Dec 29 2008
Those were my words at the downtown Vancouver counter-protest in solidarity with Israel, complete with a star-of-David T-shirt, against the ones shouting “Viva Intifada”, as video-recorded by social media man on the scene Kris Krug, (Anti-Israeli Protest). Clearly, the other side is far more concerned with making excuses for Hamas’ violence to truly want peace for both sides of the conflict. Some other highlights at the protest:
1. Sean Orr and I trading accusations of supporting fascists, until we realized who each other were. Afterwards, deciding to grab a coffee sometime to discuss our political ideas and things webby. I’ve got quite a bit of respect for the guy since his and Krug’s bit of genuine heroism the other day in the dark side-streets of Gastown. I must confess I find Orr’s alignment with the pro-Hamas crowd disconcerting and not particularly consistent with his standing up for justice on the streets of Vancouver. Perhaps I’ll end up winning him over to my side some day.
2. Friend Adam Carroll, who pointed out the “We Are All Hamas” signs in the crowd. Nice touch.
*CORRECTION: Late Monday night, on reviewing the video of the event taken by Krug, I couldn’t find the “We Are All Hamas” signs in the crowd. On checking with Carroll, who had gotten in amongst the pro-Palestinian protesters, he corrected my faulty recollection of our conversation, noting that there was no actual signage to that effect, although some members of the group were definitely chanting that phrase, “We Are All Hamas”. My apologies for the error in this post and if it is repeated elsewhere. However, I would submit that the phrase, whether the statement is on signage or shouted out loud, shows a disturbing affiliation with what is a recognized terrorist group.
Also, his pure deadpan comment as the wind and hail whipped up to a frenzy that destroyed my umbrella: “It seems that G-d has delivered his verdict on this protest.”
3. The other counter-protesters. Good thing someone thought to bring some Israeli flags. There weren’t very many of us, but we did the best job we could to make some noise and get some much-appreciated attention from the media.
4. After the protest, I ended up talking with some of the “Viva Intifada” crowd. One of them, a Lebanese-born Canadian, explained his take on current events in Gaza. Suffice to say, we didn’t agree, but it did highlight the reality that in the peaceful dominion of Canada, we have an easier time talking over the issues. This really gets to the heart of the problem: for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Israelis need a partner who can negotiate a peace agreement in good faith. For now, that’s not Hamas.
It’s tough for the Jewish state to negotiate peace with a group that has in its founding charter:
…the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:
“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.
The Palestinians won’t realize their dream of national self-determination until they replace the thugs with real leaders who can do more than call for a campaign of suicide bombings. Canadians like the ones I saw today who support Hamas with slogans ought to be ashamed.
By the way, much thanks to my friend Terry Glavin for a mention in his own excellent analysis, Israel, Gaza and the ‘Left.