Pro-Palestine advocates rally against Bennett’s visit to Washington

Washington (QNN)- Hundreds of pro-Palestine advocates have gathered in Lafayette Park opposite the White House on Thursday to demand an end to President Joe Biden’s “unconditional support for Israeli apartheid” as Israeli PM Naftali Bennett visits Washington for talks.

The demonstrators called on US President Joe Biden to uphold his campaign promise to advance human rights globally while waving Palestinian flags and chanting Free Palestine and against the Israeli occupation.

Organisations including Code Pink, Americans for Justice in Palestine (AJP) Action, Jewish Voice for Peace Action and Democratic Socialists of America Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Working Group staged the demo.

Biden was supposed to meet Bennett at 11:30 (15:30 GMT) on Thursday but the bilateral talks were moved to Friday due to the situation in Kabul where two explosions killed and wounded people outside the airport.

The activists protested against Israeli efforts to forcibly displace Palestinian families from their homes in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem and the suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip.

The activists also urged Biden to end the “blank cheque” policy to ‘Israel.’

They demanded “an end to US military and diplomatic support of all human rights violations, including an immediate halt to forced expulsions of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem, and the suffocating siege of Gaza.”

AJP Action executive director Dr Osama Abu Irshaid said: “It is imperative that the international community and the United States stop pretending to be blind when it comes to Israel’s criminal behaviour. Israel interprets the silence as a licence to kill.”

Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group, said in the protest on Thursday, by hosting Bennett and refusing to condemn Israeli policies, Biden is letting down the voters seeking justice, who elected him.

He added, “While Bennett’s government is stalling reconstruction in Gaza — following Israel’s murder of 265 Palestinian civilians there — the Biden administration refuses to hold its flow of US military aid and weapons to that state.”

“It is incumbent that President Biden demand Israel immediately halt its killing of Palestinian protesters, confiscation of Palestinian land and cease interfering in the reconstruction of Gaza.”

“I remind President Joe Biden today that he’s breaking his promise that he will honour and promote and defend human rights … Justice for people here is no different than justice for people in Palestine,” Awad said.

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