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July 29, 2014

What The Local Media Missed: Days of Rage in Boston

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Marchers parade in downtown Boston in celebration of Al Quds Day on July 25, 2014. Al Quds Day is a celebration inaugurated by Ayatollah Khoemeini in Iran in 1979, (the year of the Iranian Hostage Crisis), to show disdain and contempt for the Jewish state. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

For the past few weeks, Boston has been the scene of several anti-Israel rallies. Protesters at these rallies have demonized Israel and its supporters in some pretty ugly ways. The rallies have been organized by a loose coalition of activists from groups such as Grassroots International and Jewish Voice for Peace. LGBTQ activists, union members and activists from the local Muslim community have also participated in these rallies.

Local television stations and newspapers have inaccurately described the participants at these rallies as “pro-Palestinian.”

The message espoused by activists at these rallies is not “pro-Palestinian,” but anti-Israel and in some instances, anti-Jewish. In addition to promoting the cause of Palestinian nationalism, they have demonized Israel, called for its destruction, and whitewashed acts of terror perpetrated by Hamas, a genocidal organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction. And in some instances, protesters carried signs that were explicitly antisemitic. As the images posted below reveal, the notion that Israel is a pariah state became an increasingly important theme as the rallies progressed.

While one pro-Israel protester was assaulted on July 11, 2014, the hostility evident in the streets of Boston has, thankfully not approached what we have seen in Los Angeles, Berlin or Paris, where violence has erupted. Nevertheless, the animus evident at these events in Boston has been ratcheted up with each successive rally and march.

The first rally, a pro-BDS event which took place on July 9, 2014, was marked by the usual chants of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free,” an implicit call for Israel’s destruction. The most recent rally, a celebration of “Al Quds Day,” protesters carried signs equating Zionism with Nazism.

Below is a compendium of photos taken at five anti-Israel rallies that took place in Boston during July 2014.

Taken as a whole, the photos will demonstrate that the message espoused at these rallies is anti-Israel, anti-democratic and in some instances, antisemitic. Activists are using their right to free speech in the U.S. to front for Hamas, an organization that is fundamentally hostile to the values that serve as the basis for American civil society. They are also assailing the legitimacy of a liberal democracy in the Middle East.

And they are assailing it because it is the Jewish homeland. This is not human rights or peace activism; it is anti-Zionism.

And when these folks speak anti-Zionism, they speak hate.

July 9, 2014 – Park Street Station and Downtown Boston

The first rally took place on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, the day after Israel began Operation Protective Edge. This pro-BDS rally began at Park Street Station on Boston Common and then wound its way through the streets of downtown Boston. Activists protested in front of Macy’s which sells Sodastream products, Veolia, which operates a bus line in Israel, and TIAA-KREFF, which has been the target of BDS activists.

The rally was organized by a number of groups including The American Friends Service Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace, Boston Feminists for Liberation, and Black and Pink, which in addition to advocating for the rights of LGBTQs serving time in prison, calls for the abolition of the “prison industrial complex.” A representative of United Steel Worker’s Local 8751 also played a prominent role in this rally/march, speaking in front of the offices of Veolia and TIAA-KREFF. Approximately 120 people attended at this rally.

Compared to some of the signs displayed at later rallies, the signage at this rally was pretty tame, but slogans chanted at this event included “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free,” which is an explicit call for Israel’s destruction. Protesters also chanted, “Hey Israel, whaddya say, how many kids did you kill today?” and “Gaza must have food and water, Israel, Israel stop the slaughter.” (An article providing from details about the rally can be seen here.)

Here are some photos from the rally.

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A woman carries a sign protesting the bombing of the Gaza Strip on July 9, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Protesters chant at an anti-Israel rally at Park Street Station in Boston on July 9, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Activists protest in front of Macy's in Boston on July 9, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Andre Francois from United Steel Workers Local 8751 addresses the crowd at an anti-Israel rally in Boston on July 9, 2014. USW 8751 represents public school bus drivers in Boston. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Protesters on the march during an anti-Israel rally in Boston on July 9, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

July 11, 2014 – Israeli Consulate, Boston

Another rally took place in front of the Israeli Consulate in downtown Boston on July 11, 2014. Unlike the first rally, this rally prompted a counter-protest of approximately 15 pro-Israel activists one of whom, CAMERA intern Chloe Valdary, was assaulted by an anti-Israel protester. (A video of the assault can be seen here.) These protesters were also “swarmed” at this rally. One hundred or so people attended this event.

The signs and the slogans at this rally were largely the same as those displayed and chanted at the rally held two days previous. There was a smattering of pro-BDS signs and a number of signs that followed the [Alleged Israeli Action] ≠ [Moral Good]” formula.

There were, however, hints of the increased hostility to come with the presence of one sign stating that “Israel murders children daily!" Another stated "Genocide ≠ Self Defense."

Below are photos of the some of the signs displayed at the July 11, 2014 rally.

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The July 11, 2014 rally was organized and led by Jewish Voice for Peace. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A woman displays a sign accusing Israel of murder across the street from the Israeli consulate in Boston on July 11, 2014. (Photo: Elan Kawesh)

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A protester outside the Israeli Consulate on July 11, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Across the street from the Israeli consulate in Boston on July 11, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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The protester to the right carries a sign accusing Israel of genocide across the street from the Israeli Consulate in Boston on July 11, 2014. (Photo: Chloe Valdary)

July 17, 2014 – Copley Square

On July 17, 2014, anti-Israel protesters gathered in Copley Square, just near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the scene of a terrible act of terrorism that took place on April 15, 2013. At this rally, protesters chanted "Intifada! Intifada! Long Live the Intifada!. (This slogan by the way, which was not heard at the previous rallies, has been chanted at the two subsequent rallies documented below.)

Israel's status as the Jewish state was an important theme at this rally. Carrying signs declaring themselves to be Jewish, protesters expressed their opposition to Israeli actions. Between 170 and 200 people attended this rally. Here are some photos from the rally.

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One protester carries a sign effectively calling for Israel's destruction, while another carries a sign stating he is neither pro-Israel, nor pro-Palestinian but merely "pro-peace," 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A protester at Copley Square on July 17, 2014 . (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Protesting Israel at Copley Square on July 17, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A protester announcing Jewish opposition to Israel's attack on Hamas at a rally taking place at Copley Square on July 17, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A self-declared Jew announcing her opposition to Israel's attack on Hamas at a rally taking place at Copley Square on July 17, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A banner at Copley Square on July 17, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

July 22, 2014 – Copley Square

Several hundred activists gathered in front of Trinity Episcipal Church facing Copley Square in Boston on July 22, 2014. At this rally, one speaker expressed contempt for the argument that Israel should be supported because it exhibits tolerance toward gays and lesbians. Israel cannot be pinkwashed, and its "apartheid wall" cannot be pinkwashed he stated. Additonally, anti-Zionist Jews from Neturei Karta showed up in force at this rally.

A new theme introduced in the signage at this rally was an alleged equivalence between fighting in Gaza and the Holocaust.

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A protester condemning the occupation at an anti-Israel rally on July 22, 2014. Note: Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Protesting against Israel on July 22, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A comparison between the Gaza Strip and Auschwitz at an anti-Israel rally held in Copley Square in Boston on July 22, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Another reference to the Holocaust at an anti-Israel rally that took place in downtown Boston on July 22, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Members of the anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta were in attendance at an anti-Israel rally in Boston on July 22, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Yet another reference to the Holocaust at an anti-Israel rally in Boston on July 22, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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An accusation of genocide at an anti-Israel rally that took place in downtown Boston on July 22, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

July 25, 2014 – Al Quds Day in Boston

Between 200 to 300 anti-Israel protesters gathered on the steps of the Boston Public Library on July 25, 2014 to participate in a local celebration of Al Quds Day. Al Quds Day is a celebration incorporated by Ayatollah Khoemeni in 1979 to promote hostility toward Israel. These events have been the scene of hateful antisemitic slogans in cities throughout the world.

Jewish Voice for Peace publicized the event on its website.

One prominent player at this rally was Steve Kirschbaum, founder of United Steel Workers Local 8751. USW 8751 represents the bus drivers who work for the Boston School Department. Kirschbaum serves as chairman of the local's Grievance Committee and is one of the local's negotiators.

At this rally, Israel was portrayed as a rogue, pariah state. Zionism, the Jewish assertion of the right to a sovereign state, was portrayed as a singular malevolant source of suffering in the world. False accusations of genocide and comparisons between Zionism and Nazism were also on display. It was a hateful display that received little, if any coverage in the local media.

Here are photos of some of the signs in display at the Al Quds Day celebration.

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A protester at the Al Quds Day rally in Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A protester accuses Israel of genocide and terror at a rally in Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Israelis are described as "mass killers" and "skillfull hunters" in this sign displayed at the Al Quds Rally held in Boston on July 15, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Signs from the Al Quds Day Rally in Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Anti-Zionism on display in Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A young man leads the crowd in a chant at the July 25, 2014 Al Quds Day celebration in Boston. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Steve Kirschbaum, left, founder of the United Steel Workers Local 8751 surveys the crowd at the Al Quds Day celebration in Boston on July 25, 2014. USW 8751 represents public school bus drivers in Boston. Kirschbaum is chairman of the local's Grievance Committee and was elected to it's negotiating committee.(Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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This sign portrays Zionism as a singular obstacle to world peace. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Celebrating Al Quds Day in Boston, July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Israeli soldiers described as vampires at the Al Quds Day Rally in Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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The crowd, July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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A protester warns of a potential genocide in the Middle East. It does not appear she was referring to events in central Iraq. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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After chanting for about an hour, the celebrants of Al Quds Day took to the streets of Boston. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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One sign put a swastika on the Israeli flag. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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One protester equated Zionism with Nazism at the Al Quds Day rally in Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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Another protester accused Israel of perpetrating a Holocaust against the Palestinians. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

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This protester broadcast antisemitic propaganda in two languages. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

Conclusion

As the photos above show, the so-called peace and justice community in the city of Boston has a problem. Its leading lights have helped promote ugly hostility toward Israel and its supporters. At several recent rallies, protesters falsely accused Israel of genocide, ignored Hamas' war-crimes and worked to portray Jewish self-determination as a singular source of suffering in the Middle East. The hostility has only gotten worse as the rallies have progressed.

These hostility displayed at these putative "peace" rallies cannot be excused, justified or explained by the tragic deaths currently taking place as a result of fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The underlying emotion at these rallies is hate toward the very notion of Jewish sovereignty and hate toward Jews who support Israel.

If these protesters were serious about promoting peace and human rights, they would have confronted the terrible acts of violence perpetrated by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, where thousands of people have been turned into refugees and hundreds, if not thousands, of young men have been murdered, and in some instances, have had their heads cut off.

These atrocities have largely gone unnoticed by the activist organizations that organized these days of rage in Boston. They have, however, held more than five anti-Israel rallies in the last month alone.

This is not about peace. This is not about justice. And it's not about human rights.

It's about hate.

And lots of it.

Posted by dvz at July 29, 2014 06:17 PM

Comments

What, you expect love for Israel after shelling school-converted U.N. hospitals? Everyone hates America for Iraq, Afghanistan, and constant. meddling in the affairs of others, so it makes absolute sense to throw hate Israel's way, especially when their law-makers accuse Kerry's ceasefire deal as strategic terrorism. Israel and Netanyahu are pariahs, and to claim otherwise is to hide the truth.

Also, none of those signs are anti-semitic; mentioning the holocaust is not the equivalent of comparing Israel to Hitler, especially when the topic is constantly brought up by zionists.


DVZ responds:

Thanks for your comment. The video at the link below indicates that antisemitism is present at the events described above.

http://www.truthrevolt.org/israel-revolt/boston-islamist-jews-better-learn-how-swim-moses-aint-coming-video

Posted by: Nope at July 30, 2014 11:24 AM

don't these people have jobs or are they professional protestors.

Posted by: jeff bomba at July 31, 2014 02:21 PM

I live 2 miles from Boston and am a voracious consumer of news.

I don't read the Globe, but watch local and national news and am on the Internet 6 hours a day.

This is the first I have heard of these events.

Posted by: Parker Shannon at July 31, 2014 05:51 PM

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