NEW YORK (Jun. 23)
For Anat Katz, this week’s pro-Israel rally here was intensely personal: Her father was killed in his sleep by Palestinian terrorists in April.
“The only people who are killing other innocent people are Palestinians,” Katz told a crowd of 1,000 Israel supporters who gathered Sunday outside the Israeli Consulate.
Katz also spoke about her younger brother’s 5-year-old friend, who was “looking into a terrorist’s eyes” before he shot her.
Sunday’s emotional rally outside the consulate was the fourth demonstration this year sponsored by the Interdenominational Rabbinic Committee for Israel, along with a coalition of Jewish organizations.
Speakers expressed a strong message of support for Israel and condemnation of Palestinian terrorism.
Pointing to the Israeli flag flying above the consulate, Rabbi Avi Weiss, national president of the Coalition for Jewish Concerns — Amcha, said, “We are here to tell our sisters and brothers in Israel: You are not alone, we are with you.”
Some protesters held signs reading, “No Peace With Terrorists” and “Arafat: Only Cowards Kill Children” as participants broke into chants of “N-Y-C Terror Free” and “No-No-No to a state of the PLO.”
At least one sign suggested that Palestinians be expelled from Israel and bused to Iraq.
Many of the demonstrators said they were motivated by a love for Israel and a hatred of terrorism.
“I’m here because every Jew belongs here,” said Yeshayahu Greenfeld, the dean at the North Shore Hebrew academy in Great Neck, N.Y. “The war against terror is not an Israeli war, it is an international war.”
Throughout the rally, attendees embraced frequently, swaying arm-in-arm to Hebrew songs, while many wept as Rabbis David Kalb and Harlan Wechsler read out the names and ages of those Israelis killed last week in Palestinian terror attacks.
The reading was followed by a siren. Israelis have heard sirens, which are used to signal emergencies, “all too often these days,” Wechsler said.
One speaker criticized the United States for practicing a “moral equivalency” between Palestinian terrorism and the actions of the Israeli military.
Several speakers also blasted the media, specifically CNN, for its biased coverage of Israeli-Palestinian violence.
Whenever CNN was mentioned by name, the crowd heartily booed.
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, of Ahavath Torah in Englewood, N.J., said that after suicide bombings take place, CNN reporters interview Palestinians who claim the bombers “had no choice but to act that way,” instead of focusing on the Israeli victims of these attacks.