Israel's Action in Gaza Spurs Anti-Israel Rallies


Introduction

In December 2008 and January 2009, anti-Israel groups in the United States organized more than 200 demonstrations, rallies and other events in response to Israel's military action in Gaza to staunch the barrage of Hamas rockets hurled at Israeli towns and cities.

 

A coalition of groups that often unite in protest against Israel touted the protests as a response to Israel's "massacre of Palestinians." As in the past, demonstrators used these rallies to express extreme anti-Israel and anti-Zionist messages, to engage in anti-Semitic rhetoric and offensive Holocaust imagery likening Jews and Israelis to Nazis, as well as to express support for terror.

 

Many of the events were held outside Israeli embassies and consulates, U.S. federal buildings and elsewhere around the country.

 

The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Israel activity, reported on these events and issued the following report, replete with images.



January 8-19, 2009 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.


January 1-7, 2009 Demonstrations

  • January 7, 2009 – Cleveland, OH: A small crowd of demonstrators rallied outside a federal building, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown's office and the offices of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland's major daily newspaper. Protesters held signs accusing Israel of committing a "Palestinian Holocaust" - one sign had drawings of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Adolph Hitler with the words "Two of a Kind" written on the side.   Protesters chanted "From the river to the sea, we will fight until we're free;" "Israel is the enemy;" and "Thousands injured, thousands died, genocide in Palestine!" The demonstrations were organized by the Free Gaza Committee of Cleveland and the Cleveland chapter of Al-Awda.
  • January 6, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA: Approximately one hundred demonstrators protested outside the Israeli Consulate holding signs that read, "Gaza Massacre by Israeli Zionists;" "Occupation is a Crime. The Intruder Israel Kills the Landowner Palestinians;" and "Support the People's Resistance." Protesters chanted, "Long live the intifada" and "Israel is an apartheid state; Israel is a racist state."   The protest drew a crowd of counter-demonstrators who waved Israeli flags, chanted on loudspeakers that "Israel wants peace" and played Jewish music. Shouts and insults were exchanged between the two groups who were confined to opposite sides of the street. At one point, an altercation occurred between an individual with an Israeli flag and a crowd of anti-Israel protesters before the two groups were separated by law enforcement. The demonstration was organized by ANSWER and the LA chapter of Al-Awda and also featured representatives from the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), Progressive Democrats of America and LA Jews for Peace.
  • January 5, 2009 – San Francisco, CA: Several hundred demonstrators protested outside the Israeli Consulate holding signs that read, "Jews: The First Terrorists;" "Imagine: A World without Zionism;" "Your Taxes Finance Apartheid;" "Gaza 2008 = Warsaw 1938;" and a sign that defined Israel as a "rogue state by ethnic cleansing." At one point, protesters gathered near three individuals holding Israeli flags and began chanting "Free Palestine." Several charged at the Israeli flag-waving individuals, forcing the police to break up the scuffle and push the pro-Palestinian demonstrators back onto the street. The event was organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC).
  • January 3, 2009 – San Francisco, CA: Hundreds of demonstrators rallied outside the Israeli Consulate holding signs that read, "Long Live Resistance;" "Every ZioNazi is a Legitimate Military Target;" "Stop US Backed Israeli Massacre Now. Massive Resistance Needed Now;" "Target Zionist Entities Everywhere;" and "Support Palestinian Resistance Against Israeli Ethnic Cleansing." Another sign featured the words "German Jews 1939, Palestinians 2009" with a list of human rights violations appearing below, an attempt to compare the situation in Gaza to the Nazi Holocaust. A speaker at the rally described Israel as a "racist, genocidal nation that we must fight to bring down." The rally was sponsored by ANSWER, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the San Francisco Peace and Freedom Party.
  • January 3, 2009 – Albuquerque, NM: Approximately one hundred demonstrators lined up along a busy intersection and waved signs that read, "Stand Up to the Pro-Israel Lobby;" and "Stop Israel's War Crimes." One woman held a sign that read, "Every Israeli Committing the Genocide in Gaza is a Hitler" and she shouted, "If you don't like the Holocaust and you believe in the Holocaust, do not repeat the Holocaust again!" Protesters chanted, "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine." The rally was organized by Armen Chakerian, a local left-wing activist who organizes weekly antiwar rallies in Albuquerque.
  • January 3, 2009 – Seattle, WA: More than 1000 demonstrators gathered to rally at Westlake Park before staging a march in downtown Seattle. Protesters held signs that read, "Never Again in Auschwitz! Again Again in Gaza?;" "End Israeli Apartheid;" "Stop Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine;" "Boycott Israel. Liberate Palestine;" "New Warsaw Ghetto;" and "Stop the Holocaust in Gaza." Demonstrators chanted, "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine" and "Long live the intifada." Speakers referred to Israel's military action against Gaza as a "massacre" and called for "political resistance" in the U.S. against Israel. The protest was organized by Voices for Palestine.
  • January 3, 2009 – New York, NY: (See the video here) In Times Square, six city blocks were filled with anti-Israel demonstrators, waving signs that read, "Palestinians are Freedom Fighters;" "Israel: the Fourth Reich;" "Israel is the Terrorist State (with swastikas);" and "Holocaust by Holocaust Survivors." Protesters chanted numerous anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slogans, including "Palestine is our Land, the Jews are our Dogs;" "From the River to the Sea Palestine is Arab [land];" "Shame, Shame USA! Bush, How Many Jews are in the Government?;" "Israel is a Racist State, Built on Lies, and Blood and Hate;" and "Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud, jaysh Muhammad sawfa ya'ud!," which evokes the Koran's account of a battle between the prophet Muhammad and the Jews of the town of Khaibar that resulted in the subjugation of the Jews of Arabia.  Al-Awda member Samia Halaby warned protesters to put pressure on the international community to stop Israel because otherwise, "the whole world will go into Intifada and disarm Israel." One individual carried around a Hezbollah flag. Several of the speakers referred to Israel as a "cancer" and one speaker called for a "united front of all Arab people who wish to rid the world of Zionism." The rally was endorsed by multiple antiwar groups as well as Al-Awda, the Arab Muslim American Federation, the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and several local mosques and Muslim community centers.
  • January 3, 2009St. Petersburg, FL: Approximately 100 people participated in a demonstration and march. Protesters held signs that read, "Zionism is Cancer - Radiate it," "Zionism = Terrorism," "Hamas was Democratically Elected." "Gaza is Today's Warsaw Ghetto," "Israel: From the Oppressed to the Oppressor," "Obama: Zionism's Slave," "Stop U.$. Sponsored Holocaust in Gaza," "End the U.S. Funded Massacre in Palestine," "There is No Peace in Genocide," "Stop U.S. Aid to Israel," "Stop Israeli Ethnic Cleansing," "Israel Kills Kids," and "Killing Palestinian Kids is Not Self-Defense." A large banner featured an American flag with a Star of David in it and the words, "No More War Crimes. Never Again. USA/Israel Out of Gaza. Is Israel the 51st State? Then Why the U.S.A. Give Israel From Our Taxes to Support Their Terrorism?" The event was organized by ANSWER, Rise up Tampa Bay, St. Pete for Peace, and the Uhuru Movement.

  • January 2, 2009 – Chicago, IL: Over 2000 people demonstrated at the Tribune Plaza in Chicago before marching across the Michigan Avenue Bridge to the Israeli Consulate. Protesters held mock coffins draped with Palestinian flags and waved signs that included, "Israel: Guilty of War Crimes;" "Stop Israel's Genocide in Gaza;" and "Israel is the Real Terrorist." Protesters chanted in Arabic "Soldiers of Mohammed, Resist the Jews" and "Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud, jaysh Muhammad sawfa ya'ud!" (see above). A representative from American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) spoke during the rally, calling Israel's military operation "one of the most horrific crimes against humanity in recent memory."
  • January 2, 2009 – Washington, DC: Over 1000 demonstrators protested at the Israeli Embassy and then marched to the Egyptian Embassy. Protesters waved Hezbollah flags and held signs accusing Israel of war crimes, imposing a siege on Gaza and of  committing a massacre in Gaza. Chants included, "Death to Israel;" "Death to Zionism" and "Israel is a Terrorist State." Protesters also chanted "Hands in the air, make a fist, resist those crazy Zionists" and the anti-Jewish slogan: "Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud, jaysh Muhammad sawfa ya'ud" (see above). A speaker at the rally warned that "they [Israel] will be defeated. Just like they were defeated in Lebanon, they will be defeated in Palestine." The rally was attended by representatives from Muslim American Society (MAS), ANSWER, Muslim American Organization (MAO), Troops Out Now Coalition and others.
  • January 2, 2009 – Cleveland, OH: Several hundred demonstrators rallied across from the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, chanting "No peace on stolen land;" "We'll fight and fight until we're free... we won't give up 'till victory;" "Look around and you will see... Israel is the enemy;" and "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Gaza." The protest, organized by the Middle East Peace Forum, the Greater Cleveland Arab Community, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Interfaith Council for Peace in the Middle East, also featured signs that read "Israel = Terrorist;" "Stop the Holocaust in Palestine" and "Baby Killer State of Israel."
  • January 2, 2009 – Houston, TX: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Israeli Consulate holding signs that read, "Free Palestine From Israeli Brutality;" "Stop Israeli Apartheid;" and "Collective Punishment is a War Crime." The rally was organized by ICNA, the Houston chapter of MAS and the Houston Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine.


December 30 "National Day of Action" Demonstrations

A "National Day of Action" in over 30 locations around the country took place on December 30. Many of the demonstrations, which were held in front of Israeli embassies and consulates, U.S. Federal buildings and elsewhere, were marked by offensive Holocaust imagery likening Jews and Israelis to Nazis, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, as well as expressions in support of terror.

The demonstrations were organized by a coalition of far left, Muslim and Arab organizations that often unite in protest against Israel, including Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, and the Muslim American Society (MAS). The groups touted the events as a response to Israel's "Massacre of Palestinians."

  • Los Angeles, CA: Demonstrations took place at the federal building and Israeli Consulate. Approximately 500 demonstrators gathered at the Israeli Consulate waving Palestinian flags and holding signs, including ones that read, "Every Israeli committing the genocide in Gaza is a 'Hitler';" "Israel: Stop Bombing Children;" "The real terrorists: U.S.-Israeli War Machine;" and "Zionist U R Thugs."   One sign depicted an image of the Israeli flag with the Star of David replaced by a swastika and above the flag, the words, "Upgrade to Holocaust Version 2.0." During the protest, demonstrators chanted, "From Beirut to Jenin, stop the Zionist war machine;" "Israel, Israel, What do you say? How many kids did you kill today?;" and "Free, Free Palestine... Long live the Intifada." The protest was sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition, Al-Awda and several local Muslim organizations. Police arrested one pro-Palestinian demonstrator for head-butting a police officer and later released him. A smaller rally, sponsored by LA Jews for Peace, took place at the federal building in downtown Los Angeles. About 100 protesters held signs accusing Israel of apartheid, war crimes and of perpetuating a "Holocaust" in Gaza.
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL:About 200 demonstrators gathered outside the federal building, holding signs accusing Israel of war crimes and demanding that the U.S. stop supporting Israel. One sign read: "Real Jews do not support genocide." At times, protesters marched down streets exchanging insults with pro-Israel demonstrators. Some of the younger demonstrators taunted the pro-Israel supporters, screaming "cowards, murderers" and chanting "Nuke Israel!" One young woman shouted "Go back to the oven, you need a big oven! That's what you need!" A pro-Israel demonstrator shouted to the unruly crowd, "You're so violent," to which a pro-Palestinian demonstrator responded, "You're violent! We'll get you!" Protesters also chanted in Arabic the anti-Jewish slogan: "Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud, jaysh Muhammad sawfa ya'ud!" The slogan evokes the Koran's account of a battle between the prophet Muhammad and the Jews of the town of Khaibar, which resulted in the subjugation of the Jews of Arabia. The protest was sponsored by South Florida Palestine Solidarity Network, Al-Awda, ANSWER, and MAS.
  • Tampa, FL: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered, carrying signs that compared Israel to Nazi Germany and calling for the dissolution of Israel. One sign declared, "Zionism is Cancer; Radiate it," and other signs featured the word "Nazi" written over an Israeli flag with a swastika. Demonstrators also carried a portrait of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian. The rally was organized by Jehad Saleh, a sophomore at the University of South Florida, and was supported by ANSWER.
  • Atlanta, GA: A few hundred protesters gathered at a busy intersection during rush hour. Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and chanted numerous slogans, including "They Kill, They Lie but Palestine will Never Die;" "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine;" "Occupation is a Crime, Israel out of Palestine;" and "Bush, Olmert You Can't Hide, We charge You with Genocide." Many of the protesters held signs condemning Israel, including signs that read "Stop Killing Kids;" "Gaza: Crime Against Humanity" and "No more Blood for Israel."
  • San Diego, CA: Approximately 200 demonstrators gathered at the federal building with signs that read: "Stop the Israeli Third Reich;" "Israel is a Terrorist State:" "Israeli Zionism = Nazism;" "Stop the Israeli Holocaust on Gaza;" "Israel is the old South Africa" and "Stop the Massacre in Gaza." The rally was co-sponsored by Al-Awda, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), MAS, ANSWER, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others.
  • San Francisco, CA: Hundreds of demonstrators protested in front of the Israeli Consulate and then marched down several streets in the financial district before stopping to rally at the UN Plaza. Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and signs that included, "Don't Like Holocust? [sic] Then Why Repeat the Holocust? Free Palestine;" "America Stop Funding Israeli Atrocities;" "Support Palestinian Resistance Against Israeli Ethnic Cleansing;" and "Stop the Holocaust in Palestine." One demonstrator held a sign with the map of Israel and the words "Plunder, Murder" scrawled on top; another, a sign of an Israeli flag with a swastika replacing the Star of David. Representatives from ANSWER, South Bay Mobilization, and CAIR were in attendance, as well as organizers of the Free Gaza Movement.
  • Washington DC : Over 1000 demonstrators gathered outside the State Department and then marched toward the White House to continue the rally. Protesters chanted "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!;" Stop the Holocaust in Gaza Now!;" "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine;" and "Stop the Killing, Stop the War: Israel is a Terrorist State!"
  • Dearborn, MI:About 1000 demonstrators lined up along Warren Avenue holding signs that read, "Zionism is the Cancer of the World;" "Another Holocaust;" "Israel is a Terrorist Nation;" "Is Ethnic Cleansing a Judaic Value?;" and "Down with the Terrorist State of Zionist Israel." A large group in the crowd chanted on megaphones in Arabic: "To Jerusalem we will return with millions of martyrs," a famous line from a speech that Yasser Arafat gave during the second intifada. Other chants included: "You Zionist be patient, wait, people of Gaza will dig your grave," "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine," "There is no god but God, and the martyr is God's dearest" and "Gazan, Gazan, dear, bomb, bomb Tel Aviv." The protest was organized by the Congress of Arab American Organizations and was attended by several other groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).
  • Boston, MA: Approximately 100 demonstrators gathered at the Israeli Consulate holding signs that read, "Resistance is Justified;" "Stop the Palestinian Holocaust;" "Liberate Gaza and all of Palestine from Genocidal Rule and Jewish Colonial Rule;" and "Long Live the Intifada." One of the event organizers argued, "We feel that it is the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation, to resist the criminal actions of the Israeli state and the U.S. military. And the intifada is just that, it is a justifiable resistance." The event was sponsored by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine, the International Action Center (IAC) and others.
  • New York, NY: Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Israeli Consulate in Midtown Manhattan. Some of the signs at the demonstration read "Israel is the Terrorist State" with painted swastikas; "Long Live Resistance in Gaza"  and "Stop U.S. Funding of Israeli Murder Machine." One anti-Semitic sign read, "Free Palestine Free America Free the World. Stop Jewish Terror, Power. Stop Jewish Supremacy and Hate." Various representatives from Adalah-NY, Al-Awda, Neturei Karta and ANSWER spoke at the rally. One speaker defended Hamas in her speech ("when we say Palestine is gonna fight, we defend the resistance, we defend Hamas!") while others called Zionists "terrorists, murders, animals;" referred to Israel as a "racist state" and accused the "Zionist propaganda lobby" of suppressing the media. The demonstrators and speakers also taunted the pro-Israel rally taking place across the street, warning: "Zionists in the corner, there'll be no peace until there's justice!" The crowd chanted numerous slogans, including "Red black green white: Palestine is gonna FIGHT!;" "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine" (in Arabic); "Die, Die Israel" and "When Palestine is under attack, What do we do…Stand up FIGHT BACK!"
  • Dallas, TX: About 1000 protesters attended a rally in downtown Dallas. Protesters held signs that read "Stop the Holocaust in Gaza;" "Israel is the Real Terrorist;" "Palestine forever. Israel Never Ever;" and "Down with Zionism." One young boy held a sign equating an image of the Star of David with a swastika. The rally, organized by the Muslim Legal Fund of America and the Dallas chapter of CAIR, also featured chants of "With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Palestine."
  • Philadelphia, PA: Several hundred demonstrators protested in front of the Israeli Consulate in downtown Philadelphia, chanting "Stop the Massacre Now." After demonstrating in front of the consulate, protesters marched down several streets before arriving at City Hall. Signs held at the rally included, "Stop the Palecaust;" "Zionism is Terrorism;" "Ethnic Cleansing is Never Justified. Not Then Not Now. Support the Palestinians Right to Return;"  "Stop Israel's Massacre of Gaza;" and a sign that had the Star of David juxtaposed with a swastika and the words "What's the Difference" handwritten below.


December 2008 Demonstrations

  • December 28, 2008 - Chicago, IL: A protest took place at Water Tower Park. Participants shouted "Bomb, bomb, Israel!" and waved flags and held signs in support of Hamas. Some held signs calling Israel a racist and terrorist state and accusing Israel of committing ethnic cleansing, apartheid, genocide and war crimes. Others held signs equating the Star of David with a swastika, denying Israel's right to exist ("From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free"), and calling for boycotts against Israel. The demonstration was initiated by various local organizations.
  • December 28, 2008 – New York, NY: A protest took place in Midtown that reportedly drew more than 3,000 demonstrators. The protestors held provocative signs, including "Don't Like Holocaust?? Don't Make Holocaust!!;" "Stop the Christmas Massacre in Gaza;" "All of Israel is Occupied Territory;" "Long live Resistance in Gaza" and "U.S. – Israeli Hands off Gaza." Some demonstrators chanted, "Palestine will be Free from the River to the Sea!"  The rally was organized by Al-Awda; Arab Muslim American Federation; International Action Center (IAC); the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS); Islamic Thinkers Society and others.
  • December 28, 2008 – Phoenix, AZ: Approximately one hundred demonstrators rallied outside the Anti-Defamation League's regional office holding signs that read "Zionism = Racism = Terrorism;" "Israel is an Apartheid State;" and "No More Wars for Israel." Charles Carlson, a co-founder and director of We Hold These Truths (WHTT), an Arizona-based Christian anti-Semitic group, addressed the crowd and stated that "the lie that Hamas is a terrorist organization is untrue." He also charged that the media and "the Jewish Zionist Movement and places like this, Anti-Defamation League, is (sic) part of the problem." The rally was organized by the Phoenix chapters of CARAMA (the Coalition of Arabs and Muslims in America) and Al-Awda; the Arizona State University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP); and the Almahdi Foundation/Tempe.
  • December 28, 2008 – Anaheim, CA: A demonstration was held to "protest the massacres in Gaza," according to Al-Awda, the event's main organizer. A nearby car featured the slur, "[expletive] Israel" on its windshield. The demonstration was sponsored by numerous groups, including the Free Palestine Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), Palestine American Congress, ANSWER Coalition, as well as several student groups, including the Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at UCLA and California State University at San Bernardino.

 




The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.