Jewish protesters in anti-Netanyahu rally outside AIPAC

US pro-Israel lobby attendees surprised by number of Jewish protesters, who say Israeli PM "does not represent Judaism".

by
    More protests are expected when PM Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill [Al Jazeera]
    More protests are expected when PM Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill [Al Jazeera]

    Hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Monday, those who were leaving the venue for the night were greeted by dozens of chanting protesters.

    Some of the protesters said they were of Palestinian descent, but others were Jewish.

    It was this second group that surprised many of those exiting the AIPAC conference.

    Jacob Weisfeld of 'Texans for Israel', said he "didn't expect to see any Jews out here protesting at all. I expected to see more people with Palestinian flags talking about the occupation".

    One of the protest organisers was Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta International, who told DC Dispatches he was out protesting because he said he wanted the world to know that, while Netanyahu and others inside AIPAC use symbols like the Star of David, "they do not represent in any way, shape or form, Judaism".

    He drew a distinction between Jews and Zionists, and said he was protesting the Zionists who have taken land from people that they end up vilifying.

    DC Dispatches spoke with Rabbi Eric Solomon of the Beth Meyer Synagogue in North Carolina, an AIPAC attendee, who encountered the protesters as he left.

    Solomon said he respects their right to protest, but that the vast majority of Jews see "Zionism, the idea that Jews have a right to a state – to live in peace and security – as fundamentally part of what it means to be a modern Jew".

    He stressed that debate about settlement building, a two-state solution, and even the current leadership in Israel, is all legitimate, but that "to be a Jew today - an active, proud Jew - means to be a Zionist".

    More protests are expected when Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR



    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Chief Allan Adam on being beaten by police and Indigenous rights

    Chief Allan Adam on being beaten by police and Indigenous rights

    The chief discusses the legacy of residential schools, making deals with the oil industry and the need for new treaties.

    Nuclear Gulf: Experts sound the alarm over UAE nuclear reactors

    Nuclear Gulf: Experts sound the alarm over UAE nuclear reactors

    From environmental disaster to a nuclear arms race, experts warn of layers of risks surrounding Barakah nuclear plant.

    Analysis: The Asia-Pacific arms race has taken an ominous turn

    Analysis: The Asia-Pacific arms race has taken an ominous turn

    As China increases its military might and trust in US alliances erode, Australia and Japan are going on the offensive.