Dec 01, 2023

Prague Bans Pro-Palestinian Demonstration Over Anti-Israel Slogan

Prague City Hall has prohibited a pro-Palestinian demonstration scheduled for Tuesday, 5 December, in front of the Interior Ministry building.

The ban was imposed due to the demonstration’s association with an anti-Israel slogan, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.” The Ministry of the Interior has previously warned that this slogan may constitute a criminal offense.

In the official statement, the municipality asserted that the slogan implies the destruction of Israel. Activists, in response, plan to take legal action against the municipality for prohibiting the protest.

The municipality states that the slogan is closely linked to the Palestinian radical movement Hamas, and argue that historically, the slogan is associated with a call for the destruction of the State of Israel and the removal of part of its population.

Activists, however, dispute the characterization of the slogan, insisting that it does not advocate violence.

Albert Kayed, an activist and lawyer, stated that the slogan is unfairly demonized and “does not have one meaning that is genocidal.” The initiative “Not in Our Name! – For a Just Peace in the Middle East” plans to challenge Prague’s actions in an administrative court.

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While acknowledging various historical interpretations of the slogan, the ministry, along with other authorities, expressed concern about its public use, citing a reasonable suspicion of incitement to hatred against the Jewish people, particularly in the context of the recent attack on Israel.

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