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November 21, 2012 1

“Netanyahu, you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide!”: A Round-Up of Anti-Israel Protests in the U.S. on November 20

At least ten ral­lies were held on Tues­day to protest Israel’s oper­a­tions in Gaza to thwart rocket attacks that tar­get Israeli civil­ians. Below is a sam­pling of yesterday’s anti-Israel protests:

Atlanta, GA

A rally was orga­nized by a group called “In Sol­i­dar­ity With Gaza” that drew approx­i­mately 150 peo­ple. Demon­stra­tors chanted “From the river to the sea, Pales­tine will be free,”  “Free, Free Pales­tine. Long live Pales­tine!” and “From the beach to the water, Israel is respon­si­ble for slaughter!”

A num­ber of pro­test­ers held signs that used inflam­ma­tory rhetoric, includ­ing “Israel, the new Nazis,” “Stop the geno­cide in Gaza!” “Stop the geno­cide. Save the chil­dren!” and a sign that had a Star of David with a swastika drawn in the cen­ter of it. Some of the pro­test­ers also used chalk to write mes­sages on the side­walk near the demon­stra­tion, includ­ing “Fuck Zion­ism,” “Arab Holo­caust” and “No To Genocide.”

Birm­ing­ham, AL

Approx­i­mately 30 stu­dents on cam­pus got together for an “emer­gency rally” for Gaza, accord­ing to the Uni­ver­sity of Alabama, Birmingham’s cam­pus news­pa­per. Stu­dents chanted “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Pales­tine will never die,” “Netanyahu, you can’t hide. We charge you with geno­cide!” and “From the river to the sea, Pales­tine will be free!”

The stu­dent news­pa­per also showed pho­tographs of stu­dents hold­ing signs that read, “Gaza, declared by UN, as world’s largest open-air prison” and “U.S. Tax $$ funds eth­nic cleans­ing, APARTHEID, and human rights violations.”

Boston, MA

Approx­i­mately 1,000 peo­ple ral­lied in Cop­ley Square at a demon­stra­tion orga­nized by the North­east­ern Uni­ver­sity chap­ter of Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine. The demon­stra­tors held signs that said “65+ years of Israeli col­o­niza­tion and eth­nic cleans­ing,” “End Israeli apartheid,” We say NO to Israel’s war crimes,” “US: Stop sup­port for mur­der­ous, apartheid Israel. Save the peo­ple of Gaza!” and “The mas­sacre goes on! Gaza needs your voice NOW.”

For infor­ma­tion about other anti-Israel protests that have taken place since the start of Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense, please see these pre­vi­ous posts:

“End the Nazi Occu­pa­tion in Gaza”: A Round-Up of U.S. Anti-Israel Protests on Novem­ber 19

“Israel should be Ended Once and For All,” “Cru­cify Him, Cru­cify Them…Israel’s Pol­icy:” A Round-Up of Anti-Israel Protests in the U.S., Novem­ber 17–18

Demon­stra­tors at Anti-Israel Ral­lies: “Gaza is the Real Holo­caust,” “Long live the Intifada!”

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November 20, 2012 3

“End the Nazi Occupation in Gaza”: A Round-Up Of U.S. Anti-Israel Protests On November 19

Close to two dozen anti-Israel ral­lies took place across the United States on Mon­day, from Greens­boro to Gainesville, Seat­tle to Santa Cruz. Nearly half of Monday’s demon­stra­tions occurred on uni­ver­sity and col­lege cam­puses, an indi­ca­tion of how student-driven the anti-Israel reac­tion is to the lat­est round of vio­lence tak­ing place in the Mid­dle East.

Below is a sam­pling of yesterday’s anti-Israel protests:

New Brunswick, NJ

At Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity, a state uni­ver­sity with more than 50,000 stu­dents, a rally orga­nized by Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine drew approx­i­mately 150 demon­stra­tors to Brower Com­mons. One of the signs dis­played by stu­dents read, “It would be my great­est sad­ness to see Zion­ists do to Pales­tini­ans much of what Nazis did to Jews.” Demon­stra­tors also chanted “Intifada, Intifada” dur­ing the evening protest.

At least four rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist orga­ni­za­tion, par­tic­i­pated in and spoke at the rally. Jew­ish anti-Zionist groups often view their role as “pro­tect­ing” the anti-Israel move­ment from alle­ga­tions of anti-Semitism. It seemed to work here. Shortly after the protest ended, sev­eral stu­dents expressed how happy they were to have the Neturei Karta rep­re­sen­ta­tives, with one stu­dent not­ing, “I’m tired of being crit­i­cized as an anti-Semite for hav­ing crit­i­cal views of Israel, when in fact I have no qualms with our Jew­ish broth­ers and sis­ters, but rather an apartheid nation.”

San Fran­cisco, CA

A rally out­side the Israeli Con­sulate drew activists from Jew­ish Voice for Peace who held ban­ners and signs that read “The Siege of Gaza Betrays Jew­ish Val­ues” and “Israelis Against War and Apartheid.”

Chicago, IL

More than 300 demon­stra­tors ral­lied out­side a Fed­eral Build­ing in Chicago and then pro­ceeded to march to Daley Plaza, chant­ing “From the river to the sea, Pales­tine will be free.” Speak­ers alleged that Israel is a “ter­ror­ist state,” a “bru­tal killing machine” and that Jerusalem is “occu­pied.” One young woman held a sign that read, “End the Nazi Occu­pa­tion in Gaza!” The same sign also showed the Israeli flag with a large red swastika drawn over it and the words “real ter­ror­ists.” The rally attracted the sup­port of Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, Chicago Move­ment for Pales­tin­ian Rights, Coun­cil of Islamic Orga­ni­za­tions of Greater Chicago, Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Group, US Pales­tin­ian Com­mu­nity Net­work and Jew­ish Voice for Peace.

Ithaca, NY

Anti-Israel stu­dents at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity squared off against pro-Israel stu­dents who were hold­ing a rally to sup­port Israel’s actions and then marched across cam­pus chant­ing, “Hey Netanyahu, what do you say, how many kids did you kill today?” “Brick by brick, wall by wall, Israel’s apartheid’s got to fall” and “When peo­ple are occu­pied, resis­tance is jus­ti­fied.” The rally, called “Sol­i­dar­ity from Ithaca to Gaza,” was heav­ily attended by Jew­ish anti-Zionists, includ­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Jew­ish Voice for Peace-Ithaca who held signs that read, “Jew­ish Voice for Peace Says Divest From the Occu­pa­tion” and “I am another Jew opposed to Israeli attacks on civilians.”

Tal­la­has­see, FL

The Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine chap­ter at Florida State Uni­ver­sity orga­nized a protest that drew sev­eral dozen stu­dents. The stu­dents held signs that read, “Resist Zion­ism and Impe­ri­al­ism,” “Sup­port Peace, Defend Gaza” and “Denounc­ing Israel’s War Crimes is not Anti-Semitic.” One of the lead­ers of SJP was inter­viewed by local media and said, “We’re out here because Pales­tini­ans are being bru­tal­ized, are being bombed, are being killed every sin­gle day with Amer­i­can tax dol­lars and we think that’s inher­ently wrong.” He also apol­o­gized for Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ism, say­ing it is the result of how “mis­er­able and hope­less” the Pales­tini­ans feel and pre­dicted that the “extrem­ism” will only end when the sit­u­a­tion for Pales­tini­ans improves.

For infor­ma­tion about other anti-Israel protests that have taken place since the start of Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense, please see these pre­vi­ous posts:

“Israel should be Ended Once and For All,” “Cru­cify Him, Cru­cify Them…Israel’s Pol­icy:” A Round-Up of Anti-Israel Protests in the U.S., Novem­ber 17–18

Demon­stra­tors at Anti-Israel Ral­lies: “Gaza is the Real Holo­caust,” “Long live the Intifada!”

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November 20, 2012 1

The Anti-Israel Movement Then and Now: What has Changed Since Operation Cast Lead?

A lit­tle more than 1100 days after the end of Oper­a­tion Cast Lead, Israel has again found it nec­es­sary to con­front rocket attacks from Gaza aimed at its civil­ians. On Novem­ber 14, Israel assas­si­nated Hamas’s mil­i­tary leader and began tar­geted oper­a­tions to destroy the ammu­ni­tion and infra­struc­ture of var­i­ous Gaza-based ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. Now, as was the case in 2008–9, anti-Israel groups across the United States have imme­di­ately sprung into action and have orga­nized peti­tions and demon­stra­tions to protest Israel’s mil­i­tary oper­a­tions. More than 70 anti-Israel protests have already taken place across the country.

But while the cur­rent ral­lies and demon­stra­tions have thus far con­tained sim­i­larly extreme mes­sages to those held four years ago – includ­ing expres­sions of sup­port for ter­ror­ism, accu­sa­tions of Israeli “geno­cide” and copi­ous com­par­isons of Israelis to Nazis – much has changed as well.

What’s Dif­fer­ent?

Increased Pres­ence and Orga­ni­za­tional Prowess of Jew­ish Anti-Zionists

Domes­tic Jew­ish anti-Zionist groups like Jew­ish Voice for Peace have become far more orga­nized in the past two or three years and have mobi­lized in the last few days to respond to Israel’s oper­a­tion, called Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense. While JVP played a mar­ginal role at best dur­ing the 2008–9 war (there is evi­dence of their par­tic­i­pa­tion in a total of three anti-Israel protests), JVP has been one of the lead­ing orga­niz­ers of anti-Israel demon­stra­tions against the cur­rent Israeli oper­a­tions. The group has already helped orga­nize protests in Olympia, Wash­ing­ton; Cincin­nati, Ohio; Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia and Asheville, North Carolina.

The JVP chap­ter in Boston also planned to protest a pro-Israel rally that took place at a local syn­a­gogue on Mon­day, say­ing in a press release that the pro-Israel event “claims to be a gath­er­ing for peace and the safety of the peo­ple and chil­dren of Israel, but JVP calls out this event for what it truly is:  a pro-war rally that falsely aims to rep­re­sent the Jew­ish com­mu­nity.” The state­ment also included remarks by a leader of JVP in Boston who said, “We stand here because while we grieve the loss of Israeli life, our hearts are also with the peo­ple of Gaza… Not so long ago it was Jew­ish deaths that were dis­counted and ignored,” an implicit com­par­i­son between the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and the Nazi Holocaust. 

A mem­ber of JVP’s Rab­bini­cal Coun­cil, Brant Rosen, was one of the sched­uled speak­ers at an anti-Israel protest on Mon­day in Chicago.

In addi­tion to JVP, anti-Israel Jews have appeared at other ral­lies across the coun­try, includ­ing at a protest in Boston where activists held a large ban­ner that read “Jews For Intifada” and in New York where two indi­vid­u­als held signs that read, “Israelis Against the Gaza Massacre.”

 Occupy Wall Street Gets Involved

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) move­ment did not exist dur­ing the 2008–9 Gaza War. In the lat­est con­flict, how­ever, the social protest move­ment, with its built-in orga­ni­za­tional struc­ture and mes­sag­ing capa­bil­i­ties, has proved to be extremely ben­e­fi­cial for the anti-Israel move­ment. Activists who iden­tify with OWS have par­tic­i­pated in sev­eral of the anti-Israel ral­lies that have been tak­ing place, includ­ing two events in the Florida area. At one such protest in Fort Laud­erdale on Sat­ur­day, a mem­ber of Occupy Fort Laud­erdale who attended the protest expressed implicit sup­port for vio­lent resis­tance against Israel, say­ing “The oppressed have the right to fight back by any means they have,” in an inter­view with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Two days ear­lier, an anti-Israel rally in Boston was co-sponsored by Occupy Boston (which has pre­vi­ously orga­nized anti-Israel events includ­ing a sit-in at the Israeli Con­sulate last Novem­ber) and fea­tured a sign that read, “Un-Occupy Palestine.”

A work­ing group affil­i­ated with OWS has also been using its Face­book page to dis­sem­i­nate infor­ma­tion about protests tak­ing place inter­na­tion­ally and ways to “help” Gaza by join­ing the Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paign against Israel. And the web­site for the New York con­ti­nent of OWS has posted a list of all the protests tak­ing place as well.

The involve­ment of local Occupy groups in anti-Israel activ­ity does not appear to be an offi­cial posi­tion by the national Occupy Wall Street Move­ment, how­ever, which has not issued any state­ment about the lat­est round of con­flict on its Web site or social media pages.

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