NEWSFLASH! For the first time, I have decided not to publish a Comment, not because it was filthy with curses, but rather because this Commentator, like Norman Finkelstein and David Irving, cloaks his Big Lies in sarcastic, intellectual sound-bites. I decided that we have a War to fight and that focusing on lengthy, self-important comments by anti-Zionists and Jew-haters, over and over again, is distracting and simply not worth the time.
Sir: Please post your comments elsewhere.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. DECEMBER 30, 2008
“I have not seen such hatred in this country since Selma. That was when I really just shuddered and thought–they (the pro-Hamas-niks) are taking away our country.” (See below for her report, just in).
FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA. December 30, 2008
“This is not Gaza, or London, or Paris, or even Detroit. This is downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.”
Tom Trento is describing the intense demonstration against Israel that just took place. He made the video by quietly and bravely circulating among the pro-Palestine demonstrators so that we can easily hear their chants. At red-hot levels of screaming rage, about 200-300 demonstrators, many in kaffiyehs, wearing or holding the Palestinian flag, some wearing “Obama” baseball hats, many women in serious hijab and men in Islamic prayer clothing, chanted “Nuke Israel–there is no Israel,” “Occupation is a Crime,” “Go to Hell, Israel,” “Free Palestine.” One fully bearded African-American man in Islamic clothing proselytized. He said that Islam is wonderful, that it’s in our very natures, that we had best accept this.
After conducting a public evening prayer service with a megaphone, the mob became more fervent and rageful, broke loose, began verbally and physically confronting the 50 pro-Israeli demonstrators. The police did their job and no one was hurt.
But, as Trento says at the end of his video: “There is a lot of work to be done in 2009.”
Please pay attention to the level of orchestrated, almost brainwashed rage. It is a killing rage: fierce, almost orgasmic. This kind of demonstration can easily turn into a mob–and we have seen what civilians in mobs like this have done all over the Islamic world and in Europe.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. December 29, 2008
Demonstrators massed from 4pm-7pm in various locations around Boston. Pro-Israel demonstrators decided to focus on one of their locations–Coolidge Corner (the Jewish neighborhood). According to Gloria Z. Greenfield, the producer of the film The Case for Israel, Democracy’s Outpost:
“We had more numbers than they did and rather than standing across from them, we intentionally stood side-by-side with them to sabotage their efforts. It got a little hairy at times, but we were able to overwhelm them and the tactic worked. I would say that maybe they had 40 people and we had 60 people. They were very aggressive. We were too. They were very open about their anti-Semitism. In the end it was a clear victory for us in terms of public message and numbers.”
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. December 30, 2008
The protest had been called for outside the Israeli Consulate General at 5pm. Greenfield, together with CAMERA, JCRC, and The David Project organized a counter-protest. The police kept both groups on separate sides of the street, in face-off. Once again, the pro-Israel demonstrators outnumbered the anti-Israel demonstrators. According to Greenfield:
“Maybe we had 300 and they had 100. My numbers are not scientific, just eyeballing. If the police hadn’t been there, there might have been a riot–at one point the tension between the two sides was very intense. We were there with our anti-terrorism signs and love for Israel and Israeli and American flags, and they were there with their “globalize the intifida” signs, chanting praise for the intifada and resistance. We were also fortunate to have a contingency of Chabad in the front lines, which kept everyone on our side in touch with the need for courage and resiliency and passion. We later found out that at 6pm, when they left, they regrouped in front of the Boston Public Library. We had been hoodwinked. The police did not tell us where they were going–they told us they were disbanding.”
There is another protest-counter protest scheduled for today at 2pm est. in Boston’s Copley Square. It is snowing heavily on the east coast.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK. December 30, 2008
This protest was called for early evening, outside the Israeli Consulate. The pro-Palestinian, pro-Hamas haters were positioned directly across the street from the Consulate so that they could easily be seen from any window inside the building. The pro-Israel demonstrators were told to stand on the southeast corner of East 42nd St. There was a heavy media presence. CNN, channels 4, 7, and 9 were there, as was Shalom TV.
According to my informant, journalist Fern Sidman, who called me several times from the demonstration-in-process, (and who has also provided these photos), there were, at first, about 350 pro-Palestinians, but this number swelled to 500, then possibly to 700 or more. They vowed to stay until midnight. The usual “suspects” (ANSWER, the hopeless, hapless, Neturai Karta), were involved. The pro-Israel demonstration numbered about 100-150 people. Sidman told me:
“The anti-Israel demonstrators had hundreds of signs. I saw ANSWER bring 100 more in a truck. They had high energy, and were very organized, boisterous, and politicized.”
They did non-stop chanting. Their politics were expressed by this sign: “The Real Terrorists Are the U.S.-Israel War Machine.” “Stop Israeli Apartheid.” “Stop Genocide in Gaza.” The people who gave us the massacre in Mumbai were there too. One sign read: “Pakistan-US Freedom Forum. Free Kashmir. No Indian Army.”
Sidman characterized the Hamas supporters as “bellicose” and “raucous.” Their well choreographed demonstration was sponsored by a conglomeration of organizations including the ANSWER Coalition, the Muslim American Society Freedom, the Free Palestine Alliance, the League for Revolutionary Justice, the National Council of Arab Americans, Al-Awda, and the International Palestine Right to Return Coalition. Police eventually cordoned off Second Avenue to pedestrians to make room for the burgeoning number of pro-Hamas demonstrators.
Sidman told me that: “The tension was palpable as small groups of Palestinians crossed East 42nd Street in order to verbally taunt and antagonize the 150 pro-Israel demonstrators from the campus Zionist activist organization, Stand With Us, as well as other Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel. Police rushed in to separate the two sides as it was clear that an altercation was imminent. ”
“We are deeply saddened that Hamas has made it clear that the peace process cannot continue” said Yitzy Schorr, a student from Yeshiva University. “Israel is a peace seeking nation and we are witnessing Hamas destroying the future of the Palestinian people” he intoned. Notably, there were no signs or any mention of the eight years of incessant Hamas rocket attacks on Israel’s southern cities, including the beleaguered town of Sderot that has seen many fatalities as well as the ongoing psychological trauma of its residents.
But, Sidman also described the pro-Israel demonstrators as without a megaphone, without speakers, without many chants, and as rather “sedate, quiet, thoughtful. Some were confused about what to do.
But, at least they came, they were there, they took a stand, they stood there with the Israeli flag. The pro-Israel signs were thoughtful, not hateful. One sign read: “Free The Palestinians From Hamas.” Another read: “Hamas: Stop Killing Palestinian and Israeli Children.” Many demonstrators said that they came from a suburb and had just “heard about it.” One devoted African-American Christian Zionist, Coretta James, was there. She usually attends pro-Israel demonstrations. In general, few seemed to be representing any particular organization.
In short, my people, the Jews and our supporters, want to talk, not fight; we want to understand the larger picture, not kill. The spirit of the demonstrators on both sides of the street embody the two peoples at war. The fact that the haters and the killers claim that they are the true and only victims is disgusting, terrifying, amazing.
NEWSFLASH: First report in from San Francisco. My informant, Melody Bier, writes:
“There were about 500 or so of the Hamaslovers and about 75-100 of us.The papers exaggerated so much it was ridiculous. As usual the SFPD allowed them to cross the barricades and break into our ranks. They pushed and stated things like “a bullet will get you right between the eyes” with the gestures to the forehead (said to me personally). Others shouted “there will be no peace as long as Jews are alive.”
And ANSWERS’s usual tactic of having a woman scream “Don’t touch me!!” didn’t work because the women in our group then surrounded her. There was one man with huge hammers taped up & using them to bang his drum who made threatening gestures with them…and when I complained to the police I was shoved & told “If you don’t like it just move along”. I was so upset that I forgot to get his badge #. Of course there were yells of “genocide” and “murderers”– the usual.
But at one point I took a step back and just looked across the street at them…it was chilling. I have not seen such hatred in this country since Selma. That was when I really just shuddered and thought–they are taking away our country.”
Melody referred me to a second and longer description of the SF demonstration. You may read it for yourself at The Back of the Hill HERE.
“Apparently, I am a Jew Faggot. This per a large very dark gentleman representing International ANSWER, organizers of yesterday’s protest in front of the Israeli Consulate on Montgomery Street.
Or it could be that he was a member of the Muslim American Society Freedom, the National Council of Arab Americans, Free Palestine Alliance, Al-Awda – International Palestine Coalition for the Right of Return, Bay Area Women in Black, Society for Justice in Palestine, ISM, the Spartacists, the South Bay Alliance, the Anti-Zionist Jews, or Jewish Voice for Peace. All of whom were either sponsors or participants in the largest Israel-bashing fest in SF since 2006.
But the group he represented is not the point. He was utterly convinced that I was a Jew Faggot, and very vocal about it. He does not appear to much like Jew Faggots.”
Please read the rest of this highly informative account by a participant-eyewitness whose name I do not yet have.
Following are two newspaper accounts of the California demonstrations relies upon two newspaper articles. I will continue to update this as I get more information. For now, please read about the three days demonstrations in San Francisco HERE and in Los Angeles HERE.
What are we to make of such demonstrations?
Demonstrators did not systematically and professionally take to the streets in America during the genocides in Bosnia, Rwanda, or currently, in Darfur, Sudan. Crowd-mobs did not do so to protest the public gang rapes of women in Congo or elsewhere. Feminists groups have not systematically and professionally marched against the continued stoning of women and the torture and murder of their feminist counterparts in the Islamic world.
Few demonstrators marched and continued to march when Israeli civilians were blown up in pizza parlors, discotheques, hotels, on buses, and in their own homes. Yes, there were some large pro-Israel demonstrations but never filled with hate, never ready to physically confront or to kill anyone.
Mob-demonstrators marched only when Israel fought back. They called the “Security Fence” the “Apartheid Wall.”
What we are looking at here is very clear. The long-term Saudi funding of mosques and Middle East Institutes in America; the increasing radicalization of Islam; the over-the-top indoctrination of students by professors and of the masses by the media which has led to the belief that America and Israel are existentially evil and that jihadic terrorists are “freedom fighters” for the Great Good; the Palestinian use of the media to tell really Big Lies coupled with the media’s willingness to be misled; the penchant for street theatre as self-expression and a form of fascist-anarchic politics–all roads lead to Gaza in America today.
Israeli citizens and their supporters have been under siege for so long and Israel has been so demonized by the United Nations and by other international groups that perhaps there is not enough funding, time, resources, (thank you Bernie Madoff), or the political will to take to the street corners. Perhaps organizations do not see this as a priority.
It is crucial that Israel has finally decided to fight back in the terrorist war against it and has targeted Hamas leaders, weapons, and buildings for destruction. It is also crucial to mount the internet barricades (something I’ve written about HERE), the lecture podium and, alas, the wind-swept street corner too.
I could not help thinking about the Israeli diplomats who might have looked out their windows last night in NYC and seen a sea of hatred against them and, given where the police allowed people to stand, who may not have been able to see their supporters.
Yes, of course, we all care about the innocent civilians in Gaza. President Shimon Peres has been addressing them, explaining that Israel is after their terrorist leadership, not after them. Israel has sent hundreds of trucks laden with humanitarian aid into Gaza even while it is shelling Hamas.
Many of the pro-Israel demonstrators in NYC also spoke about their concerns for Palestinian civilian suffering. Jews know how to “care” about the stranger at our gates. But when that stranger is clearly bent on destroying us, and when that stranger hates us with white-heat hatred, one must fight back. That is what Israel is doing.
That is what we must also do.