France has come under fire after politicians submitted a bill aimed at “penalising anti-Zionism” and cracking down on pro-Palestine protests.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and France’s President Emmanuel Macron discussed the ever-escalating situation in Palestine during a phone call on Tuesday, as the death toll from Israel’s war on Gaza surpassed 10,000.
“During the call, the latest developments in the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories were discussed, in addition to regional and international developments of common interest,” the Amiri Diwan said in a statement.
The call between the two world leaders comes as Israel continues to unleash one of history’s most violent and relentless war on Gaza, dropping some 25,000 tonnes of explosives – the equivalent of two nuclear bombs – on the besieged enclave, according to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.
The Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) has been using its goal to “wipe Hamas from the face of earth” as the pretext for its war on Gaza despite largely killing civilians and displacing more than one million. The occupying state has mainly targeted schools, hospitals and refugee camps, claiming that Hamas fighters were hiding in the structures.
The horrifying scenes have triggered global outrage and led to mass protests in across the United States and in major European cities, including Paris. France has come under fire after French politicians submitted a bill aimed at “penalising anti-Zionism” and cracking down on pro-Palestine protests.
Days after 7 October, French authorities used tear gas and water cannons to scatter demonstrators who gathered in solidarity with the Palestinians on the streets. This occurred shortly after the government’s decision to prohibit such gatherings.
In the capital city of Paris, the police disbanded a protest, acting on Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin’s orders to sever all pro-Palestine rallies in the name of “public order”.
Despite this, thousands took to the streets of France to protest the Israeli regime’s onslaught in Gaza, joining other such mass rallies in the west, including Washington DC, which held the largest pro-Palestine rally in US history last week.
In Germany, schools in the capital have been ordered to ban the traditional Palestinian headdress, known as the keffiyeh.
“Any demonstrative behaviour or expression of opinion that can be understood as advocating or approving the attacks against Israel or supporting the terrorist organisations that carry them out, such as Hamas or Hezbollah, represents a threat to school peace in the current situation and is prohibited,” Germany Education Senator, Katharina Guenther-Wuensch, said in a letter to schools.
The official also outlawed “free Palestine” stickers, stating, “such actions and symbols endanger school peace in the current situation.”
Addressing the crackdown on protests, Amnesty International said in an October 20 statement that “states have a legal obligation to ensure that people are able to peacefully express their grief, concerns and their solidarity”.
Despite the crackdowns, pro-Palestine supporters and anti-war activists have continued to call for an immediate ceasefire.
In France, parliamentarians from La France Insoumise party, Manuel Bompard, Louis Boyard and Mathilde Panot took on the French government for its “unconditional support” for Israel and urged it to strongly condemn Israel for its “war crimes committed in Gaza.”
Last week, more than 2,000 cultural figures from the UK signed an open letter letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israeli war crimes. The letter, which boasts names like actors Tilda Swinton, Charles Dance, Steve Coogan, and Miriam Margolyes, said: “Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them.
It also condemned “every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them”.
Meanwhile, football players have also stood in solidarity with Palestine.
Galatasaray’s Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech, Bayern Munich’s Noussair Mazraoui, former Real Madrid star and 2022 men’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Arsenal’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Real Betis’ French player Nabil Fekir have all made their positions clear on social media despite facing pressure from their clubs.
Last week, German football club Mainz 05 has terminated the contract of Anwar El Ghazi over social media posts related to the footballer’s solidarity with Palestine.
On Friday, the German club published a brief statement stating, “The 1st FSV Mainz 05 ends the contractual relationship with Anwar El Ghazi and terminated the player on Friday with immediate effect.”
“With this measure, the club reacts to the player’s statements and posts on social media,” the statement added.
However, the Dutch footballer has appeared to remain unfazed despite the termination of his contract and vowed to continue standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a deadly Israeli aggression.
“Stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone,” he wrote. “The loss of my livelihood is nothing when compared to the hell being unleashed on the innocent and vulnerable in Gaza,” the 28-year-old added.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, The Economist confirmed online support for Israel has sharply dropped while pro-Palestine posts spiked one month into the brutal Israeli aggression on Gaza, reflecting a major shift in global opinion.
Data shared displayed a clear decline in sympathy for Israel online by analysing one million posts from Instagram, X, and YouTube between October 7 and 23.