Whenever Israel defends itself against the rocket barrage from Hamas-ruled Gaza, anti-Israel activists are quick to organize protests. While these activists usually like to pose as “progressives,” their recent demonstration in New York City once again illustrated how meaningless this label is.
The protest was apparently organized by Al-Awda New York (NY), a radical group that can only bring itself to refer to Israel in quotation marks and that has occasionally openly promoted terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Al-Awda NY advocates “Palestinian refugees’ right to return home to all of their lands and properties stolen since 1948” and their program of eliminating Israel as a Jewish state is reflected in their favorite slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Naturally, posters with this slogan were also displayed at the recent New York demonstration.
A report on the anti-Israel site Just Foreign Policy claims that thousands took part in the protest, though the pictures posted there seem to show a much more modest crowd. However, there were obviously plenty of antisemitic posters accusing Israel of “genocide,” and one of the speakers bellowing into a microphone to fire up the protesters was Max Blumenthal. As with most of his public appearances, he emphasized that he was condemning Israel “as a Jew,” and as usual, he mocked the fact that his writings and activism have earned him the reputation of an antisemite. It’s worthwhile to watch the short clip of Blumenthal’s demagogic effort to fire up the crowd while recalling that he once advocated a “Juden raus”-policy for those Israeli Jews who would not want to submit to Arab domination in the “Free Palestine” that his fellow-protesters were demanding.
Whether the “Death to Israel”-chants that were documented by the Anti-Defamation League during this protest were inspired by Blumenthal’s demagoguery or whether Blumenthal was perhaps inspired by these chants is unclear.
In any case, Blumenthal proudly tweeted about his participation in this event, and his fans eagerly retweeted him. It was only fitting that Ikhwanweb, the official Twitter account of the Muslim Brotherhood, also retweeted Blumenthal.
The Muslim Brothers tweeted an additional image from the protest which shows a contingent of Neturei Karta members who reliably turn up wherever there is “anti-Zionist” agitation.
One could be tempted to describe this event cynically as a kind of interfaith exercise: organized by a radical and supposedly “progressive” group that wants to turn back the clock and undo the establishment of Israel, endorsed by the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood and attended by members of an unhinged Jewish fringe group that specializes in giving Jew-haters a flimsy cover, this was yet another event that illustrated that “pro-Palestinian” activism is all too often motivated by an intense hatred for the world’s only Jewish state. And for a few brief minutes, Max Blumenthal obviously enjoyed being the cheerleader of a crowd that wants what Jew-haters have wanted ever since Israel was re-established as a modern state: a world without Zionism.