Local Anti-Israel Protests
You many have read these articles already. One is from the Detroit Free Press. Its headline reads, "Amid cease-fire, Israel-Palestine protests continue in metro Detroit." The other one is from the Detroit News, the headline is, "Marchers in Warren call for peace in Gaza, want more than cease-fire."
Here are a few MJAC impressions of the articles:
The Jewish community was able to muster about a hundred people for one demonstration. The Israel-haters have been rousing thousands of people for a number of demonstrations over many days. Not only do they have the numbers, they have the outrageous, emotional anti-Jewish stories. Predictably, all of their outrage is directed at Israel. Neither Hamas nor the 4,000 missiles it rained on Israel were mentioned. Emphasis was on the damage done in Gaza with no mention being made of the hundreds of Hamas rockets that fell short leading to death and destruction in Gaza. The stories and accusations, the same ones being repeated all over the world by most major news organizations, are their truth. The simple truth of Israel defending its citizens is presented as merely a claim by the Israeli government.
From the Free Press story:
Occupation; apartheid; racism and ethnic cleansing – these are the words that Palestinians and their supporters are using to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Unity was the main focus of the protests taking place in the metro Detroit area, where they are saying "Free Palestine," "Black Lives Matter," "Free Yemen," standing for AAPI, standing against anti-Semitism and more.
"I see some people here today walking around still telling the stories from 1948," said Amer Zahr, president of New Generation for Palestine and organizer of the protest. "There are little children here, 4, 5, 6 years old that will tell you the name of the village that their grandparents got kicked out of. We will not forget and we won't be forgetting anytime soon."
Abdul El-Sayed, a former gubernatorial primary election candidate in 2018 and medical doctor who is Arab American, said that this is a human rights and justice issue and that it shouldn't matter the color of your skin or how you pray to be valuable as a human.
What Issa wants to see is peace.
"We don't want to be under another leader's rule," Issa said. "We want to be under our own rule. We want to have our own army. I want my grandma to be able to go back overseas, and if she wants to live there, she could. We just want the ability to do what we want to do at our land. My dad and my grandma are older than Israel, and it's not fair that they can't do what they want at their own house."
Meanwhile, Rabbi Asher Lopatin, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee of Detroit, who spoke to the pro-Israel gathering last week and has expressed upset with violence by Hamas, said his organization wants to uplift the Palestinian community and supports a two-state solution.
"We believe that a two-state solution is the most hopeful solution, and so we advocate for a Jewish state and a Palestinian state living side by side," Lopatin said.
He said he believes the co-existence is going to happen, but he thinks that there needs to be a way to solve the violence when it happens.
"The best way to move towards a two-state solution is to empower Palestinians on the ground, grassroots," Lopatin said. "We need to be here in Detroit, a beacon of hope of how we can work together, and that's going to help the Palestinians and the Israelis."
Notice that the Hamas supporters used all of the right anti-Israel buzzwords and fake history. Notice that we're not sure exactly what Rabbi Lopatin said about Hamas.
Again from the Free Press:
" . . .has expressed upset with violence by Hamas . . ."
Lopatin, who reiterated his concerns with violence by Hamas, . . ."
What exactly did Lopatin say? Did he make the reporters too uncomfortable by coming out strongly against Hamas? His calls for a two state solution, repeatedly rejected by Palestinian leadership and "empower Palestinians on the ground" are foolish. Working together with Hamas supporters is never going to happen. Read the Hamas Charter to see why.
We Jews need to stand up for ourselves if we expect anyone else to stand with us. The Israel/Jew-haters believe in their lies and are willing to attack us over them. Do our leaders believe enough in Jews and Israel to fight back?
Notice also, that both articles quoted a number of Hamas supporters, but Rabbi Lopatin is the only person quoted from the pro-Israel side. They get multiple voices, we get one.
The Detroit News headline, "Marchers in Warren call for peace in Gaza, want more than cease-fire," is misleading. None of these demonstrations were based on a calls for peace, especially with the repeated calls for "freedom" for Palestinians. We've all heard the "from the river to the sea" call. These demonstrations were about the peace of dead Jews.
"We always are grateful for a ceasing of violence but a cease-fire is not the same thing as peace because peace is founded in justice, peace is founded in human dignity and the work must continue until we have a true and just and lasting and human rights-focused peace in Palestine," said former gubernatorial candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.
"The work must continue" is another way of saying "Hamas must continue attacking Israel and Jews."
On the plus side, the Jewish rally was not attacked by Jew-hating thugs. (The attackers are usually referred to as pro-Palestinian, but nobody is pro-Palestinian. They are anti-Israel). Other pro-Israel rallies have been violently attacked as have individual Jews. Things could change though. Everybody knows where our local Jewish communities are.
If things do turn violent, forget any help from our local Jewish organizations or politicians. Andy Levin (proud friend of not-an-antisemite, Rashida Tlaib) has made his mealy-mouthed, "Hamas is bad but Israel is worse" blame the Jews statement on the Hamas rocket attacks. And our local Jewish organizations don't have a great record of standing up to the hate mongers. We are on our own.