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Feeling the Hate in New York


Max Blumenthal writes:

On April 25, over 1000 New York-area Jewish extremists gathered in midtown Manhattan to rally against the Barack Obama administration’s call for a freeze on construction in occupied East Jerusalem and to demand unlimited rights to colonize the West Bank

He video taped this hate-filled rally, and we’ll embed the YouTube clip below.  But before we do that, it’s worthwhile to comment on the issue of Israeli settlements.  It never ceases to amaze me how many Americans are so profoundly ignorant on this topic, and have no clue that “the consensus view of the international community is that the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law.”  Or as the BBC News puts it: “Settlement building in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law.”  This is the view expressed by none other than the United Nations and its judicial arm, the International Court of Justice.  Numerous resolutions have been passed against the state of Israel, demanding that illegal settlement activity be ceased.

There’s a very good reason why these settlements are illegal.  According to international law, that land does not belong to Israel; it belong to the Palestinians, who have lived there for hundreds of years.  That’s why the region is called the “Israeli Occupied Territories”.  And that’s also why they’re called Israeli settlers, not unlike the white settlers who pushed the Native Americans off their land.  Yet, we have Zionist extremists claiming that the land belongs to Israel, because “God gave it to them”, as one crazed man claims in the video below.

[youtube: 300 250]

Blumenthal continues (emphasis is ours):

…The Republican Jewish Coalition was afforded a prominent role at the demonstration beside far-right groups like the Zionist Organization of America, Z Street, Americans for a Safe Israel, Christians United for Israel, and Manhigut Yehudit, an anti-democratic group that calls for theocratic rule over Israel.

Supporters of Manhigut leader and Likud politician Moshe Feiglin distributed fliers promoting Feiglin’s upcoming campaign for prime minister of Israel. An open advocate of ethnic cleansing who has proposed depriving the Palestinians of drinking water, Feiglin recently called Vice President Biden “a diseased leper.”

While the pro-settler elements rallied in Manhattan, their counterparts from the radical Kahanist movement in the Hebron-based settlement of Tel Rumeida rampaged through Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, inciting violent confrontations while announcing their intention to rid the area of its historical Arab presence…[There were] many hints that the events in Manhattan and Jerusalem were closely coordinated.

The Manhattan rally took on a distinctively Tea Party-flavor. Besides issuing maximalist calls for the expulsion of the Palestinians, demonstrators assailed Obama as a secret Muslim with no legitimate right to serve as President of the United States. When I was identified by a particularly ornery rally participant as “the self-hating asshole Max Blumenthal,” I decided it was time to make my exit.

However, as I walked down 44th Street towards the subway, an elderly man grabbed me and attempted to snatch my camera (I had seen the gun-toting Marzel use similar tactics on anti-settlement activists documenting his exploits in the West Bank). “You’re not a Jew! Give me the film!” the man exclaimed. A mob of demonstrators suddenly formed and began advancing towards me. Luckily, two NYPD officers were nearby. They pried the man off me and gave me enough time to escape. I paced for two blocks until I reached Grand Central Station then disappeared into the crowd.

Conservative blogger Matt Lewis; facts mean nothing to this guy!

Conservative blogger Matt Lewis; facts mean nothing to this guy!

Such rhetoric is not limited to street level protests.  Following the Obama administration’s call for a freeze on settlement activity, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks debated conservative blogger Matt Lewis on MSNBC; here’s what Lewis had to say about the Israeli Occupied Territories:

This is their territory.  They won it in 1967.  And essentially what we’re asking them to do is to turn over…part of their territory.  I think we should stand with Israel on this…You don’t get peace by giving away territory…Israel has continued to give away territory…You want them to give territory, [and] that’s not supporting them.

Mr. Lewis has the facts exactly wrong: it’s not their territory…at least not according to the consensus of the international community and international law.  Land acquired through conquest is illegal, and must be returned.  One can hardly imagine Lewis making the claim that the United States was forcing Saddam Hussein to “give away territory” when the demand was placed on the Iraqi military to leave Kuwait.  Israel has never given away any of its own territory, ever.  The West Bank and East Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians.  It’s amazing that neither Cenk Uygur nor the host Dylan Ratigan thought it worthwhile to mention this key fact in the debate, which just shows how biased the mainstream media in this country is when it comes to the question of Israel.

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  • George Carty


    Yes, if you are not Palestinian…

  • Les


    Is there really a difference between left and right Zionism?

  • George Carty


    I suspect right-Zionists in the West look up to Jerusalem and the West Bank settlements, while left-Zionists look to liberal Tel Aviv.

    Ever heard the Israeli saying “Jerusalem prays, Tel Aviv plays and Haifa works”?

  • Les


    I agree. It is the Israelis and their American Zionist supporters that are the real religious fanatics. “Judea and Samaria”? The use of Biblical language to justify Israeli actions is absurd.


    Cenk is better than most liberals. I’ve seen his Young Turks episodes on Israel and he is often times disappointing. He has gotten better though, his criticism of Israel during its operation in Gaza back in early 2009 were pretty good. But this is a larger problem of liberal cowardice on the issue of Israel. I think they’ve been convinced that Israel is a liberal project in the heart of a conservative middle east. Markos of DailyKos does not touch the issue. Matthew Yglesias pretty much sides with the Israeli POV with a few criticisms here and there. Same with Paul Krugman, whose criticisms of Iraq are great, but he’s not willing to apply the same standard to Israel that he does for the United States.

  • Tom

    I have to conclude that Les didn’t even watch the video based on his (factually incorrect) comment regarding Cenk’s position on Israel.

  • Ustadh

    This rally was filled with religious extremism:
    “And remember: we’ve got HaShem! We’ve got HaShem! We’ve got HaShem! We’ve got HaShem! Thank you! (Cheers)”

    They believe God gave a deed to them to eternally own Israel from Nile to Euphrates, that is what those protesters are saying.

    What a bunch of wackos. They have the gall to complain about Muslim extremists when they are the worst extremists.

  • Ustadh

    I am surprised Max didn’t get any footage of Pamela.
    She was saying insane things as usual,
    “I ask you, what is a settler? I reject that term. I don’t want anyone ever to use it again. It’s a Jew living in the Jewish homeland. There are no settlers in Israel. What is the West Bank? It is not the West Bank. It is Judea – Jew-dea – and Samaria. There is no occupation except the Muslim occupation of Israel. (Cheers)”

    Insane, abnormal, ignorant. There were over a thousand people at this wacko rally.

  • Justin

    Indeed, we had one of these “Israel is always right” people try to disrupt our Islam Awareness week on campus. It is quite shocking how people can be brainwashed into believing Israel is above international law because the Bible says so. Furthermore, much of the Islamophobia we see is an effort to delegitamize the legitimate grievances of Palestinians and to give Israel a free pass to continue their illegal expansionist policies. At the end of the day, the Islamophobes have an extremist political agenda and exposing that agenda, as you have done on this blog, is an essential part of refuting their xenophobic and bigoted attacks on Islam. As Muslims, we need to continue to be patient and vigilant in our non-violent struggle to restore the rights of Palestinians.

  • Les

    Cenk, like most American liberals, is very disappointing when it comes to Israel. They’re very careful when discussing Israel and like their conservative counterparts, will put the blame on the victims (Palestinians) and only argue that Israel should show “restraint” in its destruction of Palestinian land. At best, they’ll give the meaningless “both need to work to stop the fighting.. blah blah blah” peacenik statement.

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