Friday, July 14, 2006

Palestinian Nazis in San Francisco?

So I got a couple of emails yesterday alerting me to a demonstration in Downtown San Francisco. Some folks were going to be protesting against Israel and its acts of self-defense. We were going to counter-demonstrate.

Gus and I took the Bart into SF, and walked up Montgomery street. As we left the Bart station, we saw a fellow in a shirt patterned like the Palestinian Flag wearing a Kaffiyeh. Apparently he was going to the same demo, but the opposite side of the street.

When we got there I looked around for a sign, as I had been told that there would be some available. The only ones I saw said "Stop Missle attacks on Israel". We carried it for a bit, even after the mispelling was pointed out to us. That was a bit embarrassing.

We were across from the Internation Answer folks and the other assorted lunatics and haters. They were actually chanting their support for the terrorists in Hamas and Hezbollah. It was a bit surprising to me. Also surprising was their modified version of the usual chant:

From the River to the Sea,
Palestine will be Free.

Although that is bad enough, with its implicit denial of the existence of the State of Israel, they made it worse:

Push Olmert into the Sea,
Palestine will be Free.

Brought back memories of the Six Day War, and Nasser's threats to push Israel into the Sea. Well, I must admit that I am not old enough to actually recall the events of 1967, but I did read about it in Oren's excellent Six Days of War. The willingness of the demonstrators to state openly their desire to destroy Israel was new to me.

As for those of us on the Pro-Israel side, we did not make much use of bullhorns, so there was no chanting of slogans. At one point some young fellows led us in a chorus of "Give peace a chance" which was charming, then we started "Hava Nagila", but somehow the group did not want to sing together.

The Palestinian Nazis? A couple of young men across the street, both dressed in the Palestinian colors and draped with Arafat's trademark checkered Kaffiyeh, were standing on newsracks and giving Nazi salutes. I don't think they were aware of the history of Palestinian support for the Nazis, documented in Dershowitz's The Case for Israel. I think they were just taunting some of the folks on our side of the street.

It was offensive just the same.


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