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July 22, 2014 0

More Reflections from Israelis: This is Our Home

Phyl­lis Ger­ably, Direc­tor, ADL Israel 

On Thurs­day, the day Israel expanded its oper­a­tion in Gaza to include ground forces, as I drove back to Hod HaSharon, a sub­urb of Tel Aviv, I heard over the radio that sev­eral sirens were heard all over the country.

Thurs­day evening is usu­ally a hor­ren­dous drive tak­ing close to two hours.  The ride this time was under an hour with most Israeli fam­i­lies stick­ing close to home. aliyah-nbn-2014-b-272x125

As I was dri­ving, I recalled other times that we were at war.  The clos­est to my heart, was dur­ing the Yom Kip­pur War, when my son was born.  It was amaz­ing to me at the time to see how every­one came together like one big fam­ily.  I couldn’t help but think about all the women now who are giv­ing birth and their hus­bands who are being called up to serve.  Forty-one years later and we are again in a war that no one wants but that leaves us no choice.

You have to be here to wit­ness the small sto­ries that illus­trate what Israel is all about:  a col­league today told us she was order­ing chal­lah for the Sab­bath from a bak­ery in Sderot in order to give them the busi­ness in these dif­fi­cult times.  Sev­eral fam­i­lies in the North have opened their homes to fam­i­lies from Beer­sheva and Sderot so their chil­dren won’t spend most of their sum­mer hol­i­day in shel­ters.  And the story of the first Israeli casu­alty in the con­flict:  a man who insisted on vis­it­ing IDF sol­diers and bring­ing them sweets who was killed by mor­tar fire.

Pres­i­dent Peres met with chil­dren who said, “Of course we can make peace, the Amer­i­cans are help­ing us”(Iron Dome)!   Even with the backup of the Iron Dome, it’s hard to imag­ine any kind of peace­ful set­tle­ment when Hamas con­tin­ues its attacks on Israel. Even after the Israeli gov­ern­ment agreed to a cease­fire for sev­eral hours to allow human­i­tar­ian aid to Gaza, the Hamas rock­ets fell on Israel.

430 new immi­grants arrived in Israel on Wednes­day.  The Jerusalem Post reported that one immi­grant, Eric Azizi, who came with his wife and three chil­dren said, “Our com­ing does not depend on the war, but [is] because of our chil­dren; Even if Israel is burn­ing, we will be there.”

Last Sat­ur­day, we cel­e­brated the birth­days of my two grand­sons.  About half an hour into the cel­e­bra­tions, the siren was heard.  We all ran to the safe room in their house.  Three gen­er­a­tions of our fam­ily in a small shel­ter.   The kids played on the floor on mat­tress with their toys until we heard the boom of Iron Dome doing its job.

I heard sev­eral times on Israel radio sto­ries of peo­ple who refused to leave their homes despite ongo­ing rocket attacks.  One woman said, “The ques­tion of leav­ing isn’t even an option.

This is our home.”  I guess that sums it up for all of us – this is our home.

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July 21, 2014 10

Hate on Display: Anti-Semitism in Anti-Israel Demonstrations Across Europe

Jews attacked. Syn­a­gogues tar­geted. Israel demo­nized. These pat­terns of anti-Semitism were seen at many anti-Israel demon­stra­tions around Europe this past weekend.

On Fri­day, a pro­tes­tor in Berlin attacked an Israeli man wear­ing a kip­pah, who hap­pened to be pass­ing the demon­stra­tion route. The same day in Lyon, France, a pro­tester hit a Jew­ish teenager in the head while yelling, “I want to kill all the Jews.” He was arrested on the spot by police. The same mur­der­ous intent was report­edly expressed in Zurich, where demon­stra­tors chanted, “Jews into the sea!”

On Fri­day, in Essen, Ger­many, anti-Israel pro­test­ers broke off from a demon­stra­tion and headed towards a syn­a­gogue, clearly intend­ing to attack it.   Police stopped them, arrested four­teen, and charged them with con­spir­acy to com­mit a crime.

On Sat­ur­day, in Sar­celles, France, anti-Israel pro­test­ers threw a Molo­tov cock­tail in the direc­tion of a syn­a­gogue, but police had kept them far enough away that the fire­bomb did no dam­age. Pro­test­ers did man­age, how­ever, to burn a kosher super­mar­ket to the ground. The same store had been attacked with an impro­vised grenade in 2012.

Syn­a­gogue in Ver­celli, Italy

Syn­a­gogue in Ver­celli, Italy

Syn­a­gogues in Italy and France were also tar­geted with anti-Israel ban­ners. “Stop Bomb­ing Gaza. Israel Assas­sins. Free Pales­tine” was hung on the syn­a­gogue in Ver­celli, Italy, on July 18, and an “Israel Assas­sins” ban­ner was placed on a syn­a­gogue in Lyon the next day.

While these ban­ners would not be con­sid­ered anti-Semitic at a demon­stra­tion, they are anti-Semitic when tar­get­ing the local Jew­ish community.

Com­par­ing Israel to the Nazis is also anti-Semitic and preva­lent at anti-Israel demon­stra­tions. On Fri­day, “Israel=Hitler” signs were held up in Brus­sels. In Lon­don, it was “Well Done Israel, Hitler would be Proud.” And in Dublin, Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu is depicted as Hitler on a sign, “Wanted: Zio Nazi”.

On Sun­day in Ams­ter­dam, one pro­tester took demo­niza­tion quite lit­er­ally: “Stop Sion­ist [sic] Demons in Gaza.”

 

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July 21, 2014 2

Weekend’s Anti-Israel Protests Feature More Nazi-Israel Comparisons

Over the week­end, close to 50 anti-Israel demon­stra­tions were held across the United States to protest Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza. At these ral­lies, there were com­par­isons made between Israel and Nazi Ger­many and alle­ga­tions that Israel is com­mit­ting geno­cide against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. At one of the ral­lies, a speaker also called for “the full lib­er­a­tion of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and the end of the Israeli state.”

Please see below for a round-up of the protests:

July 20

Hous­ton, TX

About 75 pro­test­ers were present for a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by the Uni­ver­sity of Houston’s Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter. Many of the pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Israeli geno­cide, under direct US guide,” “Israel out of Pales­tine now,” “Stop the Pales­tin­ian Holocaust/Genocide,” “The US is com­plicit in geno­cide,” and “If 9/11 deserves a moment of silence, then Pales­tine deserves for us to never speak again!”

houston-anti-israel-protest

Chicago, IL

Sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers par­tic­i­pated in a march and demon­stra­tion with signs that stated “End this Holo­caust,” “I am Amer­i­can and I stand with Gaza because geno­cide is wrong!,” “It’s not self-defense it’s geno­cide.”  Another sign also showed a blood-stained Israeli flag with text that stated “Stop arm­ing the mur­der­ers of Humanity.”

chicago-anti-israel-protest

July 19

New York, NY

An anti-Israel demon­stra­tion spon­sored by Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine was held in Times Square on Sat­ur­day. This demon­stra­tion brought out a few hun­dred pro­test­ers who held signs with slo­gans like “Zionism=Fascism,” “New York­ers stand with Gaza against Israeli geno­cide,” and “His­tory repeats Itself, Nazism = Zion­ism,” (with the image of a Swastika an equal sign and the Star of David).

Yas­mine Kamel, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Inter­na­tional Social­ist Orga­ni­za­tion (ISO), addressed the crowd at the protest and called for the destruc­tion of Israel, stat­ing, “This is part of a 66 year-old occu­pa­tion; a 66 year-old his­tory of abuse, of crimes, of mur­der of chil­dren; of an occupation…We have to con­tinue to resist the Israeli occu­pa­tion beyond today and beyond this assault on Gaza. We have to work for the full lib­er­a­tion of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and the end of the Israeli state and the return of all Pales­tin­ian refugees.”

new-york-anti-israel-protest

Fort Laud­erdale, FL

About 100 pro­test­ers demon­strated at the U.S. Fed­eral Cour­t­house at a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by Al-Awda, the Coun­cil on American-Islamic Rela­tions (CAIR), the National Lawyers Guild South Florida, Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Palestine-Florida, and the Broward Green Party.

Many of the pro­test­ers were hold­ing signs that read, “This is not war it’s GENOCIDE,” “One Holo­caust doesn’t jus­tify another,” “1948+1967 = PALESTINE,” and “”ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE!” A num­ber of slo­gans were chanted, includ­ing “From the [Jor­dan] River to the [Mediter­ranean] Sea, Pales­tine will be free,” “Hey Obama shame on you! Kids are dying ‘cause of you!,” “Occu­pa­tion is a crime, from Iraq to Pales­tine!,” and “All the walls have got to go, from Iraq to Mexico!”

ft-lauderdale-anti-israel-protest

July 18

Philadel­phia, PA

Approx­i­mately 100 pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side the Israeli Con­sulate hold­ing signs that con­tained slo­gans such as “Israel praises Moses, but acts like Pharaoh,” “Stop Israeli Holo­caust against Pales­tini­ans,” “No more racism, No more Zion­ism, No more Fas­cism,” and “Do you think that Israel is a vic­tim? Zion­ism = Nazism” (with the Swastika and Star of David shown next to one another).

philadelphia-anti-israel-protest

San Diego, CA

Around 150 pro­test­ers attended a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by the San Diego chap­ter of Al-Awda. The pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Stop Gaza geno­cide,” “This Jew does not sup­port Israel’s GENOCIDE,” and “Blam­ing Pales­tine for fir­ing rock­ets at Israel is like blam­ing a woman for punch­ing her rapist.”

Many of the pro­test­ers engaged in chants of “Netanyahu you can’t hide, we charge you with geno­cide!” “From the [Mediter­ranean] Sea to the [Jor­dan] River, Pales­tine for­ever!,” “Long live the Intifada, intifada, intifada,” and “Brick by brick, wall by wall, Israeli apartheid has to fall!”

san-diego-anti-israel-protest

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