Copenhageners show their support for Gaza

Mogens Lykketoft and other prominent Danish politicians joined hundreds of demonstrators in calling for an end to Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Copenhageners show their support for Gaza
A Palestinian flag flies over a see of supporters in Copenhagen. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
More than 1,000 demonstrators descended on Copenhagen’s Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) on Wednesday to show their support for Gaza.
The Speaker of Parliament, Mogens Lykketoft, was among those who called for an end to Israel’s attacks on Gaza, which on Wednesday claimed the lives of four children playing on a beach. It is estimated that Israel’s recent strikes on Gaza have killed more than 200 people.
“Denmark must with all our might support the global society’s demand for an immediate stop to both sides’ actions and all collective punishment of the civilian population,” Lykketoft told the assembled crowd. 
He called on Israel to stop its “incomprehensibly unequal” actions in Gaza. 
“Precisely because Israel defines itself as a part of a Western, democratic civilization, righteousness should trump revenge as a guiding force,” he said.  
Lykketoft also used his speech to criticise Israeli settlements in Palestine.
“Israel has continuously expanded its settlements and annexed more Palestinian territory in violation of international law,” he said. “600,000 Israeli settlers now live in occupied Palestine. This progressive colonisation must be stopped.”
Also participating in Wednesday’s demonstration were Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), Lisbeth Bech Poulsen from the Socialist People’s Party and comedian Omar Marzouk.
The demonstration was organized by the Danish-Palestinian Friendship Association. An additional demonstration in support of Gaza is planned for Thursday at 5pm at Nørreport Station.

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Copenhagen bus fire may be tied to Israel ads

UPDATED: Four public buses were burned in the early morning hours of Friday in what may have been a reaction to a controversy surrounding an advertising campaing urging people to boycott products from Israeli settlements.

Copenhagen bus fire may be tied to Israel ads
At least one of the buses had anti-Israel graffiti. Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix
Copenhagen Police suspect that there is a political motive behind the burning of four Copenhagen city buses early on Friday. 
“In paint was written ‘Boycott Israel – Free Gaza’ on at least one of the buses,” police spokesman Las Vestervig told tabloid BT. 
No one was injured in the fire, which was set in the bus company Arriva’s parking garage in the Copenhagen district of Østerbro. 
The fire came amidst a controversy over the bus company Movia's decision to remove advertisements from 35 buses in the capital region that urged people to boycott products from Israeli settlements . 
The ads pictured two women beside the quote: “Our conscience is clean! We neither buy products from the Israeli settlements nor invest in the settlement industry.”
The ads were dropped by Movia within just four days after the company “received a significant number of inquiries regarding the Danish Palestinian Friendship Association's campaign against Israeli settlements,” Movia told AFP. 
It has since been revealed that the majority of complaints about the advertisements were written in English, leading many to conclude that it was the organized work of a foreign lobby campaign. 
The Danish Palestinian Friendship Association told AFP that the removal of the ads was “a clear attempt to deny us our freedom of speech”. 
“There is nothing whatsoever about this campaign that is harmful, discriminatory or hateful in any way,” Fathi El-Abed added. 
As of early Friday, police had not made any arrests but where working on the assumption that the fire was set deliberately. 
“Parked buses don't catch fire on their own too often. Therefore we have reason to assume that the fires were set,” police spokesman Kristian Aaskov told Politiken.