As members of the City Council voted on a resolution acknowledging the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on January 22, several dozen demonstrators interrupted the proceedings with a vile display of appalling anti-Semitism. Some demonstrators unfurled the flag of the Palestinian Authority as they casually slandered Israel and those who live there.
What exquisite timing. If nothing else, the demonstration showed exactly what fuels so many critics of Israel: Hatred of Jews.
the demonstration showed exactly what fuels so many critics of Israel: Hatred of Jews
This outrage should have inspired broad condemnation. It did not. The demonstrators were escorted out of City Hall after Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito gently told them it was time to go. So it was left to Brooklyn Councilmember David Greenfield to state the truth bluntly: He called the demonstration “old-fashioned anti-Semitism.”
“Shame on them for hating Jews. Shame on them for hating people,” he thundered, in a powerful rebuke that is earning virality on Youtube.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpGPzoaNVCU&w=420&h=315]
Mr. Greenfield noted that the immediate target of the demonstration was a planned trip to Israel by a delegation of Council members. Several of the protestors at the Council meeting held up signs reading, “Don’t tour apartheid,” and “Say no to genocide.” These surely are the sentiments of haters. Sadly, tragically even, one of the groups supporting these slogans calls itself the Jewish Voice for Peace NYC.
Mr. Greenfield told his colleagues that the protest gave new urgency to their upcoming trip, scheduled for mid-February. “We go to Israel to make a message that is clear, that we will not be cowered by this fear and this hatred,” he said.
Good for him for speaking up and telling the truth. It is a sad commentary, however, that his remarks were so necessary.