Messages at Israeli festival in US: Judaism rejects Zionism and I Don't Talk to Arabs, I Shoot Them
|08.04.08 - 14:40|
USA / Mazin Qumsiyeh - On Sunday, there were no US flags and lots of Israeli flags in a "street fair" dubbed "Ben Yehuda, Jerusalem Street fair" in Teaneck, NJ. I came a bit early and strolled through the few booths that were selling Israeli products and Zionist ideas (no mention that Jerusalem is illegally occupied per international law) to some hundreds of mostly Israeli expatriates and perhaps 30 percent US Jewish Zionists.
But then some 30-40 ultra-orthodox Jews of the Neturei Karta came and started to picket the “Israel celebration.” With dignity, poise, and gentleness, they responded to a barrage of angry Zionists.
They explained calmly that "Judaism rejects Zionism" (on one of their signs) and that the Torah forbade the establishment of such a militarized state by people who rejected Judaism and who despised religious Jews (people like Herzl and Ben Gurion supported by the British government).
Several Zionists spoke to me and one young man seemed extremely interested and we had a nice lengthy conversation for nearly one hour (he is an Israeli who was sent to liaison with the US Jewish Federation). Others were actually violent and tried to rip banners away.
My large banner was highlighting http://PalestineRemembered.com .
At least four who were arguing with the anti-Zionist Jews used words like goyim and aravim (in Hebrew and Yiddish) as inults. Many refused to talk to me because I was "an Arab". One said to me simply, “I don't talk to Arabs.” So I asked, "Why not?" He answered with an arrogant voice, "I served in the Israeli army and I am a sniper and I shoot people like you, that is why.”
The biased and dismissive story about the event was posted on the Website of the Local newspaper ( http://www.northjersey.com/news/17345464.html ). But in the printed version, there is a section on the protest not found on the website. It is also dismissive/lame and also claims that people "ignored us" (actually every one who came in and out of the street fair saw us and you could tell by their facial expressions and their gestures that they did not ignore us). In the printed version they included things like " 'It is the 60th anniversary of a tragedy' said Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian Christian who joined a group of Rabbis and Jews in traditional Hasidic dress who stood behind police barricades and handed out fliers to passers-by who approached them" and "Rabbi Yisroel Weiss, the spokesman for Jews United Against Zionism, said the group's goal is to 'educate Jews and non-Jews alike that Judaism and Zionism are diametrically opposites' ...[and] called the creation of Israel 'the biggest factor in exacerbating anti-Semitism' " Of course they did not report on the verbal abuse (a form of verbal violence) that Zionists heaved on the peaceful demonstrators.
I will try to get a video tape from Rabbi Weiss to put on youtube (their web site is http://www.jewsnotzionists.org/ ). In the meantime, here is an example of the kind of attack when I was giving talk at Brookline high school (BTW, the people videotaping are from Jewish Voices for Peace who were extremely supportive and were critical to the success of this talk):
Racists like Alan Dershowitz get to perform their attacks, lies and distortions with impunity while speaking truth can cause you physical harm. What we faced in Teaneck or Brookline or in our work etc. is small compared top what pioneers Prof. Norman Finkelstein and the late Prof. Edward Said faced in trying to "speak truth to power" let alone what Palestinian nonviolent resisters face daily from the Israeli colonization army (just this week 10 were injured in the weekly Bil'in nonviolent demonstration, hundreds were killed doing nonviolent resistance in the past few seven years alone including Rachel Corrie). When we try to bring out some facts, we are faced with a dictatorial - prosecutorial style of verbal abuse. View the video below of an attempt to state some facts to Dershowitz in his visit to Yale. The part they cut off is me challenging Dershowitz for a debate after he started to "cross-examine" me (I am still waiting and I have debated other Zionists including Moron Klein and David Harris). Most of the audience was Jewish and several talked to me afterwards to get linked to information and facts (at least one now joined our movement for human rights after she saw the evidence first hand of Zionist-Nazi collaboration). Many decent Jews now recognize that Dershowitz and extremist/racist Zionists like him actually do a lot of harm to Jews and Judaism by conflating it with Zionism. Anyway here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5_Fnzp5X2o
Today I learned that Israel and the US governments are coordinating their boycott of the UN Conference on Racism and Xenophobia scheduled for early 2009 and will pressure other countries to do the same (because no one is allowed to critique Zionism). They are also coordinating releasing information on Israel's airstrike inside Syria (a violation of the UN Charter) that was done with US government complicity. So in retrospect, the Israeli flags in Teaneck maybe a harbinger of things to come (flashed in my mind the line of presidential candidates and aspiring politicians lining up to pay homage to AIPAC/Israel's lobby in front of the Israeli flag in Washington last year).
These two governments continue to "cooperate" to send more US citizens as cannon fodder in Zionist wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and soon Iran and in the process destroy the US economy ($2-3 trillion estimated cost for the Iraq war alone, $1 trillion in aid to Israel etc.). This reminded me of what was foreseen by Zionist neocons when they implored the US to attack Iraq so that it would bring Israeli and US policies into "alignment." This Israelization of the US that has been going on is almost perfect now. It is actually eerily chilling to compare the testimony of US soldiers breaking the silence on their actions in Iraq.
see video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkN1xL6GIkE
and lest you have any doubts, here is an inside video Israeli army did not want revealed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1-_JmXQt0