Chesler Chronicles

Turkish Terrorists in Gaza—Turkish Terrorists in Manhattan

“It’s better to have a Jewish State that’s hated by the whole world than an Auschwitz that’s loved by it.” (Sign held by a pro-Israel demonstrator last night)

The Wall Street Journal has it right today; the New York Times does not. Ronen Bergman understands more about military strategy than Amos Oz does. Bergman suggests that an understandable form of battle “fatigue” may have accounted for Israel’s decision to send soldiers in as opposed to disabling the ships before they left port—or even allowing them through. In the past, Israel has exercised both options. Bergman goes further. He suggests that Israel may now understand that it cannot reverse its pariah status: “the war over world opinion is over—and Israel has lost.” Thus, Israel will now do what it must do to do to protect its citizens.

Protesters outside of the Israeli consulate in New York on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

Ah—but battle “fatigue” and its “deep sense of ostracism” are “unhealthy.” Normal, understandable, yet still “unhealthy.” Read Bergman’s lips. He is saying that the world may come to regret its ostracism and scapegoating of the Jewish state.

Might such “fatigue” also account for the exceedingly poor showing of pro-Israel forces last night in Manhattan? Or are other variables in play? True, there was very little time to mount a pro-Israel demonstration—but the pro-Hamasniks and the pro-Turkish Islamists had just as little time. The pro-Israel forces numbered about 150-200. They did not have a rally permit or a sound system. The anti-Israel forces numbered between 1,500-2,000, (or more) and they had a rally permit and a sound system.

One might ask, wearily (I, too, share some battle “fatigue”): Where were the pro-Israel organizations–the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Committee, Amcha, Young Israel, OU, the Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist movements, Hillel, AIPAC, the Jewish schools, the students? Have they, too, concluded that Israel has, wrongly, lost standing in the world and that their standing on street corners is non-productive, a weary waste of time?

Are the anti-Israel pro-Islamist forces better funded and better organized, do they have an emergency response rapid action brigade? Are they mosque-driven, listserv-driven? Or are the Islamists simply the kind of people who do not spend the Memorial Day weekend out of the city? Are they….poor, city-bound, just always around?

God bless the Russian American Jewish Experience and public relations guru Ronn Torossian for organizing a pro-Israel demonstration. God bless Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel, Dr. Marvin Belsky, Fern Sidman, and 147-197 others for holding signs outside the Turkish Consulate which read: “Stop Hamas Terrorist Occupation of Gaza”; “Gaza Peace Activists Use Knives, Guns, Clubs”; “No Hamas Terror=No Israeli Blockade”; “Humanitarians Don’t Attack Humans”; “Hamas Gaza Terror Sinks Chances for Peace.”

Helen Freedman, Janet Lehr and Glen Richer at the pro-Israel rally outside of the Turkish consulate in New York

Dr. Belsky said: “I am disappointed. New York is the largest Jewish city in the world. We can do better to support Israel’s right to self-defense. Too few Jews turned out when we held rallies in the past, including this latest Israel Day parade. Do Jews and Israel supporters only come out when homicide bombings happen? Is this some kind of Ghetto or Diaspora response? Or, are there actually more Islamists in New York City than Jews?”

Between 1,500 and 2,000 angry, loud, and well organized anti-Israel protesters converged on the Israeli Consulate in New York City—and then marched to Times Square—yes, the same street that Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad recently tried to blow up. They held signs which read: “Arrest Netanyahu for Piracy”; “Israel Massacres Human Rights Workers on High Seas”; “Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq: End The Occupation Now”; “Stop U.S. Money for Israeli Piracy.” They chanted “Occupation is a Crime,” “Stop the Blockade of Gaza,” “Prosecute Israel for War Crimes.” Yes, as usual, the Neturei Karta, who dress as—who are–Hasidic Jews are on the Iranian payroll; they oppose a Jewish state of any kind, and they were there. These men are far beyond psychiatric diagnosis.

Neturei Karta

The anti-Israel pro-Islamist marchers/protesters included members of Al-Awda, Socialist Workers Party, International Action Center, League of Revolutionary Party, etc. About 30-40 Turks set upon the pro-Israel supporters; had the police not stopped them, physical attacks would have occurred. They screamed and yelled: “F—king murderers,” “Israel will see it’s final days. We will kill you all.” They held the Turkish flag aloft. Ironically, they called themselves “The Young Turks.”

Fern Sidman, my ever resourceful and ever-faithful reporter-on-the-ground, had this to say:

As the world continues to demonize Israel for her role in defending her citizens in the Gaza flotilla debacle, livid Jewish demonstrators pushed back against the onslaught of invectives being hurled at the Jewish state in a rally that was staged on Tuesday evening, June 1st in front of the Turkish Consulate on E 46th Street and 1st Avenue, outside of the United Nations.

David Ha’Ivri of the Shomron Liaison office and a resident of the Israeli settlement of Tapuach said, “Any country in the world has a right to defend themselves and Israel is no different. Clearly, this purportedly ‘Free Gaza’ flotilla was filled with Hamas supporters who refused to cooperate with the Israeli military. They had their own nefarious agenda and it’s just too bad that the lives of our commandos were put in jeopardy. Orders should have been given that the Mavi Marmara be sunk. Israel has nothing to apologize to the world for and certainly Turkey has no right to pass judgment on Israel after the Holocaust that they inflicted on the Armenian population.”

Demonstrators gather near the Turkish consulate

Members of the anti-Israel contingent began marching down East 42nd Street towards Times Square shouting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “No more US tax dollars for Israel” as they called for the end of the “occupation” of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

“It’s really pretty simple” said Meir Epstein, 52, of Monsey, NY, who traveled down to attend the pro-Israel rally. “At one time such terrorist groups as Hamas and Hezbollah believed that the best way to destroy Israel was to murder our citizens either through conventional warfare and through suicidal terrorist attacks. They woke up and came to the conclusion that such actions only garner sympathy for Israel. Now, they are keenly cognizant of the fact that the war they are fighting is through the media and world opinion, so the best way to destroy us is to force us into a position to kill them.”

The defiant pro-Israel faction continued to shout, “Am Yisroel Chai” (the people of Israel live) and “We have the right to self-defense” while police kept both sides separated behind barricades. “The fact that the UN saw fit to hold an emergency security council session to condemn Israel is nothing new,” said Ronn Torossian, a renowned New York publicist and a board member of RAJE. “It is cesspool of Jew hatred and what these so called peace activists on the Turkish vessel pulled off was nothing short of a cleverly devised anti-Semitic lynching” he added.

What best summed up the collective thoughts of the pro-Israel rally goers was a sign featuring an Israeli flag and the words under it: “It’s better to have a Jewish State that’s hated by the whole world than an Auschwitz that’s loved by it.”

Pro-Israel rally at the Turkish consulate


Here is a video of Jacob Kimchy, the son of an Israeli terror victim who founded an organization to help victims of terror and their families around the world, speaking to Channel 1 News at the pro-Israel rally.


Thanks to attorney Racquel Reinstein for the following report about yesterday’s pro-terror rally:

When I engaged in discussions with some of the rally-goers, I found their minds empty of any clear thinking. I mentioned the chant of “Khybar, Khybar,” and I was met with a blank stare. This just gives you a background.


Thousands of people from every age range. Many keffiyehs, and many hijabs. I saw people who looked like regular professionals, and those who were very clearly hardened activists, lacking any day jobs. There were dozens of Neturei Karta at this event, and I saw garish women wearing all pink, from Code Pink. I also saw Turkish flags, for the first time ever at an anti-Israel rally. Finally, this rally was overwhelmingly socialist. I saw numerous books/signs/people giving out articles about the socialist international. It was clear that this was a red/green alliance.


Lots of “FREE, FREE PALESTINE!” I also heard this chant, said over and over again, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” This was chanted by all – yes all – of the rallygoers, and thus thousands of people in NYC were calling for the total dissolution of the State of Israel. I approached a woman who looked quasi-sane, and I asked her where Israeli Jews are supposed to live if ‘Palestine’ is free ‘from the river to the sea,’ and she gave me a blank look. It was clear that she never was forced to have to think of such questions.


I saw numerous al-Awda signs calling for the ‘right of return.’ They were probably the dominant sign at the rally – i.e., made by al-Awda NY. Other signs:

  • Israel forces murder
  • End the siege
  • Sanction and boycott the pirate state of Israel
  • Stop racism
  • Jews for peace
  • Stop the killing
  • Nuremburg justice
  • Free Mumia (I saw someone wearing a Free Mumia hat)
  • Capitalist machine

Some of the speakers

There was a Latina woman, making some bizarre comparison between what is happening in Arizona, and what is happening in Gaza. She claimed that the fence between Arizona and the USA was an equivalent as that of Gaza/Judea/Samaria and Israel. She said the “people of Arizona would condemn this.” I asked someone standing next to me, “I don’t understand. How is Arizona linked to Gaza?” I received in response a confused look and he walked away.

In contrast, there was the pro-Israel rally. The slogans were “Ami Yisrael Chai,” and “What do we want? Anti-terror! When do we want it? NOW!” I and others felt it cathartic to exchange insults with the pro-terror Turks across the street from the pro-Israel demonstration. I and others spoke of Armenia, Greece, Kurdistan, and Cyprus. It felt good to call the Turks who were waving their flag, to be the OCCUPIERS that they are.


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