Anti-Israel protesters frustrated, burning out
November 20, 2012 | Joanne Hill - Correspondent
TORONTO – Anti-Israel agitators expressed frustration and hinted at burn-out at a protest across from the Israeli consulate last week.
“Are we really here again three years later?” asked Sandra Ruch who, according to her Twitter page, belongs to at least four anti-Israel organizations: Canadian Boat to Gaza, Gaza’s Ark, Independent Jewish Voices and Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.
“Today I am so angry that we have to stand here again.... We have to stop the Israeli machine. We cannot be held hostage to the memory of the Holocaust.”
Israeli Consul General DJ Schneeweis was singled out by another activist who, according to media reports, belongs to at least three anti-Israel organizations: Women in Solidarity with Palestine, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.
“Across the street in that building we have a new Israeli consul general who considers himself an expert on anti-BDS [boycott, divestment, sanctions] activism,” said Sue Goldstein. “Well, we need to show him that not only is BDS the right way to go, but resistance is not a crime.”
Goldstein asked people to show up for a regular Friday evening protest in front of the Israeli consulate.
“We’ve been standing there every Friday for 12 damn years. We’re getting a little tired of it.”
Issam Al-Yamani of Palestine House also spoke about “resistance” and seemed to express defiance against Hamas being called a terrorist organization by the Canadian and American governments.
“It is their [Palestinians’] right to react to any military aggression in Palestine and we don’t care what [Prime Minister] Harper or [President] Obama label our struggle,” said Al-Yamani. “We are struggle [sic] for our independence and our freedom and will be victorious.”
According to Mary-Jo Nadeau of Faculty for Palestine, the protest was organized by her group with Palestine House, Canadian Arab Federation and Canadian Peace Alliance.
Across the street a smaller but often louder group of Israel supporters sang the Canadian and Israeli national anthems, defended Israel’s right to exist and decried terrorism.
Meir Weinstein, director, Jewish Defence League of Canada, said they had gathered to demonstrate their support for Israel.
“It’s the very least we feel we could do,” said Weinstein. “In fact, many of us just returned from a trip to Israel and we stand in full solidarity with Israel.”