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Israel's Action in Gaza Spurs Anti-Israel Rallies RULE January 8-19, 2009 Demonstrations

Posted: January 22, 2009

January 8-19, 2009 Demonstrations
January 1-7, 2009 Demonstrations
December 30 "National Day of Action" Demonstrations
December 2008 Demonstrations

  • January 19, 2009 – Chicago, IL: Several hundred individuals attended a "Women and Children's Vigil for Peace and Justice" at the Federal Plaza. Signs held at the demonstration included, "Death to Israel" written in English and "Death to Jews and the State of Israel" written in Hebrew; "Down with Israeli Zionist Savages" with a picture of a Star of David equating a swastika; and "End the Holocaust of Palestinians." The vigil was sponsored by the Coalition for Justice in Palestine, a broad coalition consisting of over a dozen Chicago chapters of national groups, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC); American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); American Muslims for Palestine (AMP); ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition; Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); International Solidarity Movement (ISM); and Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation; as well as several local groups and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters.
  • January 18, 2009 – San Jose, CA: Several hundred demonstrators protested at Santana Row holding signs that read "Congrats Israel. You've Made Hitler Proud;" "Israeli Apartheid Wall Imprisons the Innocent while Protecting the Illegal;" "From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free!" "Stop the Genocide" and a sign equating the Star of David with a swastika. Demonstrators chanted "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine" and "Israel is a racist state, Israel is a terrorist state." There were several heated exchanges between the demonstrators and a small crowd of pro-Israel counterdemonstrators that included shoving and pushing before law enforcement officials separated the two groups.
  • January 14, 2009 – Boston, MA: More than fifty pro-Palestinian demonstrators countered a pro-Israel rally at Copley Square, holding signs that read "Victory to Hamas! Free Palestine!;" "Israel: Racist State Committing Genocide;" "Stop the Pogroms in Palestine;" "Israelis are Murderers;" "Liberate the Gaza Ghetto" and "Stop the Holocaust in the Gaza Ghetto." Protesters chanted, "Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel's crimes." The two opposing groups exchanged shouts and insults with each other, including shouts by the pro-Palestinian demonstrators of "murderers," "bastards" and accusations that Israel is using "white phosphorous and Napalm" against Palestinians.
  • January 14, 2009 – West Hartford, CT:
    More than two dozen demonstrators protested outside the Jewish Community Center where a pro-Israel event was taking place. Signs held at the protest read, "Stop U.S. Aid to Israel;" "Boycott Apartheid Israel;" and a sign with a Star of David equating a swastika. One person was arrested for "breaching the peace" after shouting between a pro-Israel individual and counterdemonstrators resulted in a snowball being thrown. The rally was organized by a New Haven-based group called Middle East Crisis Committee (MECC) and received endorsement from Palestinian American Congress (PAC), CAIR, ANSWER, Socialist Action and the New Haven chapter of International Socialist Organization (ISO).
  • January 11, 2009 – New York, NY: Several hundred demonstrators marched from Times Square to Columbus Circle. Protesters carried signs that read, "Zionism caused 60 years of Blood Shed in Mideast," likened Zionism to racism, and accused Israel of committing genocide and being a terrorist state. Other signs likened Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto and denied Israel's right to exist ("Free Palestine from the River to the Sea"). Many signs blamed the U.S. for the situation in Gaza and advocated for an end to U.S. support for Israel, including "Gaza's Blood is on U.S. Hands," "Stop U.S. Funding of Israeli Murder Machine," "Israeli Apartheid—Made in U.S.A.—End Aid to Israel," and "Massacres in Palestine—Made in U.S.A.—End Aid to Israel." Speakers included Lamis Deek, co-chair of Al-AwdaNew York, and Rabbi Yisroel Weiss of Neturei Karta, who stated, "We want the world to know that Zionism is stealing the identity of the Torah and of the Jewish people." Other speakers accused Israel of "massacring" Arabs in Gaza, Egypt, Lebanon and elsewhere. Nine people were arrested when a scuffle broke out after police tried to break up a fight between two participants. The incident left seven officers with injuries ranging in severity and those arrested face charges ranging from disorderly conduct to reckless endangerment, according to police. A reported 30 people in total were arrested during the event. The rally was organized by Break the Siege on Gaza Coalition, a New York-based anti-Israel group.
  • January 11, 2009 – Denver, CO: Approximately 1000 demonstrators rallied outside the State Capitol. Signs held at the rally included, "Never Again;" "Gaza – World's Biggest Concentration Camp;" "Wake Up! One Billion Muslims" and "Stop the Apartheid." One sign depicted an Israeli flag with the Star of David replaced by a swastika.
  • January 10, 2009 – San Francisco, CA: More than 1000 demonstrators gathered at Civic Center Park and then marched down Market Street before returning to the park for a rally. Signs featured support for terrorist organizations and Palestinian "resistance" and comparisons between Gaza and the Holocaust, including "Jews are Terroist (sic);" "Smash the Jewish State;" "Target all Zionist Businesses;" "Globalize the Intifada" with pictures of Israeli flags crossed out; "Hamas & Hizbullah. Freedom Fighters;" "Hizbullah Beat You Ya Kilab [dog]. Bombing Palestinian Schools From The Air Won't Change That" and "Gaza = Auschwitz" with swastikas. During the march, several demonstrators burned and stomped on Israeli flags while chanting "Allahu Akbar." Protesters also chanted, "Long live the Intifada! Intifada, Intifada!" The rally was organized by the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition as part of its National Day of Protest called "Let Gaza Live!"
  • January 10, 2009 – Washington, DC: At a large rally that reportedly drew at least 10,000 demonstrators to Lafayette Park, signs included "Jewish Run Media Hides Jewish Terrorism;" "Jewish Controlled Congress Supports Jewish Terrorism;" "Hitler was right. Jews are blood suckers;" "End the Holocaust in Gaza now;" "Whose Holocaust is it Now?;" "Gaza = Israel's Concentration Camp;" "Warsaw 1943 / Gaza 2009;" and "Stop Israel's Nazi Genocide" with a Star of David equating a swastika. A banner signed by the Workers World Party read "Defend Gaza Resistance." Chants at the protest featured support for violence against Israel, including, "Resistance is justified when people are occupied;" "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine;" and "Long Live the Intifada." Another slogan chanted at the protest was "Hitler, Olmert they're the same. The only difference is their name." (An effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wearing a swastika armband and holding a dead baby was on display.) Former Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney charged that Israel is using "cluster bombs [and] depleted uranium munitions" in its military operations and accused Israel of "genocide and ethnic cleansing." The rally was organized by ANSWER as part of its National Day of Protest called "Let Gaza Live!" It received sponsorship and/or endorsement from the Muslim American Society Foundation; the Free Palestine Alliance; the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA); Al-Awda; the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); American Muslims for Palestine (AMP); Code PINK; and the International Socialist Organization (ISO).
  • January 10, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA: Approximately 1500 demonstrators protested outside a federal building holding signs that read, "Shame on Israel & its Neo-Nazi Military Machine;" "Zionist Nazis to Hague;" "Israel, Cancer upon the World;" "From Oakland to Palestine: Resistance is not a Crime;" "Zionism is the Problem, not Hamas;" "You Should Know Better" with an Israeli flag that had a swastika instead of a Star of David; and "Stop the Holocaust in Gaza." One sign claimed that Jesus will soon dismantle Israel; it read, "Hey Isreal (sic) Get Ready. Just like the Dinosaurs You Soon Will be Extinct. Jesus the Terminator Will Get You." Slogans chanted at the rally include, "Long live the intifada;" "Israel is a racist state, Israel is a terrorist state;" and "From the river to the sea Palestine will be free." At one point, a demonstrator climbed on top of a traffic light to hang a banner that read, "Freedom. We are all Gaza" and was arrested. Another protester was also arrested for "creating a disturbance," according to local news reports.
  • January 10, 2009 – Boston, MA: A "funeral procession" with a few hundred demonstrators began at Copley Square and then marched downtown. Demonstrators carried mock coffins that were draped with Palestinian flags and small red-painted bundles to represent dead children. Many held Holocaust-related signs, including "Israel has the Reich to Defend Itself;" "Liberate the Gaza Ghetto;" "One Holocaust Doesn't Justify a Second;" and "Gaza 'A Big Concentration Camp' – The Vatican." The event was organized by the Massachusetts chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).
  • January 10, 2009 – Atlanta, GA: Several hundred demonstrators held a rally in Woodruff Park followed by a march to the CNN Center. The protest featured signs that read, "IsraHELL the New Nazis;" "Israel uses Nazi Tactics;" "End Israel's Apartheid Government" and "After the Holocaust, the Worst Thing that has Happened to Jewish People is the State of Israel." Representatives from the University of Georgia campus group Athens for Justice in Palestine (ATP) attended the protest. The group's president, Shireen Judeh, was quoted in news reports condemning the civilian deaths in Gaza by the "Israeli war machine."
  • January 10, 2009 – Allentown, PA: More than 200 demonstrators protested on a busy street holding signs that read "Gaza is the true Holicaust (sic)" and a sign that featured a picture of an Israeli flag with the Star of David replaced by a swastika and the words, "The Real Terrorists" scrawled over the flag. Protesters chanted, "No more Holocaust;" and "Gaza is a true Holocaust." One of the speakers, Gary Olson, a professor at Moravian College in Bethlehem, claimed that Israel is committing a "blitzkrieg" against the Palestinians in Gaza; argued that the U.S. must stop pandering to the "Israel lobby;" and charged that Israel allows humanitarian aid into Gaza so that eventually there will be more Palestinians to kill. The rally was organized by the Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley and the Al Ahad Islamic Center, a Shiite congregation in Allentown.
  • January 10, 2009 – Orlando, FL: More than 1000 demonstrators gathered at Lake Eola Park and held signs that read "Nazis Taught You Well IsraHELL;" "Israel is Terrorist State;" "Hamas was Democratically Elected;" "The Real Terrorists: Israel and the U.S.A.;" and "Free Palestine. Put Madoff & Co. in Jail Instead." The protest was organized by several local groups including the Arab American Community Center of Orlando; the Florida chapter of ANSWER; the Muslim Student Association (MSA) Florida Council; the South Florida Palestine Solidarity Network; and CAIR.
  • January 9, 2009 – Chicago, IL: More than 5000 demonstrators gathered at Daley Plaza waving Palestinian flags and holding signs, including one sign that evoked a conspiracy theory about Jews and 9-11. It read, "Jews are the Terrorist. Mossad did 911." Other signs read, "Israel is a Hi-Tech Mafia-Style Genocidal Terrorist;" "Are we going to watch another Holocaust!" with a picture of a swastika; "Hamas = Freedom Fighters;" an Israeli flag with the Star of David replaced by a swastika and the word "Bloodthirsty" written across it in red paint; and "Down with Israeli Zionist Savages." One of the speakers at the rally charged that Gaza is becoming a "concentration camp." The rally was sponsored by numerous groups, including the Chicago chapters of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC); American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); American Muslims for Palestine (AMP); ANSWER; CAIR, International Solidarity Movement (ISM); Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP); and Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation; as well as the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) and the United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN).
  • January 9, 2009 – Phoenix, AZ: Approximately 200 demonstrators gathered at Phoenix City Hall holding signs that read "Zionism = Racism = Terrorism;" "Stop Israeli Genocide in Gaza;" a sign that equated the Star of David with a swastika and several signs that accused Israel of perpetuating a "Holocaust" in Gaza. Some of the pro-Palestinian demonstrators climbed on top of structures in front of the City Hall building to wave signs before they were ordered down by law enforcement. The protest was organized by the Arizona chapter of CARAMA, the Coalition of Arabs and Muslims in America, and received representation from Code PINK, a national antiwar group.
  • January 8, 2009 – Irvine, CA: Approximately 500 demonstrators attended a "Student Speak-Out" at the University of California, Irvine. Speakers included a university professor and several students who railed against Israel's actions in Gaza. One student questioned if Israel was trying to intentionally harm civilians and accused Israel of using "traces of depleted uranium" against Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Protesters chanted, "Stop the Killing, Stop the Crime... Israel out of Palestine." Signs held by protesters included, "Anti-Racism, Anti-Terrorism, Anti-Baby-Killing, Anti-ISRAEL" and "1939 – Auschwitz. 2009 – Gaza" with red paint to signify blood dripping from the words. The protest was organized by the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine.

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Press Release:
Holocaust and Nazi Imagery Abound at Anti-Israel Rallies in U.S.

January 2008 - Demonstrations Against Israeli Actions in Gaza

ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

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