WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid chants of "Israel out of Lebanon" and "We vote, too," more than 1,000 Arab Americans gathered at the White House this week to protest Israel's continuing raids in Lebanon.
Protesters unfurled banners across the street from the White House. The signs spanned the gamut of Arab American opinion on the Israeli military operation.
"Peace Not Bombs," one read.
"Don't Cut Medicare; Cut Aid to Israel," another said.
"Israel the hate state."
Planners handed out signs with a graphic photo of a rescue worker carrying a Lebanese infant from the U.N. compound after the Israeli bombing last week. The photo was displayed side by side with the infamous photo of a firefighter carrying an infant from the Murrah Federal Building after the Oklahoma bombing a year ago.
The well-organized protest included Arab Americans from New York, Cleveland and Michigan.
Ramzi Saab traveled to Washington from Dearborn, Mich., to join in the second protest at the White House in three days.
"We're here to deliver a message to the administration: Exert your influence to stop Israeli attacks," he said. Saab, an employment counselor for the Michigan government, stood under a banner likening Peres to Hitler.
"Peres and Hitler are the same. The only difference is the name," the banner read.
"If you kill innocent people, then you are a terrorist," Saab said. "Hitler killed innocent Jews and Peres is killing innocents in Lebanon."
Organizers from the Arab-American Institute estimated that about 1,500 protesters made the trip for the Lafayette Park rally.
Arab American members of Congress were scheduled to address the protesters.