Thursday, December 16, 2010 | return to: news & features, local


Protesters critical of Israel ramp things up locally

by amanda pazornik, staff writer

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Bay Area groups critical of Israel have ramped up their public profile in the past two weeks, initiating street protests, placing posters in BART stations and staging a demonstration that led to seven arrests.

On Dec. 13, while AIPAC Northern California held its annual East Bay membership dinner at the Oakland Marriott City Center, a group of activists from varying left-wing organizations performed a routine in the lobby of the hotel’s convention center.

Using the Pink Floyd tune “Another Brick in the Wall,” the protesters changed the lyrics to reflect the group’s message that Israel is occupying Gaza.

One of the advertisement posters hanging in three BART stations: Berkeley, Oakland–12th Street and San Francisco–Civic Center.
Seven people were arrested, charged with trespassing and released in the morning after a night in jail, according to witness Rae Abileah, a member of Code Pink, an anti-war group composed mainly of women.

Additional protesters critical of Israel (from Code Pink and several other outfits, such as American Friends Service Committee) gathered on the sidewalk outside the hotel, as did pro-Israel counterprotesters from StandWithUs/S.F. Voice For Israel.

A block away, at the 12th Street BART station in downtown Oakland, advertisement posters stating “End U.S. military aid to Israel” are on display as part of a new campaign launched by the Northern California Friends of Sabeel, which paid for the ads.

The Bay Area–based group supports the aims of Sabeel, a non-Jewish group in Israel that claims “solidarity with the Palestinian people.” Co-sponsors of the ad campaign include the local chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine.

“It’s very important to change the conversation,” said JVP member Cindy Shamban of Berkeley. “The conversation is so often pro-Israel versus anti-Israel, so everything else gets defined in those terms. The tagline ‘Two peoples, One future’ feels to us more real and is an important framework to how we can all start thinking differently about the conflict.”

The ads appear at two additional BART stations — Berkeley and Civic Center in San Francisco — and are slated to be up through the end of December.

“These posters make the claim that JVP is on the side of peace and justice,” said Yitzhak Santis, director of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council’s Middle East Project. “When one of the partnering organizations is overtly anti-Semitic, it makes a mockery of the terms ‘peace’ and ‘justice.’ ”

Santis cited a Dec. 5 e-mail to members of the NorCal Friends of Sabeel, written by a member, that mentions “Palestine, Israel and the destructive role of the worldwide Zionist cabal.”

A protester is led away by police Dec. 13 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. photo/from youtube
Calling that statement “clearly anti-Semitic,” Santis referred to other examples of what he says are Sabeel’s “anti-Israel positions.” They include, he said, advocating for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and employing “theologically loaded language” influenced by Christian texts specifically directed against Jews.

Santis added that it’s up to JVP to “make up their mind about who they are and why they partner with [Sabeel].” 

“I call this ‘Jew-washing,’ ” Santis added. “JVP is offering itself as a Jewish shield to an overtly anti-Semitic organization. I have the evidence. If anyone wants to challenge me, I would love to have that discussion.”

Shamban said to her knowledge, this was the first time the Bay Area chapter of JVP partnered with the NorCal Friends of Sabeel on any campaign.

On Dec. 10, Shamban gathered with approximately 15 JVP members in front of the San Francisco office of TIAA-CREF as part of an ongoing campaign calling on the retirement planning giant to divest from businesses JVP says are profiting from Israel’s occupation of Gaza, specifically Caterpillar. According to JVP, the tractor manufacturer benefits from the demolition of Palestinian homes.

Other gatherings were staged at more than a dozen TIAA-CREF regional offices across the United States, including Palo Alto.

TIAA-CREF spokesman Brian Browdie offered this statement: “While we have a good dialogue with many stakeholders on this issue, we cannot agree to limit our investments in certain companies doing business in Israel.”


Posted by theother
12/16/2010  at  06:19 PM
anti-Israel or pro-human rights?

It is sadly ironic that J Weekly uses the adjective “anti-Israel” to describe those that protest destructive policies of the Israeli government and those espoused by AIPAC. It is very much like the attacks of the far right against anti-war protesters.

While Israel continues its daily assault on the Palestinian people, with new demolitions on a near-daily basis, aipac was busy pushing a resolution before congress with the purpose of “keeping Israel off the map”. (H.Res 1734). It won on a voice vote (for some reason, aipac did not want recorded vote on this resolution… maybe because they were afraid of the high number of dissents?)

as for the aipac event, organizers of the protest have yet to find a single local politician who attended the Oakland aipac event. and aipac sure is not publicizing any such info. Maybe they are losing their mojo locally?

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Posted by theother
12/16/2010  at  06:23 PM
i wanted to add....

the far right, in their condemnation against those that dissented from US policy of making war…for years called leftists “anti-American”. The insult “anti-Israel” is in the same vain…

why should J Weekly sound like the old rants of George Wallace and Strum Thurmond?

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Posted by gyuri
12/17/2010  at  06:36 AM

You, the other, what is your real name: Ahmed, Muhammad, Iusuf? Daily asault on Palestinian people? You make me laugh. You guys atack continuously our way of life and the western civilization.

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
12/16/2010  at  06:38 PM
And Why, Mr. or Ms. Theother...

should you sound like David Duke, Paul Larudee and Alison Wier?

Why indeed should we have anti-Semites like you waste space on a Jewish on line paper where 99% of the readers are supportive of the only democracy in the Middle East? Of course, you may be sufficiently sexist to support the woman and gay hating Palestinians as well as their regular suppression of all dissenters.

And if you do find merit in the Palestinians, Mr. theother, it is reasonable to also conclude that you also support the covenants of both Ham-Ass and Fat-ah which call for the genocide of Jews.

So Mr. anal passage theother, get the hell off of this site and crawl back to the neo-Nazi rock where you were incubated. And keep warm with your JVP and ISM buddies…

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Posted by Becky O'Malley
12/16/2010  at  06:43 PM
I notice that nowhere does

I notice that nowhere does the reporter give the full name of JVP, which is Jewish Voice for Peace.  They, like Americans for Peace Now and J-Street, are the real friends of Israel, and the real anti-Israel people are those whose actions run counter to the proud Jewish tradition of standing up for freedom and opposing oppression of all around the world. It’s starting to get harder for people like this reporter to get away with calling the true patriots “anti-Semitic”—the truth is coming out.

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Posted by DrMike
12/16/2010  at  11:29 PM
JVP is not in any way a friend of Israel

Becky, your ignorance is showing.  J Street, as much as I disagree with much of what they do, at least states that they support a two state solution—a Jewish state of Israel living in peace along side an Arab state of Palestine.  JVP refuses to endorse Jewish self-determination within any borders whatsoever, and cooperates with Sabeel on an ad campaign which expliticly supports the nonexistent “right” of return—in other words, ending the existence of the world’s only Jewish state.
JVP also works with other rejectionist groups like the racists of International ANSWER. 

The fact that they use “peace” in their name doesn’t fool anyone except the gullible and the uninformed.  Which one are you, Becky?

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Posted by gyuri
12/17/2010  at  06:33 AM
I notice that nowhere does

Unfortunately lately there are a new type of anti-semite/anti-israeli type:female, heavily gay and as left a one could be. Becky, if yo lived in Gaza, you would be dead for decades; the “peaceful” Palestinian people are religiously intolerant and gays haters. Go to your Irish pub and have a pint instead of politics…

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Posted by Dave Peters
12/18/2010  at  06:27 PM
O'Malley = Corrie

Ms. O’Malley apparently thinks that it is better for Jews to die than defend themselves. Her reimagining of Jewish tradition to suit her prejudices is typical of the sanctimony of her own hate.
I don’t like it Israel has to administer the territories, but when the alternative is that Jews will be killed, I vote for a proactive defence.
Americans for Peace Now and Jewish Voice for Peace has redefined their Jewishness to be acceptable to the Left they so ardently worshipped and which will abandon them in a heartbeat.

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
12/16/2010  at  07:13 PM
Becky O'Malley-Anti-Semite Par Excellence

It’s no surprise to see Becky O’Malley printing JVP press releases in what is left of her newspaper, the Berkeley Daily Planet. ‘Course, O’Malley never did have a clue on what makes for acceptable journalistic practices and she continues to demonstrate her ignorance on her Internet blog.

For the anti-Semitic O’Malley, who printed an op-ed by an Iranian saying that Jews deserved everything they have suffered throughout history, including the Holocaust, as well as a letter maintaining that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis in order to justifiy sending Jews to then British Palestine (something her then chief reporter, Richard Brenneman repeated in his blog) to make a comment defining who is or is not a “real friend of Israel” is like having David Duke pronounce a notion that neo-Nazis are the true friends of African Americans.

We have plenty—too many—Jew haters writing on the site of this Jewish publication. Ms. O’Malley has continued her delegitimization of Israel in her pathetic blog, where pieces, editorials and op-eds rapping the Jewish State continue to make up an astounding portion of the Daily Planet (we call it the Daily Palestinian), showing definitively for those who didn’t see the Daily Planet’s print version that O’Malley simply can’t control her loathing of Jews in general and Israel in particular.

I was happy to play a role in showing Daily Planet advertisers Ms. O’Malley’s bigotry. Of course, all I had to do was show Berkeley businesses what O’Malley printed and they ceased advertising, thus torpedoing this anti-Semitic publication.

O’Malley’s little Daily Planet blog is now read largely by the already Jew-loathing converted; kind of an Internet outlet for Becky’s KPFA cretinous comrades. That she should join the lowlifes who come on to this site to rap Israel is downright disgusting…

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Posted by grf
12/16/2010  at  08:13 PM
Does J Weekly now use "non-Jewish" to mean Christian?

This rather biased article refers to Sabeel as “a non-Jewish group in Israel that claims ‘solidarity with the Palestinian people.’”

Perhaps accurate as far as it goes, after all, most groups are indeed “non-Jewish.” This one however happens to be a Christian group subscribing to Liberation Theology for Palestinians.

“Our faith teaches that following in the footsteps of Christ means standing for the oppressed, working for justice, and seeking peace-building opportunities, and it challenges us to empower local Christians.”

Perhaps, the rest of the press should start referring to Jews as “non-Christians.”

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
12/16/2010  at  08:29 PM
Return of A True Jew Hater

Those of you who have read comments in J on line in the past will recognize the screen moniker of grf, who doesn’t have the cajones to provide his real name. His record of posts on this site are akin to the likes of Goebbels. Hence, I strongly suggest that this infant be ignored, so he can enjoy his “I Hate Jews” tantrums.

Mr. Klein, we have seen enough of grf’s screed that you and your readership know fullwell that he is an inveterate anti-Semite. I urge you to expunge his posts, as we both know there are more to come consisting of the vilest bigotry…

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Posted by grf
12/17/2010  at  01:24 PM
Dan, Dan, misguided Dan

Dan, it is clear your virulent hate speech is just a thin cover for your own self-hatred.

Are you deeply closeted and desperately in need of therapy? One of those self-hating Jews I hear so much about?

Well, either way your self-loathing is evident, as you reflect upon others the image of yourself, the image you despise.

Learn to love and accept yourself yourself, Danny boy. The world will seem a much brighter place if you do.

As for your homoerotic urges. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them, Dan - and I am flattered by your attentions, but I just don’t swing that way.

Best of luck with your therapy.

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Posted by sol rosenberg
12/16/2010  at  08:59 PM
JVP and becky o'malley, a love story

When it comes to anything having to do with America or Israel you can bet that JVP and o’malley’s electronic pulp known as the berkeley daily planet will be quick to condemn. But when it comes to anything else the silence is deafening. What has JVP or o’malley ever said about Darfur, gang raped women in saudi arabia sentenced to be publicly flogged, gays and teens being hung in iran, N.Korean sinking of S. Korean ship with all hands aboard and recently having shelled a S.Korean island killing 4 civilians, the terror attacks in Mumbai, or what about the American hikers still imprisoned in iran? And just for the record those hikers are anti-Israel far leftists themselves. Not that that is helping their case with the iranians or anything. When have you ever heard JVP or o’malley condemn hamas, the taliban or the Iranian regime’s brutality toward it’s own people? As I said before, the silence is deafening and the hypocrisy is self evident. The bottom line here is that JVP and o’malley are just like the rest of the far left lunatic fringe who masquerade as humanitarians that care nothing more then to put America and Israel into a bad light. Their record of turning a blind eye to terrorism and tyrants while consistent condemnation toward Israel and the U.S. speaks for it’s self. It’s as simple as that.

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Posted by LuckyLenny1970
12/17/2010  at  05:21 AM
Jordan & Gaza are the Islamic States in Palestine

Jordan is 75% Palestine. Israel shouldn’t give up anything. When Britain carved up Palestine after WWI, a new country of Jordan was the big winner with 75% of the lands. Modern-day Israel, even with the liberated East Bank included, is less than 25% of Palestine. If you add Gaza into the mix, the Muslims have 76% of Palestine. Yet out of fairness, all the leftists, including a lot of Israelis, are agitating for Israel to give up land for a third Islamic State in Palestine. Makes no sense for Israel to have to give up more of Palestine to the Muslims; when the Muslims already have 76%.

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Posted by rfaelmoshe
12/17/2010  at  01:23 PM
"Jewish Voice for Peace" is none of those three things

“Jewish Voice for Peace” is none of the three things in their name! Usually,their presence is used to serve to deflect highly accurate charges of Anti-Semitism by avowed haters of Israel. Usually, when I have spoken to JVP,sometimes they are of Jewish ancestry, sometimes not, but, even those with Jewish ancestry typically aren’t connected to the Jewish community and have no knowledge of the situation or Jewish history, religion, languages or culture. It seems that these type of folks only pull their Judaism out of the closet when they are bashing Israel, simply to make it more stinging, although in the rest of their lives, they are assimilated and identify as “progressive” rather than as “Jews.” The average JVP’er is more likely to be found in a trendy cafe then in a synagogue. When one of them asked why everyone calls them “self hating Jews”, I explained that was because “Oreo cookie” and “Uncle Tom” were already being used. It seems that the JVP isn’t “pro-peace” but just “anti-Israel”.

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Posted by theother
12/17/2010  at  03:43 PM
J Weekly is to be commended.

They changed the title of the article, which was originally about “anti-Israel” protests and now is the more accurate “Protesters critical of Israel”. There is hope yet. J Weekly,thank you for taking this step

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Posted by sol rosenberg
12/17/2010  at  11:23 PM
sniff sniff, is that you marc klein? I smell a rat!

Looks like somebody pulled rank on Amanda at the J and decided to do some appeasement to the far left like this theother idiot. The first title was obviously an inconvenient truth that didn’t fit klein’s yellow journalism style. How pathetic!

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Posted by Jack Kessler
12/18/2010  at  11:10 PM
When They Are Down to Transparent Lies....

When they are down to simple denial of familiar realities, we realize how desperate and empty the anti-Israel movement has become.  One can sympathize.  It must be frustrating to be always in the wrong.

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Posted by Sam Liron
12/19/2010  at  08:42 PM
to grf and theother -- your love to Israel is obvious...

To theother, o’mallly and grf —- the three of you are the Suma Cum Laud graduates of J. Goebbels’ school of propaganda… what a flare and imagination, only Arafat or JVP may approach your level of lies…. your fairytales can do nothing and change nothing….make yourselves a favor and find another hobby…like flying kites in Iran.

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
12/20/2010  at  09:26 AM
Please Don't Respond to grf

Sam, I truly appreciate your comments about the anti-Semitic posters on this site. But may I suggest that the best approach to grf is simply NOT to tender rejoinders to him. He is like a petulant child who craves the attention and it is best to ignore him so that he might stew in his own Jew-loathing excreta.

As for the bigoted Becky O’Malley and theother, fire away at will. O’Malley has pushed her corpulent posterior into formulating lies about Israel via first her Daily Planet newspaper and then, when we assisted its demise, a little read blog she calls an on-line newspaper. Some paper-a publication which prints press releases by anti-Semites such as JVP. But the hideously obese Becky hates Jews so much she is willing to violate every canon of respectable journalism to spout like the whale that she is her vile screed about Jews in general and Israel in particular…

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Posted by grf
12/23/2010  at  06:50 PM
Goebbels? What's Gopebbels got to do with it?

What fairytale? All I did was point out the rather odd naming of a overtly Christian group as “non-Jewish,” which could mean just about anything. For you, this is lying propaganda? Are you mad?

As for Spitzer. Well, the man is truly unbalanced. He spits hatred at the slightest hint of criticism of Israel - even when there is no criticism of Israel he spits hatred just to be on the safe side. After all, who knows what a poster is really thinking?

If you put yourself in his boat and think Spitzer’s way is the correct way then it is small wonder support for Israel is losing ground day by day. But, of course, that is why Dan’s hate speech is so rabid. He’s caught in the circular logic of a fanatic. The more he and those like him rail insanely against critics of Israel (no matter how mild the criticism) the more neutral parties are turned off and the more the critique of die-hard Zionism rings true, which sets Dan and his ilk off on more tirades with more insane charges, which turns off more people, and so it goes. Rabid last-ditch Zionists are their own worst enemy.

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Posted by Peter
12/20/2010  at  03:00 AM
Sabeel as "an overtly anti-Semitic organization"?

I think this article downplays the seriousness of the fact that an official of the Jewish Community Relations Council is labeling a group (Sabeel) as “overtly anti-Semitic”.  Maybe that accusation is true, but it doesn’t show itself with the evidence given here.  The word “overt”, you know, means open and not hidden.  Even if we accept that it’s “clearly anti-Semitic” to use the phraseology “Palestine, Israel and the destructive role of the worldwide Zionist cabal”, the fact that one Sabeel member included those words in an e-mail to other Sabeel members is a pretty flimsy reason to conclude, as Yitzhak Santis does, that Sabeel is “an overtly anti-Semitic organization.”

I hear that Santis is moving to Israel.  I hope he can spare some time to visit East Jerusalem to share his concerns with Sabeel’s founder, Naim Ateek, who has himself been in Israel longer than the state of Israel has been in Israel.

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Posted by ridster
12/21/2010  at  05:24 PM
It's hatred, with a smile

The tagline “End U.S. Aid to Israel” is per se antisemitic - and can’t possibly be understood in any other light. What they really mean is “end the state of Israel,” so why don’t they just come out and say it? Note how they do NOT say “End U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority,” or “End U.S. Aid to Saudi Arabia” or “End U.S. Aid to Egypt” or “divest from China” or “divest from Russia” or “divest from Burma,” all of which have far more atrocious human rights records than Israel, even by the standards of Human Rights Watch, hardly in the pro-Israel camp. The so-called “peace and justice” movement believes that all peoples have a right to self-determination… oh yeah, except of course the Jews. How monstrously hypocritical. Good for TIAA-CREF for standing up to these people. Their message is nothing more than hatred, with a smile.

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