Several dozen protests and demonstrations expressing opposition to Israel’s military operations against Hamas in Gaza are taking place in cities across the United States this week.
While organizers sometimes promote their protests as a demonstration against “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians” – as The New York Times even did yesterday when it highlighted a planned demonstration that took place in New York in its “New York Today” column – more often than not, these protests devolve into outright hate fests against Israel, rife with calls of support for violence, comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany and claims that Israel wantonly murders Palestinian children.
Following an escalation in rocket attacks from Gaza and Israel’s commencement of “Operation Protective Edge,” initiated in order to reduce the threat of attacks against Israeli civilians, more than a dozen rallies have taken place in American cities. Below is a sampling of what occurred at some of these rallies:
July 9, 2014
New York, NY
More than 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside the Israeli Consulate bearing signs comparing Israel to the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi Germany, as well as signs legitimizing violent resistance against Israel. At various points during the rally, protesters in the crowd led chants of “Death to Israel” and “Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud, jaysh Muhammad sawfa ya’ud,” which translates to “Oh Khaiber, Khaiber, oh you Jews, the army of Muhammad shall return.” The anti-Semitic slogan evokes an Islamic story of an alleged battle between the prophet Muhammad and the Jews of the town of Khaibar, which resulted in the subjugation of the Jews of Arabia.
Several dozen members of Neturei Karta, a fringe ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist group, were also in attendance, holding placards that called for an end to the Jewish state and “Zionist terrorism.” The spokesperson for the group, Yisroel Dovid Weiss, addressed the crowd in an attempt to absolve Jews from Israel’s alleged crimes, arguing that until the advent of Zionism, Jews and Muslims lived peacefully together. He also led chants of “Zionism No, The State of Israel Must Go.” Another speaker warned the crowd to avoid dialogue with anyone who supports Israel, saying “No for Normalization!” He further praised the fact that Gaza is “fighting back” and led the crowd in chants of “When People are Occupied, Resistance is Justified.”
A rally drew several hundred protesters to the Israeli Consulate in Chicago after
which protesters marched to the Federal Plaza, chanting, “Hey Israel what do you say, how many kids have you killed today?” and “Long Live Intifada. Intifada, Intifada!” Included among the many signs were several that accused Israel of perpetrating a Holocaust: “End the Palestine Holocaust,” “It was Wrong in Auschwitz, it is Wrong in Gaza!” and “Gaza Concentration/Starvation Camp, Designed, Manufactured, Frequently Bombed and Managed By Israel.”
July 8, 2014
Los Angeles, CA
Several hundred protesters gathered outside the Israeli Consulate on Tuesday afternoon to call for an end to Israel’s alleged “collective punishment” of Palestinians. Some of the protesters hel
d graphic images of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teen who was recently killed by Jewish extremists. Protesters condemned the “Bloodthirsty Zionists” and one individual held a sign that depicted a large swastika painted over a Star of David that read, “I believe Yahoo ordered the murder of three Israelites.” Yahoo is a reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and refers to the conspiracy theory that Israel orchestrated the murders of three Israeli teenagers in order to launch attacks against Hamas. Another woman wore a t-shirt bearing an image of Anne Frank with a keffiyah wrapped around her neck, an offensive attempt to claim that one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust would have supported the Palestinian agenda.
July 7, 2014
San Francisco, CA
A protest in San Francisco, which took place a day before “Operation Protective Edge” formally began, featured several hundred protesters who chanted “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free,” “With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine,” and “Intifada! Intifada! We support the intifada!” One protester was also recorded in a video of the demonstration shouting “There is no f***ing State of Israel.”