Some 130 protesters gathered in front of the American Consulate in Jerusalem Wednesday afternoon to rally against U.S. President Barack Obama, who had just launched his Middle East tour, during which he is expected to reach out in friendship to the Muslim world.
As more than a dozen local and international journalists looked on, the protesters chanted "No, You Can't" and waved posters saying "20 new 'settlements' by 2010 - Yes We Can!"
Far right activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who attended the protest, told Channel 10 that "it appears that we've arrived at a red line, which has already been crossed by the most anti-Semitic American president."
"We are launching a campaign against Barack Hussein Obama. He is bad for the people of Israel and for the state of Israel and his policies could bring about disaster. We expect our prime minister to say 'no' to anyone who tries to harm us," Ben-Gvir added.
National Union MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari addressed the crowd, largely made up of native-English speaking Israelis.
"I'm here to tell Obama that Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jewish people," said Scottish-born Edith Ognall, who drove to the capital from her hometown of Netanya to attend the event. "What right does anybody have to tell us to stop building in the land that was given to us by God? I'm not going to stand by and let Obama, or anybody else, tell me where I can live and where I can't live."
Nadia Matar, the Belgian-born co-chair of Women in Green, which organized the event, made a point of repeatedly mentioning Obama' middle name, Hussein, because "we have to remind ourselves that he received an Islamic education in Indonesia."
"We are connected to our land like a mother is connected to her children," the well-known activist told reporters. "And I want to warn you: Don't mess with a Jewish mother who feels her children or her homeland are in danger. Every part and parcel and hilltop and stone in the Land of Israel is like one of our children. And we'e going to protect it like lionesses."
Settlers call Obama "Jew-hating anti-Semite"
Those Scott Roeders of Israeli public life, the leadership of the west bank settler movement, are not happy with Barack Obama. Religious and ethnic fanatics that they are, they fear and hate anyone who threatens to disrupt their plans to colonize the entire west bank and permanently drive the Palestinians into exile or into second-class citizenship. Hamas is not the only fanatical organization standing in the way of a just settlement. These right-wing religious fanatics, supported by Israeli governments of every stripe for nearly 40 years, represent the ugly face of the occupation. And one that will not go away quitely.
Paleo's diary :: ::
Doctored photos of US President Barack Obama wearing a kaffiyah (traditional Arab headdress) with a caption reading "Jew-hating anti-Semite" will be circulated in the coming days by Israeli right-wing activists in protest of the growing US pressure on Israel to halt settlement activity, even that which is attributed to "natural growth."
The activists, Ynet has learned, plan to circulate another doctored photo showing Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against the backdrop of a nuclear explosion. The heading reads "Yes, We Can."
As an aside, isn't "Jew-hating anti-Semite" redundant?
And their anger is not restricted to Obama:
Earlier Wednesday, right-wing activists allegedly set fire to Palestinian fields near Shavei Shomron following the dismantlement of Ramat Migron and Maoz Esther.
Firefighters called by the Civil Administration extinguished the blaze that police suspect was started by the activists.
In addition, settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Havat Gilad. There were no casualties or damage, and no arrests were made.
Israeli Right-Wing activists launch anti-Obama campaign
Chanting "No, you can't!" and waving signs bearing messages in a similar vein, nearly 200 people held a demonstration outside the US Consulate on the capital's Rehov Agron on Wednesday evening, protesting the growing American pressure to stop construction in West Bank settlements.
Speakers at the event included MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) and Esther Pollard, the wife of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. All brought a similar message - that the American government does not have the right to dictate where Jews may or may not live within the Land of Israel.
"Mr. Obama, we started demonstrating 16 years ago," said Rabbi Shalom Gold, the founder of Kehillat Zichron Ya'acov in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood, alluding to the early days of the Oslo Accords. "You were in your '30s and you probably didn't know the first thing about Eretz Yisrael… but we're part of God's divine plan, we're here and we're staying here!"
"Be a friend of Israel, but even if you won't be, we have the greatest ally in the world," he said, pointing to the heavens. (I belive this is their way of saying, "You are either with us or against us")
Esther Pollard followed, telling the crowd that her message to the US president was that "your problem isn't with Prime Minister Netanyahu, nor is it with the People of Israel. Your problem, Mr. President, is with the almighty God of Israel!"
The protest continued for more than two hours, as the demonstrators ebbed and flowed and consular staff across the street came out to watch the goings-on.
The protest was only a part of a wider campaign launched by activists on Wednesday, in which they will try to counter the American stance by portraying Obama as an anti-Semite whose policies would harm the Jewish state.
Over the coming days, activists plan to hang posters throughout the country of Obama wearing a keffiyeh, flanked by the words, "Anti-Semite," and "Jew-hater," written in red in both English and Hebrew. Another poster published by the campaign shows Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against a background of a mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion.
The Jewish National Front, which is backing the protests, said in a statement: "We decided to launch a campaign against the president of the United States and to say that Barack Hussein Obama is bad for the Jews."
"From the moment that he entered the White House, we have been feeling anti-Semitism and hatred toward Israel," the statement continued. "We have a number of plans, among which are demonstrations in the US and protests in front of the consulate and homes of the ambassadors."
Later Wednesday evening, Peace Now issued a statement harshly criticizing the campaign, saying the anti-Obama posters and demonstrations would cause considerable damage to the friendship between the US and Israel.
"The radical Right is damaging our strategic alliance with the US, and is embarrassing Israel in front of the world," the organization said. "[Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] must renounce this campaign of the settlers at once, and act decisively against the hilltop youth and those who are breaking the law in the settlements."