European Govts Reluctant to Criticize Gaza Strikes as Protesters Take to the Streets

Protests in Berlin, Other Capitals Call for End to Israeli Attacks

by Jason Ditz, December 29, 2008

Around 3,000 protesters clashed with police in London as they rallied at the Israeli embassy calling for an end to the Israeli military’s attacks on the Gaza Strip. Over a thousand marched in a similar rally in Berlin, while smaller rallies were reported in Paris, Athens and Warsaw.

But the governments of those nations are reluctant to speak too critically of the Israeli attacks which have killed hundreds and spurred daily protests in their capitals. The German government has lauded Israel for its “legitimate” attacks on the strip, and spokesman Thomas Steg says “clear, sole responsibility for the situation lies with Hamas.”

And while the British and French governments are working on a ceasefire proposal to be presented tomorrow at the emergency EU session in Paris, both have been careful not to criticize Israel for the situation. Even then, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has slammed the proposal as “very bad for Israel,” and expressed concern that international acquiescence for the continued strikes will only last until next Monday.

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