The pro-Israel crowd at AIPAC, stirred by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s well-received gala speech, was greeted by about 20 Occupy AIPACers as they left the Washington Convention Center late Monday night.
A handful of police officers kept watch as the sidewalk protest, complete with a green-and-red-light decorated pro-Palestinian banner and a poster showing President Obama with a leashed bulldog named AIPAC charging after Iran, shouted slogans into microphones.
Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin wore a “Don’t Bomb Iran” T-shirt with various tattered pink accessories to ward off the chilly temps.
A group of young men, clad in suits, from AIPAC at times debated the protesters, and at other times sang in Hebrew. Other bemused conference attendees looked on.
The Occupiers — who did not manage to make it into the convention hall to interrupt the prime minister’s speech — occasionally broke out into a couple lines of “Give Peace a Chance.”
Then, they’d chant “no justice, no peace.”
When the demonstrators began chanting “Free, free Palestine,” the AIPAC crowd responded with “Free, free Syria.”
The Occupiers, seeming to realize they had no choice, began chanting for a free Syria as well.
“We agree on something!” Benjamin declared, high-fiving one of the men with a pink gloved hand.
But the harmony lasted about a second.
When another man refused her high-five offer, an Occupier snapped that he was demonstrating “Jewish values,” treating her like they’d treat Palestinians.