WASHINGTON (Oct. 24)
The Zionist Organization of America held a rally near the White House on Wednesday, to voice its support of Israel in the face of the Oct. 12 U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its handling of the Oct. 8 riots on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
At a rally in Lafayette Park sponsored by the Greater Potomac Region of ZOA, some 400 demonstrators held placards reading, “Jerusalem is not Kuwait,” and “Rocks and Stones Can Break Bones.”
Another placard said, “Fact: PLO Alerted Media to a 10 a.m. event at the Temple Mount,” referring to claims that the Palestine Liberation Organization helped promote the Oct. 8 riot, which left 21 Arabs dead.
“We oppose resolutions which fail to recognize the unthinkable acts of Palestinian Arabs stoning Jewish worshipers celebrating a major Jewish holiday at the holiest site in the Jewish world,” said Rickey Cherner, the ZOA district president.
A small counter-rally took place on the White House side of Pennsylvania Avenue, where nine members of the Jewish Committee for Israel-Palestinian Peace held up posters that said, “Cooperate with the U.N.” and “Israelis and Palestinians: 2 Peoples, 2 States.”
‘ABOMINABLE’ U.N. RESOLUTION
Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.) told the ZOA rally that Israel needs support “more than ever.” He spoke of Israel’s $3 billion foreign aid package which is working its way through Congress, but said, “The moral support is just as important as the economic support.”
Gilman called the U.N. condemnation of Israel “abominable,” and said Israel was the victim of an “act of provocation, a determined act to try to bait Israel into the Kuwaiti-Iraqi problem and we’ll have no part of it.”
The crowd also heard from Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) and former refusenik Yosef Begun.
At the counter-demonstration, Hilda Silverman, a member of the peace group, said, “We support the U.N. resolution and we would like Israel to comply with it. We’re terribly pained by the loss of life on both sides.”
Silverman added that her group originally had planned to carry the names of the 21 Arabs who were killed on the Temple Mount but changed its tactics after three Israelis were killed Sunday in stabbing attacks by Arabs whose apparent motivation was retaliation.