Approximately 10,000 people took part in a demonstration against Israel in Washington, D.C. on August 2. The demonstration, billed as the “National March on the White House,” was organized by ANSWER and featured several speakers, along with anti-Semitic signs and chants similar to those that we have seen at other recent anti-Israel demonstrations.
Cornel West, Professor of Afro-American Studies and Religion at Harvard University, claimed that Israel is guilty of “not just occupation, not just humiliation, but more and more every day: annihilation.” He alleged that “Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal not because he’s Jewish, but because he has chosen to promote occupation and annihilation.” West did not speak favorably of President Barack Obama either who he claimed “is a war criminal, not because he’s black or half African and white, but because his drones have killed 233 innocent children and because he facilitates the killing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza.”
Nihad Awad, the Executive Director and Founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), also spoke to the crowd, insisting that Israel is a “terrorist state” and that AIPAC controls the U.S. Congress. He told the audience “Do not accept Israeli talking points. AIPAC should have its hand off the United States Congress. They have corrupted our foreign policy; they have corrupted our political leaders.”
Many of the anti-Israel demonstrators shouted insults such as “Baby killers” at a small group of pro-Israel demonstrators. At one point, when a pro-Israel supporter showed up and tried to enter the blocked-off pro-Israel area, one man shouted “We’ve got a Nazi here!” and “more pigs, more pigs!”
Tensions eventually became so high that the pro-Israel demonstrators had to be escorted away by law enforcement, presumably for their own safety. After the pro-Israel supporters were escorted out, the rally participants marched around the White House and through the streets of Washington, D.C.
An Israeli flag was also burned by participants at the rally.