Letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner re two-tier policing of Pro-Palestine protests

Letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner re two-tier policing of Pro-Palestine protests

Sir Mark Rowley

Metropolitan Police Commissioner

New Scotland Yard,

8-10, Broadway,




8 December 2023



Dear Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley,


We the undersigned write to protest in the strongest possible terms the lack of operational independence shown by the Metropolitan Police in their handling of pro-Palestine demonstrations in the capital. We believe that rather than policing the protests with reference to the law, the Met has allowed itself to be influenced by the highly inflammatory and politicised representation of these demonstrations by their detractors in the media, government and Zionist lobby. This has led to the implementation of a biased policing strategy which is heavy handed and excessive for pro-Palestinian demonstrators but overly indulgent towards pro-Zionists who appear to be breaking the law.

We refer you to several recent arrests made by your officers at gatherings of pro-Palestine activists.

These include:

  1. The arrest of Yael Kahn, a Jewish demonstrator, for carrying a sign that likened Israel to Nazi Germany and the bombardment of Gaza to the Holocaust.


  1. The arrests on 25 November 2023 of two Muslim females outside the Egyptian embassy for carrying placards in the Arabic language. By their own admission, the police didn’t know what these signs read but they arrested the women anyway.


  1. The arrest of a Muslim female at a demonstration in Lewisham on Sunday 26 November 2023 under the Public Order Act for carrying a sign that said “Zionists are Nazis”.


Aside from these arrests, of which video has been widely shared on social media, there are also numerous cases of police harassment of marchers, most worryingly the confiscation of signs and banners comparing Zionism with Nazism. The overzealous approach to such material stands in stark contrast to the kid-glove treatment given by police to pro-Israel marchers who directed Nazi slurs at anti-Zionist Jews during the March for anti-Semitism on 26 November 2023. The pro-Israel protestors can clearly be heard shouting “Judenrat” at their co-religionists. Judenrat is a slur used by Jews to describe Nazi collaborators. There is an evident inconsistency in your policing when pro-Palestinian demonstrators are being harassed and arrested for comparing Zionism with Nazism but Zionists who accuse Jews of Nazi-esque behaviour are allowed to do so with impunity.

It would appear that your force is operating a double standard whereby it is subjecting pro-Palestinian marchers to a lower criminal threshold than their political rivals. Our suspicions about two-tier policing are only reinforced by the knowledge that the Home Secretary’s two Special Lead Advisors for Hate Crime and Media and Communications have been given unprecedented access to Lambeth’s Special Operations Room.

These Special Advisors have had weekly access to the Special Operations Room, where senior members of the Metropolitan Police’s leadership monitor pro-Palestine protests and issue commands to officers on the ground, share intelligence and make decisions over whether to proceed to arrest. The Metropolitan Police have also provided senior prosecution lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service their own operational desk inside the Special Operations Building to work from during these protests. The front-loading of the charging and prosecution process gives rise to serious concerns about political influence in the Met’s operational decision-making, as does the presence of CPS lawyers in the building. We understand that this is the first-time measures such as these have been put in place by the Metropolitan Police.

Policing the demonstrations through a hate-crime lens also reinforces the false image being created by politicians and pundits of the demonstrations as inherently hateful and problematic whereas in reality they have been extremely law-abiding and peaceful. It would appear that some 20 years since the Islamic Human Rights Commission highlighted two-tier policing of pro-Palestine protests in its report “Muslim Profiling”, the Met is still profiling these protests as Muslim, thereby racialising them and discriminating against those who participate in them.


cc. James Cleverley, Home Secretary

cc. Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in London


Yours Sincerely


Islamic Human Rights Commission

Jewish Network for Palestine

Convivencia Alliance

Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission

5 Pillars


Muslim Public Affairs Committee

Scotland Against Criminalising Communities

InMinds Human Rights Group

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!


Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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