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November 20, 2019 2:59 pm

Blind Hate Against Israel Displayed at Palestinian Times Square Rally

avatar by Steven Emerson

Opinion

Firefighters work to extinguish a vehicle as it burns after a factory caught on fire in Sderot, southern Israel, Nov. 12, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

As the Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian communities last week, a coalition of supposed peace groups organized a Times Square rally to make their position clear: They stand with the terrorists.

As the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s exclusive video shows, hundreds attended the “Emergency Action for Gaza: International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Resistance” rally sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Within Our Lifetime, and Al-Awda: The Palestine Right of Return Coalition.

They didn’t call for an end to violence. Instead, they endorsed it as a means to eliminate the state of Israel.

“One, two, three, four … Occupation no more,” they chanted. “Five, six, seven, eight. Smash the settler Zionist state.”

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“We don’t want two states. We want ’48.”

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

These chants call for Israel’s elimination; “’48” refers to the year Israel was created. And a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea” would cover all of Israel.

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) is a virulently anti-Israel group, and one of the principal advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state. It routinely sponsors conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers, and openly approves “resistance” against the “Zionist state.”

A 2017 lawsuit alleges that AMP and several of its activists are “alter egos and/or successors” of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the American Muslim Society (AMS). Those were two names for one organization that was found liable for an American teen’s 1996 death in a terrorist attack.

In 2015, the Investigative Project on Terrorism first identified at least five AMP officials and speakers who worked at the Hamas-supporting “Palestine Committee,” which was created to advance the terror group’s agenda politically and financially in the United States.

Sayel Kayed, from AMP’s New Jersey chapter, made sure there was no confusion about protesters’ ultimate goal: “You know, people ask, ‘does Israel have a right to exist?'” “No!” he screamed. “Israel has no right to exist on Palestinian land.”

He then led the crowd in a chant:

“Does Israel have a right to exist?”

“No!”

“Does Israel have a right to exist?”

“No!”

“Does Palestine have a right to resistance?”

“Yes!”

“Does Palestine have a right to resistance?”

“Yes!”

For him, “Palestine is all of Palestine, from the river to the sea. … Give us our land back and you will have peace. Otherwise, resistance ’til the end, ’til every inch of Palestine is free. Free, free Palestine!”

“Resistance” is a misleading, sanitized way of referring to terrorism. Hamas, the designated terrorist group which controls Gaza, is an acronym for the “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Its record of suicide bombings in restaurants, buses, and at religious events, along with other attacks on innocent life, is no secret.

Hamas largely stayed out of last week’s fighting, which was triggered by Israel’s killing of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative, Bahaa Abu al-Ata, who was responsible for numerous attacks on Israeli civilians and was on the cusp of launching a new wave.

Iran, which is devoted to Israel’s annihilation, is Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s main patron. The PIJ charter, which was a closely held document until Federal investigators found it during a 1995 search of then-University of South Florida Professor Sami Al-Arian’s home and offices, calls for creating “a state of terror, instability and panic in the souls of Zionists and especially the groups of settlers, and force them to leave their houses.” It also says: “Jihad is the solution to liberate Palestine and topple the infidel regimes.”

Those weren’t the principles touted by the Times Square rally leaders, opting for softer language that still leads to the same ends.

Michael Letwin of a group called Jews for the Palestinian Right of Return, still echoed the notion of a world free of Israel’s existence.

“All of Israel is occupied Palestine,” Letwin said. “And for this reason, the boycott divestment, and sanctions movement is demanding an end to the occupation of ’67, the right of return and equal rights throughout historic Palestine. … And no matter the odds, brothers and sisters, this international resistance to injustice will ultimately end apartheid Israel and bring about one democratic Palestine from the river to the sea with equal rights for all. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

The “one-state solution” Letwin describes would end Israel mathematically, as there would be more people identified as Palestinians than Jews. The BDS movement he endorsed is internationally condemned as antisemitic for seeking an end to the Jewish state and for employing a double-standard on human rights.

Meanwhile, a speaker named Husam from the City College of New York’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter made it clear that they aim to silence anyone who dares to speak in support of Israel.

“There is only one solution,” he said. “Intifada revolution! Intifada does not have to be in Gaza or Palestine. We’re going to have an intifada in every classroom. We’re gonna have an intifada on every college campus. We’re gonna shut down all the Zionist events … let’s shut down all the Zionists and let’s start an intifada everywhere we are.”

None of these speakers criticized Israeli policies. They all talked about making a world where the state no longer exists. There is no other country which sees similar calls for its elimination. Yet these people proudly took to Times Square and put their hatred on full display.

A complete transcript of the rally can be seen here.

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