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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | return to: news & features, local


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Israel & Gaza: Israel supporters mobilize in S.F. and other big cities

by emma silvers, j. staff

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Supporters of Israel came out this week — around the Bay Area and throughout the United States — in defense of the Jewish state’s military actions in Gaza.

In San Francisco, that support came in the form of counter-protests when pro-Palestinian groups gathered in front of the Israeli Consulate on Montgomery Street in the Financial District.

Israel supporters show their colors outside the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco on Nov. 19.   photos/cathleen maclearie
Israel supporters show their colors outside the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco on Nov. 19. photos/cathleen maclearie
At a Nov. 19 protest, the third since Israel began launching air strikes on targets in Gaza last week, about 100 people held signs and chanted slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “End the occupation now.”

“I’m standing on this [anti-Israel] side of the street because I believe people in Gaza are suffering disproportionately,” said Jim Haber, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. “I think there are far more attacks on Gaza than are being reported in this country.”

On the other side of the street, roughly 50 people waved Israeli flags and handed out fliers with information about Israeli civilians who have been killed by Hamas rockets.

“I don’t think people on the other side of the street understand that Hamas is the real enemy,” said Daniel Sandler, a high school freshman carrying an Israeli flag. Sandler said he heard about the counter-protest through his membership in Club Z, a Peninsula-based Zionist group for teens.

Faith Meltzer, a member of StandWithUs/S.F. Voice for Israel, attended the Nov. 19 rally to support Israel. A day later, she said she was “hopeful” after hearing word that morning of a possible cease-fire. “We hope that happens, and we hope it holds, and that the Jewish people and Palestinian people can find peace,” she said.

On Nov. 20, a rapidly planned community-wide event called “The East Bay Stands With Israel” was set to bring together Israel supporters from 10 different co-sponsoring congregations; other co-sponsors included local day schools, Hadassah chapters, AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, the JCC of the East Bay, JCRC East Bay and J Street.

BAcathleen4normalOrganizers said the program at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette was to include “prayers for peace and healing, updates on the situation in Israel and the East Bay Jewish community’s response, a live feed from the shelters in Israel, a call to action, information on how to provide humanitarian relief to Israelis affected by the crisis, and an opportunity to write letters to elected officials.” The gathering occurred after j.’s deadline this week.

On a smaller scale, the Mendocino Coast Jewish Community planned a series of “constructive conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” at their shul in the town of Caspar. The first conversation, scheduled for Dec. 2 from 3 to 5 p.m., will be led by Rabbi Dev Noily, education director at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont.

Elsewhere outside of the Bay Area, some 1,400 demonstrators in Los Angeles on Nov. 18 voiced their support for Israel’s right to defend itself. In New York, hundreds of pro-Israel demonstrators were expected to gather Nov. 20 near the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan in an event sponsored by Jewish organizations from across the political spectrum.

Other Nov. 20 rallies were scheduled in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Seattle and West Hartford, Conn.

At the Southern California rally, demonstrators gathered outside the Westwood Federal Building in West Los Angeles to voice their support for Israel at a rally organized by StandWithUs, the Israeli Leadership Council and the Western Region of the Zionist Organization of America.

“We are here to [underline] the necessity of peace, the danger of those who would seek to destroy us and our determination to live both in strength and with justice and with peace,” Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple of Los Angeles told the crowd.

Anti-Israel demonstrators
Anti-Israel demonstrators
Nearby, some 100 pro-Palestinian counter-demonstrators carried signs that read “Let Gaza Live: Free Palestine,” “Stop U.S. Aid to Israel” and “It’s not a war. In Palestine, it’s genocide.”

In Boston, some 1,000 pro-Israel demonstrators rallied Nov. 19 in an event organized by synagogues, schools and Jewish nonprofit organizations, including the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Jewish Comm-unity Relations Council of Greater Boston, J Street, the Anti-Defamation League and AIPAC.

The Boston rally was “a statement to our sisters and brothers and cousins in Israel that we’re supportive and we feel your pain,” Rabbi David Lerner of Temple Emunah in Lexington, Mass., told the Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, lay and professional leaders from the Jewish Federations of North America arrived in Israel on Nov. 18 for a two-day emergency solidarity mission.

The leaders from New York, Chicago, Boston, New Jersey, Cleveland, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington, Minneapolis and Birmingham, Ala., visited southern Israeli cities under fire, including Ashkelon, Sderot and Beersheva, offering solidarity with the residents and examining areas of need.

“The ongoing crisis being faced by the people of Israel, particularly those in the south, will not be fought by the Jewish state alone,” Michael Siegal, JFNA’s incoming chair, said upon arriving in Jerusalem. “We are here to express our firm solidarity and to say that as always, when Israel is in need, we are here.”


JTA contributed to this report.


Comments

Posted by paul
11/21/2012  at  03:26 PM
AM YISROEL HI!

Kudos to San Francisco Voice for Israel/Stand With Us and all others who organized the rallies to support Israel. Now, All the members of the Jewish Voice For Peace, aren’t peaceful. The policies of the JVFP are Pro War, Pro distraction and Pro Holocaust in Israel. What does the JVFP knows about Judaism? What do they know about Torah? Do they know how to read Torah? Do they know any Yiddish/Hebrew or both? How dear can they be against themselves. Torah says if some body attack Israel then, Israel has the right to defend itself and defend it citizens. That is what our Jewish Law says. The Jewish Voice For Peace, is so-called for peace. They don’t want Israel any where. They support Hamas. They need to read what it says in Hamas chapters. Hamas chapters clearly says that they want to kill all the Jews and not only in Israel. They want to kill the Jews every where, all over the world no matter where they find them. It’ s time for Israel take all the members of Hamas out and kill them. Israel, finish with Hamas. Once Hamas is gone, all world will be much better and safer.

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Posted by Theresa
11/21/2012  at  07:09 PM
Anti-Semitism at the JVP sponsored protest

The level of anti-Semitism at the Jewish voice for Peace (JVP) sponsored and promoted protests at the San Francisco Israeli consulate go well beyond what is presented here. A quick glance at youtube shows Oour local “peace activists” had no trouble chanting “Zionist Scum your time has come”, and “we support the Intifada” There’s also “F**K you Jew” and plenty of gratuitous flag stealing and burning, plus frenzied screams of “Allah Akbar”
JVP, you are known by the company you keep. Consider yourself exposed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQYExawADU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQYExawADU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAzbW17NScc&feature=channel&list=UL

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Posted by sol rosenberg
11/22/2012  at  01:39 AM
Proper response to leftist anti-Semites & their jihadi allies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaR2OrYuYpQ

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Posted by paul
11/22/2012  at  12:39 PM
It's not only so-called Jewish Voice For Peace

I forgot to menthion that it’s not only so-called JVFP sponsor Anti-Israeli rallies and Anti-Semite propaganda. Bay Area Women Of the Black, is among them. Some of them are so-called Jews. If they are Jews and for the human rights, it’s require for Israel rights to exist. And,they promote terror, war, Holocaust,Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel propaganda. We Jews, have only one land,Israel. That is ours. It doesn’t belong to so-called Palestinians. And, this is our obligation to destroy terrorism, such as Hamas and Hezbolla. And, the JVFP together with BWOB support them. If they are for the human rights, it require to be for Israel right to exist and fight against terror and against all those who who seek distraction of Israel. Shame the so-called JVFP and Bay Area Women Of the Black! Stand Up For Israel! Stand Up For Peace! Stand Up Against Arabs occupation in Israel! Stand up against Terror such as Hamas and Hezbolla,etc!

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Posted by paul
11/25/2012  at  02:43 PM
Jewish Voice for Peace

Let’s continue to talk about the so-called Jewish Voice For Peace and their followers such as Bay Area Women of the Black. They are not only to support the wars, Holocaust, distraction, Boycott Divestment Sanction, Anti Semitism,etc. They support Hamas, Hezbolla and Iran with their President who is the Hitler number two. They support Hamas and Ahmadinejad idea to distroy Israel. If Hitler would be alive today, he would continue to kill all the Jews and destroy Israel. Jewish Voice For Peace and BAWOB, you are well known among all those who support Hamas. You exploded yourself. Neither you or BAWOB aren’t peaceful because, both of you are not Pro-Israel rights to exist.

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Posted by JimVegas
12/03/2012  at  07:26 AM
Defending JVP

JVP’s positions continue to be based on looking at history and facts “on the ground” which continue to differ from what most J posters would have them be. If 1400 people on one side were killed in conflict where 14 people on the other were killed, which side would you normally sympathize with? I don’t support any bombings or war; they’re always based on lies. If one side is using 12 to 50 pound bombs and the other is using 500 pound bombs, I would speak against them all, but more against the wildly deadly large ones.
After all that has been done to us, to turn on others in such hateful, violent ways, denying them their very existence would be unacceptable to us or anyone. Yes, Israelis have a right to self-defense, but so do Palestinians. Truth isn’t served by ignoring the Gazan youth who were killed before the resurgent rise in rockets coming from Gaza.
If you were Palestinians, you’d fight back too. Ignoring Israeli atrocities isn’t anti-semitic or self-hating. It’s a sign of love to speak out and not succumb to self-serving hypocrisy. I definitely stand with Jewish Voice for Peace.

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Posted by paul
12/04/2012  at  01:43 PM
To Jim

You aren’t peaceful. The policies of the Jewish Voice For Peace is Pro War,and Holocaust. The JVFP is full of hate to Israel. I’M with Israel. Now, what do you know about Judaism? What do you know about Torah? Do you know how to chant the Torah? Do you know any Yiddish, or Hebrew or Ladino? How dear can you be against yourself? Let me tell you what Torah says. Torah says, if some body attack Israel then, Israel has the right to defend itself and it’s citizens. You support Hamas. JVFP was silent when Hamas send his rockets on Israel and Israeli cities. Now, one of your friend from so-called Jewish Voice For Peace, attack me on the bus stop in San Francisco a few years ago. And, after all, the JVFP is claim to be peaceful? We all know who start the war/s/ against Israel. It’s Hamas and Hezbolla. We Jews have the right and obligation to support Israel because, Israel is our land. I stand up for peace! I stand up for Israel’s right to exist and fight against terror! I support Israel and will continue to do so. I’M proud to be a Jew and Zionist. I’M proud that I did have my Bar Mitzvah and proud
that I speak Hebrew. Let’s every body Stand up with Israel! Let’s every body stand up against terror! Let’s every body stand up for Israel’s right to exist and fight against terror!Let’s every body tell to the JVFP that they are brain washed against Israel! Let’s tell them that they are wrong! Let’s tell them that they aren’t peaceful! JVFP, you are well known among all those who support Jihad. You are exploded yourself. Jewish Voice For Peace, promote Anti-Semitism in Bay Area. They are sponsor all the Anti Israeli events in SF and Bay Area. They support BDS against Israel. Shame on so-called Jewish Voice For Peace! You need to read the Chapter of Hamas. Hamas chapter’s says that they want to kill all the Jews no matter where they find them, including JVFP even if you support them.

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Posted by paul
12/05/2012  at  12:49 PM
To Jim

You said that if I would be a Palestinian,I would fight. Yes, I would fight. I would fight for Human Rights and against Hamas. I would never fight against Israel. I would continue to support Israel’s right to exist. I would make a lot of friends from the State Of Israel and fight against Hamas and Hezbollah because would realize that those organizations deny basic Human Rights for me as as individual and as a member of the Palestinian Population. For example,I know that Hamas and Hezbollah use would use me or members of my family as a human shield. They might ask me or more likely disabled or youthful member of my family to blow my self or themselves up among Israelis. Why would I or member of my family want do this unless we had been so inculcated with hatred that we didn’t know there were peaceful alternatives? I like Israelis and I like my life and the lives of my family members. The so-called Jewish Voice For Peace is truthfully a Jewish Voice For War and the Destruction Of The State Of Israel.

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