London’s Metropolitan Police have launched a formal investigation into Palestinian activist and poet Mohammed El-Kurd over his remarks at an anti-Israel protest over the weekend, which were widely denounced as antisemitic incitement, the Met announced on Sunday.
In his speech to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s seventh “March for Palestine,” which took place on Saturday and saw over 200,000 protestors descend on the British capital, El-Kurd said, “We must normalize massacres as the status quo,” in what some saw as a reference to Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of more than 1,200 people in Israel.
In his remarks, El-Kurd also called on marchers to “root Zionism out of our world” while describing all Hamas terrorists killed by Israel as “martyrs,” in possible violation of U.K. and Israeli law.
“We must de-Zionise…Zionism is apartheid, it is genocide, it is murder,” the Jerusalem-based activist exclaimed, denouncing the Jewish people’s movement for self-determination as a “death cult.”
“We must normalise arresting and deporting people like this,” tweeted British MP Robert Jenrick of the Conservative Party in response.
El-Kurd subsequently claimed he misspoke and accused critics of “willfully distorting” his words. “Lots of ppl reporting this speech to the police. Idgaf. Zionism is indefensible,” he added.
On Sunday, the Metropolitan Police announced that law enforcement officers were “assessing the matter and as part of that assessment will be seeking to speak to the individual concerned,” promising on X to “provide a further update in due course.”
A resident of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik, El-Kurd has appeared on virtually every major broadcaster over the past years, including CNN, CBS, NBC and MSNBC, exposing a global audience to his extreme anti-Israel views.
In 2021, El-Kurd and his sister, Muna, made Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Mere days before Time‘s announcement, El-Kurd rejoiced as six Palestinian terrorists broke out of Israel’s maximum-security Gilboa Prison.
“I am going to bed with a smile on my face and dreaming of the day all [Israeli] prisons are abolished,” El-Kurd tweeted, calling the prison break “excellent.”
El-Kurd has often glorified terrorism against Israeli civilians and soldiers, stating that he mourns “all of our [Palestinian] martyrs” and lauding PFLP member and two-time airplane hijacker Leila Khaled.