- Video- U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton meets with PM Netanyahu- Support for Israel
- Video- "Canadian PM: I Will Defend Israel 'whatever the cost' "
- My 9-point response to Truthdig.org and the Anti-Israel Lobby
- Video: "OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE: US backs Israel and condemns Hamas rocket fire"
- Video: NBC News Coverage of the Rally at the White House
- Video and Article: Arutz Sheva 7- Pro-Israel vs. Anti-Israel Protest Near White House
- Article: Washington Jewish Week "Latest News in Israel: Pro-Israel students rally in DC"
- Article: IDF Should Learn From Syrians How To "Slaughter And Crush" Enemies, Rabbi Yosef Says ** I denounce his extremely irresponsible words of violence**
- Article- Truth.org "Music and Tears as the Rockets Fall"
- Video: Two videos taken at the rally
2)"Canadian PM: I Will Defend Israel 'whatever the cost' "
Thank you President Obama and the United States Congress for backing Israel's right to defend herself. I would also like to thank the Prime Minister of Candada for your support. We need all the support we can get publicly. The article below requires a response. There is an elephant in the room. The media is showing a huge bias, in regards to the plight of Palestinian people. I support a 2-State solution. I support the rights of Israel and the Palestinians to live in a safe, democratic and peaceful land. My problem is as follows:
1) 3,000+ rockets shot from Gaza into Israel deserves retaliation. If anyone shot a rocket into the U.S, the United States would retaliate to help defend and keep the people safe. Any country would retaliate. After 3,000 rockets, Israel has no choice but to say enough is enough! No state would acquiesce to live in a reality in which its civilians are continuously attacked. Israel has demonstrated great restraint for a long period but cannot accept the recurring attacks on its citizens, and has the legal right and the moral obligation to protect its citizens.
- 745 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of the operation (11/14).
- Average of 10 per hour, or one every 6 minutes
- 26 rockets have exploded in populated areas
- 3000 rockets have been fired at Israel since Operation Cast Lead (2009).
- 1500 rockets have been fired at Israel in 2012.
- 12500 rockets have been fired at Israel in last 12 years.
9) Finally, we know that Hamas does not value human life and consistently use who use the residents of Gaza as human shields. Israel regrets any injury to civilians and places responsibility directly on Hamas. They have taught the Palestinians that Martyrdom is the highest level someone can reach. Does anyone think that any God would want people to die like this?
4) Operation Pillar Defense: US backs Israel and condemns Hamas rocket fire
5) Video: NBC news coverage of the rally at the White House
6) Arutz Sheva 7- Pro-Israel vs. Anti-Israel Protest Near White House
Pro-Israel demonstrators who gathered outside the White House on Thursday were met by pro-Arab protesters who held up signs reading "Free Gaza", "End the siege on Gaza" and "Stop Israel"s slaughtering in Gaza". A similar confrontation ocurred Thursday night opposite the Israeli Consulate in New York.
The pro-Israel rally wished to express solidarity with Israel, as Operation Pillar of Defense continues, and support the United States for emphasizing Israel"s right to defend itself.
President Barack Obama spoke to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu early Thursday. A White House statement said that "the President reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu the United States' support for Israel's right to self defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians. The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties."
The statement said Obama and Netanyahu agreed that Hamas needed to stop attacks on Israel to "allow the situation to de-escalate."
On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner also underscored Israel"s right to defend itself, saying, "We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence.
"There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel"s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties," he added.
In another conversation between U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak this week, Panetta also expressed the U.S. view that Israel has the right to defend itself.
Western nations have mostly backed Israel during the Gaza operation and have stressed that the onus is on Hamas to halt rocket fire into southern Israel in order to stop the fighting.7) "Pro-Israel Student Rally in D.C." by Suzanne Pollack-Washington Jewish Week
Right after learning that there was going to be a pro-Gaza march, students at the George Washington University took action. They emailed, tweeted, set up an event of Facebook and called every pro-Israeli person or group they knew.
Five hours later, about 150 college students from George Washington, American, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown were singing, dancing and showing their support for both Israel and the United States government's support of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces.
"There are no words. It was wonderful to see the immediate support. It is inspiring," said GW junior Gabriel Felder, one of the rally's organizers.
He went there carrying an Israeli flag, and "by the end of the night, I had four. I'm not sure how that happened."
The students sang "Hatikvah" and "Am Yisrael Chai" and shouted such slogans as "No More Rockets," "USA" and "Israel Wants Peace."
The students gathered in front of the White House at 6 p.m. on Thursday. About an hour later, a similar-sized group arrived at the White House after marching from the U.S. State Department in support of the people of Gaza.
"When the anti-Israeli protestors showed up, at that point, the police was there. They had more of a presence. They set up wrought-iron police barricades," said GW senior Rebecca Federman.
"There were screaming at us so we tried to turn around and show them we were pro-peace," she said. "At one point, we screamed 'no more rockets' and they screamed 'end the siege,' " she said. "We tried to have it not confrontational," said the 22-year old Middle Eastern Studies student from Ohio.
Felder, who is majoring in political communications, agreed, adding, "I couldn't have asked for a more well-behaved crowd."
Ari Hoffman, a GW student majoring in international business and information systems technology management, said he helped organize the rally "to support Israel's right to defend herself" and to show "support for a strong and growing relationship" between Israel and the United States.
He said he was very proud to be there and never had any intention of confronting or starting a fight with those participating in the March for Gaza across the street.
"We did not go out there to start a fight or argue," he said.
He was impressed with how many students from area colleges joined in, noting that he had a 10-minute walk to get to the rally while others had to coordinate bus and metro trips.
As young adults, many of the participants realized they were about the same age as the Israelis called up to fight.
"They are actually younger than me," Federman said. "I have a lot of friends in the [Israeli] army right now, but they are not in combat units," she said.
"I could not imagine being there right now and being told to pack, you are going to Gaza," said Federman, who is an intern with The Washington Institute.
Felder, who is the president of the Jewish Student Association at GW, also has friends in the IDF.
"I am desperately looking at my phone, looking for texts," he said. The few messages he has received are short but powerful. "They speak with discretion. They speak of it [the situation] as tense," he said.
8) IDF Should Learn From Syrians How To "Slaughter And Crush" Enemies, Rabbi Yosef Says ** I denounce his extremely irresponsible words of violence**
Protesters in Washington, D.C., stood outside the White House on Thursday night to condemn U.S. backing of the recent Israeli airstrikes that have killed 19 Palestinians. A pro-Israeli group from George Washington University was on the other side of a barricade to show its support for the assault on Gaza.
The two groups played off each other. The students sang traditional Jewish songs and danced in circles. Most were smiling.
The critics of Israel’s actions, most of who were independent of any single group, chanted, “while you dance, children die.”
“I’m absolutely offended [by the celebration],” said protest organizer Adam Akkad. “The pro-Israeli side tonight is expressing their support for Israel while their country is killing children and the elderly.”
Civilians have died on both sides since the beginning of this surge in violence, which began six days ago when a 13-year-old Palestinian boy playing soccer near the border was hit and killed by gunfire from Israeli soldiers. After the incident, Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into southern Israel, destroying houses and killing three Israelis on Thursday. Israel’s retaliation has included airstrikes as well as calling up troops for a possible ground invasion.
The GWU students defended Israel’s actions.“Israel dropped leaflets before the attacks,” said Rich Dweck, “letting people know: ‘We’re going to bomb you, please leave.’ “The problem is that we’re dealing with people [Hamas] who don’t value human life.”
Another student interrupted the interview as he silenced the pro-Israel demonstrators. “We may feel a little bit impotent because our brothers and sisters are thousands of miles away,” he said, wearing an Israeli flag as a cape and sitting on top of someone else’s shoulders, “but with Hashem we are connected above. We are completely unified. ... Hashem is the No. 1 protector of Israel!” Cheers and singing followed.
Gabriel Felder, organizer of the pro-Israel rally and a student at GWU, said that the event was about “showing solidarity with the United States government and the State Department,” which he said don’t get enough support.
The students insist that the only impediment to peace is the Palestinian agenda. When Israel reacts violently, they say, it is always for self-preservation.
“We’re supporting Israel’s right to defend itself,” said Tomer Canaan, also a student at GWU. “The Palestinian agenda is pushing and promoting hatred and terrorism in the territories. ... If Israelis and Palestinians were on equal levels militarily,” he said, “Israel would cease to exist because I believe that the Palestinians are a lot more violent than the Israelis.”
The Israeli-American alliance, he added, is positive from an economic point of view.
“Seventy-five percent of U.S. aid to Israel is coming back to buy American products,” he said, “so it’s stimulating the American economy.”
Akkad, a critic of the occupation, is frustrated with these arguments. They pretend, he said, that the conflict is between two free and independent nations.
“There is a distinction in dynamics,” he pointed out. “Israel is the occupier. Hamas is an organization that came out of resistance to the occupation. Hamas is a couple of decades old. Palestine has been occupied for over six decades. Hamas is a response to that and Israel continues to feed off of that.
“When Israel claims self-defense,” Akkad continued, “it doesn’t tell you that it is also occupying these people, that it has checkpoints between Palestinian villages, that it builds illegal settlements on Palestinian land. It doesn’t tell you any of that information.”Akkad said he understands the motives behind Hamas rocket fire, especially after the killing of the 13-year-old boy.
“Do I think rocket fire is the smartest form of resistance to the occupation?” Akkad asked. “Probably not, but I won’t say that Palestinians don’t have the right to violently resist their oppressor. It’s basic international law.”
Akkad suspects that the attacks on Gazans are, in the end, driven by Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid for re-election.
“We saw the same thing happen in 2008,” he said, referring to the Gaza Massacre. “Why? Because Benjamin Netanyahu wants votes. The election cycle in Israel is coming up and Benjamin Netanyahu needs a way to instill fear into his people, the fear of possible extinction so that they vote for him.
“The conclusion to draw here is that there’s an exchange,” he noted. “Benjamin Netanyahu wants votes; we have to bury pregnant women and children.”
By Thomas Hedges, Center for Study of Responsive Law
10) Below are two videos I took at the rally...