New report reveals state suppression of Palestine solidarity across Europe

Editorial credit: shawncarrie /

A new report by CAGE International has revealed the systematic suppression and censorship of pro-Palestine activism by European governments. 

“European Policy Briefing: Special Edition on Palestine” analyses state policies from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in relation to Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza.

From Vienna to London, European governments have adopted a unified stance in response to the genocidal bombardment of Gaza by Israel. This involves the condemnation of the Palestinian people’s right to resistance and self-determination and the unequivocal support for Israel.

Examples include:

  • The Ministry of the Interior in France announcing that every pro-Palestine demonstration would be banned.
  • A Dutch parliamentarian being prohibited from repeating the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
  • The head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution naming antisemitism as part of the DNA of “Islamist“ structures.

The report finds that European governments are associating pro-Palestine activism with support for terrorism. This is reflected in the decisions undertaken by the French and German government to ban pro-Palestine demonstrations. Although this ban continues to be enforced in Germany, it was overturned in France by the Supreme Court following a major backlash.

Similar policies have been pursued in Austria, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands where pro-Palestine activism is censored. Right-wing parties are using the issue to attack immigration, threatening the already vulnerable lives of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

Muhammad Rabbani, Managing Director of CAGE International, said: “Across Europe, a discernible pattern of systematic repression is emerging. Governments have been actively seeking to curb public solidarity with Palestine. This effort has manifested in numerous arrests, prosecutions, and even the outright banning of legitimate civil society organisations.

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

“Overall, it appears these policies of intimidation have failed to achieve their intended goal. Public outcry against Israeli actions and sympathy for the Palestinian cause are now at unprecedented levels.”

Below are some of the report highlights broken down by country:


The Ministry of the Interior announced that every pro-Palestine demonstration would be banned.

The Ministry of Justice published a guideline according to which any support for Palestine is to be labelled as support for terrorism needing a strong judicial response.


The Prime Minister stated that she wants to examine whether pro-Palestinian protests encourages terrorism. On November 9 she addressed a letter to the Minister of Justice, Peter Hummelgaard, claiming that she had witnessed “disturbing behaviour in Denmark that is fuelled by the conflict”, which “clearly shows that there are people in Denmark who have not embraced our Danish values.”

She requested that the “Ministry of Justice prepare a report on how the police and prosecutors use the criminal law protection against, among other things, incitement to and approval of terrorism, etc. in connection with the recent demonstrations and public statements in relation to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.”


Former Spanish Social Rights Minister and head of the left-wing Podemos party, Ione Belarra, has repeatedly and publicly accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. On November 21, Belarra was removed from the government.


A parliamentarian from the Denk party was told that he was prohibited to repeat the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” in the chamber again. This despite the fact that the judiciary decision deemed the chant lawful.


The head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution Thomas Haldenwang, named antisemitism as part of the DNA of “Islamist“ structures. The mayor of the Berlin district of Neukölln echoed this position: “Antisemitism in the Arab population has grown with the mosque associations and the activities of many imams who preach hatred against Israel.”

Germany also banned “Samidoun,” a Palestinian solidarity network founded in 2012 that advocates for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail.


From the very outset of the Israeli assault on Gaza, the Home Office has been at the forefront of attempts to criminalise Palestine solidarity demonstrations, and to push the Metropolitan police to ban the mass national demonstrations in London.

A CAGE report chronicled a surge in cases of repression, with 214 instances documented between October 9, 2023, and December 14, 2023, marking a 455% increase since the 2021 report.


During an emergency cabinet meeting, Interior Minister Karner suggested an inclination toward stronger law enforcement actions against anti-Israel demonstrations. In a total of 70 police reports during pro-Palestinian demonstrations, 50 were related to the use of the slogan “From the river to the sea – Palestine will be free.”

And in an effort to recast pro-Palestinian solidarity as antisemitism, Interior Minister Karner emphasised a zero-tolerance policy for antisemitism.

Add your comments below

Previous articleThe conflict in Sudan explained by Ahmed Kaballo, founder of African Stream
Next articleEx Mossad chief: Israel suffering ‘painful’ losses, failing to defeat Hamas