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: