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PIJ-Israel Conflict: Many Anti-Israel Protestors Express Support for Violence Against Israel

PIJ-Israel Conflict: Many Anti-Israel Protestors Express Support for Violence Against Israel

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In response to the recent fighting between Israel and terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), anti-Zionist groups around the world mobilized to protest Israel’s military operations targeting PIJ sites inside Gaza, with many groups specifically expressing outrage over the number of civilian casualties there. According to reports, PIJ misfires were responsible for the deaths of at least eight Palestinian civilians, and the Israeli military acknowledged responsibility for the deaths of seven more.

At rallies in more than twenty U.S. cities and a dozen more locales across the globe, many demonstrators stayed within the lines of traditional criticism against Israel, but a notable segment showed support for violence against Israeli civilians. In Philadelphia, an Israeli flag was burned. In at least a couple instances, demonstrators propagated overt antisemitism.

Protestors endorsed armed confrontation in a variety of ways, including through explicit support of a terrorist and declarations suggesting that all violence against Israel is justified. One prominent theme was the veneration of the late Ibrahim Nabulsi, a senior commander in the U.S.-designated terror group Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade who was allegedly involved in several shootings in the West Bank. Nabulsi recently died in a firefight with the Israeli military. Another popular theme was resisting Israel by “by any means necessary.” Such rhetoric alarmingly implies complete acceptance of the actions of PIJ, which includes intentionally firing rockets at Israeli civilian population centers during the conflict.

Expressions of support for armed confrontation with Israel included:

  • Philadelphia, PA, August 10: At a Philadelphia rally organized by CAIR Philadelphia, some participants wore shirts bearing the image of Ibrahim Nabulsi holding a rifle.
PIJ-Israel Conflict: Many Anti-Israel Protestors Express Support for Violence Against Israel

 

  • New York, NY, August 8: The flag of the U.S. State Department-designated terror organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was spotted at a demonstration organized by anti-Zionist groups Within Our Lifetime, Samidoun, Decolonize This Place, Existence is Resistance and Palestinian Youth Movement. PFLP is responsible for several airplane hijackings as well as numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians in Israel and the West Bank, including a bombing in 2019 that killed 17-year-old Israeli Rina Shnerb, and a 2014 attack in a Jerusalem synagogue that killed four. Similar or related expressions of support for violence or dismantling the state of Israel included:
    • Within Our Lifetime re-released materials that advocated for protestors to chant: “Bab Al-Aqsa min Hadeed, ma byiftaha illa alshaheed” (The door of Al-Aqsa is made of iron, only a martyr can open it).
    • Within Our Lifetime leader Nerdeen Kiswani stated: “Palestinians have every right to defend themselves by any means necessary.”
    • Protestors chanted several slogans that can reasonably be interpreted as calls for the end of Israel’s existence:
PIJ-Israel Conflict: Many Anti-Israel Protestors Express Support for Violence Against Israel

 

  • Boston, MA, August 10: A speaker from the left-wing ANSWER Coalition remarked: “We support Palestinian resistance by any means necessary.” The rally was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace-Boston, US Palestinian Council, ANSWER Coalition, Palestinian Youth Movement and Massachusetts Peace Action. Numerous ANSWER Coalition signs in the crowd bore the same message.
  • San Jose, CA, August 10: At a rally organized by American Muslims for Palestine-Bay Area, Palestinian Youth Movement and others, a speaker from the Party for Socialism and Liberation stated: “When you are oppressed, when you are colonized, it is right to fight, it is right to resist. If they call you a terrorist, that doesn’t matter.” The speaker also praised Ibrahim Nabulsi.
  • Chicago, IL, August 9: A representative of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression expressed “unconditional solidarity with Palestinian resistance” and declared his goal to “wash Israel...away from this planet:”
    • “I want to say that the Chicago Alliance stands in unconditional solidarity with Palestinian resistance. Now what unconditional solidarity means is that we don't tell y'all how to resist. We support you unconditionally in your resistance.”
    • “We are here to wash Israel and every oppressive system away from this planet.”
  • Houston, TX, August 14: At a rally organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Palestinian American Cultural Center and the Palestinian Youth Movement, participants chanted “Nabulsi, Nabulsi,” a reference to Ibrahim al Nabulsi. Another speaker said, “We must as a people, especially the diaspora, defend our people’s right to resist. We must understand that Zionism is not compatible with our people. It is not compatible with dignity, it is not compatible with honor, it is not compatible with freedom....”
  • Columbus, OH, August 12: Speakers chanted, “From Columbus, to Gaza, mobilize the intifada” and “Long live the intifada.” They also held a vigil for Ibrahim Nabulsi, Hussein Taha, Islam Soboh, and Momen Jaber.

 

International Protests

Vienna, Austria, August 12:

  • A speaker drew a parallel between Israel's actions and the Holocaust. Such rhetoric is offensive and trivializes the Nazi genocide of six million Jews and others. The speaker remarked that during World War II, many people:
    • "…stood with their right hand, 'Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler!' And after the war, nobody was 'Heil-Hitlering' anymore...all of a sudden everybody was innocent. And that is why it is important right now to stand up for the Palestinian people. Because it is a genocide that is happening in so-called 'Israel."

Berlin, Germany, August 7:

  • At a demonstration in Berlin’s center with around 250 participants, speakers delegitimized the existence of Israel and advocated for violence against Israel:
    • “That we will fight against our occupiers, by all means, including legitimate armed means.”
    •  "From the river to the sea; Palestine will be free."
    • “We are talking about an aggressive murderousness of an occupier that does not exist today. A colonial power in occupied Palestine.”

Düsseldorf, Germany, August 9:

  • About 35 people participated in an anti-Israel rally on the Burgplatz in Düsseldorf:
    • Slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “Intifada until victory” were repeated.

London, England, August 10:

  • An anti-Israel protest featured antisemitic messaging, including chants of, “Zionists, go home!” One of the protestors brought a sign reading "Stop the Judaization of Jerusalem, and Britain, Europe, Ukraine and USA.”

Toronto, Canada, August 10:

  • An anti-Israel protest in front of the Israeli consulate in Toronto featured a large sign calling Israel “apartheid Zionist child killers”. Some participants chanted “Iron Dome and you're still cowards, killing children you overpower.” At least 50 people participated.
PIJ-Israel Conflict: Many Anti-Israel Protestors Express Support for Violence Against Israel