Fed Up Public to Protest Netanyahu's Visit after Dismissed e-Petition Goes Viral

Michaela Whitton
September 8, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom —petition on the U.K. Parliament’s website calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accrued more than 100,000 signatures. Despite bold claims by the government that all petitions reaching over 100,000 signatures will be considered for debate, the petition was dismissed with a response two weeks ago.

While most of those who signed knew Netanyahu wouldn’t be arrested, the petition has succeeded in raising awareness and sending a strong message that the Prime Minister of Israel isn’t welcome in Britain. By Sunday, the petition had accrued 101,499 signatures and stated:

“Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September. Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K. for the massacre of over 2000 civilians in 2014.”

As a serving Prime Minister, Netanyahu has diplomatic immunity from arrest for the war crimes identified by the U.N. following Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza last summer.  Some of the U.K. government’s false statements in its response to the petition have been widely criticized.

“The petition will have no impact upon the UK-Israel relationship which is stronger than ever and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s forthcoming visit will enhance it further,” Conservative MP Eric Pickles told The Telegraph recently — obviously referring in part to the enduring two-way military collaboration between the two countries — a relationship worth millions.

Despite thousands expressing public outrage at Israeli impunity, the proud member of Conservative Friends of Israel David Cameron will wine and dine Netanyahu in London on September 9th. According to an Israeli media report, their agenda will include the Iran deal, Gaza, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, and the war in Syria.  

As public appetite for e-petitions increases in the U.K., the fight for change is fueled by the promise that by somehow reaching the mythical figure of 100,000, the public has a say in the so-called democratic process.

For evidence that Parliament’s petition protocol is nothing more than a farce, one only has to look at the latest legalize cannabis campaign in the U.K. Despite receiving more than 200,000 signatures — double the amount required to be considered for debate – the government’s response was an insulting email telling thousands of people how wrong they are.

Undeterred by the rejection, hundreds of activists and campaigners plan to welcome Benjamin Netanyahu in their own special way with a demonstration in central London on Wednesday. As the warmongering government leaders shake bloodied hands, U.K. citizens are refusing to turn a blind eye to U.K. complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.

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Michaela Whitton joined Anti-Media as its first journalist abroad in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include human rights, conflict, the Middle East, Palestine, and Israel. Born and residing in the United Kingdom, she is also a photographer. Learn more about Whitton here!