|Anti-Israel Protests -- 2006 |
Posted: October 11, 2006
Anti-Israel groups in the United States routinely use mainstream anti-war marches, rallies and demonstrations as venues to criticize Israelís actions and policies toward the Palestinians. As a result, anti-Israel messages are often present at anti-war events, even though most demonstrators are motivated by their opposition to the ongoing U.S. involvement in Iraq.
Between June and August 2006, many anti-Israel rallies and marches were organized across the country in response to the fighting in the Middle East between Israel and terrorist organizations in Gaza and Lebanon. The events were marked by support for terrorist groups, calls for the destruction of Israel, messages equating Zionism with Nazism and a proliferation of anti-Semitism.
Despite the cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel, anti-Israel/anti-Semitic messages and support for terror will likely remain central themes in the overall anti-war movement during upcoming rallies and marches.
The following events in 2006 illustrate the escalation of pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic themes as well as increased cooperation between Muslim/Arab groups and far left/anti-war groups.
September 30, Brooklyn, NY
Rally co-sponsored by the Pakistan-USA Freedom Forum and the Coalition in Solidarity with the Arab People, which is made up of several groups, including Al-Awda, the International Action Center (IAC) and New Jersey Solidarity.
More than 100 protesters participated in the rally. One Al-Awda activist, Samia Halaby, displayed a t-shirt with the Hezbollah logo. Signs at the rally included, “U.S. and Israel OUT of Arab Land” and “Victory to the Intifada.” Speakers, representing the different groups involved in the rally, praised Hezbollah in their speeches. During her speech, Charlotte Kates of New Jersey Solidarity stated: “Our troops are Hezbollah. Our troops are the Palestinian resistance, and we do support our troops. And we will struggle and we will build the resistance here until all Palestine is free.” An Al-Awda speaker declared: “We are all Hezbollah…I believe in armed struggle…Sixty years ago Arab lands were the Zionism free land…in less than another sixty years Palestine and Arab lands will be a Zionism free land again.” Another speaker led the crowd in chants of “long live the intifada!”
August 30, Salt Lake City, UT
Demonstration organized by Robert Breeze and the Center to Prevent Corporate Media Lying.
Several individuals held a protest under the slogan “Death to Israel” across the street from a larger gathering protesting a visit by President George W. Bush. Robert Breeze, a local criminal defense attorney, organized the demonstration to protest “the torture and murder inflicted on Muslims by Israel and the penetration of the U.S. media by Israeli intelligence.” When asked if he wants to see Israel eliminated, Breeze reportedly said: “The President of Iran has an excellent idea…I would like to see them move Israel to Virginia and put all the current Virginians in a concentration camp. Then we’ll see how popular Israel is [in the United States].”
August 18, Phoenix, AZ
Rally co-sponsored by American Coalition for Peace in the Middle East, Al Mahdi Foundation, Arab/Muslim Voice and local chapters of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).
Approximately 80 people attended the rally. Hani Rahal, a representative from Al Mahdi Foundation, expressed support for Hezbollah and Hamas, describing their activities as “resistance.” Signs at the rally included: “Israel: how many kids did you kill today?” “Bush: can you stop Israeli crimes in Palestine & Lebanon?” and “Zionism = racism = terrorism.”
August 12, Washington, DC
Rally organized, sponsored and endorsed by the ANSWER Coalition, the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA) and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).
About 10,000 protesters took part in the rally - the largest of several coordinated events that were held that day throughout the country and abroad. Supporters were bused in from New York, Michigan, Miami and several other cities. One speaker declared: “from this podium I salute Hezbollah,” which prompted loud cheers from the crowd. Children danced at the protests while adults chanted in support of Hezbollah and the bombing of Israeli cities. One popular chant declared: “Nasrallah, Nasrallah; the martyr is the beloved of Allah; the Zionists are the enemy of Allah.” Carl Messineo of the IAC said: “The formula of Israel – a state built upon the domination by the Jewish people over historically Arab land—is a formula for never ending conflict [and] an obstacle to the peaceful coexistence of the Muslims, Jews and Christians” of the Middle East. Signs at the rally included, “The Zionists are the party of the Devil” and “the party of god [Hezbollah] will be victorious.”
August 12, 2006, San Francisco, CA
Rally organized by the ANSWER Coalition, the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA).
About 2,500 protesters attended the rally, some chanting “Long live Lebanon. Long live Hezbollah.” Several were masked in Kaffiyehs and waved large Hezbollah flags or held posters of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. One of the speakers read a poem that praised martyrdom and declared: “All of us are the resistance.” In response, the crowd chanted: “We support the intifada, intifada all the way.” Another speaker stated: “Hezbollah and Hamas are freedom fighters, they are our heroes.” Small groups of demonstrators led by a men with megaphones, some masked with Kaffiyeh, chanted anti-Jewish slogans in Arabic, including “Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return!” evoking the Koran’s account of a battle between the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the Jew of the town of Khaibar, which resulted in the subjugation of the Jews of Arabia. Protestors also chanted: “Nasrallah, Nasrallah, oh dear, bomb Tel Aviv!” Signs featured at the rally included: “Nazi kikes out of Lebanon,” “Israelis are murderers; kick them out of America,” as well as other signs equating Zionism and Nazism. One of the speakers at the rally, a local MAS representative, Ahmad Azam, said: “We Muslims and Arabs calling today for stopping the killings (sic)… No justice, no peace…this is the beginning not the end. Until we end the occupation of the whole Palestine and the invasion of Lebanon.”
August 12, Los Angeles, CA
Rally co-sponsored by the Muslim American Society (MAS), the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), the ANSWER Coalition, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Free Palestine Alliance (FPA) and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.
More than 1,000 people attended the rally. Preston Wood, the local ANSWER coordinator, described Israel as “a colonial outpost that protects the interests of the corporate elite in Washington.” Signs at the rally included: “Hezbollah, Hamas – people’s resistance,” “We reject the racism of the Jewish state,” “Holocaust in Lebanon by Zionist terrorists,” and “US/UK Israel: real axis of evil.” A large banner declared: “Support the people’s resistance; Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine.”
August 12, San Diego, CA
Rally co-sponsored by the Muslim American Society (MAS), the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the International Action Center (IAC), the International Socialist Organization (ISO), the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Al-Awda.
About 300 demonstrators attended the rally to “demand an end to U.S. financial and military support of the genocidal Zionist state” and to support a “right of return” for Palestinians living outside Israel, according to organizers. Signs at the rally included, “Long live Hezbollah,” “Israel, Israel, uber alles” and an American flag with a Star of David in place of the 50 stars and a swastika over the stripes, which were dripping into blood.
August 12, Seattle, WA
Rally organized by the ANSWER Coalition and endorsed by several other organizations, including the Green Party of Seattle, the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and the Arab American Community Coalition.
About 600 protesters participated in the rally, according to organizers. Banners included: “Fight corporate power; End racist war” and “Cut off Israel aid.” ANSWER’s onstage banner read: “Occupation is a crime from Iraq to Lebanon to Palestine.”
August 12, Denver, CO
Rally sponsored by Front Range Coalition for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, which is made up of Colorado Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other groups.
About 350 demonstrators participated in the rally, several of them carrying Hezbollah and Hamas flags and posters of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Signs included: “Stop U.S. funding for the Israeli war machine,” “Who lives by the sword, dies by the sword,” and “Fighting Zionist oppression does not make you anti-Semitic.” Several protesters held a placard with the Palestinian flag and the words: “Zionism is racism; one person, one vote, one state.” Another protester had a placard that said: “Stop the Holocaust of the Palestinian & Lebanese people.” A small group of anarchists displayed a sign that demanded “Bring the insurgency Home!”
August 11, San Francisco, CA
Demonstration organized by the ANSWER coalition and some area Muslim groups.
Between two and three hundred people attended the rally, which followed a Friday prayer led by Imam Abdul Aleem Musa, a radical anti-Semitic cleric from Washington, DC. Demonstrators marched from the Civic Center to the Israeli Consulate, for what they described as a “Unity rally.” Protesters chanted: “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” One of the clerics leading the rally was approached by a reporter, who asked if the slogan means that “Israel has no right to exit.” The cleric responded: “Absolutely. They have to leave our country and go back where they came from which is Europe.” Statements made by demonstrators included, “Do not listen to the news, it is controlled by the Jews,” “All we have to lose, is control by the Jews,” and “Jews are our dogs.” A sign at the rally pictured actor Mel Gibson saying, “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
August 5, New York City
Rally organized by the International Action Center (IAC) and endorsed by several organizations, including: Al-Awda, the Arab American Muslim Federation, New Jersey Solidarity and the Troops Out Now Coalition.
The rally, which attracted several hundred people, was advertised with the slogans “No justice, no peace; U.S. out of the Middle East” and “Support the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples’ right to resist.” It was part of a weekend of events held under the title: “National days of action against Israeli aggression.” The protest started at Times Square and ended near what demonstrators identified as the ExxonMobil building. Speakers praised Hamas and Hezbollah and called for the annihilation of Israel; some held a Hezbollah flag. One speaker led the crowd in chants in Arabic: “Nasrallah dear: bomb Tel Aviv … bomb Kiryat Shmona.” Another speaker from Al-Awda said: “This will not come to an end until Israel is finished, until there is no Israel…We need to shut down the media and their corporations [we need to] shut down Israel.” The crowd chanted “Long live Hezbollah! Long live Hamas!” and, in Arabic, “Palestine is Arab [land] from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea!” and “Palestine is our country; and the Jews are our dogs!”
August 5, Los Angeles, CA
Rally organized by the International Action Center (IAC) and the UCLA Muslim Students Association (MAS).
Between 200 and 300 protesters participated in the rally, which featured signs and slogans accusing Israel and the U.S. of genocide and equated Zionism with Nazi Germany. One placard featured a flag of Israel with swastikas. Another sign declared: “stop doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to us!”
August 5, Boston, MA
Demonstration organized by the International Action Center (IAC) of Boston and endorsed by several other organizations.
About 50 people attended the rally, which was held outside the Israeli Consulate. The crowd chanted “No Justice! No Peace! US out of the Middle East!” and held signs demanding: “Disarm Israel!” One of the speakers, Ahmad Kawash, of the Palestine American Congress, declared: “Hamas and Hezbollah have brought dignity and valor in fighting back…Israeli aggression shows how desperate the Zionist entity is. It must be eliminated.”
August 4, Detroit, MI
March organized by Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice (MECAWI).
Approximately 2,000 protesters attended the march. Organizer Abayomi Azikiwe said, “We’re opposed to U.S. military assistance in Israel.” Demonstrators carried placards with photos showing maimed and killed woman and children with slogans such as “Your tax dollars did this.” Some of the signs equated Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with the Nazis.
August 1, Dearborn, MI
Rally organized by various local groups.
Thousands of demonstrators attended the rally. One of the signs read: “Side by side we shall stand holding Hezbollah flags in our hands!” Chants included “stop the killing now,” “long live Lebanon, long live Hezbollah” and “stop Israeli terrorism.”
July 29, Anaheim, CA
Rally organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and co-sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition, the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Arab American Institute, Friends of Sabeel, Islamic Shura Council of South California, the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and others.
About 500 protesters participated in the rally, which was advertised by ADC as a “rally against U.S.-Israeli terror in Palestine & Lebanon.” Some of the signs held by demonstrators included: “USA: Stop Funding Israeli Terrorism,” “Israel likes killing kids” and “Israel is killing Lebanese, Palestinian children and the U.S. government is happy.” According to ANSWER, its representative at the rally, Muna Coobtee “gave a rousing anti-imperialist defense of the resistance in the region to U.S. imperialism and Israeli aggression.”
July 28, New York City
Rally organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Al-Awda, and Arab Muslim American Federation and endorsed by the ANSWER Coalition and the International Action Center (IAC).
Several hundred people gathered in front of the Israeli Consulate. One speaker referred to Hezbollah, Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committee (one of the groups behind the abduction of Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit in Gaza) as “resistance forces fighting a racist regime.” Chants of “Free Free Palestine,” and “No justice, no peace,” in support of Palestinian militants and Hezbollah were common, as were anti-Zionist messages that included Nazi imagery. Signs included: “Stop the Nazi Gestapo,” “Nazi Israel Guilty Genocide,” “Innocent Israeli Civilians or Israeli Nazi Occupiers?” and “All of Palestine is ‘occupied territory.’” A small group from the radical Islamic Thinkers Society held anti-Semitic signs, including one that read, “Is my immune system anti-Semitic for resisting disease?”
July 27, San Francisco, CA
Rally organized by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the affiliated Break the Siege Coalition.
About 300 protesters attended the rally, which was held in front of U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein’s office. Among the placards displayed were: “Save Lebanon from Israeli terrorism,” “Israel – You Have Betrayed The 6 Million” and “Stop the Holocaust in Palestine.” One protester held a placard depicting Sen. Feinstein in Nazi uniform under the Israel flag with the words “war profiteer.”
July 23, San Francisco, CA
About 30 demonstrators participated in the counter protest against the JCRC pro-Israel rally with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Slogans shouted by the protesters at Justin Herman Plaza included: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “I don’t care what you say, intifada all the way,” “Long live Hezbollah” and in Arabic, “Oh Nasrallah dear, bomb Tel Aviv.” One protester held a sign that read: “Not suicide bombers, not homicide bombers, not murderers. They are the martyrs in the highest part of heaven.” One group of protesters, led by Green Party senate candidate Todd Chretien, held a press conference at the plaza denouncing Israel and Sen. Feinstein.
July 22, Chicago, IL
Rally organized by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - Chicago, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and the Arab American Action Network.
About 2,000 people marched from Chicago’s Pioneer Court to the Israeli consulate. Signs displayed during a rally included: “All Israel is occupied territory,” “Stop Israel state terrorism,” “Israel is the terrorists” and “End Israeli apartheid!” Chants from the crowd included, “Free, free Palestine” and “Intifada, intifada.” One speaker, referring to the consulate, said “this is the representative of the murders and massacres of our people in Palestine and Lebanon and Iraq,” to which the crowd responded with load boos. Another speaker led the crowd in chants of “Israel out of Palestine; occupation is a crime.” The crowd also shouting in Arabic: “Palestine is our land the Jews are our dogs.”
July 21, Boston, MA
Rally organized by the Muslim American Society (MAS) with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) - Massachusetts and the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights.
About 500 attended the rally at Boston City Hall Plaza. There were several signs in support of Hezbollah at a rally, including one that read, “Victory to Hezbollah and the Palestinian Resistance. Zionists Out of the Middle East.” One sign echoed demands by Hamas and Hezbollah to free convicted terrorists from Israeli jails, stating: “Free all Palestinian and Lebanese political prisoners.” Esam Omeish, MAS president, repeated the demand, saying, “Just like we demand that Hezbollah and Hamas release their prisoners, we also demand that Israel releases the thousands of civilian prisoners that it holds.” One speaker declared: “Who are the terrorists? It is the US and Israel that wage terror in the Middle East.” Other speakers explained that disarming Hezbollah will help Israel to control the region and that the war is “part of a broader imperialist invasion.” Representatives of Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist Jewish group, held a sign that said: “All Palestine under Palestinian rule.”
July 19, Los Angeles, CA
Rally co-sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition, the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), Free Palestine Alliance and the Palestinian American Women'’ Association.
Several hundreds protesters showed up in front of the Israeli consulate carrying signs with Israeli flags and swastikas. One protester held a green and black flag and was shouting “Hamas” and “intifada” with his fist raised. Other signs include: “Zionism + terrorism = Israel.” Protesters chanted “Long live Hezbollah.”
July 18, Dearborn, MI
Rally organized by Congress of Arab American Organizations.
Protesters held banners that read “Stop Israeli Terrorism” and “Down, down Israel.” One of the speakers, Osama Siblani, publisher and editor of The Arab American News and a CAAO leader, said, “We know that the president is being bought by the Zionist lobby. We know that the (U.S.) Congress is being bought by the Zionist lobby.” Another speaker displayed a picture of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and received loud applause. Rana Abbas-Chami, deputy director of ADC – Michigan, added: “The U.S. is just as guilty as Israel is.”
July 14, Cedar Rapids, IA
Rally organized by the Muslim American Society (MAS).
Several dozen protesters attended the rally, which was part of MAS’s American Justice for Palestine Campaign (AJ4P), which it launched with ANSWER in response to Israeli military operations in Gaza. Signs at the rally, which was held in front of a Federal Building, included “Free Palestine now!” “America wake up!” “Stop Israeli war crimes.”
July 13, San Francisco, CA
Rally organized by Al-Awda and the ANSWER Coalition.
More than 100 protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Consulate, some chanting in Arabic, “Palestine is our country; and the Jews are our dogs!” Other slogans included “Black, red, Brown, white; we support Hezbollah’s fight! Black, red, green, blue; we support Hamas too!” A speaker using the microphone led the crowd in chants: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” One ANSWER sign said: “Free the 9,000 kidnapped Palestinians,” echoing Palestinian terrorists’ demand that Israel free Palestinians held on terror charges in exchange for Cpl. Gilad Shalit, the captive Israeli soldier.
March 18, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles
Marches organized by the ANSWER Coalition.
Several thousand ant-iwar protestors marched in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and in other cities around the United States in protest of the occupation of Iraq on the third anniversary of the invasion, March 18, 2006. An undercurrent of criticism of Israel ran through the marches, and ANSWER organizers distributed signs calling for an end to American aid to Israel. In San Francisco, the anti-Israel presence at an event protesting the occupation of Iraq was extensive and several posters promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and support for Palestinian violence. “We attacked Iraq for Israel… Free my country,” and “Smash the Jewish State,” were among them. Activists also chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” and “Long live Palestine, long live the intifada.”