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‘All faiths and none’: London peace march aims to ease Gaza tensions

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20 Jan 2024
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‘All faiths and none’: London peace march aims to ease Gaza tensions

Sunday’s event follows a number of pro-Palestine marches in London in recent weeks.Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi/The Guardian

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

‘All faiths and none’: London peace march aims to ease Gaza tensions

Vigil is one of a series of events due to be held in the next few days in solidarity with people affected by events in Middle East

Sun 21 Jan 2024 07.00 CET

A multi-faith peace march is due to be held in London on Sunday, aimed at easing the bitterness and tension over the Israel-Gaza war.

The midday march from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square and back is one of a series of events due to be held in the next few days and weeks in solidarity with people affected by conflict in Israel and Palestine. Gatherings are also planned in Birmingham and Oxford.

Together for Humanity, supported by a coalition of charities, community organisations and faith groups, is coordinating the events. The peace march in London is organised by Quakers in Britain and Plum Village UK, a Buddhist community.

“This is about people of all faiths and none having the space to mourn all civilians affected by the conflict,” said Brendan Cox, co-founder of Together for Humanity. “It’s a chance to stand against antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate, and to show those who seek to divide us that the vast majority of people in this country don’t discriminate when it comes to compassion.”

There will also be a gathering, organised by charity The Oxford Foundation at Oxford town hall on Sunday, to remember those who have lost their lives in the conflict in Israel and Palestine, and in others around the world.

Magen Inon, a teacher living in London whose parents Yakov and Bilha were killed by Hamas in the 7 October attack, is backing the events. “Since the murder of my parents, my family and I have felt immense pain,” he said. “This pain has been compounded by those who have sought to further division and spread hate here in the UK and elsewhere.

“I’m calling everyone who believes all people deserve basic human rights to come together and we will be in a better position to find to solution to the conflict. Either both sides win, or everybody loses.”

In a peace vigil outside Downing Street in December, Inon shared a platform with Hamze Awawde, a Palestinian peace activist who lives in Ramallah in the West Bank. Inon said at the vigil that people needed to recognise the suffering and loss of lives on both sides and to “set aside fear and hate and to be hopeful that a better future is possible.”

Awawde said: “We can and must stand opposed to hatred – both Islamophobia and antisemitism – and mourn the loss of all innocent lives in this terrible conflict – Palestinians and Israelis, Muslims and Jews.

“Seeing people of different faiths and backgrounds come together, not simply in spite of their differences, but because of them, fills me with a deep hope that we can work towards a lasting peace.”

 

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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