in Britain.
 The StWC logo at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London (StWC X account, 10 December 2023)
The StWC logo at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London
(StWC X account, 10 December 2023)[65]
  • The announcement published by the Stop the War Coalition on October 9 referred to the terrorist attack, but did not mention Hamas, only “Palestinian fighters,” and did not include a condemnation. On the other hand, the announcement warned that “Israel’s response to it, however, is likely to be similar in that it unleashes a supposed ‘war on terror’” on a terrible scale that may lead to much wider wars and destruction of whole societies” (StWC website, October 2023).[66]
  • Another announcement by the Coalition actually justified the acts of rape and sexual assault committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women during the October 7 attack. “Such acts cannot be justified but they are sadly common in war situations,” the organization stated, adding that “there is enough evidence that rape is an integral part of warfare.” It also claimed, “It is important to put the attacks on Israel in context. This is a highly conflicted, violent society, a militarised settler-colonial state which oppresses the national-liberation aspirations of the Palestinian people” (StWC website, December 7, 2023).[67]
  • Tariq Ali, a prominent, long-time StWC activist, claimed that every time the Palestinians tried a nonviolent struggle it failed, and called the attack on October 7 “a big change” because the “resistance” was renewed. He rejected the statement that it was “the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust” noting that during the Yom Kippur War 2,656 Israeli soldiers were killed, without mentioning it was this time it was a terrorist attack in which most of the victims were civilians and it had not been a war of soldiers against soldiers (The Times, November 11, 2023).[68]
  • The politician most affiliated with the Red-Green Alliance and with the connection to Hamas is known anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, who served as the leader of Labor, the main opposition party, from 2015 to 2020 and was its candidate for prime minister in the general elections in 2017 and 2019. A report published after the end of Corbyn’s term stated that the party under his leadership violated the law due to a lack of handling of cases of anti-Semitism within Labor, and as a result, Corbyn was removed from the party’s ranks and banned from running again on its behalf (BBC, March 28, 2023).[69]
  • Corbyn’s anti-Israel positions have continued since the 1980s, when he was linked to the Campaign for Palestine movement in Labor that expressed “opposition to the Zionist state” and called on Labor to “express support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for a democratic and secular state in all of Palestine.” In 2014, Corbyn was photographed placing a wreath in Tunisia on the graves of Black September terrorist prisoner’s, including the perpetrators of the massacre of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics (Times of Israel, August 20, 2018).[70]
  • Corbyn also has a long relationship with the Hamas movement. In 2008, he hosted representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah at an event in parliament and called them “friends.” In 2012, he attended a conference in Qatar also attended by senior Hamas terrorists such as Khaled Mashaal and Husam Badran, who was the commander of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing in Samaria and released in the Gilad Shalit exchange deal (JTA, August 20, 2018).[71] He also opposed the British government’s decision to declare Hamas a terrorist organization and said that it was a “big mistake,” claiming, straight-faced, that Hamas was “dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people and long-term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region” (Reddit, October 7, 2023).[72]
Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a demonstration by the Campaign for Palestine (PSC Instagram account, November 12, 2023)
Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a demonstration by the Campaign for Palestine
(PSC Instagram account, November 12, 2023)[73]
  • Corbyn, who has been active in the StWC since its inception, has served as its chairman and is currently one of its vice presidents, takes an active part in the pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas demonstrations that have been held in Britain since the outbreak of Operation Iron Swords, in which chants of “From the river to the sea” and “Globalize the intifada” have been heard (PSC Instagram account, November 12, 2023).[74]
  • Corbyn condemned the terrorist attack by Hamas, but for many weeks avoided publicly calling the Hamas movement a terrorist organization, even though it is defined as such in Britain (The Jewish Chronicle, November 14, 2023).[75] In an article he published on November 17, Corbyn agreed that Hamas was a terrorist organization due to its indiscriminate attacks on civilians, but immediately accused the IDF of terrorism because it [allegedly] “hit hospitals, refugee camps and seemingly safe areas” (Tribune, November 17, 2023).[76]
  • Another example of the connection between the British left and the pro-Palestinian protest is Workers for a Free Palestine, a network of members of central labor organizations established following an appeal from Palestinian labor organizations. The network includes the two largest unions Unite and Unison, as well as the British Medical Association, the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union, and the Food Industry Workers. The unions’ protest activity focuses on blocking access to defense plants in the UK that allegedly to supply components for weapons used by the Israeli security forces (Jacobin, November 11, 2023).[77]
  • Another body that represents the Red-Green Alliance is Palestine Action, a pro-Palestinian protest movement founded at the end of July 2020 by Huda Ammori, a former member of the PSC, and Richard Barnard, a former activist in the Extinction Rebellion, an environmental movement (The Times, 20 October 2023).[78] The movement focuses on blocking access and vandalism against defense establishments in the United Kingdom, primarily websites related to the Israeli company Elbit Systems, arguing that they want to stop their activities “to prevent bombings” of the Palestinians (The Guardian, December 1, 2023).[79]
  • After Hamas’ terrorist attack and massacre, and the outbreak of Operation Iron Swords on October 7, 2023, the Palestine Action movement continued its protest activity, accusing Israel of war crimes without any reference to Hamas. On October 10 the movement published a map of 50 targets “participating in Elbit’s murderous weapons trade,” and in addition it presented an “underground manual” which “contains the essential information for creating an autonomous group able to independently strike at the facilitators of Israel’s systemic and military violence” (Palestine Action website, October 10, 2023).[80]
Palestine Action demonstration at the entrance to a factory in Kent (Palestine Action Instagram account, November 6, 2023)
Palestine Action demonstration at the entrance to a factory in Kent
(Palestine Action Instagram account, November 6, 2023)[81]
Support for Hamas on university campuses
  • For years, the campuses of the institutions of higher education in the UK have been fertile ground for the promotion of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel positions, both by former lecturers such as Edward Said and Noam Chomsky, and by the activity of local and national student associations, including at leading universities such as Oxford, King’s College and the School of Economics of London.[82]
  • The executive board of the National Union of Students (NUS), which represents hundreds of student unions in universities and colleges across the UK, passed a resolution in June 2015 supporting the BDS boycott movement (Tablet Magazine, June 5, 2015).[83] Presidents of the National Union have been accused of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel positions, with the last president, Shaima Dallali, removed in November 2022 after five months in office due to posts such as “Khybar, oh Jews… Muhammad’s army will return to Gaza” and “I don’t want no Zionist near my passport, I’ll probs kill him tbh'” (The Jewish Chronicle, March 30, 2023).[84]
  • The Federation of Islamic Student Societies (FOSIS) in Great Britain and Ireland, which represents Muslim students, was established in 1962 and one of its founders was Said Ramadan, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The federation also has ties to the MAB and has hosted speakers affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including Dr. Azzam Al-Tamimi, and holds anti-Israel protest activities.[85]
  • FOSIS did not issue a statement condemning the terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023. Shehab Isma’il, the president of FOSIS, and Amir Shabir, the FOSIS chairman in the Midlands region, were among the signatories of a statement for the “protection of the right of the Palestinians to self-defense and ‘resistance’ against the illegal Israeli occupation and ‘brutal violence,'” along with more than 40 heads of organizations, scholars and Muslim activists in the UK. On October 26, FOSIS issued a statement in response to the “increase in Islamophobia on campuses” and following human rights violations in “Palestine.” It demanded that Muslim students be allowed to “express their support for the Palestinian people in their struggle against occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” but did not address the rise in anti-Semitism against Jewish students and supporters of Israel (FOSIS website, October 26, 2023).[86]
  • Since October 7, pro-Palestinian student associations on campuses across the UK have been holding demonstrations, school shutdowns and other protest actions in which chants supporting Hamas and the terrorist attack and massacre were heard alongside anti-Israeli slogans (Daily Mail, November 9, 2023).[87]
  • Furthermore, many of the associations published support for the terrorist attack and “armed resistance against Israel” [anti-Israel terrorist attacks]. On October 8 the student association Warwick [University] for Justice in Palestine issued a statement expressing solidarity with Gaza, with the “martyrs” and with the “resistance” to the “brutal occupation” (association’s Instagram account, October 8, 2023).[88] The Barts and London Queen Mary Student Union stated that “international law permits armed resistance by the occupied against the occupier. The occupied are resisting” (union’s Instagram account, October 9, 2023).[89] The Kings College London Student Union – Students For Justice For Palestine expressed support for “the Palestinian people’s right to protest” and declared that “Palestinians have been subjected to the longest continuous military occupation in modern history, and their right to protest is outlined in international law” (the association’s Instagram account, October 17, 2023).[90]
  • The Centre for Palestine Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London published a photograph of Hamas operatives on an Israeli tank and declared that “Resistance is a human right. Resistance is a necessity. Resistance is Palestine.” The statement also reads: “We affirm the Palestinian people’s right to resistance and to reclaim their homeland by any means necessary” (Centre’s Instagram account, October 9, 2023).[91] At all demonstrations held at the university, cries of support for armed Palestinian “resistance” and for intifada were heard. Authorities suspended a number of students who took part in the demonstration on the grounds of “breach of health and safety protocol for activating the fire alarms” (The Telegraph, November 14, 2023).[92]
  • Support for Hamas also came from academics in higher education institutions in the UK. For example, Prof. Ashok Kumar, a political economy lecturer at the Birbeck Business School at the University of London, posted a tweet (which was later deleted) on his X account about the massacre at the Nova Festival. He wrote that sometimes there were “consequences” for celebrating on “stolen land” near a “concentration camp” where “a million people were starving” (The Times, October 11, 2023).[93] Dr. Shahd Hammouri from the University of Kent wrote, “Resistance by the Palestinian people by all means available at their disposal against an illegal occupying power is a legitimate act” (Law for Palestine, October 8, 2023).[94]
 Pro-Palestinian student unions call for school shutdown (kclforceasefire Instagram account, November 20, 2023)     An invitation by the Palestine Association at SOAS to a pro-Hamas demonstration (the movement's Instagram account, October 9, 2023).
Right: An invitation by the Palestine Association at SOAS to a pro-Hamas demonstration (the movement’s Instagram account, October 9, 2023).[95] Left: Pro-Palestinian student unions call for school shutdown (kclforceasefire Instagram account, November 20, 2023)[96]
  1. For further information, see the December 2021 ITIC report, "Palestinian condemnations of the British decision to outlaw Hamas’ political bureau."
  2. For further information, see the November 2023 ITIC report, " International activity against Hamas since the outbreak of Operation Iron Swords"
  3. https://www.instagram.com/p/CzTezuIIow-/
  4. https://www.mabonline.net/about-us/history-mab
  5. For further information, see the article by Ehud Rosen "Mapping the Organizational Sources of the Global Delegitimization Campaign against Israel in the UK," 2010, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, pp. 19-20.
  6. https://www.mabonline.net/get-involved/campaign-with-mab/free-palestine
  7. Rosen, "Mapping Organizational Sources," pp. 17-18, 25
  8. Ibid. p. 24
  9. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486932/Muslim_Brotherhood_Review_Main_Findings.pdf
  10. For further information, see the October 2107 ITIC report, "One of the members of a recent Hamas delegation to Russia was Muhammad Sawalha, a London-based Hamas operative engaged in extensive anti-Israel activities."
  11. For further information, see the January 2019 ITIC report, " Muhammad Sawalha, senior Hamas operative living in London, continues participating in Hamas-supported political activities."
  12. For further information, see the September 2018 ITIC report, "A Hamas-affiliated Palestinian in Britain admitted the flotilla project to the Gaza Strip was not intended to 'break the siege' and bring humanitarian aid, but rather to promote the battle for hearts and minds against Israel."
  13. For further information, see the November 2023 ITIC report, "Attempts to organize an aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip."
  14. https://twitter.com/SaveGaazza/status/1732469006710329828
  15. For further information, see the February 2010 ITIC report, "Britain as a Focus for Hamas’ Political, Propaganda and Legal Activities in Europe."
  16. https://www.thejc.com/news/academic-who-longs-to-be-martyr-against-the-cancer-of-israel-is-due-to-speak-at-university-college-london-w6xfigfx
  17. For further information, see the March 2022 ITIC report, "The British-based al-Hiwar TV provides a platform for Ibrahim al-Madhoun, a member of Hamas’ department of national relations, who operates from Turkey."
  18. https://www.thejc.com/news/radical-muslim-clerics-deliver-hate-sermons-in-wake-of-october-7-attacks-eoq04zt3
  19. https://www.cage.ngo/british-muslim-organisations-scholars-and-activists-defend-palestinian-rights-to-resistance-and-self-defence
  20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIv-lB0hUQY
  21. https://www.instagram.com/p/CylLTYwME29
  22. For further information, see the September 2011 ITIC report, "Premeditated heckling attempts to disrupt a performance of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in London."
  23. https://palestinecampaign.org/about
  24. https://palestinecampaign.org/campaigns
  25. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyGMqSHo7X-/?hl=en&img_index=1
  26. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyGMqSHo7X-/?hl=en&img_index=3
  27. https://palestinecampaign.org/psc-statement-on-escalation-of-violence
  28. https://twitter.com/alex_callinicos/status/1713282802542645620
  29. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/08/details-of-pro-palestine-march-in-london-agreed-with-police-says-organiser
  30. https://twitter.com/PSCupdates/status/1728359027896172842
  31. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyQ7OHwIpdu/
  32. https://www.instagram.com/p/C0hU9amImiW/?hl=en
  33. https://twitter.com/MrHarryCole/status/1717187507610120395
  34. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyGlg7vszYt/
  35. https://twitter.com/habibi_uk/status/1711020675719123240
  36. https://twitter.com/habibi_uk/status/1711367195161165966
  37. https://twitter.com/ManPalestine/status/1710654275016110321
  38. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/uk-palestine-solidarity-campaign-punishes-manchester-branch
  39. https://palestinecampaign.org/statement-on-manchester-psc
  40. For further information, see the March 2011 ITIC report, "The Palestinian Return Centre: London-based center for anti-Israeli propaganda, affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed in Israel. It promotes the demand of the Palestinian refugees to return as a way of destroying Israel. Senior PRC figures send flotillas and convoys to the Gaza Strip and transfer funds to Hamas." https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/he/17945
  41. Ibid., and the ITIC August 2011 report, "Seniors in Interpal, a British fund that supports Hamas, play a major role in sending aid convoys to Gaza. South African organizations belonging to the Union of Good are also involved."
  42. For further information, see the June 2015 ITIC report, "UN Committee on NGOs voted to grant the Palestinian Return Centre observer status, pending authorization."
  43. https://prc.org.uk/en/post/4534/prc-israel-responsible-for-latest-escalation-international-community-should-act-without-delay
  44. https://prc.org.uk/upload/library/files/Gaza-Documentary-Report1-EN.pdf
  45. For further information, see the August 2011 ITIC report, "Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA): a pro-Hamas British organization based in Leicester which advocates Israel’s elimination."
  46. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyGiOuDN-63
  47. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyG--u4tf0J
  48. https://twitter.com/FriendsofAlAqsa/status/1730932307345686547
  49. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/french-police-use-tear-gas-on-pro-palestinian-protestors-fmjks8lt9
  50. https://twitter.com/Ismailadampatel/status/1732340986351657217
  51. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=725954326241775&set=pb.100064816417812.-2207520000&type=3
  52. https://twitter.com/FriendsofAlAqsa/status/1733615297788056013
  53. Report from the Office of Strategic Affairs, February 2019, "Terrorists in Suits - The Ties Between NGOs promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations."
  54. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyJKDhOtoyd/?hl=en
  55. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/inside-pro-palestinian-groups-calling-violent-end-israel-pslssqnhd
  56. For further information, see the December 2007 ITIC report, "Demonstrations in Judea and Samaria against the Annapolis meeting are an additional indication of the strengthening of the Islamic Liberation Party."
  57. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/who-are-hizb-ut-tahrir-london-palestine-protest-organisers-kmhkdnbrv
  58. https://www.thejc.com/news/banned-jihadi-group-in-push-to-infiltrate-uk-campuses-sd2zjmck
  59. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/10/22/hizb-ut-tahrir-praise-hamas-uk-ban-call
  60. https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-769560
  61. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12736449/Hamas-apologist-job-nuclear-plant-Revealed-roles-held-key-members-extremist-group-backed-October-7-killers.html
  62. ttps://twitter.com/potkazar/status/1716416451689554066
  63. Rosen, "Mapping the Organizational Sources" page?
  64. For further information, see the September 2010 ITIC report, "Conspicuous among the passengers and organizations aboard the Mavi Marmara were Turkish and Arab Islamic extremists led by IHH. They were joined by extremist European left activists and volunteers who answered the call to help the Palestinians in the Gaza."
  65. https://twitter.com/STWuk/status/1733828710308946221
  66. https://www.stopwar.org.uk/article/the-israeli-offensive-and-the-risk-of-wider-war
  67. https://www.stopwar.org.uk/article/rape-war-and-human-rights-the-real-story
  68. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/organisers-of-pro-palestine-march-praise-hamas-resistance-xmlkqlcb5
  69. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-65102128
  70. https://www.timesofisrael.com/corbyn-who-sought-israels-demise-is-an-anti-semite-labour-must-kick-him-out
  71. https://www.jta.org/2018/08/20/israel/corbyn-appeared-stage-2012-hamas-terror-chief
  72. https://www.reddit.com/r/ukpolitics/comments/172c6jx/jeremy_corbyn_the_idea_that_an_organisation_hamas
  73. ttps://www.instagram.com/p/CzjDTjuoExO/?hl=en
  74. https://www.instagram.com/p/CzjDTjuoExO/?hl=en
  75. https://www.thejc.com/news/jeremy-corbyn-refuses-to-call-hamas-terrorists-in-tetchy-piers-morgan-interview-brmzcn3b
  76. https://tribunemag.co.uk/2023/11/jeremy-corbyn-peace-is-hard-but-possible
  77. https://jacobin.com/2023/11/britain-workers-trade-unions-israel-palestine-arms-industry-blockade
  78. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pro-palestinian-activists-threaten-to-target-defence-and-council-sites-289qr2fw2
  79. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/01/activist-on-trial-for-damaging-uk-sites-of-israeli-arms-maker-says-he-was-justified
  80. https://www.palestineaction.org/50-targets-launched
  81. https://www.instagram.com/p/CzT5qGitslt/
  82. Rosen, "Mapping Organizational Sources," pp. 43-44.
  83. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/british-student-union-backs-bds-but-support-is-not-pervasive
  84. https://www.thejc.com/news/sacked-nus-leader-joked-she-would-kill-a-zionist-gqyq8kjd
  85. See the article by Leslie Klaff, "Antisemitism on campus: a new look at legal interventions," Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, 2 (2), pp.304-306, Sheffield Hallam University Research Archive, 2010. https://shura.shu.ac.uk/10270/1/Klaff%20Antisemitism%20on%20campus.pdf
  86. https://www.fosis.org.uk/news/fosis-palestine-response/#
  87. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12730315/Moment-crowds-chant-honour-martyrs-pro-Palestine-rally-outside-Kings-College-London.html
  88. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyItzJqtwXs/?img_index=1
  89. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyLbJf6N_cI/
  90. https://www.instagram.com/p/CygEOL5toFX/?img_index=1
  91. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyJy4VTIO6d/?img_index=3
  92. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/11/14/soas-palestine-society-reinstatement-students-protests/
  93. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/israel-palestine-uk-academics-ucl-oxford-cambridge-7sw2vr9ls
  94. https://law4palestine.org/the-palestinian-people-have-the-right-to-resistance-by-all-means-available-at-their-disposal-dr-shahd-hammouri/
  95. https://www.instagram.com/p/CyJy4VTIO6d/?img_index=1
  96. https://www.instagram.com/p/Cz32ZCwtHxU/?img_index=1