Protesters are getting ready for a visit to Britain by Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday.
The visit comes after the Israeli state announced plans to build 6,000 settler homes inside illegal settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has called a protest set to take place outside Downing Street from 11.30am on Monday.
Netanyahu is set to meet Theresa May in Downing Street before flying on to the US to meet president Donald Trump. Trump has previously promised to be less critical of Israel’s settlement building and May has cosied up to Netanyahu following Trump’s election.
The US and Britain have always backed Israel, which protects their imperialist interests in the Middle East. But previous US president Barack Obama criticised Israel’s settlement building for undermining the promise of a two-state solution between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel.
The US needs the fiction of a two-state solution—which would allegedly see a state of Palestine existing alongside Israel—to keep the PA on side. But Israel’s constant settlement building makes it ever more apparent that this is impossible.
At a United Nations summit last December Britain and the US, with Obama still as president, backed a resolution criticising Israel’s settlements. But Trump attacked the resolution—and May joined in as part of her attempts to position herself closer to Trump.
Yet there are already signs that Trump is backtracking after taking office—and May has predictably followed. A White House statement issued yesterday, Thursday, said the new settlement plans “may not be helpful”.
May’s spokesperson also said yesterday that the construction of new settlements “undermines trust”.
Trump, May and Netanyahu will use next week’s talks to try and iron out these differences and stabilise the US’ dominance in the Middle East.
A demonstration against Netanyahu’s last visit saw 800 people block the road outside Downing Street.
The demonstration on Monday will be an opportunity to disrupt those talks—and build a movement that can undermine Britain’s support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.