Video shows Israel supporter was pushed, verbally accosted at pro-Palestinian rally in Oaklandby dan pine
|Follow j. on||and|
Hannah Larson, an American-born Seattle native who made aliyah in 2010, accompanied friends to a March 13 rally. The event was staged at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza to mark the fourth anniversary of the wounding of Tristan Anderson, an Oakland resident injured in the West Bank while protesting against the Israeli military.
In the video (http://www.bit.ly/ZCrD0h), Larson is seen taking a piece of blue chalk to the plaza's bricks and writing, in Hebrew, "Am Israel Chai." She wrote it in an area designated for chalk-scrawled comments with the words "Freedom to Speak" written in huge letters nearby.
Within moments, several people approached Larson, with one woman later identified as Gabby Silverman of Oakland grabbing the chalk from Larson's hand, cursing and violently shoving Larson repeatedly, even as she is attempting to walk away from the plaza.
As seen on the video, Silverman continues shoving Larson all the way to the street, though Larson is not resisting or being confrontational.
San Jose resident Daniel Wencel, 63, is a friend of Larson's who caught the event on video. "[Larson] was very incensed when she saw the anti-Israel messages," he told j. "She's a passionate Zionist. They were giving out chalk to write on the pavement and she said [she'd] take them up on the offer."
On a Facebook page promoting the rally, a used identified as Gabby Silverman wrote of the incident, "We created a space at the plaza to chalk the names of our dead friends and imprisoned comrades and these zionist pieces of s--- chalk ‘am yisrael chai' over it. This is exactly the settler colonialist mindset that we are fighting against, putting their right wing bull---- over the space for our dead friends. ‘Am yisrael chai' means ‘the people of Israel live', which seems mellow enough but its [sic] the main slogan of the right wing. My only regret is calling her a whore. That was inappropriate and I'm sorry. Solidarity with whores everywhere!"
A native of the Seattle suburbs, Larson made aliyah nearly three years ago and served in the Israeli army.
She could not be reached for comment, but Wencel said he did not believe she would press charges.
"Hannah is generally a cool type of girl," Wencel said. "She didn't get excited. Fighting would have been pointless. We were completely outnumbered."
Dr. Michael Harris, a spokesperson for the Bay Area chapter of the Israel advocacy group Stand With Us, said this was not an isolated incident.
"This is not the first time that we've seen violent responses from members of anti-Israel groups," he said. "It's unfortunate that some of the same people who support Hamas violence against Israelis are getting violent toward Israel supporters here."
Be the first to comment!