Diane Abbott protests against ‘Israeli apartheid police’ in Hackney

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Diane Abbott protests against ‘Israeli apartheid police’ in Hackney

Labour MP attends Palestine Solidarity Campaign demo after officers show Israeli cops 'good practice in neighbourhood policing in areas with large Orthodox Jewish communities.'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Diana Abbott (right) seen at protest against Israeli police visit organised by Hackney Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Pic published by Hackney PSC
Diana Abbott (right) seen at protest against Israeli police visit organised by Hackney Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Pic published by Hackney PSC

Labour MP Diane Abbott has sparked renewed anger after joining a protest against a visit by Israeli police officers in Hackney to learn about “good practice in neighbourhood policing in areas with large Orthodox Jewish communities.”

The former shadow home secretary was photographed at the demonstration organised by the Hackney branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign which condemned the “Israeli apartheid police” who were “not welcome on our streets.”

Hackney PSC held the protest outside Stoke Newington Police Station on June 21st under the banner of Standing Up To Police Violence From Hackney To Jerusalem.

Abbott, who has made repeated attacks on Labour leader Keir Starmer on social media, has been a regular at anti-Israel protests for many years, alongside her close ally Jeremy Corbyn.

One Labour MP claimed to Jewish News Abbott was “increasingly bitter and twisted” in her views around the Jewish state.

Local Stoke Newington resident Yonatan, who asked not to have his surname printed, said Abbott should be “deeply ashamed” about her decision to join the protest.

He also confirmed he had written to Hackney Greens for an explanation as to why they backed the demo.

Quote TweetAround 60 activists, including the MP, attended the protest, alongside members of the Jewish Voice For Labour group and two local councillors from Hackney Green Party.

Abbott was pictured standing in front of a banner was the slogan Islington Copwatch on it, while Palestinian and JVL flags were flown.

Hackney Greens later issued a statement condemning what they said was the “warm welcome” given to the Israelis to “that brutally police an apartheid state.”

The protest was called after Metropolitan Police in Hackney confirmed they were “delighted to welcome a delegation” from the Israeli police force to the borough, who were taken on a patrol with local cops in Stamford Hill.

The area is home to the UK’s largest Strictly Orthodox community, with over 30, 000 people deemed to be part of it, beaten in size only by New York and Israel’s own Charedi populations.

Police later confirmed that the visit by Israeli police officers was a “learning and development visit” by a delegation of senior Israeli cops to the Met, aimed at “sharing good practice” and experience of neighbourhood policing in areas with large Orthodox Jewish communities, including Barnet and Hackney.

But the Hackney PSC launched a petition condemning the visit, which they linked to the violent scenes seen at the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh just one week earlier.

The petition stated:” Israeli police routinely use armed violence against Palestinians in the context of Israel’s apartheid rule.

“Whether it’s tear gas, skunk water, or rubber bullets that maim, or live ammunition resulting in severe injury and death, Israeli apartheid police should be condemned for this violent repression, not welcomed in our streets.”

The petition was signed by activists, some of whom compared the Israel police to “Nazis” while others wrote that the force was the “gestapo of Israel.”

Jewish News contacted Abbott, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington for comment on her decision to join the protest.

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