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November 19, 2012

“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

Over the weekend, more than two dozen anti-Israel protests were held in cities across the United States. Below is a round-up of the extreme messages and signs that were on display at just a small sampling of these demonstrations.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

New Haven, CT

Approximately two dozen protesters gathered outside the New Haven courthouse and then proceeded to march in downtown New Haven. An activist with the ANSWER Coalition addressed the crowd first and said, “We’re here to say to people that Israel should be ended once and for all.” She also advocated for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and encouraged the crowd to fight “U.S. imperialism.” Protesters engaged in chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!,” “Long live Intifada!,” and “Viva, Viva Palestina.” They held signs that read, “Resist Zionism and Imperialism” and “Israel – Guilty of war crimes.”

Fort Lauderdale, FL

About 150 people gathered outside the United States Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale holding signs that read “This isn’t war, this is genocide,” “Stop the new Holocaust,” and “Apartheid+occupation=Israel.” Other signs read “Stop the Palestinian Holocaust by Israel,” “If 9/11 deserves a moment of silence… Then Palestine deserves to never speak again,” and “The genocide goes on. Gaza needs your voice NOW.”

Activists at the rally chanted a variety of slogans including “Hey hey, ho ho, this occupation has gotta go!” “From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, Palestine will be free!” and “Gaza will never die! Free, free Gaza!” A participant at the protest wore a t-shirt that said “Stop the Palestinian Holocaust by Israel.”

Austin, TX

Activists demonstrated outside the Texas Capitol building for a rally called “Austin stands with Gaza.” Signs at the rally included “Israel is killing children in Gaza, stop U.S. complicity,” “Zionism is racism,” “Zionism is theft and anti-Semitic terror,” and “Stop Israeli terrorism!” In addition, a young child at the rally held a sign that said “Children like me are being killed with your tax dollars.”

Chants at the rally included “Netanyahu go to Hell, USA of Israel,” “Self-defense is a lie, what they do is genocide!” “The Palestinians are oppressed, boycott, sanctions, divest!” and “From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls of have got to go.” The latest chant refers to an increased effort by anti-Israel activists to link the Palestinian struggle with immigrant issues in the U.S. and the U.S.-Mexico border fence.

San Francisco, CA

Approximately 100 protesters gathered outside the Israeli Consulate for the third straight day. Signs were held that said “Stop U.S.-Israeli genocide,” “Free Palestine, support the right of return,” and “Stop Israel’s slaughter in Gaza. Cut off all U.S. Aid.”

Following the demonstration outside of the Consulate, activists marched to Union Square chanting various slogans including “Long live the intifada, intifada, intifada,” “No peace, no state,” “While you’re shopping bombs are dropping,” and “not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes!”

 SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18

Washington, D.C.

Protesters gathered at the Israeli Embassy holding signs that read, “Obama Grow a Spine End the Genocide in Palestine! Quit Being Israel’s Puppet,” “G-d’s ‘Chosen People’ Guilty of War Crimes,” “Is Washington Under Israeli Occupation?” and “Crucify Him, Crucify Them…Israel’s Policy,” which seemed to suggest that Israel was responsible for Jesus’s death. Other signs that were printed by some of the anti-Israel organizations that coordinated the rally read, “Stop Israel’s Slaughter in Gaza” and “End the Siege on Gaza.”

Press TV, an English-language Iranian news station, interviewed some of the protesters who used extreme and inaccurate language to condemn Israel, including describing Gaza as a “land prison” and claiming that Israel “massacred thousands of civilians” in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.  

New York

Approximately 500 people demonstrators gathered in Times Square holding signs that read “Israel is a terrorist state” and “Judaism Yes! Zionism No! State of Israel Must Go.” The latter sign was held by a member of Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist organization that is a fixture at anti-Israel rallies in New York and Washington, D.C. A separate protester who was interviewed by FarsNews, an official Iranian agency, said that Israel is able to “get away with it” because of the U.S.: “America is the real terrorist state and as long as America unconditionally supports Israel, the blood of Palestinians will continue to be shed.”

San Diego

An anti-Israel protest to counter a pro-Israel event was organized by the Al-Awda chapter in San Diego. After the event ended, the leader of the group posted a message on Facebook thanking people for attending the protest. The  activist, Zahi Damuni, wrote that participants in the pro-Israel rally were a “lot of obnoxious racist people” and that the counter-protest “dampened the celebration of the carnage that their Zionist racist state is committing.” He also called for all of Palestine to be free “from the River to the Sea,” which is a call for the destruction of the state of Israel.

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November 16, 2012

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

Virulent anti-Israel protests were held in at least two dozen cities across the United States yesterday. The demonstrations were organized to protest Israeli air strikes against Hamas and terrorist infrastructure in Gaza in an ongoing effort to defend Israel’s civilian population against the continuous barrage of indiscriminate deadly rocket fire from Gaza which now extends to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Many of the demonstrations were marked by extreme and anti-Semitic messages. Signs that compared Israel to Nazi Germany and expressed support for “armed resistance” in Gaza were widespread. Below is a sampling of the demonstrations:

New York: Approximately 1,000 individuals attended a rally to “Protest Israeli crimes in Gaza” outside the Israeli Consulate. Signs held at the demonstration read, “Palestinians are freedom fighters;”  “Stop Israeli genocide in Gaza;” “Resistance is justified when people are occupied;” “Long live the Intifada;” “With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine;” and “Gaza is Today’s Warsaw Ghetto.”

One after the other, different speakers took turns condemning Israel using Holocaust analogies, praising “armed resistance,” and calling for “Palestine to be free, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.” One speaker said, “Speaking of resistance, do you guys think resistance equals terrorism?” The crowd shouted, “No!!!” Another speaker claimed that “Gaza is the Warsaw Ghetto of today. Sixty years ago when the Jewish people in the Warsaw Ghetto fought back against the Nazi war machine, today it is the people of Gaza and Palestine who are fighting for freedom against a war machine that is no better than that of the Nazis.”

The speakers at the rally represented a number of groups, including Al-Awda, the Arab Muslim American Federation, New York University and Hunter College’s chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, Muslim American Society, ANSWER, and more (see below for videos of the event).

Los Angeles: Several dozen students protested on UCLA’s campus holding signs that read, “From the River to the sea Palestine will be free,” “This Israeli Jewish Granddaughter of a Holocaust Survivor is against the Massacre of Gaza,” “Blowing up children ≠ self –defense” and “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.” Another sign, which read “93% effective missile defense Iron Dome paid for by $250 M in US tax $,” seemed to be upset with the Israeli defense system that prevents rockets from landing on Israeli civilians. Students also chanted, “Free, Free Palestine; Long live the intifada” and “Israel is a terrorist state.”

Chicago: Several hundred protesters held signs that read “Gaza is the Real Holocaust,” “Condemn Gaza Genocide,”  “Divest from Israel’s Crimes,” and “Stop Israel’s Slaughter in Gaza.” One person held a sign that showed the Star of David = Swastika. The rally was held in Prudential Plaza outside President Obama’s campaign headquarters. It was sponsored by several Chicago-based organizations, including the Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights, the Palestine Solidarity Group and American Muslims for Palestine – Chicago. It was also endorsed by nearly 20 other organizations, including 8 area chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Chicago chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Boston: Protesters chanted “Resistance is Justified When People are Occupied” and “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea.” “Long live Intifada, Intifada, Intifada!” A large banner that read “Jews for Intifada” was held by several activists at the front of the crowd as they marched towards the Israeli Consulate in downtown Boston. The rally was sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, CODEPINK, the United National Antiwar Coalition, and Occupy-Boston. A sign that read, “Un-Occupy Palestine” was also on display.

Videos from the anti-Israel demonstration in New York City:

 

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